About Kainuu

Kainuu is formed of nine municipalities: Hyrynsalmi, Kajaani, Kuhmo, Paltamo, Puolanka, Sotkamo, Suomussalmi, Ristijärvi and Vaala. The administrative capital is Kajaani. The region of Kainuu is situated in Eastern Finland, with population of around 80,000 in 2014. Land area (24 452km²) equates in size to Belgium. The population density is one of the lowest in Europe, with less than four persons per km². Kainuu is well-known for its forests, nature, measurement technology and good opportunities for sports.


The nature of Kainuu features forested hills, lakes and vast expanses of uninhabited forests at its most typical — 95% of the land area is forest. The climate is continental. Kainuu has distinct cold and warm seasons. At Kajaani’s latitude, the mean monthly temperatures range from -11°C (12°F) in January to 16°C (61°F) in July. Kainuu is one of the snowiest parts of Finland, with a 70-80 cm covering of snow during average winters.


The economy of Kainuu is driven by the lumber industry, which employs 8% of the workforce
in the region. The region also holds strengths in the areas of Data Centre & IT Services, Mining, Bio-Fuels (bio-diesel production) and Tourism.


Kainuu offers opportunities for study and training both in upper secondary vocational education as well as in high-level postgraduate studies. Kajaani University of Applied Sciences (KAMK) is one of the most international universities in Finland with two degree programmes delivered in English. Today, there are about 200 international students on campus representing approximately 30 different nationalities. KAMK focus on contacts with working life and train professional in response to labour market needs whereas traditional universities conduct scientific reasearch and provide instruction and postgraduate education based on it. A variety of educational institutions and schools in Kainuu provide the skilled workforce to meet the needs of the region’s businesses and to serve trade and industry.

Transport Infrastructure and Accessibility

Kainuu is well connected to other parts of Finland by air routes, railway and the main road system. Kajaani airport is located 10 kilometres from the city centre, three flights per day take you to Helsinki only in an hour. Trains and busses to Oulu and Southern Finland depart many times per day. Highway 5 - the Finnish National road, one of the major roads between northern and southern Finland passes through Kajaani. The gateway to the east is the Vartius frontier checking point (boarder with Russia), only 120km from the centre of Kajaani. The Kainuu region has been very active in the transport and logistics sector in the Barents region due to its important geographic location as a gateway to Russia and also as a location through which the so called Barents Link or the Northern East West Freight Corridor passes through. This connection provides Kainuu with a significant position as an international logistics centre.

The regional development strategy continues to focus upon, the globally emerging logistic asset of dark fiber and connectivity, alongside power, water and land.

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