Location: Northern Europe, bordering the Baltic Sea, Gulf of Bothnia, and Gulf of Finland, between Sweden and Russia.
The area is approximately 338,145 sq km (304,473 sq km land. 33,672 sq km water). Terrain is mostly low, flat to rolling plains interspersed with lakes and low hills. Climate consists of cold temperate; potentially subarctic, but comparatively mild because of moderating influence of the North Atlantic Current, Baltic Sea, and more than 60,000 lakes.
Population: About 5,498,211 people live in Finland.
The majority of residents are Finn(s). Other ethnic groups include Swede, Sami, Russian, Estonian, and Roma (Gypsy). The population is concentrated on the small southwestern coastal plain. Main languages spoken are Finnish and Swedish, as well as Sami and Russian-speaking minorities.
Religions: Lutheran, other Protestant denominations, Orthodox, and other/none.
Agriculture: Products include barley, wheat, sugar beets, potatoes; dairy cattle, and fish.
Exports (commodities): Products include machinery and equipment, chemicals, metals; timber, paper, pulp.
Economy: Finland has a highly industrialized, largely free-market economy, with per capita output almost as high as that of Austria, Belgium, the Netherlands, or Sweden. Its key economic sector is manufacturing - principally the wood, metals, engineering, telecommunications, and electronics industries. Trade is important, with exports equaling more than one-third 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.
Continued recession within the EU dampened the economy in 2012-13. The recession affected general government finances and the debt ratio, turning previously strong budget surpluses into deficits, but Finland took action to ensure it that it met the EU deficit targets in 2013 and retained its triple-A credit rating. Finland's main challenge will be to stimulate growth while faced with weak export demand in the EU and its own government austerity measures. Longer-term, Finland must address a rapidly aging population and decreasing productivity in traditional industries that threaten competitiveness, fiscal sustainability, and economic growth.
Currency: Euro (EUR).
This page was last updated on 02 Finland, 2018