Finland in facts

People

  • Population: 5.4 million, 15.8 inhabitants per km² (40.5 per square mile)
  • Life expectancy: Men 76 years, women 83 years
  • Languages: Official languages are Finnish (spoken by 91%) and Swedish (5.4%). Sámi is the mother tongue of about 1,700 people, members of the indigenous Sámi people of northern Lapland
  • Religion: Christianity; 79.9 % Lutheran and about 1.1% Orthodox. In practice society is fairly secularised

State & Government

  • Independence: Declared on December 6, 1917. Previously a grand duchy in the Russian empire for 108 years, and a part of Sweden for 600 years before that
  • Form of government: Republic, parliamentary democracy
  • Parliament: 200 members in one chamber, elected every 4 years in a direct vote (next elections in 2015) 
  • Cabinet: Multiparty coalition cabinet. The current Cabinet is run by Prime Minister Alexander Stubb 
  • Head of State: President of the Republic, elected every 6 years, two-term maximum. Currently Mr Sauli Niinistö, elected in 2012.
  • International cooperation: Member of United Nations since 1955 and European Union since 1995

Society & Economy

  • Key features: High standard of education, social security and healthcare, all financed by the state
  • GDP per capita: 35,571 euros (2012) 
  • Main exports: Electrotechnical goods, metal products, machinery, transport equipment, wood and paper products, chemicals
  • Main imports: Raw materials, investment goods, energy, consumer goods (for example cars and textiles)
  • Currency unit: Euro

Geography & Climate

  • Area: 338,424 km² (131,985 square miles), the fifth-largest country in Western Europe
  • Greatest length from north to south: 1,160 km (720 miles)
  • Greatest width from east to west: 540 km (335 miles)
  • Capital: Helsinki (1.25 million inhabitants in metropolitan area)
  • Climate: Great contrasts – cold winters and fairly warm summers (2013 extremes: coldest day in Sodankylä -39.7 C/-39.5 F, warmest day in Liperi 32.4 C/90.3 F)

Sources: Statistics Finland, National Board of Customs, Population Register Center, State Provincial Office of Lapland, Localfinland.fi