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Finland, See : Flags, Maps

Artist from Finland

Finland (Europe)

Introduction ::Finland


Finland was a province and then a grand duchy under Sweden from the 12th to the 19th centuries, and an autonomous grand duchy of Russia after 1809. It won its complete independence in 1917. During World War II, it was able to successfully defend its freedom and resist invasions by the Soviet Union - albeit with some loss of territory. In the subsequent half century, the Finns made a remarkable transformation from a farm/forest economy to a diversified modern industrial economy; per capita income is now among the highest in Western Europe. A member of the European Union since 1995, Finland was the only Nordic state to join the euro system at its initiation in January 1999. In the 21st century, the key features of Finland's modern welfare state are a high standard of education, equality promotion, and national social security system; currently challenged by an aging population and the fluctuations of an export-driven economy.

Geography ::Finland

View Larger Map


Northern Europe, bordering the Baltic Sea, Gulf of Bothnia, and Gulf of Finland, between Sweden and Russia

Geographic coordinates:
64 00 N, 26 00 E

Map references:



total: 338,145 sq km country comparison to the world: 64 land: 303,815 sq km

water: 34,330 sq km

Area - comparative:

slightly smaller than Montana

Land boundaries:

total: 2,654 km

border countries: Norway 727 km, Sweden 614 km, Russia 1,313 km

Finland Postcard - via Postcrossing


1,250 km

Maritime claims:

territorial sea: 12 nm (in the Gulf of Finland - 3 nm)

contiguous zone: 24 nm

exclusive fishing zone: 12 nm; extends to continental shelf boundary with Sweden

continental shelf: 200 m depth or to the depth of exploitation


cold temperate; potentially subarctic but comparatively mild because of moderating influence of the North Atlantic Current, Baltic Sea, and more than 60,000 lakes


mostly low, flat to rolling plains interspersed with lakes and low hills

Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Baltic Sea 0 m

highest point: Haltiatunturi 1,328 m

Natural resources:

timber, iron ore, copper, lead, zinc, chromite, nickel, gold, silver, limestone

LARGE Helsinki Finland postcard

Land use:

arable land: 6.54%

permanent crops: 0.02%

other: 93.44% (2005)

Irrigated land:

640 sq km (2003)

Total renewable water resources:

110 cu km (2005)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):

total: 2.33 cu km/yr (14%/84%/3%)

per capita: 444 cu m/yr (1999)

Natural hazards:

Environment - current issues:

air pollution from manufacturing and power plants contributing to acid rain; water pollution from industrial wastes, agricultural chemicals; habitat loss threatens wildlife populations

Environment - international agreements:

party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air
Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Sulfur 85,
Air Pollution-Sulfur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds,
Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources,
Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto
Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental
Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping,
Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution,
Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Geography - note:

long boundary with Russia; Helsinki is northernmost national capital on European continent; population concentrated on small southwestern coastal plain

People ::Finland


5,255,068 (July 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 112

Age structure:

0-14 years: 16.4% (male 438,425/female 422,777)

15-64 years: 66.8% (male 1,773,495/female 1,732,792)

65 years and over: 16.8% (male 357,811/female 524,975) (2010 est.)

Median age:

total: 42.3 years

male: 40.7 years

female: 44 years (2010 est.)

Population growth rate:

0.084% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 187

Birth rate:

10.37 births/1,000 population (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 188

Death rate:

10.15 deaths/1,000 population (July 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 55

Net migration rate:

0.62 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 60


urban population: 63% of total population (2008)

rate of urbanization: 0.8% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)

Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.04 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 1.02 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.69 male(s)/female

total population: 0.96 male(s)/female (2010 est.)

Infant mortality rate:

total: 3.45 deaths/1,000 live births country comparison to the world: 213 male: 3.75 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 3.13 deaths/1,000 live births (2010 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 79.13 years country comparison to the world: 39 male: 75.64 years

female: 82.76 years (2010 est.)

