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Finland ( fi, Suomi ; sv, Finland ), officially the Republic of Finland (; ), is a
Nordic country The Nordic countries, or the Nordics, are a geographical and cultural region In geography, regions are areas that are broadly divided by physical characteristics ( physical geography), human impact characteristics ( human geography), and th ...
in
Northern Europe Northern Europe is the northern region of Europe. Narrower definitions may describe Northern Europe as being roughly north of the southern coast of the Baltic Sea, which is about 54th parallel north, 54°N, or may be based on other geographic ...
. It shares land borders with Sweden to the west, Russia to the east, Norway to the north, and is defined by the
Gulf of Bothnia , showing the Gulf of Bothnia in the upper half Image:Scandinavia M2002074 lrg.jpg, Satellite image of Fennoscandia in winter. The northern part of the Gulf of Bothnia, the Bothnian Bay, is covered with sea ice. The Gulf of Bothnia (; fi, Pohja ...

Gulf of Bothnia
to the west, and the
Gulf of Finland The Gulf of Finland ( fi, Suomenlahti; et, Soome laht; rus, Фи́нский зали́в, r=Finskiy zaliv, p=ˈfʲinskʲɪj zɐˈlʲif; sv, Finska viken) is the easternmost arm of the Baltic Sea. It extends between Finland to the north and E ...
of the
Baltic Sea The Baltic Sea is an arm of the Atlantic Ocean, enclosed by Denmark Denmark ( da, Danmark, ) is a Nordic country The Nordic countries, or the Nordics, are a geographical and cultural region In geography, regions are areas that a ...

Baltic Sea
across
Estonia Estonia ( et, Eesti ), officially the Republic of Estonia ( et, Eesti Vabariik, links=no), is a country in northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by the Gulf of Finland across from Finland, to the west by the Baltic Sea across from Sweden ...

Estonia
to the south. Finland covers an area of , with a population of 5.5 million.
Helsinki Helsinki ( or ; ; sv, Helsingfors, ; la, Helsingia) is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals (or ...

Helsinki
is the country's capital and largest city, but together with the neighbouring cities of
Espoo Espoo (, ; sv, Esbo; la, Espo) is a city A city is a large .Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science Encyclopedia''. 2nd edition. London: R ...

Espoo
,
Kauniainen Kauniainen (; sv, Grankulla) is a small town A town is a human settlement. Towns are generally larger than villages and smaller than city, cities, though the criteria to distinguish between them vary considerably in different parts ...
, and
Vantaa Vantaa (; sv, Vanda, ) is a city and municipality A municipality is usually a single administrative division having Municipal corporation, corporate status and powers of self-government or jurisdiction as granted by national and regional ...
, it forms a larger
metropolitan area A metropolitan area or metro is a region consisting of a densely populated urban core Urban means "related to a city". In that sense, the term may refer to: * Urban area, geographical area distinct from rural areas * Urban culture, the cul ...

metropolitan area
. Finland is officially bilingual, with
Finnish Finnish may refer to: * Something or someone from, or related to Finland * Finnish culture * Finnish people or Finns, the primary ethnic group in Finland * Finnish language, the national language of the Finnish people * Finnish cuisine See also

...
and
Swedish Swedish or ' may refer to: * Anything from or related to Sweden, a country in Northern Europe * Swedish language, a North Germanic language spoken primarily in Sweden and Finland * Swedish alphabet, the official alphabet used by the Swedish langua ...
being official. The climate varies relative to latitude, from the southern
humid continental climate A humid continental climate is a climatic Climate is the long-term average of weather, typically averaged over a period of 30 years. More rigorously, it is the mean and variability of meteorological variables over a time spanning from months t ...
to the northern boreal climate. The land cover is primarily a
boreal forest Taiga (; rus, тайга́, p=tɐjˈɡa; relates to Mongolic and Turkic Turkic may refer to: * anything related to the country of Turkey * Turkic languages, a language family of at least thirty-five documented languages ** Turkic alphabets (di ...
biome A biome is a collection of flora, plants and fauna, animals that have common characteristics for the natural environment, environment they exist in. They can be found over a range of continents. Biomes are distinct biological community (ecology ...
, with more than 180,000 recorded
lakes A lake is an area filled with water, localized in a Depression (geology), basin, surrounded by land, and set apart from any river or other outlet that serves to feed or drain the lake. Lakes lie on land and are not part of the World Ocean, oc ...
. Finland was inhabited around 9000 BC after the Last glacial period. The
Stone Age The Stone Age was a broad prehistoric Prehistory, also known as pre-literary history, is the period of human history Human history, also known as world history, is the description of humanity's past. It is informed by archaeology ...

