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Finland Country Information

 
Finland
Flag of Finland
Map of Finland
Introduction Finland
Background:
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.
Geography 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
Map references:
Europe
Area:
total: 338,145 sq km
land: 304,473 sq km
water: 33,672 sq km
Area - comparative:
slightly smaller than Montana
Land boundaries:
total: 2,654 km
border countries: Norway 727 km, Sweden 614 km, Russia 1,313 km
Coastline:
1,250 km
Maritime claims:
territorial sea: 12 nm (in the Gulf of Finland - 3 nm)
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive fishing zone: 12 nm; extends to continental shelf boundary with Sweden
continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation
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, iron ore, copper, lead, zinc, chromite, nickel, gold, silver, limestone
Land use:
arable land: 6.54%
permanent crops: 0.02%
other: 93.44% (2005)
Irrigated land:
640 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources:
110 cu km (2005)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):
total: 2.33 cu km/yr (14%/84%/3%)
per capita: 444 cu m/yr (1999)
Natural hazards:
NA
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-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Sulfur 85, Air Pollution-Sulfur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note:
long boundary with Russia; Helsinki is northernmost national capital on European continent; population concentrated on small southwestern coastal plain
People Finland
Population:
5,244,749 (July 2008 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 16.6% (male 443,738/female 427,875)
15-64 years: 66.8% (male 1,773,232/female 1,731,808)
65 years and over: 16.6% (male 349,826/female 518,270) (2008 est.)
Median age:
total: 41.8 years
male: 40.3 years
female: 43.4 years (2008 est.)
Population growth rate:
0.112% (2008 est.)
Birth rate:
10.39 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Death rate:
10 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Net migration rate:
0.73 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.04 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.68 male(s)/female
total population: 0.96 male(s)/female (2008 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 3.5 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 3.81 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 3.17 deaths/1,000 live births (2008 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 78.82 years
male: 75.31 years
female: 82.46 years (2008 est.)
Total fertility rate:
1.73 children born/woman (2008 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
less than 0.1% (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
1,500 (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
fewer than 100 (2003 est.)
Nationality:
noun: Finn(s)
adjective: Finnish
Ethnic groups:
Finn 93.4%, Swede 5.6%, Russian 0.5%, Estonian 0.3%, Roma (Gypsy) 0.1%, Sami 0.1% (2006)
Religions:
Lutheran Church of Finland 82.5%, Orthodox Church 1.1%, other Christian 1.1%, other 0.1%, none 15.1% (2006)
Languages:
Finnish 91.5% (official), Swedish 5.5% (official), other 3% (small Sami- and Russian-speaking minorities) (2006)
Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 100%
male: 100%
female: 100% (2000 est.)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
total: 17 years
male: 17 years
female: 18 years (2006)
Education expenditures:
6.4% of GDP (2005)
Government Finland
Country name:
conventional long form: Republic of Finland
conventional short form: Finland
local long form: Suomen tasavalta/Republiken Finland
local short form: Suomi/Finland
Government type:
republic
Capital:
name: Helsinki
geographic coordinates: 60 10 N, 24 56 E
time difference: UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October
Administrative divisions:
6 provinces (laanit, singular - laani); Aland, Etela-Suomen Laani (Southern Finland), Ita-Suomen Laani (Eastern Finland), Lansi-Suomen Laani (Western Finland), Lappi (Lapland), Oulun Laani
Independence:
6 December 1917 (from Russia)
National holiday:
Independence Day, 6 December (1917)
Constitution:
1 March 2000
Legal system:
civil law system based on Swedish law; the president may request the Supreme Court to review laws; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations
Suffrage:
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
chief of state: President Tarja HALONEN (since 1 March 2000)
head of government: Prime Minister Matti VANHANEN (since 24 June 2003); Deputy Prime Minister Jyrki KATAINEN (since 19 April 2007)
cabinet: Council of State or Valtioneuvosto appointed by the president, responsible to parliament
elections: president elected by popular vote for a six-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held 15 January 2006 (next to be held in January 2012); the president appoints the prime minister and deputy prime minister from the majority party or the majority coalition after parliamentary elections and the parliament must approve the appointment; Prime Minister VANHANEN reelected 17 April 2007
