Holmön, situated in the county of Västerbotten, consists of several islands in the Gulf of Bothnia. At the end of the year 1973 these islands only had 155 citizens. However, in spite of the small population size, these islands formed an independent municipality between 1925 and 1973, making it the smallest one in Sweden.
This study deals with democracy and politics at the municipal level at Holmön, and the aim is to investigate the extent to which small political unites, such as Holmön, can manage the welfare duties imposed on all municipalities by national legislation.
The main group of elected officials at Holmön were composed of a small assembly of dominant men. Only very few women participated, and the limited involvement of women were restricted to committees dealing with issues solely related to social life and schooling. The general political activity of the Holmön municipality was restricted to duties made compulsory
by national legislation, and even though the municipality had a weak economy taxes were kept at low levels. Politics in the municipality was indeed characterized by economic thriftiness.
In the study, Holmön is furthermore compared with other small municipalities, in Sweden as well in other Western European countries. Several of these countries – e.g. Finland, Norway and Iceland – to this day have municipalities with population sizes as small as Holmön.
Stads- och kommunhistoriska institutet, Stockholm , 2008. , 398 p.