Stone Age
introduced several different ceramic styles and cultures. The
Bronze Age The Bronze Age is a prehistoric that was characterized by the use of , in some areas , and other early features of urban . The Bronze Age is the second principal period of the , as proposed in modern times by , for classifying and studying a ...
and
Iron Age The Iron Age is the final epoch of the three-age division of the prehistory Prehistory, also known as pre-literary history, is the period of human history Human history, or world history, is the narrative of Human, humanity's pa ...
were characterized by extensive contacts with other cultures in
Fennoscandia __NOTOC__ Fennoscandia (Finnish Finnish may refer to: * Something or someone from, or related to Finland * Finnish culture * Finnish people or Finns, the primary ethnic group in Finland * Finnish language, the national language of the Finnish peop ...

Fennoscandia
and the
Baltic region The terms Baltic Sea Region, Baltic Rim countries (or simply Baltic Rim), and the Baltic Sea countries/states refer to slightly different combinations of countries in the general area surrounding the Baltic Sea The Baltic Sea is an arm of the ...
. From the late 13th century, Finland gradually became an integral part of Sweden as a consequence of the
Northern Crusades The Northern Crusades or Baltic Crusades were Christian colonization and Christianization Christianization ( or Christianisation) is the conversion of individuals to Christianity or the conversion of entire groups at once. Various strategie ...
. In 1809, as a result of the
Finnish War The Finnish War ( sv, Finska kriget, russian: Финляндская война, fi, Suomen sota) was fought between the Kingdom of Sweden (1721–1809), Kingdom of Sweden and the Russian Empire from 21 February 1808 to 17 September 1809. As a r ...
, Finland was annexed by
Russia Russia ( rus, link=no, Россия, Rossiya, ), or the Russian Federation, is a country spanning Eastern Europe Eastern Europe is the eastern region of . There is no consistent definition of the precise area it covers, partly because th ...
as the autonomous
Grand Duchy of Finland The Grand Duchy of Finland ( fi, Suomen suuriruhtinaskunta; sv, Storfurstendömet Finland; russian: Великое княжество Финляндское, , alternatively Grand prince, Grand Principality of Finland) was the predecessor state of ...

Grand Duchy of Finland
, during which Finnish art flourished and the idea of
independence upright=1.0, Pedro surrounded by a crowd in Brazil's independence on September 7, 1822.">Independence of Brazil">Brazil's independence on September 7, 1822. Independence is a condition of a person, nation, country, or state State may ref ...
began to take hold. In 1906, Finland became the first European state to grant
universal suffrage Universal suffrage (also called universal franchise, general suffrage, and common suffrage of the common man) gives the right to vote Suffrage, political franchise, or simply franchise, is the right to vote in public, political elections (a ...
, and the first in the world to give all adult citizens the right to run for public office.Finland was the first nation in the world to give all (adult) citizens full suffrage, in other words the right to vote and to run for office, in 1906. New Zealand was the first country in the world to grant all (adult) citizens the right to vote, in 1893. But women did not get the right to run for the New Zealand legislature, until 1919.
Nicholas II Nicholas II or Nikolai II Alexandrovich Romanov . ( 186817 July 1918), known in the Russian Orthodox Church as Saint Nicholas the Passion-Bearer, . was the last Emperor of All Russia, ruling from 1 November 1894 until Abdication of Nicholas II ...

Nicholas II
, the last
Tsar Tsar ( or ), also spelled ''czar'', ''tzar'', or ''csar'', is a Royal and noble ranks, title used to designate Orthodox Slavs, East and South Slavic monarchs. In this last capacity it lends its name to a system of government, tsarist autocra ...

