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Fun facts about Espoo

June 6, 2007
Every few months a magazine for the residents of Espoo is published, called EEmail. They highlight different issues, stories and events happening in Espoo. One of their columns is a "Did you know that…?" (in Finnish). I’ve gleaned a few facts about Espoo from the last few issues (these are rough translations so bear with me):
  • There are over 500 speed bumps in Espoo (believe me there are places where we could use a few more of them!).
  • An Espoo resident produces approximately 102 kilograms of compost a year; this is approximately one-third of all waste produced in an average household.
  • The new biowaste (compost) complex at the landfill in Ämmässuo (western Espoo) produces 49,000 tons of compost per year.
  • The telephone exchange at the City of Espoo receives more than 100,000 calls per month.
  • In Espoo there are 14 English-language daycares, two French-language daycares and close to 1600 children in daycare whose mother tongue is not Finnish or Swedish. Those 1600 kids speak 87 different languages!
  • Forty-one percent of Espoo’s area is covered in water.
  • 348 per 1000 Espoo citizens has a TV licence (Yeah, this is one thing I find weird after being here for over eight and a half years – you have to pay to be able to watch TV! And it ain’t cheap!)
  • Women make up fifty-one percent of the population of Espoo.
  • In 2006 Espoo had 443 citizens who were classed as homeless.
  • Some 11,600 foreigners call Espoo home (count me in!)
Okay, useless trivia? Well, not so if you plan to live in Espoo and these days it is home to more foreigners than ever before. As for tourists, well, Espoo unfortunately doesn’t seem to be on their radar, Helsinki is way more interesting. However, there are neat little places here and there throughout the city and if you like being in the outdoors, Espoo is a good place to be. (Try and find my entries about skiing in Espoo from March 2006). And with that 41% of water covering the municipality, there are great opportunities for water sports. I hope someday I’ll be able to get that kayak I’ve been dreaming about and head out on the waters and explore…
Summer is upon us! Enjoy it!
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