election results: percent of vote - Tarja HALONEN (SDP) 46.3%, Sauli NIINISTO (Kok) 24.1%, Matti Vanhanen (Kesk) 18.6%, Heidi HAUTALA (VIHR) 3.5%; a runoff election between HALONEN and NIINISTO was held 29 January 2006 - HALONEN 51.8%, NIINISTO 48.2%; Matti VANHANEN relected prime minister; election results 121-71
note: government coalition - Kesk, KOK, VIHR, and SFP
Legislative branch:
unicameral Parliament or Eduskunta (200 seats; members are elected by popular vote on a proportional basis to serve four-year terms)
elections: last held 18 March 2007 (next to be held March 2011)
election results: percent of vote by party - Kesk 23.1%, Kok 22.3%, SDP 21.4%, VAS 8.8%, VIHR 8.5%, KD 4.9%, SFP 4.5%, True Finns 4.1%, other 3.4%; seats by party - Kesk 51, Kok 50, SDP 45, VAS 17, VIHR 15, SFP 9, KD 7, True Finns 5, other 1
Judicial branch:
Supreme Court or Korkein Oikeus (judges appointed by the president)
Political parties and leaders:
Center Party or Kesk [Matti VANHANEN]; Christian Democrats or KD [Paivi RASANEN]; Green Party or VIHR [Tarja CRONBERG]; Left Alliance or VAS [Martti KORHONEN] (composed of People's Democratic League and Democratic Alternative); National Coalition (conservative) Party or Kok [Jyrki KATAINEN]; Social Democratic Party or SDP [Eero HEINALUOMA]; Swedish People's Party or SFP [Stefan WALLIN]; True Finns [Timo SOINI]
International organization participation:
ADB (nonregional members), AfDB (nonregional members), Arctic Council, Australia Group, BIS, CBSS, CE, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, EIB, EMU, ESA, EU, FAO, G-9, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, NAM (guest), NC, NEA, NIB, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OPCW, OSCE, Paris Club, PCA, PFP, Schengen Convention, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNFICYP, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIFIL, UNMEE, UNMIL, UNMIS, UNMOGIP, UNTSO, UPU, WCO, WEU (observer), WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC
Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Pekka LINTU
chancery: 3301 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 298-5800
FAX: [1] (202) 298-6030
consulate(s) general: Los Angeles, New York
Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Barbara BARRETT
embassy: Itainen Puistotie 14B, 00140 Helsinki
mailing address: APO AE 09723
telephone: [358] (9) 616250
FAX: [358] (9) 6162 5800
Flag description:
white with a blue cross extending to the edges of the flag; the vertical part of the cross is shifted to the hoist side in the style of the Dannebrog (Danish flag)
Economy Finland
Economy - overview:
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. High unemployment remains a persistent problem. In 2007 Russia announced plans to impose high tariffs on raw timber exported to Finland. The Finnish pulp and paper industry will be threatened if these duties are put into place in 2008 and 2009, and the matter is now being handled by the European Union.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
$188.4 billion (2007 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate):
$245 billion (2007 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
4.5% (2007 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP):
$36,000 (2007 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 3.1%
industry: 32.6%
services: 64.3% (2007 est.)
Labor force:
2.675 million (2007 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture and forestry 4.4%, industry 18.6%, construction 6%, commerce 16.3%, finance, insurance, and business services 13.9%, transport and communications 7.6%, public services 33.2% (2004)
Unemployment rate:
6.9% (2007 est.)
Population below poverty line:
NA%
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 4%
highest 10%: 22.6% (2000)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
26 (2005)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
2.5% (2007 est.)
Investment (gross fixed):
20.3% of GDP (2007 est.)
Budget:
revenues: $62.02 billion
expenditures: $58.16 billion (2007)
Public debt:
35.9% of GDP (2007 est.)
Agriculture - products:
barley, wheat, sugar beets, potatoes; dairy cattle; fish
Industries:
metals and metal products, electronics, machinery and scientific instruments, shipbuilding, pulp and paper, foodstuffs, chemicals, textiles, clothing
Industrial production growth rate:
8.1% (2007 est.)
Electricity - production:
73.47 billion kWh (2007 est.)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 39%
hydro: 18.7%
nuclear: 30.4%
other: 11.8% (2001)
Electricity - consumption:
88.27 billion kWh (2007 est.)
Electricity - exports:
1.059 billion kWh (2007 est.)
Electricity - imports:
15.85 billion kWh (2007 est.)
Oil - production:
8,951 bbl/day (2005 est.)
Oil - consumption:
219,700 bbl/day (2005 est.)
Oil - exports:
126,300 bbl/day (January-September 2007 est.)
Oil - imports:
281,300 bbl/day (January-September 2007 est.)
Oil - proved reserves:
NA bbl
Natural gas - production:
0 cu m (2007 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:
3.909 billion cu m (2007 est.)
Natural gas - exports:
0 cu m (2007 est.)