Tsar
of Russia, tried to russify Finland and terminate its political autonomy, but after the 1917
Russian Revolution The Russian Revolution was a period of political Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with Decision-making, making decisions in Social group, groups, or other forms of Power (social and political), power relatio ...
, Finland declared independence from Russia. In 1918, the fledgling state was divided by the
Finnish Civil War The Finnish Civil War; . Other designations: Brethren War, Citizen War, Class War, Freedom War, Red Rebellion and Revolution, . According to 1,005 interviews done by the newspaper '' Aamulehti'', the most popular names were as follows: Civil ...
. During
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literatur ...
, Finland fought the
Soviet Union The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a that spanned during its existence from 1922 to 1991. It was nominally a of multiple national ; in practice and were highly until its final years. The ...
in the
Winter War The Winter War,, sv, vinterkriget, rus, Зи́мняя война́, r=Zimnyaya voyna. The names Soviet–Finnish War 1939–1940 (russian: link=no, Сове́тско-финская война́ 1939–1940) and Soviet–Finland War 1939 ...
and the
Continuation War The Continuation War, also known as Second Soviet-Finnish war, was a conflict fought by Finland and Nazi Germany, against the Soviet Union (USSR) from 1941 to 1944, as a part of World War II.; sv, fortsättningskriget; german: Fortsetzungskri ...
, and
Nazi Germany Nazi Germany, (lit. "National Socialist State"), ' (lit. "Nazi State") for short; also ' (lit. "National Socialist Germany") officially known as the German Reich from 1933 until 1943, and the Greater German Reich from 1943 to 1945, was ...

Nazi Germany
in the
Lapland War#REDIRECT Lapland War During World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a World war, global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. It involved World War II by country, the vast majority of the ...
. After the wars, Finland lost parts of its territory, including the culturally and historically significant town of
Vyborg Vyborg (russian: Выборг, p=ˈvɨbərk; fi, Viipuri ; sv, Viborg ; german: Wiborg ) is a in, and the of, in , . It lies on the near the head of the , to the northwest of , east of the capital , and south of , where the enters ...

Vyborg
, but maintained its independence. Finland largely remained an
agrarian Agrarian means pertaining to agriculture, farmland, or rural areas. Agrarian may refer to: Political philosophy *Agrarianism *Agrarian law, Roman laws regulating the division of the public lands *Agrarian reform *Agrarian socialism Society * ...

agrarian
country until the 1950s. After World War II, the country rapidly industrialized and developed an advanced economy, while building an extensive
welfare state The welfare state is a form of government in which the state (or a well-established network of social institutions) protects and promotes the economic and social well-being of its citizens, based upon the principles of equal opportunity Equal o ...
based on the
Nordic model#REDIRECT Nordic model The Nordic model comprises the economic An economy (from Greek language, Greek οίκος – "household" and νέμoμαι – "manage") is an area of the Production (economics), production, Distribution (economics), d ...
, resulting in widespread prosperity and a high
per capita income Per capita income (PCI) or total income measures the average income earned per person in a given area (city, region, country, etc.) in a specified year. It is calculated by dividing the area's total income by its total population. Per capita i ...
. Finland joined the
United Nations The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization An intergovernmental organization (IGO) is an organization composed primarily of sovereign states (referred to as ''member states''), or of other organizations through formal ...

United Nations
in 1955 and adopted an official policy of neutrality. Finland joined the
OECD The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD; french: Organisation de Coopération et de Développement Économiques, OCDE) is an intergovernmental economic organisation with 38 member countries, founded in 1961 to st ...

OECD
in 1969, the NATO Partnership for Peace in 1994,Relations with Finland
NATO (13 January 2016)
the
European Union The European Union (EU) is a political and economic union of member states that are located primarily in Europe Europe is a which is also recognised as part of , located entirely in the and mostly in the . It comprises the wester ...

European Union
in 1995, the
Euro-Atlantic Partnership CouncilThe Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC), a post– Cold War NATO institution, is a multilateral forum created to improve relations between NATO and non-NATO countries in Europe and those parts of Asia on the European periphery. States meet to c ...
in 1997, and the
Eurozone The eurozone, officially called the euro area, is a monetary union of 19 Member state of the European Union, member states of the European Union (EU) that have adopted the euro (Euro sign, €) as their primary currency and sole legal tender. Th ...

