| 91,026 (Jan 1, 2007)|
| University of Eastern Finland|
Puijo tower, Puijo, Linnansaari National Park
Kuopio is a city and a municipality located in the region of Northern Savonia, Finland. A population of 107,624 makes it the eighth biggest city in the country. The city has a total area of 2,317.24 square kilometres (894.69 sq mi), of which 719.85 km2 (277.94 sq mi) is water and half forest. The population density is only 67/km2 (170/sq mi), but the citys urban areas are populated very densely (urban area: 1 617.6 /km²), nationally second only to capital Helsinki (urban area: 1,690.0/km²). The population of the entire Kuopio region is 119,472.
The town of Nilsia joined Kuopio at the beginning of the year 2013 and Kuopio’s population surpassed the 100,000 mark.
There are several explanations behind the name Kuopio. The first is that in the 16th century, a certain influential person named Kauhanen in Tavinsalmi changed his name to Skopa and the peoples pronunciation was Coopia and finally Cuopio. The second explanation is that it comes from the verb kuopia, meaning "paw", as when a horse paws the ground with its hoof. A third theory is that it came from a certain Karelian mans name Prokopij, from Ruokolahti in the Middle Ages. This is the most probable explanation, supported by the Research Institute for the Languages of Finland.
Kuopio was founded in 1653 by Governor Peter Brahe, but the official date is recognized as November 17, 1775, when King Gustav III of Sweden ordered the establishment of the city of Kuopio. The municipality of Karttula joined the city of Kuopio in 2011, like did Vehmersalmi in 2005, Riistavesi in 1973 and Kuopion maalaiskunta in 1969.
The city is surrounded by Lake Kallavesi, and several parts of it are built on islands. Kuopios ample waterfronts and islands are also utilized in the Saaristokaupunki (lit. Archipelago city) -project, the biggest residential area currently being built in Finland. Saaristokaupunki will accommodate a total of 14,000 inhabitants in 2015. All houses will be situated no more than 500 metres (1,600 ft) from the nearest lakeshore.
Kuopio is known as the cultural center of Eastern Finland. A wide range of musical (from kindergarten to doctorate-level studies) and dance education is available and the cultural life is active. Notable events include ANTI – Contemporary Art Festival, Kuopio Dance Festival, Kuopio Rockcock, Kuopio Wine Festival, Kuopio Marathon and Finland Ice Marathon in winter. A notable place, however, to enjoy the local flavor of Kuopio life and food is Sampo, a fish restaurant loved by locals and tourists as well.
Kuopio is known for its association with a national delicacy, Finnish fish pastry (Kalakukko), and the dialect of Savo, as well as the hill of Puijo and the Puijo tower. Besides being a very popular outdoor recreation area, Puijo serves also as a stage for a yearly World Cup ski jumping competition.
In inhabitants of Kuopio have a special reputation: they are known as jovial and verbally joking. Within the Savo culture, the onus is placed on the listener to interpret the story. People of the Kuopio region and Eastern Finland have always had many health problems and the mortality has been higher than on an average in Finland. Because of this, Eastern Finland has been a hotspot for Public Health studies. The North Karelia Project by the University of Kuopio in coordination with the National Public Health Institute and the World Health Organization, beginning in the 1970s was one of its first steps towards world class research.
During the 2000s (decade), Kuopio has placed very well in a number image, popularity and city-attractiveness surveys. In 2007 it was placed third, behind Tampere and Oulu.