Natural gas - imports:
4.123 billion cu m (2007 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves:
0 cu m (1 January 2006)
Current account balance:
$11.4 billion (2007 est.)
Exports:
$89.91 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)
Exports - commodities:
machinery and equipment, chemicals, metals; timber, paper, pulp
Exports - partners:
Germany 10.9%, Sweden 10.7%, Russia 10.3%, US 6.4%, UK 5.8%, Netherlands 5.6% (2007)
Imports:
$78.05 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)
Imports - commodities:
foodstuffs, petroleum and petroleum products, chemicals, transport equipment, iron and steel, machinery, textile yarn and fabrics, grains
Imports - partners:
Germany 15.8%, Russia 14%, Sweden 13.7%, Netherlands 6.8%, China 5.5%, UK 4.9% (2007)
Economic aid - donor:
ODA, $1.023 billion (2007)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$8.385 billion (2007)
Debt - external:
$271.2 billion (30 June 2007)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:
$85.24 billion (2007 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:
$113 billion (2007 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares:
$1.095 trillion (January 2008)
Currency (code):
euro (EUR)
Currency code:
EUR
Exchange rates:
euros per US dollar - 0.7345 (2007), 0.7964 (2006), 0.8041 (2005), 0.8054 (2004), 0.886 (2003)
Fiscal year:
calendar year
Communications Finland
Telephones - main lines in use:
1.74 million (2007)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
6.08 million (2007)
Telephone system:
general assessment: modern system with excellent service
domestic: digital fiber-optic fixed-line network and an extensive cellular network provide domestic needs
international: country code - 358; submarine cables provide links to Estonia and Sweden; satellite earth stations - access to Intelsat transmission service via a Swedish satellite earth station, 1 Inmarsat (Atlantic and Indian Ocean regions); note - Finland shares the Inmarsat earth station with the other Nordic countries (Denmark, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden)
Radio broadcast stations:
AM 2, FM 186, shortwave 1 (1998)
Radios:
7.7 million (1997)
Television broadcast stations:
120 (plus 431 repeaters) (1999); note - On 1 September 2007, Finland became one of the first countries in the world to broadcast all television signals digitally
Televisions:
3.2 million (1997)
Internet country code:
.fi; note - Aland Islands assigned .ax
Internet hosts:
2.323 million (2007)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
3 (2002)
Internet users:
3.6 million (2007)
Transportation Finland
Airports:
148 (2007)
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 76
over 3,047 m: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 27
1,524 to 2,437 m: 10
914 to 1,523 m: 22
under 914 m: 15 (2007)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 72
914 to 1,523 m: 4
under 914 m: 68 (2007)
Pipelines:
gas 694 km (2007)
Railways:
total: 5,741 km
broad gauge: 5,741 km 1.524-m gauge (2,619 km electrified) (2006)
Roadways:
total: 78,821 km
paved: 50,854 km (includes 700 km of expressways)
unpaved: 27,967 km (2008)
Waterways:
7,842 km
note: includes Saimaa Canal system of 3,577 km; southern part leased from Russia (2006)
Merchant marine:
total: 97 ships (1000 GRT or over) 1,474,081 GRT/1,160,762 DWT
by type: bulk carrier 3, cargo 26, carrier 1, chemical tanker 6, container 3, passenger 5, passenger/cargo 19, petroleum tanker 5, roll on/roll off 27, vehicle carrier 2
foreign-owned: 9 (Estonia 2, Germany 2, Norway 3, Sweden 2)
registered in other countries: 48 (Bahamas 9, Germany 4, Gibraltar 4, Netherlands 14, Norway 1, Panama 2, St Kitts and Nevis 1, Sweden 12, UK 1) (2008)
Ports and terminals:
Hamina, Helsinki, Kokkola, Kotka, Naantali, Pori, Raahe, Rauma, Turku
Military Finland
Military branches:
Finnish Defense Forces (FDF): Army, Navy (includes Coastal Defense Forces), Air Force (Suomen Ilmavoimat) (2007)
Military service age and obligation:
18 years of age for male voluntary and compulsory national military and nonmilitary service; service obligation 6-12 months (2008)
Manpower available for military service:
males age 16-49: 1,169,910
females age 16-49: 1,121,187 (2008 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:
males age 16-49: 965,131
females age 16-49: 923,224 (2008 est.)
Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:
male: 34,152
female: 32,870 (2008 est.)
Military expenditures:
2% of GDP (2005 est.)
Transnational Issues Finland
Disputes - international:
various groups in Finland advocate restoration of Karelia and other areas ceded to the Soviet Union, but the Finnish Government asserts no territorial demands

This page was last updated on 2 October, 2008


 

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