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Flag of Finland

Country Profile

Capital City: Helsinki (pop. 560 500)

Other Cities: Espoo (213 000), Tampere (195 500), Vantaa (178 500), Turku (173 000).

Local Time: UTC +2h

Location: Northern Europe
Area: 337,113 sq. km. (130,160 sq. mi.)
Terrain: Low but hilly, more than 70% forested, with more than 60 000 lakes.
Border countries: Norway, Sweden, Russia, maritime border with Estonia

Climate: Northern temperate.

Type: Constitutional republic.
Independence: 6 December 1917 (from the Russian Empire).
Constitution: 17 July 1919, 1 March 2000.
The new Finnish Constitution

Nationality: Noun--Finn(s). Adjective--Finnish.
Population: 5.2 million.
Ethnic groups: Finns, Swedes, Lapps, Sami, Roma, Tatars.
Religions: Lutheran 89%, Orthodox 1%.
Languages: Finnish 93%, Swedish 6% (both official); small Lapp- and Russian-speaking minorities.
Literacy: 100%


Currency: Euro (EUR)

Natural resources: Timber, iron ore, copper, lead, zinc, chromite, nickel, gold, silver, limestone.

Agriculture products:
Barley, wheat, sugar beets, potatoes; dairy cattle; fish.

Industries: Metal products, electronics, shipbuilding, pulp and paper, copper refining, foodstuffs, chemicals, textiles, clothing.

Exports partners:
Germany 11.8%, Sweden 9.9%, USA 8.2%, UK 8%, Russia 7.5%, Netherlands 4.8% (2003)

Imports partners: Germany 16.2%, Sweden 14.1%, Russia 11.7%, Netherlands 6.3%, Denmark 5.7%, UK 5.3%, France 4.3% (2003)

Internet Links

Official Sites of Finland

Republiken Finlands President

Finnish Government

Suomen Eduskunta

Valtioneuvoston - A gateway to public services

Suomen ulkoasiainministeriö

Diplomatic Missions
Permanent Mission of Finland to the United Nations

Embassy of Finland in the U.S.

Finnish Diplomatic Missions Abroad

Foreign Embassies and Consulates in Finland


Ilmatieteen laitos

Map of Finland



Background:  Ruled by Sweden from the 12th to the 19th centuries and by
Russia from 1809, Finland finally won its independence in 1917. During
World War II, it was able to successfully defend its freedom and fend off
invasions by the Soviet Union and Germany. In the subsequent half century,
the Finns have made a remarkable transformation from a farm/forest economy
to a diversified modern industrial economy; per capita income is now
on par with Western Europe. As a member of the European Union, 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: 337,030 sq km water: 31,560 sq km land: 305,470 sq km

Area - comparative:  slightly smaller than Montana

Land boundaries:  total: 2,628 km border countries: Norway 729 km,
Sweden 586 km, Russia 1,313 km

Coastline:  1,126 km (excludes islands and coastal indentations)

Maritime claims:  continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of
exploitation exclusive fishing zone: 12 NM; extends to continental shelf
boundary with Sweden territorial sea: 12 NM (in the Gulf of Finland -
3 NM)

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: Halti
1,328 m

Natural resources:  timber, copper, zinc, iron ore, silver

Land use:  arable land: 7% permanent crops: 0% other: 93% (1998 est.)

Irrigated land:  640 sq km (1998 est.)

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-Sulphur 85, Air Pollution-Sulphur
94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Antarctic-Environmental
Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Treaty,
Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species,
Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine
Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer
Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94,
Wetlands, Whaling signed, but not ratified: Air Pollution-Persistent
Organic Pollutants, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol

Geography - note:  long boundary with Russia; Helsinki is northernmost
national capital on European continent; population concentrated on small
southwestern coastal plain

People Finland

Population:  5,183,545 (July 2002 est.)

Age structure:  0-14 years: 17.9% (male 471,920; female 454,082) 15-64
years: 66.9% (male 1,752,493; female 1,717,544) 65 years and over: 15.2%
(male 306,216; female 481,290) (2002 est.)

Population growth rate:  0.14% (2002 est.)

Birth rate:  10.6 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Death rate:  9.78 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Net migration rate:  0.62 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Sex ratio:  at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female under 15 years: 1.04
male(s)/female 15-64 years: 1.02 male(s)/female 65 years and over:
0.64 male(s)/female total population: 0.95 male(s)/female (2002 est.)

Infant mortality rate:  3.76 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:   81.52 years (2002 est.)  male: Total fertility
rate:  1.7 children born/woman (2002 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:  0.05% (1999 est.)

