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Europe :: Finland
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  • 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 gained complete independence in 1917. During World War II, it successfully defended its independence through cooperation with Germany and resisted subsequent invasions by the Soviet Union - albeit with some loss of territory. In the subsequent half century, Finland transformed from a farm/forest economy to a diversified modern industrial economy; per capita income is among the highest in Western Europe. A member of the European Union since 1995, Finland was the only Nordic state to join the euro single currency at its initiation in January 1999. In the 21st century, the key features of Finland's modern welfare state are high quality education, promotion of equality, and a national social welfare 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
    land: 303,815 sq km
    water: 34,330 sq km
    slightly more than two times the size of Georgia; slightly smaller than Montana
    total: 2,563 km
    border countries (3): Norway 709 km, Sweden 545 km, Russia 1,309 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, Estonia, and Russia
    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
    agricultural land: 7.5%
    arable land 7.4%; permanent crops 0%; permanent pasture 0.1%
    forest: 72.9%
    other: 19.6% (2011 est.)
    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

  • 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)
    Finnish (official) 89%, Swedish (official) 5.3%, Russian 1.3%, other 4.4% (2014 est.)
    Lutheran 78.4%, Orthodox 1.1%, other Christian 1.1%, other 0.2%, none 19.2% (2010 est.)
    5,268,799 (July 2014 est.)
    0-14 years: 15.8% (male 423,011/female 408,664)
    15-24 years: 12.1% (male 326,140/female 313,621)
    25-54 years: 38.1% (male 1,021,798/female 983,423)
    55-64 years: 14.2% (male 368,355/female 379,957)
    65 years and over: 19.8% (male 439,014/female 604,816) (2014 est.)
    population pyramid:
    total dependency ratio: 56.8%
    youth dependency ratio: 25.8%
    elderly dependency ratio: 31%
    potential support ratio: 3.2% (2014 est.)
    total: 43.2 years
    male: 41.2 years
    female: 45 years (2014 est.)
    0.05% (2014 est.)
    10.35 births/1,000 population (2014 est.)
    10.51 deaths/1,000 population (2014 est.)
    0.62 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2014 est.)
    urban population: 84.1% of total population (2014)
    rate of urbanization: 0.5% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
    HELSINKI (capital) 1.17 million (2014)
    at birth: 1.04 male(s)/female
    0-14 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
    15-24 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
    25-54 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
    55-64 years: 0.96 male(s)/female
    65 years and over: 0.71 male(s)/female
    total population: 0.96 male(s)/female (2014 est.)
    28.5 (2012 est.)
    4 deaths/100,000 live births (2013 est.)
    total: 3.36 deaths/1,000 live births
    male: 3.65 deaths/1,000 live births
    female: 3.06 deaths/1,000 live births (2014 est.)
    total population: 79.69 years
    male: 76.24 years
    female: 83.29 years (2014 est.)
    1.73 children born/woman (2014 est.)
    9.4% of GDP (2013)
    2.91 physicians/1,000 population (2009)
    5.5 beds/1,000 population (2011)
    urban: 100% of population
    rural: 100% of population
    total: 100% of population
    urban: 0% of population
    rural: 0% of population
    total: 0% of population (2012 est.)
    urban: 100% of population
    rural: 100% of population
    total: 100% of population
    urban: 0% of population
    rural: 0% of population
    total: 0% of population (2012 est.)
    22.8% (2014)
    6.8% of GDP (2011)
    total: 17 years
    male: 16 years
    female: 18 years (2012)
    total: 17.7%
    male: 17.6%
    female: 17.9% (2012 est.)
  • 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)
    previous 1906, 1919; latest drafted 17 June 1997, approved by Parliament 11 June 1999, entered into force 1 March 2000; amended several times, last in 2011 (2011)
    civil law system based on the Swedish model
    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 Juha SIPILA (since 28 May 2015)
    cabinet: Council of State or Valtioneuvosto appointed by the president, responsible to parliament
    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 ARHINMKI (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; note - once the new prime minister takes office, the government coalition usually changes (2014)
    description: unicameral Parliament or Eduskunta (200 seats; 199 members directly elected in single- and multi-seat constituencies by proportional representation vote and 1 member in the province of Aland directly elected by simple majority vote; members serve 4-year terms)
    elections: last held on 19 April 2015 (next to be held in April 2019)
    election results: percent of vote by party - Kesk 21.1%, PS 17.6%, Kok 18.2%, SDP 16.5%, Vihr 8.5%, Vas 7.1%, SFP 4.9%, KD 3.5%, other 2.6%; seats by party - Kesk 49, PS 38, Kok 37, SDP 34, Vihr 15, Vas 12, SFP 9, KD 5, other 1 (Aland Coalition)
    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 [Alexander STUBB]
    Social Democratic Party or SDP [Antii RINNE]
    Swedish People's Party or SFP [Carl HAGLUND]
