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Finland - Country facts

Map

Small map of Finland
Click for a larger map

Flag

Country flag: Finland

Capital

Helsinki

Currency

euro (EUR)
note:

Internet Code

.fi

Location

Northern Europe, bordering the Baltic Sea, Gulf of Bothnia, and Gulf of Finland, between Sweden and Russia

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.

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

Population

5,223,442 (July 2005 est.)

Ethnic Groups

Finn 93.4%, Swede 5.7%, Russian 0.4%, Estonian 0.2%, Roma 0.2%, Sami 0.1%

Religions

Evangelical Lutheran 89%, Russian Orthodox 1%, none 9%, other 1%

Languages

Finnish 93.4% (official), Swedish 5.9% (official), small Sami- and Russian-speaking minorities

Map of Finland

Large map of Finland
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