) is a small municipality
of circa 8,500 inhabitants (2001) in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area
. Kauniainen is completely surrounded by the municipality of Espoo
The local taxation rate in Kauniainen is the lowest in Finland (15%), and so it tends to attract the highest earners, hence it is a generally wealthy place, and hence it can keep the taxation rate low without compromizing the service to the inhabitants.
Approximately 40% of the population have Swedish as their mother tongue; the rest are Finnish speakers. The dominant party in the town assembly has traditionally been the Swedish People's Party.