Eurozone
at its inception in 1999. Finland is a top performer in numerous metrics of national performance, including education, economic competitiveness, civil liberties, quality of life and human development. In 2015, Finland was ranked first in the World Human Capital and the
Press Freedom Index The Press Freedom Index is an annual ranking of countries compiled and published by Reporters Without Borders since 2002 based upon the organisation's own assessment of the countries' press freedom records in the previous year. It intends to re ...
and as the most stable country in the world during 2011–2016 in the
Fragile States Index 360px, Fragile States according to the "Fragile States Index", 2005–2013'' The Fragile States Index (FSI; formerly the Failed States Index) is an annual report published by the United States think tank A think tank, or policy institute, ...
, and second in the
Global Gender Gap Report 200px, Cover of the 2008 report The Global Gender Gap Report was first published in 2006 by the World Economic Forum. The 2020 report (published in 2019) covers 153 countries. The Global Gender Gap Index is an index (statistics), index designed to ...

Global Gender Gap Report
. It also ranked first on the
World Happiness Report The World Happiness Report is a publication of the United Nations The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization that aims to maintain international peace and international security, security, develop friendly relations among ...

World Happiness Report
report for 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021.


Etymology


Finland

The earliest written appearance of the name ''Finland'' is thought to be on three
runestone A runestone is typically a raised stone with a runic alphabet, runic inscription, but the term can also be applied to inscriptions on boulders and on bedrock. The tradition began in the 4th century and lasted into the 12th century, but most of th ...

runestone
s. Two were found in the Swedish province of
Uppland Uppland () is a historical province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, first-level subdivis ...

Uppland
and have the inscription ''finlonti'' ( U 582). The third was found in
Gotland Gotland (, ; ''Gutland'' in the local dialect), also historically spelled Gottland or Gothland (), is Sweden's largest island An island (or isle) is an isolated piece of habitat that is surrounded by a dramatically different habita ...
. It has the inscription ''finlandi'' ( G 319) and dates back to the 13th century. The name can be assumed to be related to the tribe name ''
Finns Finns or Finnish people ( fi, suomalaiset, ) are a Baltic Finns, Baltic Finnic ethnic group native to Finland. Finns are traditionally divided into smaller regional groups that span several countries adjacent to Finland, both those who are na ...
'', which is mentioned at first known time AD 98 (disputed meaning).


Suomi

The name ''Suomi'' () has uncertain origins, but a common etymology with ''saame'' (the
Sami Places * Sápmi, a cultural region in Northern Europe * Sami, Burkina Faso, a district of the Banwa Province * Sami District, Gambia * Sami, Cephalonia, a municipality in Greece * Sami (ancient city), in Elis, Greece * Sami Bay, east of Sami, Ceph ...
, the native people of
Lapland Lapland may refer to: Places *Lapland or Sápmi, an ethno-cultural region stretching over northern Fennoscandia (parts of Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Russia) **Lapland (Finland) (''Lappi''/''Lappland''), a Finnish region ***Lapland (former provi ...
) and ''
Häme Häme (Swedish language, Swedish: ''Tavastland'', Latin: ''Tavastia'') is the name of a geographical region in Finland, associated with the Tavastians, or Häme people (''hämäläiset''), a subgroup of the Finns, Finnish people. The precise area r ...
'' (a province in the inland) has been suggested (
Proto-Finnic Proto-Finnic or Proto-Baltic-Finnic is the common ancestor of the Finnic languages The Finnic (''Fennic'') or Balto-Finnic (''Balto-Fennic''; Baltic Finnic, ''Baltic Fennic'') languages are a branch of the Uralic language family spoken around t ...
''*hämä'' from older ''*šämä'', possibly loaned into Proto-Saami as ''*sāmē''), whose source could be the Proto-Baltic word ''*źemē'', meaning '(low) land'. According to the hypothesis, ''*sāmē'' – or ''*šämä'' directly – was loaned back into Baltic as ''*sāma-'' (compare Latvian ''sāms'' 'Finn, '), from which Northern Finnic reborrowed it (perhaps via a Germanic intermediate ''*sōma-'') as ''*sōma-'' > ''*sōme-'' 'Finland'. In addition to the close relatives of Finnish (the
Finnic languages The Finnic (''Fennic'') or more precisely Balto-Finnic (''Balto-Fennic''; Baltic Finnic, ''Baltic Fennic'') languages, are a branch of the Uralic language family The Uralic languages (; sometimes called Uralian languages ) form a language fam ...

