Espoo is the second largest city and municipality in Finland. The population of the city of Espoo was 269,802 as of 1 January 2016. It is part of the Finnish Capital Region, and most of its population lives in the inner urban core of the Helsinki metropolitan area, along with the cities of Helsinki, Vantaa, and Kauniainen. Espoo shares its eastern border with Helsinki and Vantaa, while enclosing Kauniainen. The city is on the shore of the Gulf of Finland, in the region of Uusimaa.
Other bordering municipalities of Espoo are Nurmijärvi and Vihti in the north, and Kirkkonummi in the west. The national park of Nuuksio is situated in northwestern Espoo.
Espoo encompasses 312 square kilometres (120 sq mi), of which 312 km2 (120 sq mi) is land.
Espoo has several local regional centers. Espoo is thus divided into seven major areas (Finnish: suuralueet, Swedish: storområden): Vanha-Espoo (with administrative center), Suur-Espoonlahti, Pohjois-Espoo, Suur-Kauklahti, Suur-Leppävaara, Suur-Matinkylä, and Suur-Tapiola.
Aalto University is based in Otaniemi, Espoo, along with a thriving science community that includes numerous startups and organizations such as VTT – the Technical Research Center of Finland. Several major companies are based in Espoo, including Nokia Networks, Microsoft Mobile, KONE, Neste Oil, Fortum, Orion Corporation, and Outokumpu, as well as video game developers Rovio and Remedy Entertainment.
The city of Espoo is officially bilingual. The majority of the population, 83.6%, speaks Finnish as their mother tongue, while a minority of 8.3% speaks Swedish. 8% of Espoo's population has a first language other than Finnish or Swedish.
Espoo is located in southern Finland, along the shore of the Gulf of Finland, and in the region of Uusimaa and the Helsinki sub-region. Prior to the abolition of Finnish provinces in 2009, Espoo was a part of the Southern Finland Province.
The city borders Helsinki, the Finnish capital, which is to the east. Other neighbouring municipalities are Vantaa to the east and northeast, Nurmijärvi to the north, Vihti to the northwest, and Kirkkonummi to the west and southwest. Espoo is a part of the Finnish Capital Region, which is the inner core of the Greater Helsinki metropolitan area.
Although Espoo is relatively highly populated, it has large amounts of natural wilderness, particularly in the city's western and northern portions. The city has a total of 71 lakes, the largest of which are Lake Bodom, Nuuksion Pitkäjärvi, Vanhankylän Pitkäjärvi, Loojärvi, Velskolan Pitkäjärvi, Saarijärvi, Matalajärvi, Siikajärvi, and Lippajärvi. The city has a large coastline on the Gulf of Finland.
Espoo has six Natura 2000 protected areas: Bånberget forests, Espoonlahti–Saunalahti bay area (partially in Kirkkonummi), Laajalahti bay, Matalajärvi lake, Nuuksio National Park (partially in Kirkkonummi and Vihti), as well as forests in Vestra (partially in Vantaa).
The official animal of Espoo is the Siberian flying squirrel, the official bird is the common blackbird, and the official plant is Anemone nemorosa.