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
Northern Europe, bordering the Baltic Sea, Gulf of Bothnia, and Gulf of Finland, between Sweden and Russia
64 00 N, 26 00 E
total: 338,145 sq km
country comparison to the world: 64
land: 303,815 sq km
water: 34,330 sq km
slightly smaller than Montana
total: 2,654 km
border countries: Norway 727 km, Sweden 614 km, Russia 1,313 km
1,250 km
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
Current Weather
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
lowest point: Baltic Sea 0 m
highest point: Haltiatunturi 1,328 m
timber, iron ore, copper, lead, zinc, chromite, nickel, gold, silver, limestone
arable land: 6.54%
permanent crops: 0.02%
other: 93.44% (2005)
640 sq km (2003)
110 cu km (2005)
total: 2.33 cu km/yr (14%/84%/3%)
per capita: 444 cu m/yr (1999)
air pollution from manufacturing and power plants contributing to acid rain; water pollution from industrial wastes, agricultural chemicals; habitat loss threatens wildlife populations
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
long boundary with Russia; Helsinki is northernmost national capital on European continent; population concentrated on small southwestern coastal plain
People ::Finland
5,250,275 (July 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 112
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.)
total: 42.3 years
male: 40.7 years
female: 44 years (2010 est.)
0.098% (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 191
10.38 births/1,000 population (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 187
10.07 deaths/1,000 population (July 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 61
0.68 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.)
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.)
total: 3.47 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 216
male: 3.78 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 3.15 deaths/1,000 live births (2010 est.)
total population: 78.97 years
country comparison to the world: 37
male: 75.48 years
female: 82.61 years (2010 est.)
1.73 children born/woman (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 167
less than 0.1% (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 136
2,400 (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 136
fewer than 100 (2003 est.)
country comparison to the world: 146
noun: Finn(s)
adjective: Finnish
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.)
total: 17 years
male: 17 years
female: 18 years (2006)
6.4% of GDP (2005)
country comparison to the world: 33
Government ::Finland
conventional long form: Republic of Finland
conventional short form: Finland
local long form: Suomen tasavalta/Republiken Finland
local short form: Suomi/Finland
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
20 regions (maakunnat, singular - maakunta [Finnish]; landskapen, singular - landskapet [Swedish]); Aland (Swedish), Ahvenanmaa (Finnish); Etela-Karjala (Finnish), Sodra Karelen (Swedish); Etela-Pohjanmaa (Finnish), Sodra Osterbotten (Swedish); Etela-Savo (Finnish), Sodra Savolax (Swedish); Kanta-Hame (Finnish), Egentliga Tavastland (Swedish); Ita-Uusimaa (Finnish), Ostra Nyland (Swedish); Kainuu (Finnish), Kajanaland (Swedish); Keski-Pohjanmaa (Finnish), Mellersta Osterbotten (Swedish); Keski-Suomi (Finnish), Mellersta Finland (Swedish); Kymenlaakso (Finnish), Kymmenedalen (Swedish); Lappi (Finnish), Lappland (Swedish); Paijat-Hame (Finnish), Paijanne-Tavastland (Swedish); Pirkanmaa (Finnish), Birkaland (Swedish); Osterbotten (Swedish), Pohjanmaa (Finnish); Pohjois-Karjala (Finnish), Norra Karelen (Swedish); Pohjois-Pohjanmaa (Finnish), Norra Osterbotten (Swedish); Pohjois-Savo (Finnish), Norra Savolax (Swedish); Satakunta (Finnish and Swedish); Uusimaa (Finnish), Nyland (Swedish); Varsinais-Suomi (Finnish), Egentliga Finland (Swedish)
6 December 1917 (from Russia)
Independence Day, 6 December (1917)
1 March 2000
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
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
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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
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 March 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)
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
Center Party or Kesk [Mari KIVINIEMI]; Christian Democrats or KD [Paivi RASANEN]; Green Party or VIHR [Anni SINNEMAKI]; Left Alliance or VAS [Paavo ARHINMAKI] (composed of People's Democratic League and Democratic Alternative); National Coalition Party or Kok [Jyrki KATAINEN] (conservative); Social Democratic Party or SDP [Jutta URPILAINEN]; Swedish People's Party or SFP [Stefan WALLIN]; True Finns [Timo SOINI]
ADB (nonregional member), AfDB (nonregional member), Arctic Council, Australia Group, BIS, CBSS, CE, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, EIB, EMU, ESA, EU, FAO, FATF, G-9, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, MINURCAT, NC, NEA, NIB, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OPCW, OSCE, Paris Club, PCA, PFP, Schengen Convention, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNMIL, UNMIS, UNMOGIP, UNTSO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC
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
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
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
Economy ::Finland
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, and will serve as a brake on economic growth in 2010. The slowdown of construction, other investment, and exports will cause unemployment to rise further from the 2009 level. The recession will leave a deep, long-lasting mark on general government finances and the debt ratio. It turned previously strong public finances into deficit within a year. 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.
