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By Exit Pages > Visit Detail > Country Facts for Finland
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Map of Finland
IntroductionTop
Background: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 on par with Western Europe. As a member of the European Union, Finland was the only Nordic state to join the euro system at its initiation in January 1999.
GeographyTop
Location:Northern Europe, bordering the Baltic Sea, Gulf of Bothnia, and Gulf of Finland, between Sweden and Russia
Geographic coordinates:64 00 N, 26 00 E
Map references:Europe
Area:total: 338,145 sq km
land: 304,473 sq km
water: 33,672 sq km

Area - comparative:slightly smaller than Montana
Land boundaries:total: 2,681 km
border countries: Norway 727 km, Sweden 614 km, Russia 1,340 km

Coastline:1,250 km
Maritime claims:territorial sea: 12 nm (in the Gulf of Finland - 3 nm)
continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation
exclusive fishing zone: 12 nm; extends to continental shelf boundary with Sweden

Climate:cold temperate; potentially subarctic but comparatively mild because of moderating influence of the North Atlantic Current, Baltic Sea, and more than 60,000 lakes
Terrain:mostly low, flat to rolling plains interspersed with lakes and low hills
Elevation extremes:lowest point: Baltic Sea 0 m
highest point: Haltiatunturi 1,328 m

Natural resources:timber, iron ore, copper, lead, zinc, chromite, nickel, gold, silver, limestone
Land use:arable land: 7.19%
permanent crops: 0.03%
other: 92.78% (2001)

Irrigated land:640 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards:NA
Environment - current issues:air pollution from manufacturing and power plants contributing to acid rain; water pollution from industrial wastes, agricultural chemicals; habitat loss threatens wildlife populations
Environment - international agreements: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

Geography - note:long boundary with Russia; Helsinki is northernmost national capital on European continent; population concentrated on small southwestern coastal plain
PeopleTop
Population:5,223,442 (July 2005 est.)
Age structure:0-14 years: 17.3% (male 460,977/female 443,859)
15-64 years: 66.8% (male 1,764,874/female 1,723,385)
65 years and over: 15.9% (male 328,952/female 501,395) (2005 est.)

Median age:total: 40.97 years
male: 39.43 years
female: 42.52 years (2005 est.)

Population growth rate:0.16% (2005 est.)
Birth rate:10.5 births/1,000 population (2005 est.)
Death rate:9.79 deaths/1,000 population (2005 est.)
Net migration rate:0.89 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2005 est.)
Sex ratio: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: 0.66 male(s)/female
total population: 0.96 male(s)/female (2005 est.)

Infant mortality rate:total: 3.57 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 3.89 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 3.24 deaths/1,000 live births (2005 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:total population: 78.35 years
male: 74.82 years
female: 82.02 years (2005 est.)

Total fertility rate:1.73 children born/woman (2005 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:less than 0.1% (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:1,500 (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:less than 100 (2003 est.)
Nationality:noun: Finn(s)
adjective: Finnish

Ethnic groups:Finn 93.4%, Swede 5.7%, Russian 0.4%, Estonian 0.2%, Roma 0.2%, Sami 0.1%
Religions:Lutheran National Church 84.2%, Greek Orthodox in Finland 1.1%, other Christian 1.1%, other 0.1%, none 13.5% (2003)
Languages:Finnish 92% (official), Swedish 5.6% (official), other 2.4% (small Sami- and Russian-speaking minorities) (2003)
Literacy:definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 100% (2000 est.)
male: 100%
female: 100%

GovernmentTop
Country name:conventional long form: Republic of Finland
conventional short form: Finland
local long form: Suomen Tasavalta
local short form: Suomi

Government type:republic
Capital:Helsinki
Administrative divisions:6 provinces (laanit, singular - laani); Aland, Etela-Suomen Laani, Ita-Suomen Laani, Lansi-Suomen Laani, Lappi, Oulun Laani
Independence:6 December 1917 (from Russia)
National holiday:Independence Day, 6 December (1917)
Constitution:1 March 2000
Legal system:civil law system based on Swedish law; the president may request the Supreme Court to review laws; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, with reservations
Suffrage:18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:chief of state: President Tarja HALONEN (since 1 March 2000)
head of government: Prime Minister Matti VANHANEN (since 24 June 2003) and Deputy Prime Minister Antti KALLIOMAKI (since 17 April 2003); note - former Prime Minister Anneli JAATTEENMAKI resigned
cabinet: Council of State or Valtioneuvosto appointed by the president, responsible to parliament
elections: president elected by popular vote for a six-year term; election last held 16 January 2000 and 6 February 2000 (next to be held February 2006); 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
election results: Tarja HALONEN elected president; percent of vote - Tarja HALONEN (SDP) 51.6%, Esko AHO (Kesk) 48.4%
note: government coalition - Kesk, SDP, and SFP

