Coordinates: 60°30′N 027°00′E / 60.500°N 27.000°E / 60.500; 27.000
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Region of Kymenlaakso
Kymenlaakson maakunta (Finnish)
Landskapet Kymmenedalen (Swedish)
Coat of arms of Kymenlaakso
Kymenlaakso on a map of Finland
Kymenlaakso on a map of Finland
Coordinates: 60°30′N 027°00′E / 60.500°N 27.000°E / 60.500; 27.000
Historical provinceUusimaa, Karelia, Tavastia
Former provinces
CapitalKotka and Kouvola
 • Total5,595.36 km2 (2,160.38 sq mi)
 • Total174,167
 • Density31/km2 (81/sq mi)
 • Total€6.158 billion (2015)
 • Per capita€34,350 (2015)
Time zoneUTC+2 (EET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+3 (EEST)
ISO 3166 codeFI-09
Regional animalEurasian otter (Lutra lutra)
Regional birdEurasian bullfinch (Pyrrhula pyrrhula)
Regional fishEuropean sprat (Sprattus sprattus)
Regional flowerYellow Iris (Iris pseudacorus)
Regional stoneRapakivi granite
Regional lakeLake Vuohijärvi

Kymenlaakso (Finnish: [ˈkymenˌlɑːkso]; Swedish: Kymmenedalen; lit. "Kymi/Kymmene Valley") is a region in Finland. It borders the regions of Uusimaa, Päijät-Häme, South Savo and South Karelia and Russia (Leningrad Oblast). Its name means literally The Valley of River Kymi. Kymijoki is one of the biggest rivers in Finland with a drainage basin with 11% of the area of Finland. The city of Kotka with 51,000 inhabitants is located at the delta of River Kymi and has the most important import harbour in Finland. Other cities are Kouvola further in the inland which has after a municipal merger 81,000 inhabitants and the old bastion town Hamina.

Kymenlaakso was one of the first industrialized regions of Finland. It became the most important region for paper and pulp industry in Finland. Since the late 1900s many plants have closed, which has caused some deindustrialization, unemployment and population decline in Kymenlaakso, especially in those communities that were built around plants in Kouvola.

Historical provinces[edit]

For history, geography and culture see: Uusimaa, Karelia and Tavastia


The Kymi River in Kotka

Kymenlaakso, cradled by the winding Kymi River, boasts a history as dynamic as its waterways. Unlike Finland's traditional provinces, Kymenlaakso emerged as a distinct region much later, a testament to its ever-evolving character. The earliest whispers of human presence in Kymenlaakso echo back to the Stone Age. These settlements laid the foundation for later inhabitants like the Tavastians and Karelians, who etched their own stories onto the land.

For centuries, Kymenlaakso found itself under Swedish rule. Its strategic location transformed it into a vital trade corridor between Sweden and Russia. This era also witnessed the birth of its industrial prowess, with the 18th century ushering in an iron and steel boom. Sawmills and paper mills sprouted like mushrooms along the riverbanks, laying the groundwork for Kymenlaakso's future industrial dominance.

The 19th century brought a shift in political winds as Kymenlaakso became part of the Grand Duchy of Finland within the Russian Empire. However, the region's industrial spirit remained unfazed. In fact, this period saw further consolidation of its industrial base. The early 20th century witnessed another significant development – the rise of a powerful labor movement, a reflection of the growing importance of the working class in Kymenlaakso's industrial landscape.

Following World War II, Kymenlaakso embraced its place in independent Finland. While industry remained the cornerstone of its economy, forestry and tourism began carving out niches for themselves. However, recent years haven't been without challenges. The decline of the forest industry has cast a shadow over the region. Undeterred, Kymenlaakso is actively pursuing economic diversification, attracting new businesses and exploring new avenues for growth.


The region of Kymenlaakso consists of six municipalities, three of which have city status (marked in bold).

Municipalities on the map[edit]

Cities and municipalities of Kymenlaakso.
Over 30 000 inhabitants
Over 30 000 inhabitants
Over 10 000 inhabitants
Over 10 000 inhabitants
Over 3 000 inhabitants
Over 3 000 inhabitants
 < 3 000 inhabitants
 < 3 000 inhabitants
Cities and municipalities of Kymenlaakso.


Municipalities listed[edit]

Coat of
Municipality Population Land area
Coat of arms of Hamina Hamina 19,534 610 32 92 % 0.3 % 8 %
Coat of arms of Kotka Kotka 50,500 272 186 88 % 1 % 11 %
Coat of arms of Kouvola Kouvola 78,880 2,558 31 94 % 0.4 % 5 %
Coat of arms of Miehikkälä Miehikkälä 1,752 423 4 93 % 0.3 % 6 %
Coat of arms of Pyhtää Pyhtää 5,065 325 16 88 % 6.8 % 5 %
Coat of arms of Virolahti Virolahti 2,927 372 8 93 % 0.4 % 7 %
Total 158,658 4,559 34.8 92 % 0.7 % 7 %

Former municipalities[edit]


Results of the 2019 Finnish parliamentary election in Kymenlaakso:


External links[edit]