The parish of Ilmajoki, which evolved into the municipality, was founded in 1516. Ilmajoki is situated in Finland’s South Ostrobothnia region. Ilmajoki has a population of 12,253 and covers an area of 579.79 km2. The population density is 20.2 inhabitants per square kilometre. Ilmajoki borders the municipalities of Isokyrö, Kurikka, Laihia and Seinäjoki. The municipality is unilingually Finnish.
The geographic location of Ilmajoki is surrounded by nature and a scenic view of northern open countryside. Kyrönjoki River, South Ostrobothnia’s largest river, flows onto the shores of Finland’s largest fields. Kyrönjoki has been chosen as one of the National Landscapes of Finland.
The population of Ilmajoki has increased by 700 over the past year, with one in five inhabitants being under 14 years of age. Ilmajoki’s tax rate is one of the lowest in all of South Ostrobothnia at 21 % (average in South Ostrobothnia is 21.23%). Ilmajoki’s production of renewable electricity exceeds it consumption of electricity.
Each June, thousands of people gather for opera, organized annually by Ilmajoki Music Festival. Plenty of sightseeing opportunities exist for those interested in history. Successful athletes from Ilmajoki include Olympic javelin thrower Tero Pitkämäki and Finnish former wrestler Marko Yli-Hannuksela.
There are 23 registered sports clubs at Ilmajoki, with altogether 6 500 active members. This means that over half of the people of Ilmajoki are involved in some sporting activity or another.
Business and entrepreneurship have long been traditions in Ilmajoki, with nearly 1 000 companies. Ilmajoki has repeatedly been rated as one of the top entrepreneurial municipalities, according to an annual survey conducted by South Ostrobothnia’s Federation of Finnish Enterprise. The municipality also maintains a highly advanced bio and environmental economy.
The largest industrial plant is Altia’s Koskenkorva manufacturing plant, which produces ethanol as a raw material for Koskenkorva viina, a clear spirit drink in Finland. Also known as “Kossu”, Koskenkorva has become one of Finland’s most recognized brands, domestically and internationally.
A privately owned airport that meets international standards is situated in Ilmajoki’s village of Rengonkylä. The busy traffic route between Seinäjoki and Kaskinen runs through Ilmajoki. The distance from Ilmajoki to Seinäjoki is 17 km, to Vaasa 70 km, to Tampere 150 km and to Helsinki 360 km.
During the Cudgel War in the years 1596-1597, Jaakko Ilkka from Ilmajoki led the peasants as their leader but was executed by his opponents in January 1597. The following month, the war’s final and largest engagement, the Battle of Santavuori, took place in Ilmajoki.
There are also a number of original one-and-half-story houses, as well as two-story houses traditionally seen in the South Ostrobothnia region. Grandfather clocks were manufactured in Ilmajoki, and a concentration of blacksmiths specialized in horse carriages developed in the village of Nopankylä – both of which portray aspects of Ilmajoki’s long-standing traditions in construction and design.