    The Finns Party or PS [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), ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, MINUSMA, NC, NEA, NIB, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OPCW, OSCE, Pacific Alliance (observer), 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 (since 1 September 2011)
    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 (since 12 August 2009)
    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
    lion; national colors: blue, white
    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, or Sweden. Trade is important, with exports accounting for over one-third of GDP in recent years. Finland is historically competitive in manufacturing - principally the wood, metals, engineering, telecommunications, and electronics industries. Finland excels in export of technology for mobile phones as well as promotion of startups in the ICT, gaming, cleantech, and biotechnology sectors. 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 before 2009 and its banks and financial markets avoided the worst of global financial crisis. However, the world slowdown hit exports and domestic demand hard in that year, 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 2010-12, however, continued recession within the EU dampened the economy in 2012-14. The recession affected general government finances and the debt ratio, turning previously strong budget surpluses into deficits, losing its coveted triple-A credit rating, and on pace to breach EU debt limits in 2015. Finland's main challenge will be to stimulate growth while faced with weak export demand in the EU and its own government austerity measures. Longer-term, Finland must address a rapidly aging population and decreasing productivity in traditional industries that threaten competitiveness, fiscal sustainability, and economic growth. The depreciating ruble will retard exports to Russia.
    $221.5 billion (2014 est.)
    $222 billion (2013 est.)
    $224.7 billion (2012 est.)
    note: data are in 2014 US dollars
    $276.3 billion (2014 est.)
    -0.2% (2014 est.)
    -1.2% (2013 est.)
    -1.5% (2012 est.)
    $40,500 (2014 est.)
    $40,700 (2013 est.)
    $41,400 (2012 est.)
    note: data are in 2013 US dollars
    country comparison to the world: 38
    20.3% of GDP (2014 est.)
    19.9% of GDP (2013 est.)
    21% of GDP (2012 est.)
    household consumption: 55.1%
    government consumption: 24.9%
    investment in fixed capital: 20.9%
    investment in inventories: 0.6%
    exports of goods and services: 36.9%
    imports of goods and services: -38.4%
    (2014 est.)
    agriculture: 2.7%
    industry: 27%
    services: 70.3% (2014 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
    0.3% (2014 est.)
    2.665 million (2014 est.)
    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)
    8.6% (2014 est.)
    8.1% (2013 est.)
    lowest 10%: 3.6%
    highest 10%: 24.7% (2007)
    26.8 (2008)
    25.6 (1991)
    revenues: $146.3 billion
    expenditures: $156.1 billion
    note: Central Government Budget (2014 est.)
    53% of GDP (2014 est.)
    -3.5% of GDP (2014 est.)
    59.6% of GDP (2014 est.)
    57% of GDP (2013 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
    1.3% (2014 est.)
    2.2% (2013 est.)
    0.75% (31 December 2013)
    1.5% (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% (31 December 2014 est.)
    2.11% (31 December 2013 est.)
    $136.7 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $144.7 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    note: see entry for the European Union for money supply for the entire euro area; the European Central Bank (ECB) controls monetary policy for the 18 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
    $179.8 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $195.3 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    $267.7 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $283.9 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    $158.7 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    $143.1 billion (31 December 2011)
    $118.2 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
    $-1.4 billion (2014 est.)
    $-2.466 billion (2013 est.)
    $78 billion (2014 est.)
    $78.56 billion (2013 est.)
    electrical and optical equipment, machinery, transport equipment, paper and pulp, chemicals, basic metals; timber
    Sweden 11.6%, Germany 9.8%, Russia 9.5%, Netherlands 6.3%, US 6.2%, UK 5.3%, China 4.9% (2013)
    $73.01 billion (2014 est.)
    $73.76 billion (2013 est.)
    foodstuffs, petroleum and petroleum products, chemicals, transport equipment, iron and steel, machinery, computers, electronic industry products, textile yarn and fabrics, grains
    Russia 18%, Sweden 16.1%, Germany 14.1%, Netherlands 8.3% (2013)
    $11.4 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $11.27 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    $586.9 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    $478.5 billion (31 December 2011)
    $138 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $136.1 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    $202.8 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $197.2 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    euros (EUR) per US dollar -
    0.75 (2014 est.)
    0.76 (2013 est.)
    0.78 (2012 est.)
    0.72 (2011 est.)
    0.76 (2010 est.)
  • Energy :: FINLAND

