Kalajoki is a Finnish city located at the mouth of the Kalajoki River, in the Southern Province of Oulu, Northern Ostrobothnia. The city was inhabited by 12,413 people in 2010 after a municipal union with the municipality of Himanga and covers an area of 2,391.29 km², of which 6.98 km² are water bodies. The population density is 13.43 inhabitants / km². The population of Kalajoki, excluding the Himanga area, ie before the 2010 Association of Municipalities, was 9,591.

The city is known for tourism, agriculture and the metal industry. Kalajoki is located at the intersection of Highway 8 and Highway 27, and the nearby port of Rahja acts as a traffic hub between truck and ship traffic. The nearest railway stations are in Ylivieska and Kannus.

The neighboring municipalities of Kalajoki are Alavieska, Kokkola, Kannus, Merijärvi, Pyhäjoki, Sievi and Ylivieska.



The Kalajoki region was not freed from the power of water until the end of the Stone Age, which is why only some Stone Age finds have been found in the municipality. The most significant of the finds is Kivimaa's extensive residence in the Rautia area. The area was inhabited by the Sámi until the 13th and 14th centuries. Later, the area was mainly the wilderness area of ​​the people of Satakunta and Häme.

Permanent settlement began when a few wilderness visitors settled at the mouth of the Kalajoki and Himanganjoki rivers. The oldest villages in the region are Pohjankylä, Eteläkylä and Raumankari, which were probably founded in the 14th and 15th centuries. There is a Kuninkaankivi monument in the village of Rautila, reminiscent of the visit of the King of Sweden. According to tradition, King Adolf Fredrik stopped at the spot on his way north.

The main occupations of the population were initially agriculture, fishing and seal hunting. Fish were caught from the largest rivers and the sea. Maakalla, which rose from the sea in the 15th century, developed into an important fishing base in the 16th century, where dozens of fish houses and barns were built.

In the Middle Ages, Kalajoki belonged to the Salo parish. In 1525, the Salo Chapel Parish was formed from Kalajoki. Himanka, on the other hand, first belonged to the administrator of Pietarsaari, from the 1490s to the administrator of Kokkola. In the 1570s, Kalajoki was formed into its own administrative area, which included Alavieska, Ylivieska, Sievi, Reisjärvi, Nivala and Haapajärvi. In the same year, the administrative head of Lohtaja was also formed, which included Himanka. Himanka originally belonged to the Lohtaja parish, but became independent as the Lohtaja chapel parish in the early 18th century. The Free Duchy of Ikalaborg ruled the area as a Swedish province from 1652 for more than twenty years.

Kalajoki and Himanka grew slowly in the 17th century, when the development of the population was particularly affected by the years of the roof and wartime. Great hatred also limited the population development of Kalajoki and Himanga. After the Great Wrath, the population began to rise and in the late 18th century the population began to grow strongly. The good traffic position of the Kalajoki and Himanga estuaries led to the bourgeoisie of Kokkola starting to hold markets in these areas. In Kalajoki, Plass's marketplace became an important trading place in the area. In Himanga, on the other hand, the old Raumankari became an important trading place in the area. In the 19th century, Kalajoki was known for its diverse small industry. The holder made brass items, watches and weapons, among other things. In Himanga, shipbuilding grew into a significant industry. The most important industry from the 18th century until the end of the 19th century was tar burning. Tar was sold to the burghers of Kokkola.

In the Finnish War in Himanga in 1808 there were small skirmishes with the Russians. Wilhelm von Schwerin died in the battle of Kalajoki during the Finnish War. Kalajoki was one of the core areas of the revival movement in the Kalajoki Valley in the early 19th century. In 1838–1839, the well-known Kalajoki district was held in the Törnvall House in Pohjankylä, where those who were awakened were sentenced on the basis of a convention poster. A large number of awakened laymen were fined and priests were briefly removed from office. Siltasaari's relocated district building currently serves as the Kalajoki local history museum. In the 19th century, the population of Himanga began to grow. In 1810 there were 491 inhabitants, in 1850 892. The great years of death 1866–1868 slightly reduced the population of Kalajoki and Himanga.

Today, Kalajoki is known as a tourist municipality. The sandbars of the Kalajoki River have been a nationally known and marketed holiday destination since the 1970s. Kalajoki also has a strong agricultural tradition, and farms still produce grain, potatoes, meat and milk. The metal industry in Kalajoki is driven by the steel of Kalajoki and the port of Rahja, among others.

In the 1980s, leather and red whey drained from milk were named the main dishes of Kalajoki.

Kalajoki was founded in 1865. The population of Kalajoki grew steadily for a long time in the 20th century. In 1920 the municipality had 5,780 inhabitants. In 1952 there were 7,085 of them and in 1960 already 7,373 inhabitants. However, the 1960s cut off favorable demographic trends and by 1970 the population had fallen to 6,979. In the 1970s, the population began to grow again. In 1985, Kalajoki had a population of 9,108. Kalajoki became a city at the beginning of 2002.


In 1868, Himanga became its own parish. In 1870 there were already 2,192 inhabitants, in the same year two houses were transferred from Kannus Mutkalamminkylä to Himangan village in Himanga. The houses were Ainali and Oja. The population of Himanga was reduced by migration in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The immigrants moved from the region mainly to America. Local sports clubs include Himangan Athletes, Himangan Roima and Himangan Ball. Ahti Pöyhtäri, an honorary war veteran and local politician who died in 1999, has written about the history of the region. He was born in Himanga on August 11, 1918. Himanka is also one of the most important ware-producing municipalities in Finland. Prior to 2010, the municipality had 3,023 inhabitants.

Rautio acquired the rights of the chapel parish on November 11, 1826. At that time, the village of Kärkinen was also connected to the same chapel. Rautio was entitled to become an independent parish in 1912, but in reality this did not happen until 1921. There were two larger villages in the parish: Kirkonkylä and Kärkinen. According to the formation of the settlement, the following villages were also separated: Huhtakylä, Holland, Sorvari, Taipale, Pahkamaa, Typpö and Iso-ditch. In 1970, the parish had 1,423 inhabitants.

Municipal associations
The municipality of Rautia joined the Kalajoki River in 1973. The municipality of Himanga joined the city of Kalajoki on January 1, 2010. The coat of arms of the new municipality became the coat of arms of Himanga. At the same time, the Himanga region moved from the province of Central Ostrobothnia to the province of Northern Ostrobothnia.