Information and statistics

Areal photo of Oulu
Areal photo of Oulujoki river

The City of Oulu

Oulu was established by King Carl IX of Sweden on the mainland opposite Linnansaari Island and the castle.  

Oulu is situated by the Gulf of Bothnia, at the mouth of Oulu River, which is an ancient trading site. The name ‘Oulu’ comes from a word in the Sami language meaning floodwater.  

From a town known for tar and salmon, Oulu has evolved into a growing modern centre of competence. A diverse and international business sector, a strong economy and a cooperative business culture create a foundation for new business activities. The miracle of technology in Oulu means usability. Technology is used to make everyday life easier. 

Oulu offers flexibility and options for people. The living environment in Oulu consists of the combination of rural and urban nature as well as the rich urban culture. 

The strength of Oulu lies in its people. The urban region with more than 250,000 inhabitants represents a unique combination of future skills and willpower on science, culture and technology as well as Finland’s youngest population’s courage to create something new. Oulu region is the northern metropolitan area of Finland and the largest centre of the northern regions of Scandinavia. 

Oulu in a nutshell

Region: Oulu, Suomi
Coordinates: 65°01' N, 25°28' E
Elevation: 0 meters (0 feet)
Time zone: (GMT + 2:00)

Surface area 3 817 km² (31.12.2022)
Land  2 972 km²
Water 845 km²

Population 31.12.2022211 848
Average age of population 39,4 years

Municipal merger 1.1.2013
Haukipudas, Kiiminki, Oulu, Oulunsalo and Yli-Ii merged together.