Form of Government: Republic
Area: 338 455 sq km
Population: 5 517 919 inhab. (estimate 2018)
Density: 16.30 inhab./sq km
Coordinates: lat. 70° - 60° N; long. 19° - 32° E
Capital: Helsinki/Helsingfors (capital) 648 042 inhab. (2018); Helsinki 1 268 296 inhab. (2017), urban agglomeration
Currency: euro (100 cents)
Human development index: 0.92 (rank: 15)
President: Sauli Väinämö Niinistö (KOK), since 1 March 2012, re-elected 28 January 2018
Prime Minister: Antti Rinne (SDP), since 6 June 2019
Parliament: seats based on the elections of 14 April 2019: SDP (Social Democratic Party), 40; Finns Party (populist), 39; KOK (National Coalition Party, nationalist), 38; Centre Party (liberal conservative), 31; Green League (ecologist), 20; VAS (Left Alliance), 16; others, 16
Internet: www.stat.fi (Statistics Finland)
Member of Council of Europe, EBRD, EU, Nordic Council, OAS observer, OECD, OSCE, UN, WTO
International license plate code FIN
International dialling code 00358
Travel vaccinations requirement none
Electricity (Voltage) 230
Driving side rigth
Internet code .fi
DST duration (start-end) late March-late October
Annual average temperature (°C) Helsinki 5.6; Sodankylä -0.8
Average temperature in January/July (°C) Helsinki -4.5/15; Sodankylä -14.5/12
Daily sunshine hours in June/December (average) Helsinki 10/0.5; Sodankylä 9/0
Annual average precipitation (mm) Helsinki 650; Sodankylä 520
Days of rainfall (annual average) Helsinki 113; Sodankylä 108
Politics and current affairs
The elections on 14 April 2019 were narrowly won by the Social Democratic Party (SDP), with 17.7% of the votes, followed closely by the Finns Party, which took 17.4%. On 6 June 2019, a large coalition was established, led by Antti Rinne (SDP) and supported by five parties (excluding the populists). The European elections on 26 May were instead won by the National Coalition Party with 20.8%. The Green League did well, rising to 16%, while SDP won 14.6% of the votes.
Finland is bordered by Norway to the north, Russia to the east and south-east, and Sweden to the north-west. The Gulf of Finland and the Gulf of Bothnia, both part of the Baltic Sea, lie off its south and west coasts.
The Åland Islands (Ahvenanmaa in Finnish), which have belonged to Finland since 1921, are inhabited by a predominantly Swedish-speaking population. Åland is the largest island at 689 km². The Finnish landscape is mainly flat and there are about 40 000 lakes in all, accounting for approximately 10% of its total surface area. The landscape is hilly north of the River Oulu and Lake Oulu, and in Lapland, towards the north-eastern border, the landscape is mountainous (Mount Halti, 1328 m). The country has a cold, temperate climate.
Finland became independent on 6 December 1917. After the Soviet invasion in 1940, it was forced to cede part of Karelia to the USSR, together with other border areas. In 1944, after the defeat of Nazi Germany, with whom it had been allied, Finland also ceded to the USSR the Petsamo (Pechengsky) fiord area, its only outlet to the Barents Sea. In 1948, Finland signed the Pact of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance with the USSR, which was renewed with Russia in 1992. Finland joined the EU in 1994.
According to the Constitution of 17 July 1919, Finland is a parliamentary republic. The Parliament (Eduskunta) is composed of 200 members elected by direct suffrage for a four-year term. The President, who is elected by direct suffrage for six years, has far-reaching powers in the sphere of foreign policy.
The Finnish Defence Forces include the army, the navy (includes Coastal Defence Forces), the air-force and the Border Guards. Military service is compulsory.
Finland is not part of NATO, but in 2018 took part in a joint military exercise in the Baltic Sea.
The judicial system is based on Swedish Law.
|Helsinki||1 268 296||inhab.||2017|
|Population by age and gender (% - 2018)|
The population is concentrated in the south of the country (on about one-tenth of the total surface area). Finnish (Suomi), which is spoken by 90% of the population, belongs to the Finno-Ugric family of languages.
|Foreigners, total||257 572||units||2018|
In 2018, economic growth slowed to 2.4%, which should be maintained in 2019-20. Private consumption and investments, especially in the building sector, support the economy.
|Agricultural prod. index (2004-06=100)||97.34||index||2016|
|Balance of trade||-2 421.6||M US$||2018|
|Active population||2 741 700||units||2018|
|Active population, Females||48.1||%||2018|
|Unemployment rate, Females||47.5||%||2018|
|Expenses||60 272||M LCU||2018|
|Revenues||57 539||M LCU||2018|
|Currency in circulation||20.84||BN LCU||2018|
|International reserves||10 309.2||M US$||2018|
Despite the extremes of climate, yields are high. The main cereals are barley and oats; in the south, the main crops are fruit, vegetables and sugar-beet.
Forests continue to play a major role in the economy of the country. Exploitation of the forests is organized so that, for every tree felled, a new one is planted.
Livestock and fishing.
The main type of livestock farming is pigs and cattle, which boosts the dairy industry, but there is also extensive farming of animals for fur.
