Finland Travel Information

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Finland's National Parks

Facts About Finland

Background: Ruled by Sweden from the 12th to the 19th centuries and by Russia from 1809, Finland finally won its independence in 1917. During World War II, it was able to successfully defend its freedom and fend off invasions by the Soviet Union and Germany. In the subsequent half century, the Finns have 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.
Government type: republic
Capital: Helsinki
Currency: 1 markka (FMk) or Finmark = 100 pennia

Geography 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
total: 337,030 sq km
land: 305,470 sq km
water: 31,560 sq km
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: 0%
permanent pastures: 0%
forests and woodland: 76%
other: 16% (1993 est.)
Irrigated land: 640 sq km (1993 est.)
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-Sulphur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, 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-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol
Geography - note: long boundary with Russia; Helsinki is northernmost national capital on European continent; population concentrated on small southwestern coastal plain.

More Geography

People of Finland

Population: 5,223,442 (July 2005 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years:  18%
15-64 years:  66.97% 
65 years and over:  15.03%
Population growth rate: 0.16% 
Birth rate: 10.69 births/1,000 population 
Death rate: 9.75 deaths/1,000 population 
Net migration rate: 0.61 migrant(s)/1,000 population 
Infant mortality rate: 3.79 deaths/1,000 live births 
Life expectancy at birth:
total population:  77.58 years
male:  73.92 years
female:  81.36 years 
Total fertility rate: 1.7 children born/woman 
noun: Finn(s)
adjective: Finnish
Ethnic groups: Finn 93%, Swede 6%, Sami 0.11%, Roma 0.12%, Tatar 0.02%
Religions: Evangelical Lutheran 89%, Greek Orthodox 1%, none 9%, other 1%
Languages: Finnish 93.4% (official), Swedish 5.9% (official), small Lapp- and Russian-speaking minorities
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 100% (1980 est.)

SOURCE: The World Factbook

Mother Earth Travel > Country Index > Finland > Map Economy History