Europe :: Finland

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: 65
    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
    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: Halti (alternatively Haltia, Haltitunturi, Haltiatunturi) 1,328 m
    timber, iron ore, copper, lead, zinc, chromite, nickel, gold, silver, limestone
    arable land: 6.65%
    permanent crops: 0.01%
    other: 93.34% (2011)
    685.8 sq km (2010)
    110 cu km (2011)
    total: 1.63 cu km/yr (25%/72%/3%)
    per capita: 308.9 cu m/yr (2005)
    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 and Society ::Finland

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
    19 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); 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]; Pohjanmaa (Finnish), Osterbotten (Swedish) [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)
    Independence Day, 6 December (1917)
    1 March 2000
    civil law system based on the Swedish model; note - the president may request the Supreme Court to review laws
    accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
    18 years of age; universal
    chief of state: President Sauli NIINISTO (since 1 March 2012)
    head of government: Prime Minister Jyrki KATAINEN (since 22 June 2011)
    cabinet: Council of State or Valtioneuvosto appointed by the president, responsible to parliament
    (For more information visit the World Leaders website Opens in New Window)
    elections: president elected by popular vote for a six-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 5 February 2012 (next to be held in February 2018); the parliament elects a prime minister who is then appointed to office by the president
    election results: percent of vote - Sauli NIINISTO (Kok) 36.96%, Pekka HAAVISTO (Vihr) 18.76%, Paavo VAYRYNEN (Kesk) 17.53%, Timo SOINI (TF) 9.4%, Paavo LIPPONEN (SDP) 6.7%, Paavo ARHINMĂ„KI (Vas) 5.48%, Eva BIAUDET (SFP) 2.7%, Sari ESSAYAH (KD) 2.47%; a runoff election between NIINISTO and HAAVISTO was held 5 February 2012 - NIINISTO 62.59%, HAAVISTO 37.41%; Jyrki KATAINEN elected prime minister; election results 118-72
    note: government coalition - Kok, SDP, Vihr, SFP, Vas, and KD (2013)
    unicameral Parliament or Eduskunta (200 seats; members elected by popular vote on a proportional basis to serve four-year terms)
    elections: last held on 17 April 2011 (next to be held in April 2015)
    election results: percent of vote by party - Kok 20.4%, SDP 19.1%, TF 19.1%, Kesk 15.8%, Vas 8.1%, Vihr 7.3%, SFP 4.3%, KD 4%, other 1.9%; seats by party - Kok 44, SDP 42, TF 39, Kesk 35, Vas 14, Vihr 10, SFP 9, KD 6, other 1 (the constituency of Aland)
    highest court(s): Supreme Court or Korkein Oikeus (consists of the court president and 18 judges); Supreme Administrative Court (consists of 21 judges including the court president and organized into 3 chambers)
    note - Finland has a dual judicial system - courts with civil and criminal jurisdiction, and administrative courts with jurisdiction for litigation between individuals and administrative organs of the state and communities
    judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court and Supreme Administrative Court judges appointed by the president of the republic; judges serve until mandatory retirement at age 65
    subordinate courts: 6 Courts of Appeal; 8 regional administrative courts; 27 district courts; special courts for issues relating to markets, labor, insurance, impeachment, land, tenancy, and water rights
    Center Party or Kesk [Juha SIPILA]
    Christian Democrats or KD [Paivi RASANEN]
    Green League or Vihr [Ville NIINISTO]
    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 [Carl HAGLUND]
    The Finns Party or TF [Timo SOINI]
    ADB (nonregional member), AfDB (nonregional member), Arctic Council, Australia Group, BIS, CBSS, CD, CE, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, ECB, EIB, EITI (implementing country), EMU, ESA, EU, FAO, FATF, G-9, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, NC, NEA, NIB, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OPCW, OSCE, Paris Club, PCA, PFP, Schengen Convention, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIFIL, UNMIL, UNMOGIP, UNRWA, UNTSO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC
    chief of mission: Ambassador Ritva KOUKKU-RONDE
    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
    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

