1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Kuopio (province)

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33171761911 Encyclopædia Britannica, Volume 15 — Kuopio (province)

KUOPIO, a province of Finland, which includes northern Karelia, bounded on the N.W. and N. by Uleåborg, on the E. by Olonets, on the S.E. by Viborg, on the S. by St Michel and on the W. by Vasa. Its area covers 16,500 sq. m., and the population (1900) was 313,951, of whom 312,875 were Finnish-speaking. The surface is hilly, reaching from 600 to 800 ft. of altitude in the north (Suomenselkä hills), and from 300 to 400 ft. in the south. It is built up of gneisso-granites, which are covered, especially in the middle and east, with younger granites, and partly of gneisses, quartzite, and talc schists and augitic rocks. The whole is covered with glacial and later lacustrine deposits. The soil is of moderate fertility, but often full of boulders. Large lakes cover 16% of surface, marshes and peat bogs over 29% of the area, and forests occupy 2,672,240 hectares. Steamers ply along the lakes as far as Joensuu. The climate is severe, the average temperature being for the year 36° F., for January 13° and for July 63°. Only 2.3% of the whole surface is under cultivation. Rye, barley, oats and potatoes are the chief crops, and in good years these meet the needs of the population. Dairy farming and cattle breeding are of rapidly increasing importance. Nearly 38,800 tons of iron ore are extracted every year, and nearly 12,000 tons of pig iron and 6420 tons of iron and steel are obtained in ten iron-works. Engineering and chemical works, tanneries, saw-mills, paper-mills and distilleries are the chief industrial establishments. The preparation of carts, sledges and other wooden goods is an important domestic industry. Timber, iron, butter, furs and game are exported. The chief towns of the government are Kuopio (13,519), Joensuu (3954) and Iisalmi (1871).