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Kouvolan kaupunki
Kouvola stad
City of Kouvola
Aerial photo of Kouvola
Aerial photo of Kouvola
Coat of arms of Kouvola
Coat of arms
Näköisesi paikka (The place you look like)[citation needed]
Location of Kouvola in Finland
Location of Kouvola in Finland
Coordinates: [ ⚑ ] : 60°52′05″N 026°42′15″E / 60.86806°N 26.70417°E / 60.86806; 26.70417
Country Finland
RegionKymenlaakson maakunnan vaakuna.svg Kymenlaakso
Sub-regionKouvola sub-region
City rights1960
 • City managerMarita Toikka
 • CityTemplate:Data Finland municipality
 • Urban
 • Metro
 • Metro density267/km2 (690/sq mi)
Template:Data Finland municipality
 • Template:Data Finland municipalityTemplate:Data Finland municipality
 • Template:Data Finland municipalityTemplate:Data Finland municipality
 • Template:Data Finland municipalityTemplate:Data Finland municipality
 • Template:Data Finland municipalityTemplate:Data Finland municipality
Template:Data Finland municipality
 • Template:Data Finland municipalityTemplate:Data Finland municipality
 • Template:Data Finland municipalityTemplate:Data Finland municipality
 • Template:Data Finland municipalityTemplate:Data Finland municipality
Time zoneUTC+02:00 (EET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+03:00 (EEST)
Postal code

Kouvola (Finnish pronunciation: [ˈkou̯ʋolɑ]) is a city and municipality in southeastern Finland . It is located along the Kymijoki River in the region of Kymenlaakso, 62 kilometres (39 mi) kilometers east of Lahti, 87 kilometres (54 mi) west of Lappeenranta and 134 kilometres (83 mi) northeast of the capital, Helsinki. With Kotka, Kouvola is one of the capital centers and is the largest city in the Kymenlaakso region.

The whole municipal area has a population of Template:Data Finland municipality/population count (Error: Invalid time.),[1] but the actual downtown itself is home to 47,391 people.[2] It covers an area of [convert: invalid number] of which [convert: invalid number] is water.[3] The population density is [convert: invalid number]. Kouvola is bordered by the municipalities of Hamina, Heinola, Iitti, Kotka, Lapinjärvi, Loviisa, Luumäki, Miehikkälä, Mäntyharju, Pyhtää and Savitaipale. Kouvola has over 450 lakes and, together with Mäntyharju, the Kouvola area includes the Repovesi National Park.[4]

Kouvola, which had population growth as late as the 1980s, has suffered a loss of migration since the 1990s. Over time, the loss has only deepened, so that at the end of the 2010s Kouvola was Finland's worst migration loss area. Natural demographics have also trended downward; in 2017, more than 450 more people died in the city than new ones were born.[5][6][7] The reasons for the emigration are thought to be largely due to job losses in the region.[6][7]


Coat of arms of Kouvola in 1952–2008.

The village of Kouvola has been inhabited since the Middle Ages, and it has belonged alternately to the churches of Hollola, Iitti and Valkeala. However, the actual development did not start until the 1870s when the Riihimäki–Saint Petersburg line was built and Kouvola became a railway junction.[4] Kouvola railroad built Kymin mill founder Axel Wilhelm Wahren railway administration by on application, on the basis of the track engineers decided to recommend the creation of a fifth-end position in a half mile east of the variable alert Otava with acceptance on sandy soil on fabric. In the next decade, the Savonia railway was built from Kouvola to the north and the Kotka line to the south, resulting in Kouvola becoming one of the busiest railway junctions in Finland. Over time, Kouvola developed into an important pulp-producing, paper-milling and printing centre and even had a leading industrial engineering sector.[4]

In 1918, conflict between the Red and White factions raged heavily during the Finnish Civil War. More than 200 people were killed in the area during the fighting.

As a result of the railway, Kouvola was heavily built. In 1922 it was separated from the municipality of Valkeala and gained commercial rights immediately the following year. The city of Kouvola was established in 1960. Kouvola was annexed to Viipuri Province in 1922–1945 but in 1940 and 1944, most of Viipuri County was ceded to the Soviet Union, and the remaining areas were formed into Kymi Province in 1945. Kouvola had also become an administrative center; As the capital of Kymen County, it operated from 1955 until the 1997 county reform.

