Sonkajärvi is the northernmost municipality in the region of the Northern Savonia. Its area is passed through by the Iisalmi–Kontiomäki railway and the National road 5. During the past decades two population centres have developed side by side: the administrative centre Sonkajärvi and the village centre of Sukeva by the Iisalmi–Kajaani highway.
Sonkajärvi became an independent municipality in 1922 when it was separated from Iisalmi. An independent parish had been grounded two years before.
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The locality of Sonkajärvi has grown during the past decades especially due to the factory of the manufacturer of prefabricated houses Omatalo. The population of the municipality has congregated increasingly in Sonkajärvi causing a considerable amount of construction.
Sukeva is located by the national road 5, approximately halfway from Iisalmi to Kajaani. The distance to Iisalmi is 39 km and to Kajaani 49 km. Sukeva, which is passed through by the railway from Iisalmi to Kajaani, has also an own railway stop. Sukeva and Sonkajärvi are 25 km apart. Sukeva is known especially for the Sukeva prison that is one the most important employers in the municipality.
Coat of Arms
The coat of arms of Sonkajärvi was designed in 1954 by the artist and heraldist Ahti Hammar. On a black field a golden millstone and five tongues of fire. The millstone represens the several mills in the municipality and the flames symbolise burn-beating that has had an important role in the history of the region.
Industry and Commerce
The biggest employers in Sonkajärvi are the municipality itself, the Sukeva prison, and Omatalo Oy.
The share of the primary sector of the economy of Sonkajärvi, approximately 30 %, is considerable, especially in comparison with the national average of 3.0 %. Farms within the borders of the municipality produce, in addition to milk, meat and corn, for example root vegetables and berries.