län (county), northern Sweden, extending from the Gulf of Bothnia west to the Norwegian border. Its area comprises the traditional landskap (province) of Västerbotten and parts of Ångermanland and Lappland. The terrain rises from the gulf through a forested upland zone and culminates in Mount Norra Stor (5,797 feet [1,767 metres]) near the Norwegian frontier. Farming, lumbering, and mining are important economic activities in the län. In the past much timber was floated down rivers to such coastal milling centres as Umeå (q.v.), the capital and chief port, and Skellefteå. Deposits of copper, lead, gold, silver, and bismuth mined at Boliden, Rävliden, and Kristineberg are refined at Rönnskär. Area 22,890 square miles (59,284 square km). Pop. (2005 est.) 256,875.
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