For the lake, see Lake Kemijärvi.
Kemijärven kaupunki
Kemijärvi stad

Kemijärvi Church

Coat of arms

Location of Kemijärvi in Finland
Coordinates: 66°43′N 027°26′E / 66.717°N 27.433°E / 66.717; 27.433Coordinates: 66°43′N 027°26′E / 66.717°N 27.433°E / 66.717; 27.433
Country Finland
Region Lapland
Sub-region Eastern Lapland sub-region
Charter 1957
City rights 1973
  Town manager Atte Rantanen
Area (2011-01-01)[1]
  Total 3,931.44 km2 (1,517.94 sq mi)
  Land 3,505.60 km2 (1,353.52 sq mi)
  Water 425.84 km2 (164.42 sq mi)
Area rank 15th largest in Finland
Population (2016-03-31)[2]
  Total 7,749
  Rank 130th largest in Finland
  Density 2.21/km2 (5.7/sq mi)
Population by native language[3]
  Finnish 99.1% (official)
  Others 0.8%
Population by age[4]
  0 to 14 11.3%
  15 to 64 61.7%
  65 or older 26.9%
Time zone EET (UTC+2)
  Summer (DST) EEST (UTC+3)
Municipal tax rate[5] 20%

Kemijärvi (Inari Sami: Kemijävri, Northern Sami: Giemajávri) is a municipality of Finland. It is located in the province of Lapland. The municipality has a population of 7,749 (31 March 2016)[2] and covers an area of 3,931.44 square kilometres (1,517.94 sq mi) of which 425.84 km2 (164.42 sq mi) is water.[1] The population density is 2.21 inhabitants per square kilometre (5.7/sq mi).

Surrounding municipalities are Pelkosenniemi in the north, Salla in the east, Posio in the south and Rovaniemi in the west.

The municipality is unilingually Finnish.

Villages located in the area of the municipality of Kemijärvi are Halosenranta, Hyypiö, Isokylä, Joutsijärvi, Juujärvi, Kallaanvaara, Kostamo, Leväranta, Luusua, Oinas, Perävaara, Ruopsa, Räisälä, Sipovaara, Soppela, Tapionniemi, Tohmo, Ulkuniemi, Varrio and Vuostimo.

The Eastern Lapland area where Kemijärvi is situated is well known for the nearby skiing resorts Suomu, Luosto, Pyhä and Salla, as well as Ruka in Kuusamo region. The beautiful Lake Kemijärvi, next to the city of Kemijärvi, is much appreciated as a place to visit during summertime. Lake Kemijärvi is surrounded by hills and large forests. Common fish species found include pike, perch and brown trout. Also, currently Kemijärvi is the northernmost known lake in Finland with an indigenous population of zander (also known as walleye or pikeperch). River Kemijoki flows from Lake Kemijärvi to Rovaniemi and further, to the sea at Kemi. Other popular summer pastimes besides fishing are hiking, trekking, boating and hunting.


The first permanent settler inhabitant of Kemijärvi was Paavali Ollinpoika Halonen, who moved, from the region of Oulu, from Niskakylä, Utajärvi to Kemijärvi about 1580. His wife was Anna Laurintytär Halonen and their children were Paavo, Olli and Pekka Halonen. Paavali's place of residence is known today as Halosenranta. As the first settlers moved to Kemijärvi, the area was no longer inhabited exclusively by the Sami people, but Ämmänvaara in the area of the municipality is an ancient sacrificial place of Samis.

The railway reached Kemijärvi in 1934. It was extended north to Salla and what is now Russia during World War II, though the line is currently moribund beyond Kemijärvi. The Kemijärvi railway station has passenger train service to Rovaniemi, Oulu and Helsinki. The direct overnight train service between Kemijärvi and Helsinki was controversially withdrawn in September 2006, with VR (Finnish Railways) stating that its new sleeping car trains could not operate with the diesel locomotives needed for the (then) non-electrified railway north of Rovaniemi.[6] However, a year later, the Ministry of Transport and Communications and VR reached an agreement concerning partial public funding of the service, which was restored in 2008 with a diesel generator car supplying hotel power to the passenger cars. The generator car disappeared from the train in March 2014 when the electrification extension from Rovaniemi to Kemijärvi was inaugurated, an event which also assured Kemijärvi a permanent place in the VR network.

On May 9, 1986, a BAE Hawk Mk 51 crashed in Kemijärvi whilst practicing for a flight display due to loss of orientation.[7] The pilot, First Lieutenant M. Kähkönen, died upon impact.

Notable individuals

Friendship cities

Historical places

Name Place Description WGS 84
The Joutsijärvi concrete bunkers Joutsijärvi A platoon bunker


  1. 1 2 "Area by municipality as of 1 January 2011" (PDF) (in Finnish and Swedish). Land Survey of Finland. Retrieved 9 March 2011.
  2. 1 2 "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. Finnish Railway News
  7. Ranter, Harro. "ASN Aircraft accident 09-MAY-1986 BAe Hawk Mk 51 HW-313". Retrieved 2016-05-03.

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