Tohmajärvi is located at the Russian border, in the Central Karelia region in the south-eastern part of Northern Karelia. The municipality of Värtsilä that separated from Tohmajärvi in 1920 reunited at the beginning of 2005. The population of Tohmajärvi is 4,482 (December 31, 2018) and its surface area is 895 km2, including 58 km2 of waterways. Tohmajärvi is neighboured by Kitee, Rääkkylä and Joensuu.
Tohmajärvi has the most eastern border station in EU. The station is the fourth busiest one at the eastern border of Finland after Nuijamaa, Vaalimaa and Imatra, as measured by passenger traffic. The number of passengers crossing the border in 2018 totalled 1.15 million. Freight traffic also travels smoothly by rail and road through the Niirala station. Highways 6 and 9 lead to Tohmajärvi. The Karelia railway and the railway connection between Onkamo and Niirala offer a direct transport route all the way to China.
Tohmajärvi has 214 foreign-language inhabitants, i.e. 4.8% of the population. At the end of 2018, there were 188 inhabitants with Russian as their native language, i.e. 4.2% of the population, so Tohmajärvi, in this respect, is ranked as fifth highest in Finland in proportion to its population. Russian women comprise 6.2% of all the women in Tohmajärvi.
Tohmajärvi is the home of the following celebrities and prominent figures, for example: javelin thrower Seppo Räty, singer Katri-Helena, cross-country skiing legend Siiri "Äitee" Rantanen, Metropolitan Ambrosius, Miss Finland Henna Meriläinen, actress, model and host Anna Easteden, world champions of ski orienteering Olavi Svanberg and Pertti Tikka, national author Maiju Lassila, bishop Eino Sormunen, war hero and lieutenant general Karl Lennart Oesch and governor, lieutenant general and senator Alexander Järnefelt.
Border traffic provides work
The rising border traffic, in particular, provides employment for the people of Tohmajärvi. Two out of three working people in Tohmajärvi are employed by different service branches. Tohmajärvi is also known for its modern and developing industry. The largest private employer is the machine shop factory Power Tech Group.
Tohmajärvi is still a strong agricultural municipality. There are nearly 200 farms. Milk production per farm and average field area are of top level nationwide.
Steep hills and lush groves
Overall, Tohmajärvi represents a steep hill landscape. The municipality is divided into three landscape areas. These are Vaara-Karjala, the lake region of Northern Karelia and Ladoga Karelia that has a lusher lake scenery and a more favourable climate. For example, the rare Aconitum lycoctonum is found in the grove zone in Ladoga Karelia, along the Aconitum nature trail.
Lake Sääperi and the Peijonniemenlahti bay in Tohmajärvi are great bird waters. One of the specialties among fauna include the northern crested newt that can be seen in the northern part of the municipality. More common wildlife include the large predators of Finland: bear, wolf, lynx and wolverine. National nature conservation programs contain a total 12 conservation objects and other individual nature reserves.