Total fertility rate:

1.73 children born/woman (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 165

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

less than 0.1% (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 136

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:

2,400 (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 136

HIV/AIDS - deaths:

fewer than 100 (2003 est.) country comparison to the world: 146


noun: Finn(s)

adjective: Finnish

Ethnic groups:

Finn 93.4%, Swede 5.6%, Russian 0.5%, Estonian 0.3%, Roma (Gypsy) 0.1%, Sami 0.1% (2006)


Lutheran Church of Finland 82.5%, Orthodox Church 1.1%, other
Christian 1.1%, other 0.1%, none 15.1% (2006)


Finnish 91.2% (official), Swedish 5.5% (official), other 3.3% (small
Sami- and Russian-speaking minorities) (2007)


definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 100%

male: 100%

female: 100% (2000 est.)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):

total: 17 years

male: 17 years

female: 18 years (2008)

Education expenditures:

5.4% of GDP (2007) country comparison to the world: 51

Government ::Finland

Country name:

conventional long form: Republic of Finland

conventional short form: Finland

local long form: Suomen tasavalta/Republiken Finland

local short form: Suomi/Finland

Government type:



name: Helsinki

geographic coordinates: 60 10 N, 24 56 E

time difference: UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October

Administrative divisions:

20 regions (maakunnat, singular - maakunta (Finnish); landskapen,
singular - landskapet (Swedish)); Aland (Swedish), Ahvenanmaa
(Finnish); Etela-Karjala (Finnish), Sodra Karelen (Swedish) [South
Karelia]; Etela-Pohjanmaa (Finnish), Sodra Osterbotten (Swedish)
[South Ostrobothnia]; Etela-Savo (Finnish), Sodra Savolax (Swedish)
[South Savo]; Kanta-Hame (Finnish), Egentliga Tavastland (Swedish);
Ita-Uusimaa (Finnish), Ostra Nyland (Swedish) [East Newland]; Kainuu
(Finnish), Kajanaland (Swedish); Keski-Pohjanmaa (Finnish),
Mellersta Osterbotten (Swedish) [Central Ostrobothnia]; Keski-Suomi
(Finnish), Mellersta Finland (Swedish) [Central Finland];
Kymenlaakso (Finnish), Kymmenedalen (Swedish); Lappi (Finnish),
Lappland (Swedish); Paijat-Hame (Finnish), Paijanne-Tavastland
(Swedish); Pirkanmaa (Finnish), Birkaland (Swedish) [Tampere];
Osterbotten (Swedish), Pohjanmaa (Finnish) [Ostrobothnia];
Pohjois-Karjala (Finnish), Norra Karelen (Swedish) [North Karelia];
Pohjois-Pohjanmaa (Finnish), Norra Osterbotten (Swedish) [North
Ostrobothnia]; Pohjois-Savo (Finnish), Norra Savolax (Swedish)
[North Savo]; Satakunta (Finnish and Swedish); Uusimaa (Finnish),
Nyland (Swedish) [Newland]; Varsinais-Suomi (Finnish), Egentliga
Finland (Swedish) [Southwest Finland]


6 December 1917 (from Russia)

National holiday:

Independence Day, 6 December (1917)


1 March 2000

Legal system:

civil law system based on Swedish law; the president may request the Supreme Court to review laws; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations


18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:

chief of state: President Tarja HALONEN (since 1 March 2000)

head of government: Prime Minister Mari KIVINIEMI (since 22 June 2010); Deputy Prime Minister Jyrki KATAINEN (since 19 April 2007)

cabinet: Council of State or Valtioneuvosto appointed by the president, responsible to parliament (For more information visit the World Leaders website ) elections: president elected by popular vote for a six-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 15 January 2006 (next to be held in January 2012); the president appoints the prime minister and deputy prime minister from the majority party or the majority coalition after parliamentary elections and the parliament must approve the appointment; Prime Minister VANHANEN reelected on 17 April 2007

election results: percent of vote - Tarja HALONEN (SDP) 46.3%, Sauli NIINISTO (Kok) 24.1%, Matti VANHANEN (Kesk) 18.6%, Heidi HAUTALA (VIHR) 3.5%; a runoff election between HALONEN and NIINISTO was held 29 January 2006 - HALONEN 51.8%, NIINISTO 48.2%; Matti VANHANEN reelected prime minister; election results 121-71

