the Home Page
Facts of Finland
PeopleFinland has a population of about 5 million people, and the population is still slightly growing. 19% of the Finns are below 15 years of age, and 14% are over 65. The population density is about 12 per square kilometer. 64% are living in urban areas. The ethnic groups of the Finnish population are the Finns, 94%, the Swedish speaking population 6% and small groups of other ethnic groups, among them the Lapps. Finnish and Swedish are the principal languages, both official. Evangelical Lutherian is the main religion, with 89 % of the population belonging to Church.
Finland is located in the north of Europe, with Norway as neighbor in the north, Sweden in the West, Russia in the East, and Estonia in the South.
GeographyThe area of Finland is about 130.000 sq.miles, of which 10% is water. The south and central Finland is mostly flat, where as the north of Finland has some mountains. Finland is the land of thousand lakes - the number of lakes is actually 190.000! Finland has an arctic climate - the winter is a carnival of frost and ice.
The cathedral in Helsinki, capital of Finland
The President of Finland, Tarja Halonen, has his own Home Page on the Internet. Also the former president, Martti Ahtisaari has his own site.
The President of Finland - and president candidate - Tarja Halonen, visiting Vaasa on Jan 23, 2006
Finland has a multi-party system, and the largest political parties are the Social Democrats, the Conservatives and the Centre Party. There are three big parties in the Parliament, the Social Democrats, the Centre and the Conservatives. Smaller parties are the Left-wing Alliance, the Swedish People´s Party, the Greens and the Christian League. 1.6% of the gross national product is used for defense, with an active troop strength of about 30.000.
The total export from Finland in 1996 was 40.500 USD millions, and the imports was 31.000. The gross domestic product per capita was 24.000 USD. Of the employed persons, 22 worked in industry, 15% in commerse, 11% in financial services, 7% in agriculture and forestry, 8% in transport and communications, 6% in construction and 31% in miscellaneous services. 70% of the women are employed outside the home. (Source: Statistic Finland)
Markka was the monetary unit in Finland. Since January the 1st 2002 our currency is Euro. One Euro is about 6 old Finnish marks. "Markka" and "penni" are now just memories.
Since January 1st the monetary unit of Finland is Euro, as it is in eleven other European Union countires. The Finnish people are quite swiftly getting used to the new currency.
The flag of Finland
CommunicationsThere are about 2.5 million televison sets, 5 million radios, 3 million telephones (of which about 1 million are mobile telephones, "kännykkä" - probably the highest figure in the world per capita), 2 million passenger cars, 300.000 other vehicles and 24 airports in Finland.
24 main airports make domestic air connections very efficient. Helsinki is the main international airport, but also Vaasa, Tampere, Turku and Mariehamn have international connections.
HealthLife expectancy at birth is 74.0 years for males and 77.3 years for females, and both are rising. There is one hospital bed for every 100 persons and one physician for every 371 persons. Finland is a Nordic welfare society, which means that the services offered by society and made available to all the population are financed by taxes. All Finns are entitled to basic health care financed by the society. All children under school age have the right to municipial day care. For the young, dental care is free. Every Finn over 65 has a national pension and has the right of old-age care by the society.
EducationPrimary education is free and compulsatory during ages 7 - 16. Literacy is 100%. Many universities gives a highly professional higher education.
International organisationsFinland is a member of the European Union since January 1st, 1995. Naturally, Finland is also member of the United Nations (incl. IMF, FAO, World Bank, WHO) and OECD.
Åland (Aland)Åland is an autonomous part of Finland, situated on the islands between Finland and Sweden. Mariehamn is the only town in Åland, and the principal port.
CultureThe literacy rate in Finland is probably the highest in the world, 100%. About 4 million Finns get their morning paper delivered to their homes, and the daily newspaper circulation is about 470 per 1000 inhabitants. 90% of all report reading a Newspaper daily. The annual consumption of newsprint is 42 kilograms per person - the world average is about 6 kilograms! And we Finns read more than newspapers. Nearly every Finn has a wellstocked bookshelf in his home.
Väinö Linna (to the left) is one of the most popular Finnish writers. Alvar Aalto (to the right or below) is considered as on of the worlds best architects.
Jean Sibelius, the most famous Finnish composer
HistoryThe Finns probably migrated from the Ural mountains in the Eastern Europe, and the second ethnic group, the Swedes, are descenders from settlers from Sweden. Finland was a part of Sweden until 1809, when Russia took over, Finland however succeeded in keeping a large autonomy during the Russian era. During this time, in 1812 the capital was transferred from Turku to Helsinki. On December 6th, 1917, Finland successfully declared its independence, seizing the opportunity when the Russian Czar was overthrown and the Russion Revolution had begun. After that, a short, but cruel, civil war was fought in Finland.
The Parliament building in Helsinki and the statue of JK Paasikivi, an afterwar president, to the left. To the right, the statue of Marshal CG Mannerheim.
The war with Russia 1941 - 44 was a part of the World War Two, and as a result of these two wars, Finland was forced to cede about 10% of its territory to Russia. Finland is a member of the European Union since January 1st, 1995.
The Statue of Freedom, in Vaasa
The former prime minister of Finland, Paavo Lipponen, and Finland´s president Tarja Halonen
August 22, 2011