In January 2009, the six municipalities of Kouvola, Kuusankoski, Elimäki, Anjalankoski, Valkeala and Jaala were consolidated, forming the new municipality of Kouvola. Kouvola has also assumed the slogan Kymijoen kaupunki (the town of Kymijoki) previously used by Anjalankoski.[8]


  • The name itself derives from Old Finnish kouvo, meaning bear and wolf.[9] The arms are Sable, an escarbuncle Or, base wavy Argent.
  • Verla factory, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is located near Kouvola.[4]
  • The newspapers Kouvolan Sanomat and Keskilaakso are published in Kouvola.
  • The third biggest Amusement park in Finland, called Tykkimäki is located in Kouvola.[4]

Province History of Kouvola

  • Viipurin lääni.vaakuna.svg Viipuri Province (1922–1945)
  • Kymen lääni.vaakuna.svg Kymi Province (1945–1997)
  • Etelä-Suomen läänin vaakuna.svg Southern Finland Province (1997–2009)
  • Kymenlaakson maakunnan vaakuna.svg Kymenlaakso (2009–)


Kouvola is the hometown of the Sudet sports club, which became Finnish champions in bandy six consecutive times, and they have a football team which is playing at the fourth highest level, Kolmonen, despite Sudet being one of the oldest football clubs in Finland. KooKoo is the most successful ice hockey team in Kymenlaakso. It plays in the Finnish top league, SM-liiga. Kouvolan Pallonlyöjät (KPL) is a baseball team based in Kouvola and known for Pesäpallo. KPL was won five Finnish championships and it plays in the Finnish top league, Superpesis. Kouvot is a basketball team based in Kouvola. the team plays in the highest level Korisliiga and has won four Finnish championships.

MyPa is one of the most successful football clubs in Finland and the 1990s was the golden era. MyPa is played 23 seasons in the Finnish top football league Veikkausliiga. MyPa are based in the industrial village of Myllykoski, part of the city of Kouvola. The club became inactive in professional football after having ceased operations in 2015 due to financial difficulties. In 2017, MyPa returned and started again from the fourth highest tier but has quickly risen to the second highest level, Ykkönen, where it is now playing. Kouvola also has a Palomäki Ski Jump Center, very close to the city, where young people and other sports enthusiasts can go to jump on a ski jump.

Local government

City Council of Kouvola
Party Seats
Social Democratic Party 16
National Coalition Party 13
Centre Party 9
Green League 6
Finns Party 5
Christian Democrats 4
Sitoutumattomat (Independent) 2
Left Alliance 2
Suur-Kouvolan sitoutumattomat 2


Kouvola has humid continental climate (Dfb).The city has four distinct seasons, the amount of precipitation is relatively uniform throughout the year. The driest season is spring. Summers are generally relatively warm as the city is considered to be one of the hottest cities in Finland as it has had the most days with "helle" (temperatures above 25 °C or 77 °F) since 2000. Winters are cold and long, colder than cities located in the coastal areas of Finland because of its location further inland, meaning the marine effect doesn't affect the city as much than those nearer the sea and specially those nearer the southwestern coasts of the Finnish side of Gulf of Finland. This also means that the summers are warmer due to it being further inland as the sea effect is making the summer temperatures slightly cooler in coastal areas. The average annual temperature is 5.4 °C (41.7 °F). The highest ever recorded temperature in the station was 34.5 °C (94.1 °F), on July 28, 2010. The lowest ever recorded was −37.3 °C (−35.1 °F). The city has a significant rainfall throughout the year and even in the driest month the precipitation stays over 30 millimetres (1.2 in) a month. The average duration of sunshine per year is 1,658 hours. Kouvola Utti airport weather station has on average somewhat lower average temperatures than in the city.

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The city of Kouvola has Template:Data Finland municipality/population count inhabitants, making it the Template:Data Finland municipality/population count sequenceth most populous municipality in Finland. In Kouvola, 4.8% of the population has a foreign background, which is below to the national average.[10]

Population size of Kouvola (and merged municipalities) 1990–2020[10]
Year Population


Population by mother tongue (2022)[10]

  Finnish (95.3%)
  Russian (1.8%)
  Estonian (0.5%)
  Swedish (0.4%)
  Arabic (0.3%)
  Thai (0.2%)
  Somali (0.2%)
  Other (1.3%)

Kouvola is a monolingual Finnish-speaking municipality. There are Template:Data Finland municipality/native language Swedish Swedish speakers in Kouvola, or 0% of the population.[10] As English and Swedish are compulsory school subjects, functional bilingualism or trilingualism acquired through language studies is not uncommon.