$178.8 billion (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 56
$194.6 billion (2008 est.)
$192.3 billion (2007 est.)
note: data are in 2009 US dollars
$238.1 billion (2009 est.)
-8.1% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 207
1.2% (2008 est.)
4.9% (2007 est.)
$34,100 (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 36
$37,100 (2008 est.)
$36,700 (2007 est.)
note: data are in 2009 US dollars
agriculture: 3.6%
industry: 30.3%
services: 66.1% (2009 est.)
2.678 million (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 107
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)
8.5% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 98
6.4% (2008)
lowest 10%: 3.6%
highest 10%: 24.7% (2007)
29.5 (2007)
country comparison to the world: 115
25.6 (1991)
19.8% of GDP (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 99
revenues: $127 billion
expenditures: $132.3 billion (2009 est.)
44% of GDP (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 60
34.8% of GDP (2008 est.)
0% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 26
4.1% (2008 est.)
3% (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 104
5% (31 December 2007)
note: this is the European Central Bank's rate on the marginal lending facility, which offers overnight credit to banks in the euro area
5.79% (31 December 2008)
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 and quasi money circulating within their own borders
$241.1 billion (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 30
$225.4 billion (31 December 2007)
$NA (31 December 2009)
country comparison to the world: 28
$154.4 billion (31 December 2008)
$369.2 billion (31 December 2007)
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
-11.8% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 147
77.44 billion kWh (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 38
87.25 billion kWh (2008)
country comparison to the world: 32
3.335 billion kWh (2008)
16.11 billion kWh (2008)
8,718 bbl/day (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 86
206,200 bbl/day (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 55
130,500 bbl/day (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 62
337,900 bbl/day (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 32
NA bbl
NA (2008 est.)
4.289 billion cu m (2009)
country comparison to the world: 63
0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 180
4.289 billion cu m (2009)
country comparison to the world: 34
0 cu m (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 177
$2.916 billion (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 33
$7.955 billion (2008 est.)
$62.93 billion (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 39
$96.97 billion (2008 est.)
electrical and optical equipment, machinery, transport equipment, paper and pulp, chemicals, basic metals; timber
Germany 10.32%, Sweden 9.79%, Russia 9%, US 7.85%, Netherlands 5.9%, UK 5.24%, China 4.1% (2009)
$58.98 billion (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 41
$88.26 billion (2008)
foodstuffs, petroleum and petroleum products, chemicals, transport equipment, iron and steel, machinery, textile yarn and fabrics, grains
Russia 16.28%, Germany 15.76%, Sweden 14.65%, Netherlands 6.99%, China 5.29%, France 4.22% (2009)
$11.45 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 65
$8.346 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
$364.9 billion (30 June 2009)
country comparison to the world: 21
$339.5 billion (31 December 2008)
$80.9 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 39
$78.28 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
$117.7 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 23
$114.8 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
euros (EUR) per US dollar - 0.7338 (2009), 0.6827 (2008), 0.7345 (2007), 0.7964 (2006), 0.8041 (2005)
Communications ::Finland
1.65 million (2008)
country comparison to the world: 63
6.83 million (2008)
country comparison to the world: 74
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)
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)
.fi; note - Aland Islands assigned .ax
4.394 million (2010)
country comparison to the world: 19
4.383 million (2008)
country comparison to the world: 46
Transportation ::Finland
148 (2010)
country comparison to the world: 37
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)
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
country comparison to the world: 18
note: includes Saimaa Canal system of 3,577 km; southern part leased from Russia (2008)
total: 98
country comparison to the world: 51
by type: bulk carrier 3, cargo 28, carrier 1, chemical tanker 6, container 3, passenger 5, passenger/cargo 18, petroleum tanker 5, roll on/roll off 27, vehicle carrier 2
foreign-owned: 8 (Estonia 2, Germany 1, Norway 3, Sweden 2)
registered in other countries: 47 (Bahamas 9, Germany 4, Gibraltar 3, Netherlands 14, Norway 1, Panama 2, Saint Kitts and Nevis 1, Sweden 12, UK 1) (2008)
Hamina, Helsinki, Kokkola, Kotka, Naantali, Pori, Raahe, Rauma, Turku
Military ::Finland
Finnish Defense Forces (FDF): Army, Navy (includes Coastal Defense Forces), Air Force (Suomen Ilmavoimat) (2007)
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 (2008)
males age 16-49: 1,160,812
females age 16-49: 1,111,743 (2010 est.)
males age 16-49: 958,949
females age 16-49: 916,818 (2010 est.)
male: 33,297
female: 32,233 (2010 est.)
2% of GDP (2005 est.)
country comparison to the world: 75
Transnational Issues ::Finland
various groups in Finland advocate restoration of Karelia and other areas ceded to the Soviet Union, but the Finnish Government asserts no territorial demands