Hailuoto is the largest island in the Bothnian Bay. The island started to rise from the sea approximately 2,000 years ago and continues to do so. Eventually the island will adjoin mainland. The island has been inhabited for at least 1,000 years. Fishing was naturally essential for the islanders as was agriculture. By the end of the 19th century, population on the island had reached 2,000 inhabitants but by the 60’s and 70’s started to fall. In 1980, the number of inhabitants had dropped below 900, but since then has increased again steadily and is now around 1,000 residents.
Hailuoto natural environment is an asset and we do our best to preserve it for future generations by different conservation programmes. Protection covers birds, shoreline and unique esker formations. The rising shoreline is constantly changing and thus forms a living conservation area. The built environment in Hailuoto is characterised by well-preserved traditional buildings and therefore, together with its unique nature, Hailuoto was designated one of the national landscapes in Finland and actually the only one with national landscape covering the entire municipality.