    Finland has a highly industrialized, largely free-market economy with per capita output almost as high as 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, domestic trade, and household consumption stimulated economic growth in 2010-11. The recession affected general government finances and the debt ratio, turning previously strong budget surpluses into deficits, but Finland has taken action to ensure it will meet EU deficit targets by 2013 and retains its triple-A credit rating. Finland's main challenge in 2013 will be to stimulate growth in the face of weak demand in EU export markets and government austerity measures meant to reduce its budget deficit. Longer-term, Finland must address a rapidly aging population and decreasing productivity that threaten competitiveness, fiscal sustainability, and economic growth.
    $200.7 billion (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 56
    $201.1 billion (2011 est.)
    $195.7 billion (2010 est.)
    note: data are in 2012 US dollars
    $250.1 billion (2012 est.)
    -0.2% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 185
    2.8% (2011 est.)
    3.3% (2010 est.)
    $37,000 (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 37
    $37,200 (2011 est.)
    $36,400 (2010 est.)
    note: data are in 2012 US dollars
    18.7% of GDP (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 83
    20.6% of GDP (2011 est.)
    21% of GDP (2010 est.)
    household consumption: 56.3%
    government consumption: 24.8%
    investment in fixed capital: 19.4%
    investment in inventories: 1.2%
    exports of goods and services: 39.8%
    imports of goods and services: -40.5%
    (2012 est.)
    agriculture: 2.8%
    industry: 27.1%
    services: 70.1% (2012 est.)
    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
    -1.8% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 150
    2.69 million (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 108
    agriculture and forestry: 4.4%
    industry: 15.5%
    construction: 7.1%
    commerce: 21.3%
    finance, insurance, and business services: 13.3%
    transport and communications: 9.9%
    public services: 28.5% (2011)
    7.8% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 87
    7.8% (2011 est.)
    lowest 10%: 3.6%
    highest 10%: 24.7% (2007)
    26.8 (2008)
    country comparison to the world: 127
    25.6 (1991)
    revenues: $134.5 billion
    expenditures: $139.8 billion
    note: Central Government Budget (2012 est.)
    53.8% of GDP (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 11
    -2.1% of GDP (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 86
    53% of GDP (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 57
    49.1% of GDP (2011 est.)
    note: data cover general government debt, and includes debt instruments issued (or owned) by government entities other than the treasury; the data include treasury debt held by foreign entities; the data include debt issued by subnational entities, as well as intra-governmental debt; intra-governmental debt consists of treasury borrowings from surpluses in the social funds, such as for retirement, medical care, and unemployment; debt instruments for the social funds are not sold at public auctions
    calendar year
    3.2% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 101
    3.3% (2011 est.)
    1.5% (31 December 2012)
    country comparison to the world: 117
    1.75% (31 December 2010)
    note: this is the European Central Bank's rate on the marginal lending facility, which offers overnight credit to banks in the euro area
    2.06% (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 180
    2.68% (31 December 2011 est.)
    $126.4 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 28
    $115.5 billion (31 December 2011 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 17 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
    $183.4 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 44
    $176.6 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    $265 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 38
    $248.9 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    $143.1 billion (31 December 2011)
    country comparison to the world: 40
    $118.2 billion (31 December 2010)
    $91.02 billion (31 December 2009)
    -$3.6 billion (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 155
    -$1.86 billion (2011 est.)
    $73.4 billion (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 48
    $79.15 billion (2011 est.)
    electrical and optical equipment, machinery, transport equipment, paper and pulp, chemicals, basic metals; timber
    Sweden 11.1%, Russia 9.9%, Germany 9.4%, Netherlands 6.4%, US 6.1%, UK 5.1%, China 4.6% (2012)
    $73.15 billion (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 41
    $80.89 billion (2011 est.)
    foodstuffs, petroleum and petroleum products, chemicals, transport equipment, iron and steel, machinery, computers, electronic industry products, textile yarn and fabrics, grains
    Russia 17.8%, Sweden 14.8%, Germany 13.9%, Netherlands 8%, China 4.4% (2012)
    $11.08 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 73
    $10.35 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    $599.3 billion (31 December 2012)
    country comparison to the world: 23
    $478.5 billion (31 December 2011)
    $134.4 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 34
    $128.2 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    $186.7 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 24
    $173 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    euros (EUR) per US dollar -
    0.7778 (2012 est.)
    0.7185 (2011 est.)
    0.755 (2010 est.)
    0.7198 (2009 est.)
    0.6827 (2008 est.)

Energy ::Finland

Communications ::Finland

    1.08 million (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 73
    8.94 million (2009)
    country comparison to the world: 82
    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) (2011)
    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
    4.763 million (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 22
    4.393 million (2009)
    country comparison to the world: 55

Transportation ::Finland

    148 (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 39
    total: 74
    over 3,047 m: 3
    2,438 to 3,047 m: 26
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 10
    914 to 1,523 m: 21
    under 914 m: 14 (2013)
    total: 74
    914 to 1,523 m: 3
    under 914 m:
    71 (2013)
    gas 1,689 km (2010)
    total: 5,944 km
    country comparison to the world: 31
    broad gauge: 5,944 km 1.524-m gauge (3,067 km electrified) (2013)
    total: 78,000 km
    country comparison to the world: 61
    paved: 50,000 km (includes 700 km of expressways)
    unpaved: 28,000 km
    note: there 78,000 km of highways, 350,000 km of private and forest roads, and 26,000 km of urban roads giving Finland a total road network of 450,000 km (2012)
    8,000 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); Finand also maintains 8,200 km of coastal fairways (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 18
    total: 97
    country comparison to the world: 51
    by type: bulk carrier 2, cargo 25, carrier 1, chemical tanker 6, container 3, passenger 5, passenger/cargo 16, petroleum tanker 5, roll on/roll off 31, vehicle carrier 3
    foreign-owned: 5 (Cyprus 1, Estonia 2, Iceland 1, Sweden 1)
    registered in other countries: 47 (Bahamas 8, Germany 3, Gibraltar 2, Malta 3, Netherlands 13, Panama 2, Sweden 16) (2010)
    major seaport(s): Helsinki, Kotka, Naantali, Porvoo, Raahe, Rauma

Military ::Finland

Transnational Issues ::Finland