Vasa / Vaasa

 

Vaasa (Swedish: Vasa, officially Nikolainkaupunki in 1855–1917) is a city in Finland and the provincial center of Ostrobothnia, located on the coast of the Gulf of Bothnia, in the province of Ostrobothnia. Vaasa is a university city and a major center of Finnish-Swedish culture. Vaasa was one of Finland's most significant and most populous cities in Finland in the early 20th century. In Vaasa, the Finnish Senate served during the Civil War from January 29 to May 3, 1918, and the city served as Finland's temporary capital instead of Helsinki during that period.

The city has a population of 67,012, of which 69.1% are Finnish-speaking, 22.8% Swedish-speaking and 8.1% others. Vaasa is home to 3,604 foreign citizens and they make up 6.0% of the population. The city has 12,000 college students and 4,000 vocational school students. Vaasa is an exception in terms of language in its surroundings: in the neighboring municipalities of the integrated area containing the city center, Swedish-speakers are in the majority and more than half of the inhabitants of the entire province of Ostrobothnia are also Swedish-speaking. Instead, Isokyrö and Laihia, which border the Vähänkyrö exclave, are in Finnish. Vähäkyrö joined Vaasa in 2013.

The neighboring municipalities of Vaasa are Isokyrö, Laihia, Maalahti, Mustasaari and Vöyri.