At least 40 different languages are spoken in Kouvola. The most commonly spoken foreign languages are Russian (1.8%), Estonian (0.5%), Arabic (0.3%) and Thai (0.2%).[10]


Population by country of birth (2022)[10]
Nationality Population %
 Finland 73,735 95.3
 Soviet Union 1,116 1.4
 Estonia 321 0.4
 Russia 235 0.3
 Sweden 210 0.3
 Thailand 190 0.2
 Turkey 123 0.2
 Somalia 112 0.1
 Iraq 93 0.1
 China 71 0.1
 Philippines 54 0.1
Other 1,075 1.4

In 2022, there were 3,785 persons with a migrant background living in Kouvola, or 4.8% of the population.[note 1] The number of residents who were born abroad was 3,694, or 4.7% of the population. The number of persons with foreign citizenship living in Kouvola was 2,267.[12] Most foreign-born citizens came from the former Soviet Union, Estonia, Russia and Sweden.[10]

The relative share of immigrants in Kouvola's population is below to the national average. However, the city's new residents are increasingly of foreign origin. This will increase the proportion of foreign residents in the coming years.


In 2022, the Evangelical Lutheran Church was the largest religious group with 70.5% of the population of Kouvola. Other religious groups accounted for 2.0% of the population. 27.5% of the population had no religious affiliation.[10]

International relations

Twin towns and sister cities

Kouvola is twinned with:[13]

  • Balatonfüred, Coa Hungary County Veszprém.svg Veszprém County,  Hungary
  • Vologda, Coat of arms of Vologda oblast.svg Vologda Oblast,  Russia
  • Mülheim an der Ruhr, Coat of arms of North Rhine-Westfalia.svg North Rhine-Westphalia,  Germany


Kouvola regional councils.
Region Committee Population Area km2 Population Density
Kouvola central (1) 30,185 44.88 672.57
Kuusankoski (2) 20,647 692.07 29.83
Anjalankoski (3) 15,000 752.92 19.92
Valkeala (4) 11,433 1003.72 11.39
Elimäki (5) 7,900 391.74 20.17
5 region Committee 85,165 2,885.33 29.52

Jaala is only one does not form its own regional committee, but is part of the Kuusankoski regional committee.

Notable people

Map of territorial changes of Kouvola and Kuusankoski. Most of the area of old Kouvola was separated from Valkeala, except for the western parts of the city, which were separated from Kuusankoski.
  • Atso Askonen (Former ice hockey player)
  • Arto Bryggare (Former hurdling athlete)
  • Timo Susi (Former ice hockey player)
  • Jarkko A. Immonen (Current ice hockey player)
  • Jari Lindström (Finnish politician)
  • Kaarle Viikate (Finnish musician and metal band Founder of the Viikate)
  • Juhani Aaltonen (Jazz saxophonist and flautist)
  • Roope Tonteri (Finnish snowboarder)
  • Hannu Salama (Finnish author)
  • Ari Koivunen (Heavy metal singer)
  • Ville Nousiainen (cross-country skier)
  • Toni Gardemeister (Professional rally driver)
  • Niilo Halonen (Former ski jumper)
  • Timo Lahti (Speedway rider)
  • Aleksanteri Hakaniemi (singer and YouTuber)



  1. Statistics Finland classifies a person as having a "foreign background" if both parents or the only known parent were born abroad.[11]


  1. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named population_count
  2. Taajamat väkiluvun ja väestöntiheyden mukaan 31.12.2019[yes|permanent dead link|dead link}}]. – Statistics Finland. (in Finnish)
  3. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named total_area
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 Kruk, Katherine (5 April 2012). "Kouvola – strategic and beautiful". Helsinki Times. 
  5. "Kouvola suuren tuskan edessä" (in fi). YLE. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 "Kaakkois-Suomen suurin kaupunki vaihtuu, jos väestöennuste toteutuu – Kouvolan väkiluku vähenee tuhansilla" (in fi). YLE. 
  7. 7.0 7.1 el Kamel, Sonia; Hujanen, Touko (November 27, 2020). "Älkää lähtekö!" (in fi). Ylioppilaslehti. 
  8. "Kouvolan kaupunki". Website of Kouvola. 
  9. Jäntti, Pasi. "Mikä on kouvo?" (in fi). Kaleva. 
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 10.5 10.6 10.7 "Number of foreign-language speakers grew by nearly 38,000 persons" (in en). Statistics Finland. 31 May 2023. 
  11. "Persons with foreign background". Statistics Finland. 
  12. "Population structure 2000–2022, urban-rural classification" (in en). Statistics Finland. 26 May 2023. 
  13. "Kansainvälinen Kouvola" (in fi). City of Kouvola. 20 May 2019. 

External links