note: government coalition - Kesk, KOK, VIHR, and SFP

Legislative branch:

unicameral Parliament or Eduskunta (200 seats; members elected by popular vote on a proportional basis to serve four-year terms)

elections: last held on 18 March 2007 (next to be held in April 2011)

election results: percent of vote by party - Kesk 23.1%, Kok 22.3%, SDP 21.4%, VAS 8.8%, VIHR 8.5%, KD 4.9%, SFP 4.5%, True Finns 4.1%, other 3.4%; seats by party - Kesk 51, Kok 50, SDP 45, VAS 17, VIHR 15, SFP 9, KD 7, True Finns 5, other 1 (the constituency of Aland)

Judicial branch:

general courts - deal with criminal and civil cases (include district courts, Courts of Appeal, and the Supreme Court or Korkein Oikeus, whose judges are appointed by the president); administrative courts

Political parties and leaders:

Center Party or Kesk [Mari KIVINIEMI]; Christian Democrats or KD
[Paivi RASANEN]; Green Party or VIHR [Anni SINNEMAKI]; Left Alliance
or VAS [Paavo ARHINMAKI]; National Coalition Party or Kok [Jyrki
KATAINEN]; Social Democratic Party or SDP [Jutta URPILAINEN];
Swedish People's Party or SFP [Stefan WALLIN]; True Finns [Timo

International organization participation:

ADB (nonregional member), AfDB (nonregional member), Arctic Council,
Australia Group, BIS, CBSS, CE, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, EIB, EMU, ESA, EU,
OPCW, OSCE, Paris Club, PCA, PFP, Schengen Convention, UN, UNCTAD,

Diplomatic representation in the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Pekka LINTU

chancery: 3301 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008

telephone: [1] (202) 298-5800
FAX: [1] (202) 298-6030

consulate(s) general: Los Angeles, New York

Diplomatic representation from the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Bruce J. ORECK

embassy: Itainen Puistotie 14B, 00140 Helsinki

mailing address: APO AE 09723

telephone: [358] (9) 616250
FAX: [358] (9) 6162 5800

Flag description:

white with a blue cross extending to the edges of the flag; the vertical part of the cross is shifted to the hoist side in the style of the Dannebrog (Danish flag); the blue represents the thousands of lakes scattered across the country, while the white is for the snow that covers the land in winter

National anthem:

name: "Maamme" (Our Land)

lyrics/music: Johan Ludvig RUNEBERG/Fredrik PACIUS

note: in use since 1848; although never officially adopted by law, the anthem has been popular since it was first sung by a student group in 1848; Estonia's anthem uses the same melody as that of Finland

Economy ::Finland

Economy - overview:

Finland has a highly industrialized, largely free-market economy with per capita output roughly that of Austria, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Sweden. Trade is important with exports accounting for over one third of GDP in recent years. Finland is strongly competitive in manufacturing - principally the wood, metals, engineering, telecommunications, and electronics industries. Finland excels in high-tech exports such as mobile phones. Except for timber and several minerals, Finland depends on imports of raw materials, energy, and some components for manufactured goods. Because of the climate, agricultural development is limited to maintaining self-sufficiency in basic products. Forestry, an important export earner, provides a secondary occupation for the rural population. Finland had been one of the best performing economies within the EU in recent years and its banks and financial markets avoided the worst of global financial crisis. However, the world slowdown hit exports and domestic demand hard in 2009, with Finland experiencing one of the deepest contractions in the euro zone. A recovery of exports stimulated economic growth in 2010, and led to a lowering of unemployment. The recession left a deep mark on general government finances and the debt ratio, turning previously strong budget surpluses into deficits. In the next few years, the great challenge of economic policy will be to implement a post-recession exit strategy in which measures supporting growth will be combined with general government adjustment measures. Longer-term, Finland must address a rapidly aging population and decreasing productivity that threaten competitiveness, fiscal sustainability, and economic growth.

GDP (purchasing power parity):

$185.4 billion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 56 $181.6 billion (2009 est.)

$197.6 billion (2008 est.)

note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate):

$232 billion (2010 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:

2.1% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 144 -8.1% (2009 est.)