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:  1,100 (1999 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths:  less than 100 (1999 est.)

Nationality:  noun: Finn(s) adjective: Finnish

Ethnic groups:  Finn 93%, Swede 6%, Sami 0.11%, Roma 0.12%, Tatar 0.02%

Religions:  Evangelical Lutheran 89%, Russian Orthodox 1%, none 9%,
other 1%

Languages:  Finnish 93.4% (official), Swedish 5.9% (official), small Lapp-
and Russian-speaking minorities

Literacy:  definition: age 15 and over can read and write total
population: 100% (1980 est.)  male: NA% female: NA%

Government Finland

Country name:   Republic of Finland conventional short form: Government
type:  republic

Capital:  Helsinki

Administrative divisions:  6 provinces (laanit, singular - laani);
Aland, Etela-Suomen Laani, Ita-Suomen Laani, Lansi-Suomen Laani, Lappi,
Oulun Laani

Independence:  6 December 1917 (from Russia)

National holiday:  Independence Day, 6 December (1917)

Constitution:  17 July 1919

Legal system:  civil law system based on Swedish law; Supreme Court may
request legislation interpreting or modifying 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 Paavo LIPPONEN (since 13
April 1995) and Deputy Prime Minister Ville ITALA (since 31 August 2001)
cabinet: Council of State or Valtioneuvosto appointed by the president,
responsible to Parliament elections: president elected by popular vote for
a six-year term; election last held 6 February 2000 (next to be held NA
February 2006); prime minister and deputy prime minister appointed from
the majority party by the president after parliamentary elections note:
Union and Democratic Alternative), SFP, and Green League election results:
51.6%, Esko AHO (Kesk) 48.4%

Legislative branch:  unicameral Parliament or Eduskunta (200 seats;
members are elected by popular vote on a proportional basis to serve
four-year terms) election results: percent of vote by party - SDP 22.9%,
Kesk 22.5%, Kok 21.0%, Leftist Alliance (Communist) 10.9%, SFP 5.1%,
Green League 7.2%, SKL 4.2%; seats by party - SDP 51, Kesk 48, Kok 46,
Leftist Alliance (Communist) 20, SFP 11, Green League 11, SKL 10, other
3 elections: last held 21 March 1999 (next to be held NA March 2003)

Judicial branch:  Supreme Court or Korkein Oikeus (judges appointed by
the president)

Political parties and leaders:  Center Party or Kesk [Esko AHO]; Finnish
Christian Democratic Party or SKL [C. P. Bjarne KALLIS]; Green League
[Osmo SOININVAARA]; Leftist Alliance (Communist) composed of People's
Democratic League and Democratic Alternative [Suvi-Anne SIIMES]; National
Coalition (conservative) Party or Kok [Ville ITALA]; Social Democratic
Party or SDP [Paavo LIPPONEN]; Swedish People's Party or SFP [Jan-Erik
ENESTAM]; True Finns [Timo SOINI]

International organization participation:  AfDB, AsDB, Australia Group,
IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, NAM (guest), NC, NEA,

Diplomatic representation in the US:   Ambassador Jukka Robert VALTASAARI
consulate(s) general:  298-5800 chancery: 3301 Massachusetts Avenue NW,
Washington, DC 20008

Diplomatic representation from the US:  chief of mission: Ambassador
Bonnie McELVEEN-HUNTER embassy: Itainen Puistotie 14B, FIN-00140,
Helsinki mailing address: APO AE 09723 telephone: [358] (9) 171931 FAX:
[358] (9) 174681

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, with exports equaling
almost 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. Rapidly increasing integration with Western Europe -
Finland was one of the 11 countries joining the euro monetary system
(EMU) on 1 January 1999 - will dominate the economic picture over the
next several years. Growth in 2001 was held back by the global slowdown
and will likely be anemic again in 2002.

GDP:  purchasing power parity - $133.5 billion (2001 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:  0.6% (2001 est.)

GDP - per capita:  purchasing power parity - $25,800 (2001 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:  agriculture: 3% industry: 28% services: 69%

Population below poverty line:  NA%

Household income or consumption by percentage share:  lowest 10%: 4.2%
highest 10%: 21.6% (1991)

Distribution of family income - Gini index:  25.6 (1991)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):  2.6% (2001 est.)

Labor force:  2.6 million (2000 est.)

Labor force - by occupation:  public services 32%, industry 22%, commerce
14%, finance, insurance, and business services 10%, agriculture and
forestry 8%, transport and communications 8%, construction 6%

Unemployment rate:  9.4% (2001 est.)

