Photoatlas Free interactive atlas with photos, facts, links and maps from around the world

  Flag of Finland  Information on Finland
Country Listing
Submit your own photo
Chat around the globe
Country Facts
Map of Finland


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

total: 337,030 sq km
land: 305,470 sq km
water: 31,560 sq km

Area—comparative: slightly smaller than Montana

Land boundaries:
total: 2,628 km
border countries: Norway 729 km, Sweden 586 km, Russia 1,313 km

Coastline: 1,126 km (excludes islands and coastal indentations)

Maritime claims:
contiguous zone: 6 nm
continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation
exclusive fishing zone: 12 nm
territorial sea: 12 nm (in the Gulf of Finland—3 nm)

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, copper, zinc, iron ore, silver

Land use:
arable land: 8%
permanent crops: NA%
permanent pastures: 0%
forests and woodland: 76%
other: 16% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: 640 sq km (1993 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-Sulphur 85, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: Air Pollution-Sulphur 94

Geography—note: long boundary with Russia; Helsinki is northernmost national capital on European continent; population concentrated on small southwestern coastal plain


[Top of Page]

Population: 5,149,242 (July 1998 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 19% (male 488,974; female 469,343)
15-64 years: 67% (male 1,736,883; female 1,700,466)
65 years and over: 14% (male 284,929; female 468,647) (July 1998 est.)

Population growth rate: 0.2% (1998 est.)

Birth rate: 11.24 births/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Death rate: 9.65 deaths/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Net migration rate: 0.45 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1998 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: 0.61 male(s)/female (1998 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 3.82 deaths/1,000 live births (1998 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 77.15 years
male: 73.61 years
female: 80.83 years (1998 est.)

Total fertility rate: 1.73 children born/woman (1998 est.)

noun: Finn(s)
adjective: Finnish

Ethnic groups: Finn 93%, Swede 6%, Lapp 0.11%, Gypsy 0.12%, Tatar 0.02%

Religions: Evangelical Lutheran 89%, Greek Orthodox 1%, none 9%, other 1%

Languages: Finnish 93.5% (official), Swedish 6.3% (official), small Lapp- and Russian-speaking minorities

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 100% (1980 est.)
male: NA%
female: NA%


[Top of Page]

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

Data code: FI

Government type: republic

National capital: Helsinki

Administrative divisions: 6 provinces (laanit, singular—laani); Aland, Etela-Suomen Laani, Ita-Suomen Lanni, Lansi-Suomen Laani, Lappi, Oulun Laani

Independence: 6 December 1917 (from Russia)

National holiday: Independence Day, 6 December (1917)

Constitution: 17 July 1919

Legal system: civil law system based on Swedish law; Supreme Court may request legislation interpreting or modifying laws; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, with reservations

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:
chief of state: President Martti AHTISAARI (since 1 March 1994)
head of government: Prime Minister Paavo LIPPONEN (since 13 April 1995) and Deputy Prime Minister Sauli NIINISTO (since 13 April 1995)
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 31 January-6 February 1994 (next to be held NA January 2000); prime minister and deputy prime minister appointed by the president
election results: Martti AHTISAARI elected president; percent of vote—Martti AHTISAARI 54%, Elisabeth REHN 46%

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 19 March 1995 (next to be held NA March 1999)
election results: percent of vote by party—Social Democratic Party 28.3%, Center Party 19.9%, National Coalition (Conservative) Party 17.9%, Leftist Alliance (Communist) 11.2%, Swedish People's Party 5.1%, Green League 6.5%, Ecology Party 0.3%, Rural 1.3%, Finnish Christian League 3.0%, Liberal People's Party 0.6%, Young Finns 2.8%; seats by party—Social Democratic Party 63, Center Party 44, National Coalition (Conservative) Party 39, Leftist Alliance (Communist) 22, Swedish People's Party 11, Green League 9, Ecology Party 1, Rural 1, Finnish Christian League 7, Young Finns 2, Aaland Islands 1

Judicial branch: Supreme Court or Korkein Oikeus, judges appointed by the president

Political parties and leaders:
government coalition: Social Democratic Party [Paavo LIPPONEN]; National Coalition (conservative) Party [Sauli NIINISTO]; Leftist Alliance (Communist) composed of People's Democratic League and Democratic Alternative [Claes ANDERSSON]; Swedish People's Party [(Johan) Ole NORRBACK]; Green League [Pekka HAAVISTO]
other: Center Party [Esko AHO]; Finnish Christian League [C. P. Bjarne KALLIS]; Rural Party [Raimo VISTBACKA]; Liberal People's Party [Pekka RYTILA]; Greens Ecological Party or EPV [Eugen PARKATTI]; Young Finns [Risto PENTTILA]

Political pressure groups and leaders: Finnish Communist Party-Unity [Yrjo HAKANEN]; Constitutional Rightist Party; Finnish Pensioners Party; Communist Workers Party [Timo LAHDENMAKI]

International organization participation: AfDB, AG (observer), AsDB, Australia Group, BIS, CBSS, CCC, CE, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, ECE, EIB, ESA, EU, FAO, G- 9, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, MTCR, NAM (guest), NC, NEA, NIB, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OSCE, PCA, PFP, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNFICYP, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIFIL, UNIKOM, UNMIBH, UNMOGIP, UNMOP, UNPREDEP, UNTSO, UPU, WEU (observer), WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO, ZC

Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Jaakko Tapani LAAJAVA
chancery: 3301 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 298-5800
FAX: [1] (202) 298-6030
consulate(s) general: Los Angeles and New York

Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Derek N. SHEARER
embassy: Itainen Puistotie 14A, FIN-00140, Helsinki
mailing address: APO AE 09723
telephone: [358] (9) 171931
FAX: [358] (9) 174681

Flag description: white with a blue cross that extends 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)


[Top of Page]

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, and engineering industries. Trade is important, with the export of goods representing about 30% of GDP. 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. The economy has come back from the recession of 1990-92, which had been caused by economic overheating, depressed foreign markets, and the dismantling of the barter system between Finland and the former Soviet Union under which Soviet oil and gas had been exchanged for Finnish manufactured goods. The Finns voted in an October 1994 referendum to enter the EU, and Finland officially joined the Union on 1 January 1995. Attempts to cut the unacceptably high rate of unemployment and increasing integration with Western Europe will dominate the economic picture over the next few years. Despite high unemployment and moderate GDP growth of 3.9% anticipated for 1998, inflation is forecast to rise to 2.5%

GDP: purchasing power parity—$102.1 billion (1997 est.)

GDP—real growth rate: 4.6% (1997 est.)

GDP—per capita: purchasing power parity—$20,000 (1997 est.)

GDP—composition by sector:
agriculture: 7%
industry: 37%
services: 56% (1995)

Inflation rate—consumer price index: 1.2% (1997 est.)

Labor force:
total: 2.533 million
by occupation: public services 30.4%, industry 20.9%, commerce 15.0%, finance, insurance, and business services 10.2%, agriculture and forestry 8.6%, transport and communications 7.7%, construction 7.2%

Unemployment rate: 14.6% (1997 est.)

revenues: $33 billion
expenditures: $40 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (1996 est.)

Industries: metal products, shipbuilding, pulp and paper, copper refining, foodstuffs, chemicals, textiles, clothing

Industrial production growth rate: 7.4% (1995)

Electricity—capacity: 14.143 million kW (1995)

Electricity—production: 58.626 billion kWh (1995)

Electricity—consumption per capita: 13,181 kWh (1995)

Agriculture—products: cereals, sugar beets, potatoes; dairy cattle; annual fish catch about 160,000 metric tons

total value: $38.4 billion (f.o.b., 1996)
commodities: paper and pulp, machinery, chemicals, metals, timber
partners: EU 46.5% (Germany 13.4%, UK 10.4%), Sweden 10.1%, US 6.7%, Japan 2.6%, Russia 4.8% (1995)

total value: $29.3 billion (c.i.f., 1996)
commodities: foodstuffs, petroleum and petroleum products, chemicals, transport equipment, iron and steel, machinery, textile yarn and fabrics, fodder grains
partners: EU 44% (Germany 16.6%, UK 8.0%), Sweden 11.7%, US 7.1%, Russia 7.1%, Japan 6.3% (1995)

Debt—external: $30 billion (December 1993)

Economic aid:
donor: ODA, $355 million (1993)

Currency: 1 markka (FMk) or Finmark = 100 pennia

Exchange rates: markkaa (FMk) per US$1—5.4948 (January 19987), 5.1914 (1997), 4.5936 (1996), 4.3667 (1995), 5.2235 (1994), 5.7123 (1993)

Fiscal year: calendar year


[Top of Page]

Telephones: 2.5 million (1995 est.)

Telephone system: good service from cable and microwave radio relay network
domestic: cable and microwave radio relay
international: 1 submarine cable; 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 6, FM 105, shortwave 0

Radios: 4.98 million (1991 est.)

Television broadcast stations: 235

Televisions: 1.92 million (1995 est.)


[Top of Page]

total: 5,859 km
broad gauge: 5,859 km 1.524-m gauge (2,073 km electrified; 480 km double- or more-track) (1996)

total: 77,782 km
paved: 49,780 km (including 431 km of expressways)
unpaved: 28,002 km (1996 est.)

Waterways: 6,675 km total (including Saimaa Canal); 3,700 km suitable for steamers

Pipelines: natural gas 580 km

Ports and harbors: Hamina, Helsinki, Kokkola, Kotka, Loviisa, Oulu, Pori, Rauma, Turku, Uusikaupunki, Varkaus

Merchant marine:
total: 93 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 1,069,794 GRT/1,127,087 DWT
ships by type: bulk 8, cargo 22, chemical tanker 5, oil tanker 11, passenger 1, railcar carrier 1, roll-on/roll-off cargo 34, short-sea passenger 11 (1997 est.)

Airports: 158 (1997 est.)

Airports—with paved runways:
total: 69
over 3,047 m: 3
2,438 to 3,047 m: 23
1,524 to 2,437 m: 13
914 to 1,523 m: 21
under 914 m: 9 (1997 est.)

Airports—with unpaved runways:
total: 89
914 to 1,523 m: 5
under 914 m: 84 (1997 est.)




Click Here To Order National Geographic: The Photographs