  • 67.69 billion kWh (2012 est.)
    81.06 billion kWh (2011 est.)
    1.878 billion kWh (2013 est.)
    17.59 billion kWh (2013 est.)
    16.73 million kW (2011 est.)
    52.1% of total installed capacity (2011 est.)
    16.4% of total installed capacity (2011 est.)
    18.9% of total installed capacity (2011 est.)
    12.7% of total installed capacity (2011 est.)
    0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
    0 bbl/day (2012 est.)
    203,800 bbl/day (2012 est.)
    0 bbl (1 January 2014 est.)
    290,500 bbl/day (2012 est.)
    198,400 bbl/day (2013 est.)
    144,400 bbl/day (2012 est.)
    122,900 bbl/day (2010 est.)
    3 million cu m (2013 est.)
    3.485 billion cu m (2013 est.)
    0 cu m (2012 est.)
    3.482 billion cu m (2013 est.)
    0 cu m (1 January 2014 est.)
    46.81 million Mt (2012 est.)
  • Communications :: FINLAND

  • 890,000 (2012)
    9.32 million (2012)
    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)
    AM 2, FM 59, shortwave 2 (2008)
    120 (plus 431 repeaters) (1999); note - on 1 September 2007, Finland began broadcasting all television signals digitally; analog broadcasts via cable networks were discontinued 29 February 2008
    .fi; note - Aland Islands assigned .ax
    4.763 million (2012)
    4.393 million (2009)
  • Transportation :: FINLAND

  • 148 (2013)
    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
    broad gauge: 5,944 km 1.524-m gauge (3,067 km electrified) (2013)
    total: 78,000 km
    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)
    total: 97
    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

  • Finnish Defense Forces (FDF): Army (Puolustusvoimat), Navy (Merivoimat; includes Coastal Defense Forces), Air Force (Ilmavoimat) (2013)
    18 years of age for male voluntary and compulsory - and female voluntary - national military and nonmilitary service; service obligation 6-12 months; military obligation to age 60 (2012)
    males age 16-49: 1,155,368
    females age 16-49: 1,106,193 (2010 est.)
    males age 16-49: 955,151
    females age 16-49: 912,983 (2010 est.)
    male: 32,599
    female: 31,416 (2010 est.)
    1.47% of GDP (2012)
    1.42% of GDP (2011)
    1.47% of GDP (2010)
  • 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
    stateless persons: 2,293 (2014)