Budget:  revenues: $36.1 billion expenditures: $31 billion, including
capital expenditures of $NA (2000 est.)

Industries:  metal products, electronics, shipbuilding, pulp and paper,
copper refining, foodstuffs, chemicals, textiles, clothing

Industrial production growth rate:  5.1% (2001)

Electricity - production:  75.356 billion kWh (2000)

Electricity - production by source:  fossil fuel: 40.86% hydro: 19.22%
other: 11.6% (2000) nuclear: 28.32%

Electricity - consumption:  81.961 billion kWh (2000)

Electricity - exports:  326 million kWh (2000)

Electricity - imports:  12.206 billion kWh (2000)

Agriculture - products:  barley, wheat, sugar beets, potatoes; dairy
cattle; fish

Exports:  $40.1 billion (f.o.b., 2001)

Exports - commodities:  machinery and equipment, chemicals, metals;
timber, paper, pulp

Exports - partners:  Germany 12.5%, Sweden 9.3%, UK 9.1%, US 7.4%,
France 5.2%, Italy 4.4% (2000)

Imports:  $31.2 billion (f.o.b., 2001)

Imports - commodities:  foodstuffs, petroleum and petroleum products,
chemicals, transport equipment, iron and steel, machinery, textile yarn
and fabrics, grains

Imports - partners:  Germany 14.2%, Sweden 10.3%, Russia 9.4%, US 7.1%,
UK 6.4%, Japan 5.3% (2000)

Debt - external:  $30 billion (December 1993)

Economic aid - donor:  ODA, $379 million (1997)

Currency:  markka (FIM); euro (EUR) note: on 1 January 1999, the
European Monetary Union introduced the euro as a common currency to be
used by financial institutions of member countries; on 1 January 2002,
the euro became the sole currency for everyday transactions within the
member countries

Currency code:  FIM; EUR

Exchange rates:  euros per US dollar - 1.1324 (January 2002), 1.1175
(2001), 1.0854 (2000), 0.9386 (1999); markkaa per US dollar - 5.3441
(1998), 5.1914 (1997)

Fiscal year:  calendar year

Communications Finland

Telephones - main lines in use:  2.861 million (1997)

Telephones - mobile cellular:  2,162,574 (1997)

Telephone system:  general assessment: modern system with excellent
service domestic: cable, microwave radio relay, and an extensive cellular
net provide domestic needs international: 1 submarine cable; 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:  130 (plus 385 repeaters) (1995)

Televisions:  3.2 million (1997)

Internet country code:  .fi

Internet Service Providers (ISPs):  23 (2000)

Internet users:  2.27 million (2000)

Transportation Finland

Railways:  total: 5,865 km broad gauge: 5,865 km 1.524-m gauge (2,234
km electrified; 480 km double- or multiple-track) (2000 est.)

Highways:  total: 77,831 km paved: 49,789 km (including 444 km of
expressways) unpaved: 28,042 km (1999)

Waterways:  6,675 km note: includes Saimaa Canal; 3,700 km suitable for
large ships

Pipelines:  natural gas 580 km

Ports and harbors:  Hamina, Helsinki, Kokkola, Kotka, Loviisa, Oulu,
Pori, Rauma, Turku, Uusikaupunki, Varkaus

Merchant marine:  total: 98 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 1,172,404
GRT/1,144,139 DWT ships by type: bulk 9, cargo 26, chemical tanker 5,
passenger 1, petroleum tanker 11, roll on/roll off 36, short-sea passenger
10 note: includes some foreign-owned ships registered here as a flag of
convenience: Airports:  160 (2001)

Airports - with paved runways:  total: 73 over 3,047 m: 3 2,438 to 3,047
m: 26 1,524 to 2,437 m: 10 914 to 1,523 m: 22 under 914 m: 12 (2001)

Airports - with unpaved runways:  total: 87 914 to 1,523 m: 5 under 914 m:
82 (2001)

Military Finland

Military branches:  Army, Navy, Air Force, Frontier Guard (including
Sea Guard)

Military manpower - military age:  17 years of age (2002 est.)

Military manpower - availability:  males age 15-49: 1,240,762 (2002 est.)

Military manpower - fit for military service:  males age 15-49: 1,024,379
(2002 est.)

Military manpower - reaching military age annually:  males: 33,883
(2002 est.)

Military expenditures - dollar figure:  $1.8 billion (FY98/99)

Military expenditures - percent of GDP:  2% (FY98/99)

Transnational Issues Finland

Disputes - international:  none

This page was last updated on 1 January 2002

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