The administrative capital is Kajaani. Kainuu has around 85,000 inhabitants (2006) and the population is in decline. The nature of Kainuu features forested hills, lakes and vast expanses of uninhabited woods at its most typical — 95% of the land area is forest. The climate is continental.
Original inhabitants of Kainuu were Sami hunter-fisherers. In the 1600s, the Governor General of Finland Per Brahe fostered the population growth of Kainuu by giving a ten year tax exemption to settlers. It was necessary to populate Kainuu with Finnish farmers because the area was threatened from the east by the Russians. The immigrants to Kainuu were mainly from Savo and because of that the Kainuu dialect is very close to the Savo dialect.
Currently the population is in decline mainly because the traditional livelihood is agriculture which is not very profitable any more in that region.
The economy of Kainuu is also driven by the lumber industry, which employs 8% of the workforce in the region. In addition, Kainuu Brigade, a base of the Finnish Defence Forces, is located near Kajaani.
For origin of the name Kainuu see: Origin of the name Kainuu
Kainuu has nine municipalities. A new, democratically elected organ, the regional council (maakuntavaltuusto), is being tested in Kainuu. The municipalities are independent, but this independence has been questioned as health care, among other responsibilities of the municipalities, is difficult to govern on such a small scale. The municipalities in Kainuu are testing a model, where health care and some other services are produced on the regional level.
Finnish power companies to pay power cut compensation.(Graninge Kainuu Oy and Vattenfall will have to pay total of EUR400,000 in compensation to 10,000 customers for power cuts )
Oct 31, 2003; NORDIC BUSINESS REPORT-31 October 2003-Finnish power companies to pay power cut compensation(C)1994-2003 M2 COMMUNICATIONS LTD...