Oulu Region

The Finnish region of Oulu (terms ‘North Ostrobothnia´ and ‘Northern Ostrobothnia´ used in some contexts are synonymous to Oulu region) extends across Finland from the Gulf of Bothnia coast to the Russian border and has an area of 37 000 km² and is about equal in size to the whole of Netherlands.


Oulu region is a growing and developing region that has a population of about 380 000 persons (7,2% of the Finnish population) 80% of whom live in built-up areas (2008). The population is well educated and has the lowest average age of any region in the country.

The total population of the city of Oulu is nearly 1960530 (28.2.2015). In contrast, the remaining parts of the region are sparsely populated. The average population density of the region falls down to about 10 inh/km2.

The Oulu Region includes the City of Oulu and the 10 surrounding municipalities: Hailuoto, Haukipudas, Kempele, Kiiminki, Liminka, Lumijoki, Muhos, Oulunsalo, Tyrnävä and Ylikiiminki.


The Oulu Province belongs to a sub-Arctic climate. The City of Oulu has a moderate climate because of its maritime location. At Oulu’s latitude the average monthly temperatures range from -11°C in January to 16°C in July. The mean temperature in January is -16 C in the Northeast (Oulanka).  

Natural Resources

The western part of the region is characterized by the small number of watercourses, majority of which are rivers (lakes being mostly located in the eastern part). The scenery is typically flat, the percentage of mires and marshland is great, and the population is mostly situated close to the rivers.

The southern region with its river valleys is typically farming country, whereas the north-eastern parts of the area are characterized by the presence of wilderness, hill and fell country, and scarcity of population.

Water plays a major role in this region as it generates the nature’s and the inhabitant’s survival. The region offers allows you to get familiar with the most diverse sceneries and ecosystems. There is diverse seaside’s, islands, the Oulu River, the free flowing Kiiminki river, several smaller rivers and streams, lakes and ponds, different types of forests, marshes, fields and many kind of parks. The Liminka Bay is a real contact point for migrating birds and other animals. The Hailuoto Island is the only county among all to be defined as national scenery and its nature is very valuable on both national and international levels.

The entire region is also well known for its mires covering wide ecological range from bogs to rich fens, spring-fed mires and flooded swamps. Almost all mire plant and bird species recorded from Finland can be found in these mires. The wilderness is ideal for hunting, fishing or picking mushrooms and berries.


The Oulu region is an internationally recognised centre of technology and expertise where conscious efforts have been made to develop ideal conditions for new technology and practical cooperation between training, research and private enterprise. A good example of what has been achieved so far is the present total of 17 000 jobs on hi-tech industries in the Oulu Region. In addition to the electrical and information technology the Oulu region is also well known for its medical technology and biotechnology.

The few more densely populated centres in the area have significant industrial facilities specialized in the field of wood processing, steelworks, chemistry, and electronics industry.

Transport Infrastructure in Oulu

Oulu is served by Oulu Airport,the second biggest airport in Finland by passenger volume. Port of Oulu is one of the busiest harbours within the Bothnian Bay. Port of Oulu includes four separate harbour areas: Vihreäsaari oil and bulk docks, Nuottasaari docks, Oritkari docks and the Toppila docks.


Oulu has emerged as one of the most modern focal points for education in Finland, and both the University of Oulu and Oulu Polytechnic have close international contacts in the fields that they represent. The Oulu University provides the students with very good education opportunities. There are 6 faculties (arts, education, economics, natural sciences, technical and medicine) and about 14,000 students. The Oulu Polytechnic organizes business and trade degrees, natural resources, social and healthcare, cultural events, technology forums, traffic, professional polytechnic level and teacher trainings.


The cultural life in Oulu is rich and varied. The best known cultural exports of the city of Oulu are Air Guitar World Championships and Mieskuoro Huutajat (also known as Screaming Men).

A variety of concerts, both rock, classical music, and jazz, as well as other cultural events take place each year; for example, Oulu Music Video Festival the host of the Air Guitar World Championships and Musixine Music Film Competition in August, annual rock festival Qstock in July, the Oulu Music Festival in winter, the Oulunsalo Music Festival in summer, and the International Children’s Film Festival in November.

Every summer, music camps and international choir festivals are organized in order to strengthen the region’s musical tradition.

For more information please go to:

Sources of information:

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Go to www.barents-council.org



Go to www.barents-council.org
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