As of 2011, Finland is divided into:
6 Regional State Administrative Agencies (Finnish alue, Swedish region; namely Etelä-Suomi, Itä-Suomi, Lounais-Suomi, Länsi- ja Sisä-Suomi, Pohjois-Suomi, Lappi) plus Åland – replacing the old division of six provinces
19 regions (Finnish maakunta, Swedish landskap) (previously, 20 maakunta before 2011)
the regions are divided into 72 sub-regions (Finnish seutukunta, Swedish ekonomisk region)
the sub-regions are divided into 342 municipalities (Finnish kunta, Swedish kommun).
Municipalities (which may also call themselves towns or cities) account for half of public spending. Spending is financed by municipal income tax, state subsidies, and other revenue.
As of 2008, there were 415 municipalities, and most were under 5,000 residents. For comparison, Denmark has set a minimum size of 30,000 residents.
In Finland, state has started the Municipality and Service Structure Reform Program to reform the complex and expensive municipal system, but initiatives have encountered much opposition from local bureaucrats and interest groups.
People often identify with their municipality. Government's local administrative duties are performed by the Regional State Administrative Agencies.
In addition to municipalities, there are complex other arrangements. Municipalities co-operate in seventy-four sub-regions and twenty regions.
These are governed by the member municipalities. The Åland region has a permanent, democratically elected regional council, as a part of the autonomy.
In the Kainuu region, there is a pilot project underway, with regional elections. Sami people have a semi-autonomous Sami Domicile Area in Lapland for issues on language and culture.