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definition - Skellefteå

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Gold Town "Guldstaden"
Nickname(s): Skellhell
Skellefteå is located in Sweden
Coordinates: 64°45′N 20°57′E / 64.75°N 20.95°E / 64.75; 20.95Coordinates: 64°45′N 20°57′E / 64.75°N 20.95°E / 64.75; 20.95
Country Sweden
Province Västerbotten
County Västerbotten County
Municipality Skellefteå Municipality
 • City 21.74 km2 (8.39 sq mi)
Population (31 December 2010)[1]
 • City 32,775
 • Density 1,507/km2 (3,900/sq mi)
 • Urban 71,580
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Area code(s) +46 0910

Skellefteå is a city and the seat of Skellefteå Municipality in Västerbotten County, Sweden, with 32,775 inhabitants in 2010.[1]

The city is a historically industrial city with mining being a large industry, especially for gold – hence the nickname "Gold Town". Politically it is a Social Democratic stronghold.

The city was incorporated in 1845 and grew to its current population size mostly in the 1950s and 60s, growing only slowly since.



Signs of human life in the Skellefteå area go back thousands of years. Relics from the ancient past found in Skellefteå include a pair of skies which date to 3623-3110 AD, based on radiocarbon studies. So far, archeologists have discovered that people were living in the area already as far back as c. 6000 BC.

Historians believe the Skellefteå area to have been continuously inhabited since at least circa 1000 AD by the Sami people and by Finnish people who in this part of Fennoscandia were referred to as Kvens in various medieval accounts. Many historians see the Skellefteå area to have been a part of the primeval land called Kvenland, which is discussed in several historical accounts.[2][3][4]

For instance, in 1157, in his geographical chronicle Leiðarvísir og borgarskipan, the Icelandic Abbot Níkulás Bergsson (Nikolaos) provides descriptions of the lands near Norway in this way:

"Closest to Denmark is little Sweden (Svíþjóð), there is Öland (Eyland); then is Gotland; then Hälsingland (Helsingaland); then Värmland (Vermaland); then two Kvenlands (Kvenlönd), and they extend to north of Bjarmia (Bjarmalandi)." [5]

The Skellefteå river area (Helettijoki in Finnish) was up to the end of the Middle Ages a linguistic border territory, north of where was inhabited by those who spoke the Finno-Ugric Finnish and Sami languages, whereas to the south lived the Helsinglanders who spoke Swedish.[6]

The name Skellefteå is recorded to having been spelled as Skelepht in 1327. The origin of the name remains unknown.

From the 14th century on, attempts were made to Christianize Skellefteå. However, - for the most part - the entire large Northern Swedish territory of Norrland was not Christianized until several hundred years after the rest of Sweden, and many northern areas such as Skellefteå remained unexplored well past the Middle Ages.

Not before the very end of the 17th century did the indigenous Sami people of Northern Sweden begin turning into Christianity, much due to the efforts by the Northern Swedish superintendent Mathias Steuchius, who worked hard to accomplish this.

Eventually, the reason for the sudden awakened interest towards Skelleftån and the surrounding areas were the great northern fishing grounds of salmon. The increased demand for fish was sparked by a stricter enforcement of the annual month long fasting by the Catholic Church, whereby meat was substituted by fish.

The actual city of Skellefteå is one of the youngest cities of Norrland. It was founded in 1845 by the vicar Nils Nordlander.


In the 20th century, Skellefteå evolved to an industrial and mining city and many wooden houses were demolished to give room for brick buildings. The largest private employer in Skellefteå is the mining company Boliden AB, with about 1'200 employees. Mining is done for gold, and Skellefteå is sometimes referred to as the "Gold town". During the 1990s, the computer industry flourished, causing subsidiaries of Ericsson and Tieto Enator to become important employers.

If things go according to plan, Skellefteå will be the site of the hind legs of the world's largest moose – Stoorn –, a tourist attraction planned to be built, spanning from Skellefteå into Arvidsjaur in Norrbotten.



  Law enforcement

Skellefteå is served by the Västerbotten County Police Department, Skellefteå Division (Polismyndigheten i Västerbottens län, Skellefteå). Mainly, the Skellefteå Police uses Volvo XC70 and Volvo V70 but also has a few Mercedes and Volkswagen vans.

  Notable natives




Skellefteå has subarctic climate with mild summers and cold and snowy winters.

Climate data for Skellefteå, Sweden
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) −6
Average low °C (°F) −14
Precipitation mm (inches) 42
Avg. precipitation days 18 14 13 11 11 11 12 14 15 15 17 17 168
Source: [8]

  See also


  1. ^ a b c "Tätorternas landareal, folkmängd och invånare per km2 2005 och 2010" (in Swedish). Statistics Sweden. 14 December 2011. Archived from the original on 10 January 2012. http://www.scb.se/Statistik/MI/MI0810/2010A01/Tatorternami0810tab1_4.xls. Retrieved 10 January 2012. 
  2. ^ Kustaa Vilkuna: Kansatieteilijän työpöydältä: Kainuu-Kvenland.
  3. ^ Kyösti Julku: Kvenland - Kainuunmaa. Oulu, 1986.
  4. ^ Ohthere's story in Old English Orosius.
  5. ^ Rafn, C.C. Antiquités Russes II, pages 404–405.
  6. ^ Kustaa Vilkuna: Kansatieteilijän työpöydältä: Kainuu-Kvenland.
  7. ^ Christoffersson, Malin (June 19, 2009). "Soo Shim ska bli Sveriges bästa klubb" (in Swedish). Norran. http://norran.se/sport/article290787.ece?from=20100511025034. Retrieved July 10, 2010. "[...]Soo Shim vuxit till att bli Sveriges mest framgångsrika taekwondoklubb på tävlingsnivå." 
  8. ^ (English) "Institute of Meteorology and Water Management". www.worldclimateguide.co.uk. http://www.worldclimateguide.co.uk/climateguides/sweden/skelleftea.php#. 

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