Finnic languages
), this name is also used in the
Baltic languages The Baltic languages belong to the Balto-Slavic The Balto-Slavic languages are a branch of the Indo-European family of languages. It traditionally comprises the Baltic languages, Baltic and Slavic languages. Baltic and Slavic languages sha ...

Baltic languages
Latvian (''soms'', ''Somija'') and
Lithuanian Lithuanian may refer to: * Lithuanians Lithuanians ( lt, lietuviai, singular ''lietuvis/lietuvė'') are a Balts, Baltic ethnic group. They are native to Lithuania, where they number around 2,561,300 people. Another million or more make up the Lith ...
(''suomis'', ''Suomija''), although these are evidently later borrowings. An alternative hypothesis by Petri Kallio suggests the Proto-Indo-European word *''(dʰ)ǵʰm-on-'' 'human' (cf. Gothic ''guma'', Latin ''homo''), being borrowed into Uralic as *''ćoma''. It has been suggested that the Finnish word ''Suomi'' is first attested the
Royal Frankish Annals The ''Royal Frankish Annals'' (Latin: ''Annales regni Francorum''), also called the ''Annales Laurissenses maiores'' ('Greater Lorsch Annals'), are a series of annals composed in Latin in the Carolingian dynasty, Carolingian Francia, recording y ...
annal for 811, which mentions a person called ''Suomi'' among the Danish delegation at a peace treaty with the Franks. If so, it is also the earliest evidence for the change from the proto-Finnic
monophthong A monophthong ( ; , ) is a pure vowel A vowel is a syllabicSyllabic may refer to: *Syllable, a unit of speech sound, considered the building block of words **Syllabic consonant, a consonant that forms the nucleus of a syllable *Syllabary, writ ...
to the Finnish
diphthong A diphthong ( ; , ), also known as a gliding vowel, is a combination of two adjacent vowel A vowel is a Syllable, syllabic speech sound pronounced without any stricture in the vocal tract. Vowels are one of the two principal classes of spe ...
. However, some historical linguists view this interpretation of the name as unlikely, supposing another etymology or that the spelling originated as a scribal error (in which case the sound-change > could have happened much later).


Concept

In the earliest historical sources, from the 12th and 13th centuries, the term Finland refers to the coastal region around
Turku Turku ( ; ; sv, Åbo, ; la, Aboa; russian: Турку, formerly ) is a city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social ...

Turku
from to
Uusikaupunki Uusikaupunki (; sv, Nystad) is a town A town is a . Towns are generally larger than s and smaller than , though the criteria to distinguish between them vary considerably in different parts of the world. Origin and use The word "town" s ...
. This region later became known as Finland Proper in distinction from the country name Finland. Finland became a common name for the whole country in a centuries-long process that started when the
Catholic Church The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the List of Christian denominations by number of members, largest Christian church, with 1.3 billion baptised Catholics Catholic Church by country, worldwide . As the wo ...

Catholic Church
established a missionary diocese in
Nousiainen Nousiainen (; sv, Nousis) is a municipalities of Finland, municipality of Finland. Located in the Southwest Finland regions of Finland, region. The Finnish language, Finnish-speaking municipality has a population of () and covers an area of of ...

Nousiainen
in the northern part of the province of Suomi possibly sometime in the 12th century. The devastation of Finland during the Great Northern War (1714–1721) and during the
Russo-Swedish War (1741–1743) The Russo-Swedish War of 1741–1743 was instigated by the Hats (party), Hats, a Swedish political party that aspired to regain the territories lost to Russia during the Great Northern War, and by French diplomacy, which sought to divert Russia's a ...
caused Sweden to begin carrying out major efforts to defend its eastern half from Russia. These 18th-century experiences created a sense of a shared destiny that when put in conjunction with the unique Finnish language, led to the adoption of an expanded concept of Finland.


