It is located in the province of Oulu and is part of the Northern Ostrobothnia region. The town has a population of 12,393 and covers an area of 2,391.30 square kilometres of which 1,469.15 km2 is water. The population density is 13.44 inhabitants per square kilometre .
The first reference to Kalajoki can be found from the beginning of 16th century and it got the status of a parish in 1525, it was designated as a regional parish in 1545. This status ended with the abolishment of the parish form of organization in the early 1860s. Kalajoki was a significant market place and controlled the whole region's tar trading. By the end of 19th century the meaning of tar was diminishing as a good and the importance of Kalajoki was reduced thereafter.
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