Suomen Tasavalta
      (Republic of Finland)

      Name may derive from the ancient Fenni peoples who are first described as living in northeastern Europe in the first centuries A.D.

      Ruled by Sweden from the 12th to the 19th centuries and by Russia from 1809, Finland finally won its independence in 1917.

      The Finns have made a remarkable transformation from a farm/forest economy to a diversified modern industrial economy. A member of the European Union since 1995, Finland was the only Nordic state to join the euro single currency at its initiation in January 1999.

      Chief of State: President Sauli Niinisto (since 1 March 2012).

      Head of government: Prime Minister Juha Sipila (since 28 May 2015).

      Independence Day (6 December) is the National Holiday.

      Capital of Finland is Helsinki (northernmost national capital on European continent).

      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).

      Finland's flag shall take you back

      Source~The World Factbook

      This page was last updated on 02 Finland, 2018