1% (2008 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP):

$35,300 (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 34 $34,600 (2009 est.)

$37,700 (2008 est.)

note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture: 2.6%

industry: 29.1%

services: 68.2% (2010 est.)

Labor force:

2.68 million (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 106

Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture and forestry: 4.5%

industry: 18.2%

construction: 7.3%

commerce: 15.9%

finance, insurance, and business services: 14.5%

transport and communications: 6.9%

public services: 32.7% (2008)

Unemployment rate:

7.9% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 85 8.2% (2009 est.)

Population below poverty line:

Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: 3.6%

highest 10%: 24.7% (2007)

Distribution of family income - Gini index:

29.5 (2007) country comparison to the world: 115 25.6 (1991)

Investment (gross fixed):

18.7% of GDP (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 100

Public debt:

45.4% of GDP (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 59 40.3% of GDP (2009 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):

1.1% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 21 0% (2009 est.)

Central bank discount rate:

1.75% (31 December 2009) country comparison to the world: 114 3% (31 December 2008)

note: this is the European Central Bank's rate on the marginal lending facility, which offers overnight credit to banks in the euro area

Commercial bank prime lending rate:

3.51% (31 December 2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 141 5.79% (31 December 2008 est.)

Stock of narrow money:

$108 billion (31 December 2010 est) country comparison to the world: 29 $110.4 billion (31 December 2009 est)

note: see entry for the European Union for money supply in the euro area; the European Central Bank (ECB) controls monetary policy for the 16 members of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU); individual members of the EMU do not control the quantity of money circulating within their own borders

Stock of broad money:

$160.4 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 44 $168.5 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of domestic credit:

$259.2 billion (31 December 2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 36 $241.6 billion (31 December 2008 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares:

$91.02 billion (31 December 2009) country comparison to the world: 27 $154.4 billion (31 December 2008)

$369.2 billion (31 December 2007)

Agriculture - products:

barley, wheat, sugar beets, potatoes; dairy cattle; fish


metals and metal products, electronics, machinery and scientific instruments, shipbuilding, pulp and paper, foodstuffs, chemicals, textiles, clothing

Industrial production growth rate:

6% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 51

Electricity - production:

77.44 billion kWh (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 38

Electricity - consumption:

87.25 billion kWh (2008) country comparison to the world: 32

Electricity - exports:

3.335 billion kWh (2008)

Electricity - imports:

16.11 billion kWh (2008)

Oil - production:

8,718 bbl/day (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 86

Oil - consumption:

206,200 bbl/day (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 55

Oil - exports:

130,500 bbl/day (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 61

Oil - imports:

337,900 bbl/day (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 31

Oil - proved reserves:

NA bbl (1 January 2010 est.)

Natural gas - production:

NA (2008 est.)

Natural gas - consumption:

4.289 billion cu m (2009) country comparison to the world: 63

Natural gas - exports:

0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 178

Natural gas - imports:

4.289 billion cu m (2009) country comparison to the world: 34

Natural gas - proved reserves:

0 cu m (1 January 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 178

Current account balance:

$4.696 billion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 32 $3.444 billion (2009 est.)


$73.53 billion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 40 $62.69 billion (2009 est.)

Exports - commodities:

electrical and optical equipment, machinery, transport equipment, paper and pulp, chemicals, basic metals; timber

Exports - partners:

Germany 10.32%, Sweden 9.79%, Russia 9%, US 7.85%, Netherlands 5.9%,
UK 5.24%, China 4.1% (2009)


$69.11 billion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 39 $57.68 billion (2009 est.)

