About 200,000 people live in the area, of which 51% are Finnish-speakers and 48% Swedish-speakers.
The area has a strong tradition of entrepreneurship and the largest number of companies per capita on the mainland of Finland. The export share of approximately 75% is also exceptionally high. Another indicator of the area’s strong economy is that the unemployment rate is the lowest in the country.
Kokkola has a significant concentration of inorganic chemistry businesses. The city provides a complete, top-class operating environment for large-scale industry due to its excellent logistics and location. Transport connections include the first all-weather covered terminal in the Nordic countries.
Jakobstad, also called Pietarsaari in Finnish, is a hub of small and medium-sized export companies. The city is full of export-oriented niche businesses that thrive on the global markets. There are companies that have fewer than 50 employees yet export to more than 50 countries.
Vaasa is home to the biggest concentration of energy technology companies in the Nordic countries. Vaasa’s export percentage in industrial production is nearly 80, which makes it the biggest exporting city in Finland.
In 2017, Vaasa Airport was elected as the airport of the year in Finland. The number of passengers has steadily increased and the airport is now the sixth largest in the country.