Legislative branch:unicameral Parliament or Eduskunta (200 seats; members are elected by popular vote on a proportional basis to serve four-year terms)
elections: last held 16 March 2003 (next to be held March 2007)
election results: percent of vote by party - Kesk 24.7%, SDP 24.5%, Kok 18.5%, VAS 9.9%, VIHR 8%, KD 5.3%, SFP 4.6%; seats by party - Kesk 55, SDP 53, Kok 40, VAS 19, VIHR 14, KD 7, SFP 8, others 4

Judicial branch:Supreme Court or Korkein Oikeus (judges appointed by the president)
Political parties and leaders:Center Party or Kesk [Matti VANHANEN]; Christian Democrats or KD [Paivi RASANEN]; Green League or VIHR [Tarja CRONBERG]; Left Alliance or VAS composed of People's Democratic League and Democratic Alternative [Suvi-Anne SIIMES]; National Coalition (conservative) Party or Kok [Jyrki KATAINEN]; Social Democratic Party or SDP [Eero HEINALUOMA]; Swedish People's Party or SFP [Jan-Erik ENESTAM]
International organization participation:AfDB, AsDB, Australia Group, BIS, CBSS, CE, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, EIB, EMU, ESA, EU, FAO, G- 9, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, MIGA, NAM (guest), NC, NEA, NIB, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OPCW, OSCE, Paris Club, PCA, PFP, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNFICYP, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNMEE, UNMIK, UNMIL, UNMOGIP, UNTSO, UPU, WCO, WEU (observer), WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC
Flag description: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)
EconomyTop
Economy - overview:Finland has a highly industrialized, largely free-market economy, with per capita output roughly that of the UK, France, Germany, and Italy. Its key economic sector is manufacturing - principally the wood, metals, engineering, telecommunications, and electronics industries. Trade is important, with exports equaling two-fifths of GDP. Finland excels in high-tech exports, e.g., 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. Rapidly increasing integration with Western Europe - Finland was one of the 12 countries joining the European Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) - will dominate the economic picture over the next several years. Growth in 2003 was held back by the global slowdown but picked up in 2004. High unemployment remains a persistent problem.
GDP:purchasing power parity - $151.2 billion (2004 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:3% (2004 est.)
GDP - per capita:purchasing power parity - $29,000 (2004 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:agriculture: 3.3%
industry: 30.2%
services: 66.5% (2004 est.)

Labor force:2.66 million (2004 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:agriculture and forestry 8%, industry 22%, construction 6%, commerce 14%, finance, insurance, and business services 10%, transport and communications 8%, public services 32%
Unemployment rate:8.9% (2004 est.)
Population below poverty line:NA
Household income or consumption by percentage share:lowest 10%: 4.2%
highest 10%: 21.6% (1991)

Distribution of family income - Gini index:25.6 (1991)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):0.7% (2004 est.)
Investment (gross fixed):18.3% of GDP (2004 est.)
Budget:revenues: $96.43 billion
expenditures: $91.95 billion, including capital expenditures of NA (2004 est.)

Public debt:46.8% of GDP (2004 est.)
Agriculture - products:barley, wheat, sugar beets, potatoes; dairy cattle; fish
Industries:metals and metal products, electronics, machinery and scientific instruments, shipbuilding, pulp and paper, foodstuffs, chemicals, textiles, clothing
Industrial production growth rate:2% (2004 est.)
Electricity - production:71.59 billion kWh (2002)
Electricity - production by source:fossil fuel: 39%
hydro: 18.7%
nuclear: 30.4%
other: 11.8% (2001)

