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Sonkajärven kunta
Coat of arms of Sonkajärvi
Coat of arms
Location of Sonkajärvi in Finland
Location of Sonkajärvi in Finland
Coordinates: 63°40′N 27°31′E / 63.667°N 27.517°E / 63.667; 27.517Coordinates: 63°40′N 27°31′E / 63.667°N 27.517°E / 63.667; 27.517
Country  Finland
Region Northern Savonia
Sub-region Upper Savonia
Charter 1922
 • Municipal manager Simo Mäkinen
Area (2016-01-01)[1]
 • Total 1,465.82 km2 (565.96 sq mi)
 • Land 1,465.91 km2 (565.99 sq mi)
 • Water 110.86 km2 (42.80 sq mi)
Area rank 44th largest in Finland
Population (2016-03-31)[2]
 • Total 4,279
 • Rank 196th largest in Finland
 • Density 2.92/km2 (7.6/sq mi)
Population by native language[3]
 • Finnish 99.6% (official)
 • Swedish 0.1%
 • Others 0.4%
Population by age[4]
 • 0 to 14 14.1%
 • 15 to 64 62.7%
 • 65 or older 23.1%
Time zone EET (UTC+2)
 • Summer (DST) EEST (UTC+3)
Municipal tax rate[5] 19.75%

Sonkajärvi is a municipality of Finland.

It is located in the province of Eastern Finland and is part of the Northern Savonia region. The municipality has a population of 4,279 (31 March 2016)[2] and covers an area of 1,465.82 square kilometres (565.96 sq mi) of which 110.86 km2 (42.80 sq mi) is water.[1] The population density is 2.92 inhabitants per square kilometre (7.6/sq mi).

The municipality was founded in 1922. Before it Sonkajärvi was a part of Iisalmen maalaiskunta.

The municipality is unilingually Finnish.

Wife carrying competition[edit]

Sonkajärvi has gained a worldwide fame for Wife Carrying (Finnish: akankanto or eukonkanto) which is an alternative sport of carrying women. The first Wife Carrying World Championship dates to 1994, but the creation of the contest, apart from its humorous aspects, has deep roots in the local history. In the late 19th century there was in the area a brigand called Rosvo-Ronkainen, who is said to have accepted in his troops only those men who proved their worth on a challenging track. In those days, it was also a common practice to steal women from the neighbouring villages.

In the Wife Carrying competition each team has one male and one female member, the objective being for the male to carry the female through a special obstacle track. The basic rules are that the woman must be over 17 years of age and have a weight of at least 49 kilograms (108 lb). If she is below that weight, she must be burdened with such a heavy rucksack so that the total weight to be carried by the man is at least 49 kilograms. The only equipment allowed is a belt worn by the carrier. The track in Sonkanjärvi used annually for the World Championship has a length of exactely 253.5 metres (832 ft).


There are 204 lakes in the area of Sonkajärvi. Biggest of them are Laakajärvi, Sälevä and Kiltuanjärvi.[6]

Unique nature sights[edit]

There are unique nature sights in the municipality of Sonkajärvi, for example the northernmost in Finland reliably confirmed habitats of wild Small-leaved Lime (Tilia cordata) in the vicinity of the lake of Kangaslampi, 63° 45′ N and near the hill of Salmisenmäki, 63° 43′ 42" N.[7][8][9]

International relations[edit]

Twin towns — Sister cities[edit]

Well known people from Sonkajärvi[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Population density by area 1.1.2016". Statistics Finland. Retrieved 12 February 2017. 
  2. ^ a b "Ennakkoväkiluku sukupuolen mukaan alueittain, maaliskuu.2016" (in Finnish). Statistics Finland. Retrieved 31 March 2016. 
  3. ^ "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. 
  4. ^ "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. 
  5. ^ "List of municipal and parish tax rates in 2011". Tax Administration of Finland. 29 November 2010. Retrieved 13 March 2011. 
  6. ^ Jarviwiki Sonkajärvi. Retrieved 2014-03-05. (in English)
  7. ^ Ylä-Savon Instituutti - Sonkajärven luonto. (in Finnish) (PDF).
  8. ^ NatureGate: Small-leaved Lime (Tilia cordata) (in English)
  9. ^ Helsingin yliopisto. Kasviatlas. Suomen putkilokasvien levinneisyyskartasto. Metsälehmus (Tilia cordata) (in Finnish)
  10. ^ "Sõprusvallad" (in Estonian). Väike-Maarja vald. Retrieved 21 March 2011. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Sonkajärvi at Wikimedia Commons