Köping (cognate to the English toponymical name chipping) was a Swedish denomination for a market town. This term was abolished with the municipal reform of 1971, when Sweden was subdivided into the Municipalities of Sweden (currently amounting to 290).
In medieval times it was the designation of an official market place/market town. As present-day Finland was then a part of Sweden, the Finnish word kauppala has the same meaning. The Finnish word kaupunki, borrowed from the Old Norse word for köping, is today the main word for town in Finnish.
In 1863 the first local government acts were implemented in Sweden. There were two acts, one for cities and one for rural areas. Of the around 2,500 municipalities, 89 had city rights and thus had the right to call themselves stad (city). Under the "rural" act there were also eight localities given the status of köping, which positioned them between a rural municipality and a town (see municipalköping). The number of localities designated as köping rose dramatically during the 20th century and reached its peak in 1959, when they were 95. Many new settlements during the industrialization of Sweden, as well as some of the suburbs in the metropolitan areas, first received the title of köping and it was also made part of their name (such as Linköping or Nyköping). They later grew further and received town privileges, but kept the köping ending of their names. See the list below. It has been found that a vast majority, nearly 70%, of such designated market-towns lie within an area of 200 sq. km in south-central Sweden, especially in the highly economically productive region immediately west and south of Stockholm, in Södermanland, Örebro, Östergötland, and Jönköping counties.
A large-scale merger of Swedish municipalities in 1971 removed the distinctions between towns, market towns and rural municipalities. Many of the former market towns are now seats of municipalities. In contrast to the term stad, köping is seldom used in everyday speech today.