Pargas – Parainen
The city centre of Pargas
Location of Pargas in Finland
|• Town manager||Patrik Nygrén|
|• Total||5,548.25 km2 (2,142.19 sq mi)|
|• Land||881.79 km2 (340.46 sq mi)|
|• Water||4,666.46 km2 (1,801.73 sq mi)|
|Area rank||11th largest in Finland|
|• Rank||76th largest in Finland|
|• Density||17.53/km2 (45.4/sq mi)|
|Population by native language|
|• Swedish||57.6% (official)|
|• Finnish||41.2% (official)|
|Population by age|
|• 0 to 14||17.2%|
|• 15 to 64||63.3%|
|• 65 or older||19.5%|
|Time zone||EET (UTC+2)|
|• Summer (DST)||EEST (UTC+3)|
|Municipal tax rate||19.25%|
Pargas (Finnish: Parainen; Väståboland (Finnish: Länsi-Turunmaa) in 2009–2011) is a municipality of Finland, in the Archipelago Sea. In fact, It is the only Finnish town surrounded by water on all sides. The big limestone mine in Pargas is the base of the main industry, while there is still significant rural areas. Except the central parts of Pargas the municipality is mostly rural.
Pargas is located in Åboland in the province of Western Finland and is part of the Southwest Finland region. It was created as Väståboland on January 1, 2009 in Southwest Finland, when the municipalities of Pargas, Nagu, Korpo, Houtskär and Iniö were united into a single municipality.
The municipality has a population of 15,461 (30 November 2014) and covers an area of 5,548.25 square kilometres (2,142.19 sq mi) of which 4,666.46 km2 (1,801.73 sq mi) is water. The population density is 17.53 inhabitants per square kilometre (45.4/sq mi).
Pargas has a large limestone industry, with the industry and Nordkalk as an important local employer, agriculture employs many in the rural regions of the municipality. The municipality is suffering from high debt.
Karin Thomasdotter (1610–1697), who served as vogt in Pargas for over forty years, was one of the longest serving vogts, and also one of only two females to have the position in contemporary Finland.
Shortly after the merge people started debating if the "Väståboland" name was the right name for the merged municipality, those arguing against the Väståboland name, proposed Pargas as a 'new' name. The former municipalities could not agree on a new name and Pargas insisted on a change, so the state had to step in and decided the name to be Väståboland/Länsi-Turunmaa. The debates became heated and a referendum was arranged to decide what name the municipality should have in May 2011. The result of the referendum showed that 57,7% of the voters supported "Pargas" and 40.1% of voters supported "Väståboland". Though the overall majority supported changing the name, there was an overwhelming support for the name "Väståboland" in 4 out of 5 of the former municipalities. In Iniö only 1 voter out of 173 total voted for "Pargas", in all the four 62 out of 2060, while in Pargas 74,5% voted for "Pargas".
The municipality council (Swedish: "Fullmäktige") decided on 14 June 2011 in favour of the majority population and decided to rename the municipality "Pargas" on 1 January 2012. Though there has been legal complications and the council decision to rename will be taken to court, the court might override the council decision. The Council considered to take this issue up again for debate and vote. The council made a re-vote on 6 September 2011 with 25 votes for "Pargas", 17 for "Väståboland" and 1 blank vote.
Merge with Kimitoön
Twin towns — Sister cities
Pargas is twinned with:
- Haninge Municipality, Sweden
- "Area by municipality as of 1 January 2011" (PDF) (in Finnish and Swedish). Land Survey of Finland. Retrieved 9 March 2011.
- "VÄESTÖTIETOJÄRJESTELMÄ REKISTERITILANNE 30.11.2014" (in Finnish and Swedish). Population Register Center of Finland. Retrieved 29 December 2014.
- "Population according to language and the number of foreigners and land area km2 by area as of 31 December 2008". Statistics Finland's PX-Web databases. Statistics Finland. Retrieved 29 March 2009.
- "Population according to age and gender by area as of 31 December 2008". Statistics Finland's PX-Web databases. Statistics Finland. Retrieved 28 April 2009.
- "List of municipal and parish tax rates in 2011". Tax Administration of Finland. 29 November 2010. Retrieved 13 March 2011.
- Suomen kansallisbiografia (National Biography of Finland)
- Ohlander, Ann-Sofie. Tusen svenska kvinnoår, 2008. Upplaga 3. uppl.
Media related to Pargas at Wikimedia Commons
- Town of Pargas – Official website