History


Prehistory

If the
archeological Archaeology or archeology is the study of human activity through the recovery and analysis Analysis is the process of breaking a complex topic or substance into smaller parts in order to gain a better understanding of it. The technique h ...
finds from Wolf Cave are the result of
Neanderthal Neanderthals (, also Neandertals, ''Homo neanderthalensis'' or ''Homo sapiens neanderthalensis'') are an extinct species In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, phys ...
s' activities, the first people inhabited Finland approximately 120,000–130,000 years ago. The area that is now Finland was settled in, at the latest, around 8,500 BC during the
Stone Age The Stone Age was a broad prehistoric Prehistory, also known as pre-literary history, is the period of human history Human history, also known as world history, is the description of humanity's past. It is informed by archaeology ...

Stone Age
towards the end of the last glacial period. The artefacts the first settlers left behind present characteristics that are shared with those found in
Estonia Estonia ( et, Eesti ), officially the Republic of Estonia ( et, Eesti Vabariik, links=no), is a country in northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by the Gulf of Finland across from Finland, to the west by the Baltic Sea across from Sweden ...

Estonia
, Russia, and Norway.Herkules.oulu.fi
''People'', material, culture and environment in the north. Proceedings of the 22nd Nordic Archaeological Conference, University of Oulu, 18–23 August 2004 Edited by Vesa-Pekka Herva Gummerus Kirjapaino
The earliest people were
hunter-gatherer A hunter-gatherer is a human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most populous and widespread species of primates, characterized by bipedality, opposable thumbs, hairlessness, and intelligence allowing the use of culture, language and tools. T ...
s, using stone tools.Dr. Pirjo Uino of the National Board of Antiquities, ThisisFinland—"Prehistory: The ice recedes—man arrives". Retrieved 24 June 2008. The first pottery appeared in 5200 BC, when the Comb Ceramic culture was introduced.History of Finland and the Finnish People from stone age to WWII
Retrieved 24 June 2008.
The arrival of the
Corded Ware culture#REDIRECT Corded Ware culture The Corded Ware culture comprises a broad archaeological horizon of Europe Europe is a continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention ra ...

Corded Ware culture
in Southern coastal Finland between 3000 and 2500 BC may have coincided with the start of agriculture.Professor Frank Horn of the Northern Institute for Environmental and Minority Law University of Lappland writing for Virtual Finland o
National Minorities of Finland
Retrieved 24 June 2008.
Even with the introduction of agriculture, hunting and fishing continued to be important parts of the subsistence economy. In the
Bronze Age The Bronze Age is a prehistoric that was characterized by the use of , in some areas , and other early features of urban . The Bronze Age is the second principal period of the , as proposed in modern times by , for classifying and studying a ...
permanent all-year-round cultivation and
animal husbandry Animal husbandry is the branch of agriculture concerned with animals that are raised for meat, animal fiber, fibre, milk, eggs, or other products. It includes day-to-day care, selective breeding and the raising of livestock. Husbandry has a long ...
spread, but the cold climate phase slowed the change. Cultures in Finland shared common features in pottery and also axes had similarities but local features existed. The
Seima-Turbino phenomenon The Seima-Turbino phenomenon is a pattern of burial sites with similar bronze artifacts dated to ca. 2300-1700 BCE (2017 dated from 2100 BCE to 1900 BCE, 2007 dated to 1650 BCE onwards) found across northern Eurasia Eurasia () is the large ...
brought the first bronze artefacts to the region and possibly also the
Finno-Ugric languages Finno-Ugric ( or ; ''Fenno-Ugric'') or Finno-Ugrian (''Fenno-Ugrian''), is a traditional grouping of all languages in the Uralic language family The Uralic languages (; sometimes called Uralian languages ) form a language family A languag ...

Finno-Ugric languages
. Commercial contacts that had so far mostly been to
Estonia Estonia ( et, Eesti ), officially the Republic of Estonia ( et, Eesti Vabariik, links=no), is a country in northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by the Gulf of Finland across from Finland, to the west by the Baltic Sea across from Sweden ...

Estonia
started to extend to Scandinavia. Domestic manufacture of bronze artefacts started 1300 BC with . Bronze was imported from
Volga The Volga (; russian: Во́лга, a=Ru-Волга.ogg, p=ˈvoɫɡə) is the longest river in Europe Europe is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention ra ...
region and from Southern Scandinavia. In the
Iron Age The Iron Age is the final epoch of the three-age division of the prehistory Prehistory, also known as pre-literary history, is the period of human history Human history, or world history, is the narrative of Human, humanity's pa ...
population grew especially in Häme and Savo regions. Finland proper was the most densely populated area. Cultural contacts to the Baltics and Scandinavia became more frequent. Commercial contacts in the
Baltic Sea The Baltic Sea is an arm of the Atlantic Ocean, enclosed by Denmark Denmark ( da, Danmark, ) is a Nordic country The Nordic countries, or the Nordics, are a geographical and cultural region In geography, regions are areas that a ...

