Vantaa | Finland
Vantaa is bordered by Helsinki, the Finnish capital, to the south; Espoo to the southwest; Nurmijärvi to the northwest; Kerava and Tuusula to the north; and Sipoo to the east. The city encompasses 240.35 square kilometres (92.80 sq mi), of which 1.97 km2 (0.76 sq mi) is water.
The largest airport in Finland, and the main airport and airline hub of Greater Helsinki, the Helsinki Airport, is located in Vantaa. Companies with headquarters in Vantaa include Finnair, Finavia, R-kioski, Tikkurila Oyj, Veikkaus Oy, and Metsähallitus. The city also hosts a science center, Heureka.
The city of Vantaa is bilingual, both Finnish and Swedish being official languages. 88.6% of the population are Finnish speakers, while 3% speak Swedish as their first language. 8.4% of the population speak a native language other than Finnish or Swedish.
Vantaa is located in southern Finland, in the region of Uusimaa and the Helsinki sub-region. It is separated from the Gulf of Finland by Helsinki. Prior to the abolition of Finnish provinces in 2009, Vantaa was a part of the Southern Finland Province.
The city borders Helsinki, the Finnish capital, which is to the south and southwest. Other neighbouring municipalities are Espoo to the west; Nurmijärvi, Kerava, and Tuusula to the north; and Sipoo to the east. Vantaa is a part of the Finnish Capital Region, which is the inner core of the Greater Helsinki metropolitan area.
Of those employed, two thirds are in the private sector. The most common industries in Vantaa include the food, architectural engineering, and machine industries. In 2007, the unemployment rate was 6.3%.
Companies that have their headquarters in Vantaa (at the Helsinki Airport, in Aviapolis) include Finnair, Finavia and Nordic Regional Airlines. Companies with headquarters in Vantaa outside of Aviapolis include R-kioski, Tikkurila Oyj, Veikkaus Oy, and Metsähallitus.
The City of Vantaa has been in increasing debt since the early 2000s, due to a decrease in state funding and an increase in investments. A contributing factor to its situation is the high concentration of families with children, leading to comparatively larger social expenditure. According to the former mayor Juhani Paajanen, the worst expenditures have ended, and the city's gains are increasing.
Vantaa infrastructurally serves as the transportational hub of the Helsinki metropolitan area. Several key freeways and highways, such as Ring III and Porvoonväylä, originate in or pass through the municipality. Additionally, two of the three railway lines exiting Helsinki pass through Vantaa, connecting the city's 14 stations. All long-distance trains exiting Helsinki stop at Tikkurila railway station in Vantaa, with the exception of train D.
Public transport in Vantaa consists of a bus network and commuter rail, provided by HSL/HRT and VR. Since the introduction of the Ring Rail Line in 2015, Vantaa has had a total of 14 stations. Key railway stations also act as central bus stations. The Ring Rail Line is speeding up the development in Western parts of Vantaa. For example, the Vantaankoski area is foreseen to double the amount of jobs in the future. Planning ideas are sought through an ideas competition.
The largest airport in Finland, and the primary airport of Greater Helsinki, Helsinki Airport, is located in Vantaa. In 2016, it attracted a total of 17.1 million passengers.