Imports - commodities:

foodstuffs, petroleum and petroleum products, chemicals, transport equipment, iron and steel, machinery, textile yarn and fabrics, grains

Imports - partners:

Russia 16.28%, Germany 15.76%, Sweden 14.65%, Netherlands 6.99%,
China 5.29%, France 4.22% (2009)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:

$9.128 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 56 $11.45 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Debt - external:

$370.8 billion (30 June 2010) country comparison to the world: 23 $339.5 billion (31 December 2008)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:

$87.99 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 35 $85.71 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:

$122.2 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 24 $118.7 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Exchange rates:

euros (EUR) per US dollar - 0.7715 (2010), 0.7179 (2009), 0.6827 (2008), 0.7345 (2007), 0.7964 (2006)

Communications ::Finland

Telephones - main lines in use:

1.43 million (2009) country comparison to the world: 65

Telephones - mobile cellular:

7.7 million (2009) country comparison to the world: 76

Telephone system:

general assessment: modern system with excellent service

domestic: digital fiber-optic fixed-line network and an extensive mobile-cellular network provide domestic needs

international: country code - 358; submarine cables provide links to Estonia and Sweden; satellite earth stations - access to Intelsat transmission service via a Swedish satellite earth station, 1 Inmarsat (Atlantic and Indian Ocean regions); note - Finland shares the Inmarsat earth station with the other Nordic countries (Denmark, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden)

Broadcast media:

a mix of publicly-operated TV stations and privately-owned TV stations; the 2 publicly-owned TV stations recently expanded services and the largest private TV station has introduced several special-interest pay-TV channels; cable and satellite multi-channel subscription services are available; all TV signals have been broadcast digitally since September 2007; analog broadcasts via cable networks were terminated in February 2008; public broadcasting maintains a network of 13 national and 25 regional radio stations; a large number of private radio broadcasters (2008)

Internet country code:

.fi; note - Aland Islands assigned .ax

Internet hosts:

4.394 million (2010) country comparison to the world: 21

Internet users:

4.393 million (2009) country comparison to the world: 55

Transportation ::Finland


148 (2010) country comparison to the world: 37

Airports - with paved runways:

total: 75

over 3,047 m: 3

2,438 to 3,047 m: 26

1,524 to 2,437 m: 10

914 to 1,523 m: 22

under 914 m: 14 (2010)

Airports - with unpaved runways:

total: 73

914 to 1,523 m: 3

under 914 m: 70 (2010)


gas 694 km (2009)


total: 5,794 km country comparison to the world: 31 broad gauge: 5,794 km 1.524-m gauge (3,047 km electrified) (2008)


total: 78,141 km country comparison to the world: 62 paved: 50,914 km (includes 739 km of expressways)

unpaved: 27,227 km (2009)


7,842 km (includes Saimaa Canal system of 3,577 km; southern part leased from Russia; water transport is used frequently in the summer and is widely replaced with sledges on the ice in winter; there are 187,888 lakes in Finland that cover 31,500 km) (2010) country comparison to the world: 18

Merchant marine:

total: 93 country comparison to the world: 53 by type: bulk carrier 1, cargo 26, carrier 1, chemical tanker 6, container 3, passenger 4, passenger/cargo 16, petroleum tanker 5, roll on/roll off 28, vehicle carrier 3

foreign-owned: 6 (Cyprus 1, Estonia 2, Iceland 1, Norway 2)

registered in other countries: 52 (Bahamas 8, Germany 5, Gibraltar 2, Liberia 2, Malta 2, Netherlands 14, Norway 1, Panama 2, Sweden 16) (2010)

Ports and terminals:

Helsinki, Kotka, Naantali, Porvoo, Raahe, Rauma

Military ::Finland

Military branches:

Finnish Defense Forces (FDF): Army, Navy (includes Coastal Defense
Forces), Air Force (Suomen Ilmavoimat) (2007)

Military service age and obligation:

18 years of age for male voluntary and compulsory - and female voluntary - national military and nonmilitary service; service obligation 6-12 months; mandatory retirement at age 60 (2010)

Manpower available for military service:

males age 16-49: 1,160,812

females age 16-49: 1,111,743 (2010 est.)

Manpower fit for military service:

males age 16-49: 958,949

females age 16-49: 916,818 (2010 est.)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:

male: 33,297

female: 32,233 (2010 est.)

Military expenditures:

2% of GDP (2005 est.) country comparison to the world: 74

Transnational Issues ::Finland

Disputes - international:

various groups in Finland advocate restoration of Karelia and other areas ceded to the Soviet Union, but the Finnish Government asserts no territorial demands


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