Electricity - consumption:78.58 billion kWh (2002)
Electricity - exports:1.5 billion kWh (2002)
Electricity - imports:13.5 billion kWh (2002)
Oil - production:0 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - consumption:211,400 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - exports:101,000 bbl/day (2001)
Oil - imports:318,300 bbl/day (2001)
Natural gas - production:0 cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:4.557 billion cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - exports:0 cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - imports:4.567 billion cu m (2001 est.)
Current account balance:$11.39 billion (2004 est.)
Exports:$61.04 billion f.o.b. (2004 est.)
Exports - commodities:machinery and equipment, chemicals, metals; timber, paper, pulp (1999)
Exports - partners:Sweden 11%, Germany 10.6%, Russia 8.9%, UK 7%, US 6.4%, Netherlands 5.2%, China 4.1% (2004)
Imports:$45.17 billion f.o.b. (2004 est.)
Imports - commodities:foodstuffs, petroleum and petroleum products, chemicals, transport equipment, iron and steel, machinery, textile yarn and fabrics, grains (1999)
Imports - partners:Germany 16.2%, Sweden 14.1%, Russia 12.8%, Netherlands 6.3%, Denmark 5.3%, UK 4.6%, France 4.3% (2004)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:$11.17 billion (2003)
Debt - external:$30 billion (December 1993)
Economic aid - donor:ODA, $379 million (2001)
Currency (code):euro (EUR)
note: on 1 January 1999, the European Monetary Union introduced the euro as a common currency to be used by financial institutions of member countries; on 1 January 2002, the euro became the sole currency for everyday transactions within the member countries

Currency code:EUR
Exchange rates:euros per US dollar - 0.81 (2004), 0.89 (2003), 1.06 (2002), 1.12 (2001), 1.09 (2000)
Fiscal year:calendar year
CommunicationsTop
Telephones - main lines in use:2.548 million (2003)
Telephones - mobile cellular:4.7 million (2003)
Telephone system:general assessment: modern system with excellent service
domestic: digital fiber-optic fixed-line network and an extensive cellular network provide domestic needs
international: country code - 358; 1 submarine cable (Finland Estonia Connection); 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)

Radio broadcast stations:AM 2, FM 186, shortwave 1 (1998)
Radios:7.7 million (1997)
Television broadcast stations:120 (plus 431 repeaters) (1999)
Televisions:3.2 million (1997)
Internet country code:.fi
Internet hosts:1,219,173 (2004)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):3 (2002)
Internet users:2.65 million (2002)
TransportationTop
Railways:total: 5,851 km
broad gauge: 5,851 km 1.524-m gauge (2,400 km electrified) (2004)

Highways:total: 78,197 km
paved: 50,539 km (including 794 km of expressways)
unpaved: 27,658 km (2004)

Waterways:7,842 km
note: includes Saimaa Canal system of 3,577 km; southern part leased from Russia (2004)

Pipelines:gas 694 km (2004)
Ports and harbors:Hamina, Hanko, Helsinki, Kotka, Naantali, Pori, Porvou, Raahe, Rauma, Turku
Merchant marine:total: 94 ships (1,000 GRT or over) 1,152,175 GRT/1,053,906 DWT
by type: bulk carrier 3, cargo 27, chemical tanker 6, container 1, passenger 5, passenger/cargo 20, petroleum tanker 7, roll on/roll off 25
foreign-owned: 2 (Norway 1, United States 1)
registered in other countries: 42 (2005)

Airports:148 (2004 est.)
Airports - with paved runways:total: 75
over 3,047 m: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 27
1,524 to 2,437 m: 10
914 to 1,523 m: 23
under 914 m: 13 (2004 est.)

Airports - with unpaved runways:total: 73
914 to 1,523 m: 4
under 914 m: 69 (2004 est.)

MilitaryTop
Military branches:Finnish Defense Forces: Army, Navy (includes Coastal Defense Forces), Air Force (2003)
Military manpower - military age and obligation:18 years of age for voluntary and compulsory military service (October 2004)
Military manpower - availability:males age 18-49: 1,121,275 (2005 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service:males age 18-49: 913,617 (2005 est.)
Military manpower - reaching military age annually:males: 32,040 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:$1.8 billion (FY98/99)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:2% (FY98/99)
Transnational IssuesTop
Disputes - international:various groups in Finland advocate restoration of Karelia and other areas ceded to the Soviet Union, but the Finnish Government asserts no territorial demands



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