Facts about Finland
|Population||5,244,749 (July 2008 est.|
|Time zone||UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begin|
Northern Europe, bordering the Baltic Sea, Gulf of Bothnia, and Gulf of Finland, between Sweden and Russia
General info about Finland
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 among the highest in Western Europe. A member of the European Union since 1995, Finland was the only Nordic state to join the euro system at its initiation in January 1999.
Finnish 91.5% (official), Swedish 5.5% (official), other 3% (small Sami- and Russian-speaking minorities) (2006)
Finn 93.4%, Swede 5.6%, Russian 0.5%, Estonian 0.3%, Roma (Gypsy) 0.1%, Sami 0.1% (2006)
HIV/AIDS prevalence rate
less than 0.1% (2003 est.)
cold temperate; potentially subarctic but comparatively mild because of moderating influence of the North Atlantic Current, Baltic Sea, and more than 60,000 lakes
timber, iron ore, copper, lead, zinc, chromite, nickel, gold, silver, limestone
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; exports equal nearly 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. Although Finland has been one of the best performing economies within the EU in recent years and its banks and financial markets have avoided the worst of global financial crisis, the world slowdown has hit export growth and domestic demand and will serve as a brake on economic growth in 2009 and 2010. Unemployment has dropped sharply in recent years, but is likely to drift upwards. Long-term challenges include the need to address a rapidly aging population and decreasing productivity that threaten competitiveness, fiscal sustainability, and economic growth.
air pollution from manufacturing and power plants contributing to acid rain; water pollution from industrial wastes, agricultural chemicals; habitat loss threatens wildlife populations
Cities in Finlandaanekoski espoo eura eurajoki forssa hameenlinna hamina hanko harjavalta haukipudas heinola helsinki hollola huittinen hyvinkaa iisalmi ilmajoki imatra jamsa janakkala jarvenpaa joensuu joutseno jyvaskyla kaarina kajaani kangasala kankaanpaa kauhajoki kemi kemijarvi kempele kerava keuruu kirkkonummi kokemaki kokkola kotka kouvola kristiinankaupunki kuopio kurikka kuusamo kuusankoski lahti lappeenranta lapua laukaa lempaala lieksa lieto lohja loviisa maarianhamina mantsala mikkeli muhos mustasaari naantali nakkila nastola nivala nokia noormarkku nurmijarvi orimattila oulainen oulu parainen pietarsaari pirkkala pori porvoo raahe raisio rauma riihimaki rovaniemi sakyla salo savonlinna seinajoki siilinjarvi sipoo tammisaari tampere tornio turku tuusula ulvila uusikaupunki vaasa valkeakoski valkeala vammala varkaus vihti ylivieska ylojarvi