Reindeer farming, practised in the northern regions of Finland by the Lapp community using modern farming equipment, is still fairly important.
Fishing is an important industry, also on the lakes.
|barley||1 460.1||1000 t||2017|
|cereals, total||3 422.13||1000 t||2017|
|roots and tubers, total||611.9||1000 t||2017|
|beans, green||0.087||1000 t||2017|
|peas, dry||9.1||1000 t||2017|
|sugar beet||430.3||1000 t||2017|
|fruits, total||21.009||1000 t||2014|
|carrots and turnips||2.779||1000 ha||2017|
|beans, green||0.047||1000 ha||2017|
|peas, dry||4.2||1000 ha||2017|
|sugar beet||11.8||1000 ha||2017|
|timber||63 294 712||m³||2017|
|cattle and buffaloes||893.178||1000 heads||2017|
|pigs||1 135.598||1000 heads||2017|
|equines, total||74.4||1000 heads||2017|
|birds||8 339||1000 heads||2017|
|crustaceans and molluscs||276||t||2017|
|freshwater fishes||21 950.1||t||2017|
The main products of the mining industry are copper, cobalt and talc (of which Finland is one of the largest producers). In addition, gold, nickel, zinc and chromite are mined.
Energy and industry.
There are four active nuclear reactors (a fifth was approved in 2019). The use of coal to produce energy will be banned starting in 2029. A natural gas terminal was opened in Tornio. The bidirectional gas pipeline Baltic Connector, between Finland and Estonia, was finished in 2019, allowing for a greater variety in suppliers rather than solely depending on Russian imports. Two oil refineries are active at Porvoo and Naantali.
There are important science parks at Oulu, in the north, and at Espoo, near Helsinki. Industry is characterized by a great tendency to exports. The main sectors are electronics, telecommunications, shipbuilding, chemicals, fuel and ICT. The steel industry continues to play a significant role. In 2019, the Finnish state increased its stake in Nokia to 3.7%.
Other important industries include timber, cellulose and paper, of which Finland is one of the world’s largest producers. Wool and cotton are the basis of the most important textile industries. Other active segments include leather, matches, cement, tobacco, sugar and glass.
|natural gas||8||M m³||2016|
|peat||9 900||1000 t||2018|
|chromite||1 070||1000 t||2016|
|- nuclear||22 280||M kWh||2016|
|- hydro||15 634||M kWh||2016|
|- thermal||6 911||1000 kW||2016|
|- other renew.||3 348||1000 kW||2016|
|total net generation||66 541.18||M kWh||2016|
|total installed capacity||16 272||1000 kW||2016|
|watches and clocks||6 000||no.||2016|
|air conditioners||168 000||no.||2016|
|petrol||5 578.7||1000 t||2014|
|artificial tow||0.07||1000 t||2013|
|cotton fabrics||0.036||M m²||2016|
|footwear||1 006 000||pairs||2016|
|beer of barley||401||1000 t||2014|
|coconut oil||0.004||1000 t||2013|
|chemical pulp||7 756.227||1000 t||2017|
|chemi-mechanical pulp||10 425||1000 t||2017|
|cement||1 300||1000 t||2016|
|chemicals production||2 601.9||M US$||2016|
|food, beverages and tobacco production||3 538||M US$||2016|
(M US$ - 2017)
machinery 8 547, paper and paperboard 8 030, electric and electronic equipment 5 739, iron and steel 5 362, petroleum products 5 043, vehicles and parts thereof 4 770, timber 3 218, technical and electro-medical appliances 3 012, chemicals 2 627, plastics 2 382, wood pulp 2 224, ships and boats 1 694
Finance and banking.
The Bank of Finland is the country’s central bank. The Helsinki stock exchange is part of the NASDAQ OMX group.
|manufactures||67.448||% of goods exports||2018|
|fuels||8.342||% of goods exports||2018|
|Germany||11 156||M US$||2018|
|Sweden||7 691||M US$||2018|
|Germany||11 905||M US$||2018|
|Russia||10 892||M US$||2018|
Tourism. Tourism is mainly developed in Lapland (thanks also to winter sports) and in the area of the lakes.
|Expenditures||6 675||M US$||2017|
|Number of arrivals||3 180 000||units||2017|
|Civil aviation, km flown||107 800 000||km flown||2004|
|Civil aviation, passengers carried||14 831.4||1000 units||2017|
|Broadband subscribers||309.492||per 1000 pop.||2017|
|Computers||500.4||per 1000 pop.||2005|
Social and welfare
|Expected years of schooling||19.3||years||2016|
|Teachers, primary level||26 996||units||2016|
|Teachers, secondary level||40 768||units||2016|
|Social protection spending||45.8||% of total expenses||2016|
|Social protection spending||28.7||% of GDP||2018|
|Hospital beds||4||per 1000 pop.||2016|
|Physicians||3.2||per 1000 pop.||2014|
|HIV||0.1||% of adults||2011|
|Museums, visitors||7 100 000||units||2018|
|Research and development spending||2.76||% of GDP||2017|
|Access to clean fuels and technologies for cooking||100||%||2016|
|Access to electricity||100||%||2017|