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The city: information about Laitila

The town of Laitila is a vibrant and lively regional town of around 8 500 inhabitants in Southwest Finland, located along the 8th highway. The nearest neighboring towns are Rauma and Uusikaupunki, whiles Turku is 60 km away. Laitila is a strong, vibrant town with a high level of job self-sufficiency. Laitila has a high level of commercial and public services. The town has invested actively in the creation of industrial jobs as well as in welfare services for its residents.

The history of Laitila – from the Stone Age to the present day in a nutshell

The first signs of habitation in Laitila date back five thousand years, to Leinmäki and Nästi, where fishermen and seal hunters lived during the Cambrian Stone Age. Half of present-day Laitila was then under the sea. In the Bronze Age (around 1500-500 BC), the area was inhabited by Scandinavian people, as can be deduced from more than 200 charcoal cairns and two bronze axes.

Permanent village settlement began after the beginning of the Middle Ages, when the maze-like gulf extended into the central part of Laitila. Villages such as Untamala, Laitila, Valko-Soukainen, Salo and Kodjala (most of Kodjala belonged to Kalanti until 1917) were established. Today, there are more than 40 villages, all of which were established before the 1500s. The most important finds from the Iron Age are the 300s drinking horn from Soukainen and the provincial Roman wine scoop found in the village of Salo. Stories about the Kalevans have been recorded in Laitila, and a Kalevan Boy scythe stands in the churchyard of Untamala.

The four village churches

The ancient sea bay gradually became Lake Valkojärvi, which has been drained into a field in the 20th century. Laitila is one of the oldest Christian areas in the country: small churches were built in Untamala, Valko, Laitila and Kodjala in the early Middle Ages. The church in Kodjala disappeared in the early modern period. The church of St Michael in Laitila with its vaulted ceiling was completed in 1483, the wooden village church dedicated to St Peter in Untamala dates from 1785, and the church originally built in Valko has been in Soukais for over 200 years (Pertteli Church).The statue of Bishop Eerik Sorolainen, a native of Laitila who was influential at the turn of the 1500s and 1600s, is in Kirkkopuisto (Jussi Vikainen 1968).

For centuries, the road from Turku to Rauma has intersected in Laitila with the road from Uusikaupunki to Häme. The village of Laitila at the crossroads gradually developed into the administrative and commercial center of the municipality. The municipality of Laitila was founded in 1868 and has been a town since 1986. The town hall dates from 1988 (Veijo Martikainen).

The agricultural past

Until the 1960s, the main occupation of the people of Laitila was agriculture and forestry. From the Middle Ages to the 19th century, Laitila and neighbouring municipalities professionally produced a wide range of wooden vessels, most of which were shipped abroad. From the early 20th century onwards, cooperatives were very strong, including the dairy cooperative and the egg-selling cooperative, which were among the largest in the country. A fine reminder of Laitila’s agricultural past is Kauppila’s barnyard, which has been a museum since 1975, with the buildings still in their original location. Along the Untamala village road, the village church, the Sarki Peasant Museum and the Iron Age cemetery mounds.

Laitila was not part of the manor area; two of the three manors in the parish still exist, Kaukola and Palttila. In the mid-17th century Laitila was part of the county of Vaasapori. In the second half of the 1700s, a large part of the Laitila peasants were under the rule of the Männäinen manor.

Chickens and soft drinks

The coat of arms of Laitila, long known for its chicken farming, features a rooster holding a stake in its right foot as a symbol of the centuries of professional woodworking in the area.From the 1950s onwards, the municipality of Laitila began to invest in the creation of industrial jobs and housing. A dramatic decline in the municipality’s population was avoided during the years of restructuring: the number of inhabitants has varied from 8 400 to 9 300, currently standing at around 8 500. The largest industrial employer is the Pilkington laminated glass factory. The flagships of the business world are the Laitila Soft Drinks Factory, which is constantly conquering new markets, and Munax Oy, which processes egg products.

Pioneering cultural activities

Thanks to a donation from Kustaa Hieka, an industrial councillor born in Laitila Seppälä, the first library building in rural Finland was completed in Laitila in 1937, which now serves as a library for music and visual arts. The library moved to modern premises in 2006. The oldest public house in Laitila is believed to be the Walo House, built in 1886 and renovated for cultural use by the Laitila Cultural Association Walo.

Kaivola’s lively summer theatre (1961) is one of the oldest of its kind in Finland. The Laitila Egg Market has been held the week before Midsummer for over 40 years. The Kustaa Hiekka Cultural Week in January offers quality entertainment for a winter in the heart of the city.

Laitila figures

The population

Population at 31.12.2022: 8 366

Income tax rate

Year 2024: 8.1

Surface area

Surface area 545 km2
Land area 531 km2
Water surface area 14 km2

Labour force, employment

Unemployment rate 8,3 % (2021)

Number of jobs

3453 (2021)

Job self-sufficiency


(For those working and living in the area, the

the number of employed people living in the area)

Industrial structure

Agriculture and forestry 10 %
Processing/Industry 40 %
Services 50 %

Villages of Laitila

Laitila has several vibrant villages. To improve cooperation between the city and the villages, Laitila Village Advisory Board was established in 2013. The aim is to further increase the attractiveness of the villages by, for example, coming up with ideas, coordinating and organizing new events. Some villages have their own village associations, which organized activities and events in their villages.

The Laitila Guides website contains a wealth of information on the villages of Laitila:

The territory of the city of Laitila is divided into 46 municipalities: