Last updated: 15 1 2021
Övertorneå municipality is in eastern Norrbotten, with a beautiful location by the Torne River. The Arctic Circle runs through the northern part of the municipality, and the border to the east is part of one of the most peaceful international borders in the world – Sweden’s border with Finland.
Facts about the municipality
Size by area2,488 km²
Distance to larger towns
- Rovaniemi 109 km
- Luleå 153 km
- Uleåborg 203 km
Övertorneå is Sweden's first Eco-Municipality, which means that we are actively involved with the environment and sustainable development. We have the best schools in Sweden, sound finances, low municipal taxes, inexpensive housing, good quality child and elderly care – and nature right outside the door. Our goal is for 75% of all refugees who come to Övertorneå to settle here permanently. According to the most recent results review we have reached a level of 45%.
Övertorneå has a wide selection of accommodation, both flats to rent and houses. You can choose to live in the central community or in one of the villages outside it.
Language groups in the locality
Languages in the area include Swedish, Finnish and Meänkieli, which means "our language". Meänkieli is important to the local inhabitants and is regarded as the foremost culture bearer in the area. Russian, Spanish, Thai, Arabic, Persian, Somali, Tigrinya and Dari are other languages spoken here.
Associations and organisations
Civil society is active, and there are sports and athletics associations in several different sports and forms of exercise, as well as in hunting and fishing. There are also many local associations with various cultural specialisations, and Church of Sweden and Pentecostal congregations.
The municipality has a sports centre, indoor swimming pool, ski runs and slopes, an ice hockey rink, football pitches and an outdoor swimming pool.
What is available in the immediate area
The municipal administration, with refugee reception services, a library, an employment agency, a youth recreation centre, supermarkets, clothes and sporting goods shops and the Red Cross charity shop. The nearest IKEA is 70 km away in Haparanda.
Övertorneå municipality has preschools in Övertorneå, Juoksengi and Pello. There are independent preschools with private owners in Hedenäset and central Övertorneå. Preschool activities are intended to lay the foundations for lifelong learning. They have to be safe, fun and educational. Preschool activities are aimed at children aged 1-5 whose parents are working or actively seeking jobs, studying or on parental leave.
Compulsory schools and upper secondary schools
Lifelong learning is important in today's society, where developments move very quickly. Övertorneå municipality provides good education opportunities, from preschool to adult education.
There are comprehensive schools in Svanstein and Övertorneå, and an independent school in Hedenäset. Gränsälvsgymnasiet (an upper secondary school) is in the central community of Övertorneå and offers a broad selection of programmes.
All pupils in year 7-9 and in upper secondary school have their own laptop computers. Pupils and teachers also have access to the Swedish National Encyclopaedia internet service. All classrooms are equipped with interactive whiteboards or video projectors. The SchoolSoft education platform is used, which means that parents have access to their children's results and timetable via the internet.
Övertorneå was elected Young Entrepreneurship Municipality of the Year in 2011 and 2012 for its work on promoting young entrepreneurs. During upper secondary school, all pupils get to have a go at starting their own business.
Utbildning Nord is a foundation that trains students from Sweden, Norway and Finland for the labour market. Tornedalens Folkhögskola and Högskoleförbundet Östra Norrbotten are other education providers in the municipality.
Health and medical care
We have a health centre in Övertorneå, and dental care is available at Matarengivägen 8C in Övertorneå.
Interpretation is available by telephone for all meetings with public authorities.
Länstrafiken in Norrbotten.
Work and entrepreneurship
Products from Övertorneå municipality are often marketed under the term "Polcirkelland" (land of the Arctic Circle). There are several successful market gardens and garden centres in the municipality.
The local engineering and manufacturing industry customises heavy vehicles and produces plastic products, data cables and energy components. The retail trade and hauliers are have a strong local presence by tradition. Optic fibre networks have been extended to several communities in the municipality.