Finland

Finland

Finland’s language and national identity have been influenced by both its Scandinavian and Russian neighbours. Once aligned with the USSR, Finland is now a member of the EU.

Geography: South and center are flat, with low hills and many lakes. Uplands and low mountains in the north. 60% of the land area is forested.

 Climate: Long, harsh winters with frequent snowfalls. Short, warmer summers. Rainfall is low, and decreases northward.

 People and Society: One in four of the population lives in the Greater Helsinki region. Swedish-speakers live mainly in the Åland Islands in the southwest. The Sámi (Lapps) lead a semi-nomadic existence inside the Arctic Circle. Women make up 48% of the labour force, continuing a long tradition of equality between the sexes. Families tend to be close-knit, though marriage is becoming less common.

 The Economy: Strong engineering and electronics sectors: home of Nokia. Wood, pulp, and paper production.

 Insight: Finland has Europe’s largest inland waterway system

Fact-File:

 Official Name: Republic of Finland

 Date of Formation: 1917

 Capital: Helsinki

 Population: 5.33 million

 Total Area: 130,127 sq. miles (337,030 sq. km)

 Density: 45 people per sq. mile

 Languages: Finnish*, Swedish*, Sámi

 Religions: Evangelical Lutheran 89%, other 9%, Orthodox Christian 1%, Roman Catholic 1%

 Ethnic Mix: Finnish 93%, other (including Sámi) 7%

 Government: Parliamentary system

 Currency: Euro = 100 cents

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