About target area

Central Finland is a successful, dynamic and pleasant region where the emphasis is on quality of life. Success is demonstrated by the continuous growth in population, dynamism by the rich educational provision and expanding job market. Quality of life is guaranteed by an attractive residential environment and excellent welfare services as well as a broad palette of cultural offerings and superb recreational opportunities.

Central Finland has a population of over 273 000. The region’s ‘locomotive’, the Jyväskylä Subregion, is one of the fastest developing subregions in Finland. People are moving to the Jyväskylä Subregion from elsewhere in Central Finland as well as other parts of the country and even from outside Finland’s borders.

The Jämsä and Äänekoski subregions are strong areas of industry, well known for their paper. Industry is also of key significance in the Keuruu, Saarijärvi and Viitasaari Subregions: Keuruu’s strength is metal, while the wood products industry flourishes in the north of Central Finland. Farming and forestry are of particular importance in south-eastern Central Finland, where the largest municipalities are Hankasalmi and Joutsa.

In addition to traditionally strong branches such as the forest, paper, metal and chemical industries a new source of livelihood in Central Finland is provided by information technology, electronics and the graphic sector, as well as in the future by wellness technology and nanotechnology. Services, too, particularly business services have shown positive development.

Central Finland is a region of learning and expertise. The University of Jyväskylä and Jyväskylä Polytechnic are highly popular institutions of higher education with a combined student intake of over 22 000. Jyväskylä has the most higher education places in proportion to population of any town in Finland. Well over 30 000 young people and 10 000 adults study at educational establishments in the region as a whole. The development of vocational education in the region is strong: “Skilful Central Finland” is the slogan of working life-oriented development work.

The region’s location in the very centre of Finland is also an advantage for visitors to congresses and fairs. The lively cultural scene is maintained by a professional theatre and symphony orchestra supported by numerous amateur theatre companies, orchestras and choirs. On the visual arts side the LUMO and Graphica Creativa exhibitions have won national and even international recognition. Central Finland’s leading cultural events are the Jyväskylä Arts Festival - the oldest of its kind in Finland - the Viitasaari Time of Music contemporary music festival, the multi-faceted Jyväskylä Summer Jazz and the very individual Kihveli Soikoon skiffle festival in Hankasalmi. The largest and most international annual event is Neste Rally Finland, the Finnish round of the World Rally Championship, with traditions extending back over fifty years.

Central Finland is a region of forests and lakes: of an area approaching 20 000 square kilometres forest accounts for over 13 000 km2 and lakes for over 3 000 km2. Lake Päijänne and other waterways, including some rapids rich in fish, provide excitement and pleasure for local residents and visitors alike. If the summer tempts people to take to the water, then Central Finland’s snowy winter presents a perfect environment for outdoor recreation. Winter sports centers in the centre of Finland are known for their superb downhill slopes and excellent cross-country trails.