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Pargas stad
Paraisten kaupunki
The city centre of Pargas
The city centre of Pargas
Coat of arms of Pargas
Coat of arms
Location of Pargas in Finland
Location of Pargas in Finland
Coordinates: 60°18′N 022°18′E / 60.300°N 22.300°E / 60.300; 22.300Coordinates: 60°18′N 022°18′E / 60.300°N 22.300°E / 60.300; 22.300
Country  Finland
Region Southwest Finland
Sub-region Åboland–Turunmaa sub-region
Charter 2009
Seat Pargas
 • Town manager Patrik Nygrén
Area (2018-01-01)[1]
 • Total 5,548.17 km2 (2,142.16 sq mi)
 • Land 881.79 km2 (340.46 sq mi)
 • Water 4,666.46 km2 (1,801.73 sq mi)
Area rank 88th largest in Finland
Population (2017-08-31)[2]
 • Total 15,357
 • Rank 75th largest in Finland
 • Density 17.42/km2 (45.1/sq mi)
Population by native language[3]
 • Swedish 57.6% (official)
 • Finnish 41.2% (official)
 • Others 1.2%
Population by age[4]
 • 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[5] 19.25%

Pargas (Finnish: Parainen) (Finnish: Länsi-Turunmaa and Swedish: Väståboland in 2009–2011) is a municipality of Finland, in the Archipelago Sea. The big limestone mine in Pargas is the base of the main industry, while there are still significant rural areas. Except for 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 15,357 (31 August 2017)[2] and covers an area of 5,548.17 square kilometres (2,142.16 sq mi) of which 4,666.46 km2 (1,801.73 sq mi) is water.[1] The population density is 17.42 inhabitants per square kilometre (45.1/sq mi).

The town is bilingual with a majority (57.6%) speaking Swedish as their native language.[3]


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. Furthermore, the shipping industry is a relevant industry in the region.[6] The municipality is suffering from high debt.[7]


Archaeological excavations revealed that the vikings used to travel to the archipelago in the 9th century.[6]

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.[8][9]

Recent history[edit]

On 1 January 2009, Pargas, Nagu, Korpo, Houtskär and Iniö merged to Pargas municipality.[6]

Name dispute[edit]

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.[10] The debates became heated and a referendum was arranged to decide what name the municipality should have in May 2011.[11] 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".[12]

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.[13] Though there has been legal complications and the council decision to rename will be taken to court, the court might override the council decision.[14] The Council considered to take this issue up again for debate and vote.[15] The council made a re-vote on 6 September 2011 with 25 votes for "Pargas", 17 for "Väståboland" and 1 blank vote.[16]

Merge with Kimitoön[edit]

There is debate about a possible merge with Kimitoön.[17]

International relations[edit]

Twin towns — Sister cities[edit]

Pargas is twinned with:


  1. ^ a b "Area of Finnish Municipalities 1.1.2018" (PDF). National Land Survey of Finland. Retrieved 30 January 2018. 
  2. ^ a b "Ennakkoväkiluku sukupuolen mukaan alueittain, elokuu 2017" (in Finnish). Statistics Finland. Retrieved 18 October 2017. 
  3. ^ a b "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. ^ a b c "Discovering Swedish-speaking municipalities: Pargas". Retrieved 28 December 2017. 
  7. ^ "Ekonomin högst upp på den väståboländska agendan". Retrieved 28 December 2017. 
  8. ^ Suomen kansallisbiografia (National Biography of Finland)
  9. ^ Ohlander, Ann-Sofie. Tusen svenska kvinnoår, 2008. Upplaga 3. uppl.
  10. ^ "Det blev Väståboland stad". Retrieved 28 December 2017. 
  11. ^ Oy, Ch5 Finland. "Folkomröstning angående stadens namn". Retrieved 28 December 2017. 
  12. ^ Oy, Ch5 Finland. "Rådgivande kommunal folkomröstning 22.5 - resultat". Retrieved 28 December 2017. 
  13. ^ "Väståboland blir Pargas". Retrieved 28 December 2017. 
  14. ^ "Namnbråket i Väståboland till domstol". Retrieved 28 December 2017. 
  15. ^ "Regeringen ändrar på förutsättningen för namnfrågan". Retrieved 28 December 2017. 
  16. ^ Oy, Ch5 Finland. "Fullmäktige beslöt om stadens namn". Retrieved 28 December 2017. 
  17. ^ ""Åboländsk storkommun måste diskuteras"". Retrieved 28 December 2017. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Pargas at Wikimedia Commons