Kemi is situated by the Bothnian Bay, at the mouth of river Kemijoki, and it is part of Lapland region. The town has a population of 21,297 and covers an area of 95.38 square kilometres of which 652.1 km2 is water. The population density is 223.38 inhabitants per square kilometre.
The main economic activity in Kemi is centred on two large paper and woodpulp mills and on the only chromium mine in Europe. A polytechnic university of applied sciences is also situated in Kemi.
Kemi also has a claim to fame as the home of the world's largest snow castle. The snowcastle is usually located at the inner harbour of Kemi.
A model of The Crown of Finland is kept in the town's gemstone gallery. It also houses replicas of the Imperial State Crown of Great Britain, the Sceptre of the Czar of Russia, the Orbs of Denmark and the diamond necklace of Marie Antoinette, among other items.
Kemi is also the hometown of the power metal band Sonata Arctica.
During World War II, after Finland signed the Moscow Armistice and found itself involved in the Lapland War with its former German ally, German forces in the beginning of October 1944 captured 132 Finnish civilian hostages from Kemi (as well as 130 from Rovaniemi) and threatened to kill them unless the Finnish army released German POWs captured at the Battle of Tornio. However, the Finns refused to comply and threatened to retaliate by killing the German POWs. The hostages were released unharmed on October 11, 1944, near Rovaniemi.
Results of the Finnish parliamentary election, 2011 in Kemi:
In April 2007, the city of Kemi laid off all of its municipal workers for 2 weeks due to the failing economy of the city. Spiraling specialist health care costs and a fleeting industry tax base are stated as the cause for the vote. These are the most drastic temporary dismissals to take place in Finland since 2000.
The Chinese company Kaidi has announced plans to build the world's first second-generation biomass plant in Kemi, scheduled to begin operations in 2019.
Kemi railway station is an intermediate station on the railway between Lapland and Helsinki. It is operated by VR. The junction of the Kolari and Rovaniemi lines lies to the north of Kemi station.
Finnish national road 4 and European routes E8 and E75 run through the town.
Kemi-Tornio Airport is located 4.5 kilometres (2.8 mi) north of Kemi city centre.