The municipal structure is delineated by the borders of the municipalities. Most of the state's administrative authorities, courts of law and electoral districts are determined by the municipal boundary divisions.
The goal of developing the municipal boundary divisions is a vital, regionally unified municipal structure with a functioning community structure, which reinforces the conditions for the self-government of the residents of the municipality. The goal is that a municipality is formed by a commuter area or other functional entity able to finance, organise and provide services for its residents.
The Municipal Structure Act is applied to the changes in the division of municipalities. It entered into force on 1 July 2013.
If the municipal councils have proposed the issue together, the Government can decide to merge municipalities.
From the beginning of 2017 there are 311 municipalities in Finland, 16 of them are situated in Åland.