Baltic Sea
region grew and extended during the eighth and ninth centuries. Main exports from Finland were furs, slaves,
castoreum Castoreum is a yellowish exudate from the castor sacs of mature beavers. Beavers use castoreum in combination with urine to scent mark their territory. Both beaver sexes have a pair of castor sacs and a pair of anal glands, located in two caviti ...
, and falcons to European courts. Imports included silk and other fabrics, jewelry,
Ulfberht swords File:Lorange 1889 TabI.jpg, 300px, Four Ulfberht swords found in Norway (drawings from Lorange 1889) The Ulfberht swords are about 170 medieval swords found in Europe, dated to the 9th to 11th centuries, with blades Damascening, inlaid with the i ...
, and, in lesser extent, glass. Production of iron started approximately in 500 BC. At the end of the ninth century, indigenous artefact culture, especially women's jewelry and weapons, had more common local features than ever before. This has been interpreted to be expressing common Finnish identity which was born from an image of common origin. An early form of
Finnic languages The Finnic (''Fennic'') or more precisely Balto-Finnic (''Balto-Fennic''; Baltic Finnic, ''Baltic Fennic'') languages, are a branch of the Uralic language family The Uralic languages (; sometimes called Uralian languages ) form a language fam ...

Finnic languages
spread to the Baltic Sea region approximately 1900 BC with the Seima-Turbino-phenomenon. Common Finnic language was spoken around
Gulf of Finland The Gulf of Finland ( fi, Suomenlahti; et, Soome laht; rus, Фи́нский зали́в, r=Finskiy zaliv, p=ˈfʲinskʲɪj zɐˈlʲif; sv, Finska viken) is the easternmost arm of the Baltic Sea. It extends between Finland to the north and E ...
2000 years ago. The dialects from which the modern-day Finnish language was developed came into existence during the Iron Age. Although distantly related, the
Sami Places * Sápmi, a cultural region in Northern Europe * Sami, Burkina Faso, a district of the Banwa Province * Sami District, Gambia * Sami, Cephalonia, a municipality in Greece * Sami (ancient city), in Elis, Greece * Sami Bay, east of Sami, Ceph ...
retained the hunter-gatherer lifestyle longer than the Finns. The Sami cultural identity and the
Sami language Places * Sápmi (, smj, Sábme / Sámeednam, sma, Saepmie, sju, Sábmie, , , Kildin Sami Kildin Sami (also known as ''Kola Sámi'', ''Eastern Sámi'', and ''Lappish'', though the last is ambiguous) is a Sámi language that is spoken ...

Sami language
have survived in Lapland, the northernmost province, but the Sami have been displaced or assimilated elsewhere. The 12th and 13th centuries were a violent time in the northern Baltic Sea. The
Livonian Crusade The Livonian Crusade refers to the various Christianization campaigns in the area constituting modern Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia during the Papal-sanctioned Northern Crusades. It was conducted mostly by Germans from the Holy Roman Empire and ...
was ongoing and the
Finnish tribes Finnish tribes ( Finnish: ''Heimot'') are ancient ethnic groups from which over time Finns Finns or Finnish people ( fi, suomalaiset, ) are a Baltic Finnic ethnic group native to Finland Finland ( fi, Suomi ; sv, Finland , ), officiall ...
such as the
Tavastians Tavastians ( fi, Hämäläiset, sv, tavaster, russian: Емь, Yem, Yam) are a historic people and a modern subgroup (heimo) of the Finnish people Finns or Finnish people ( fi, suomalaiset, ) are a Baltic Finns, Baltic Finnic ethnic group nat ...
and
Karelians Karelians ( krl, karjalaižet, karjalazet, karjalaiset, Finnish: , sv, kareler, karelare, russian: Карелы) are an ethnic group who are indigenous to the Northern Europe Northern Europe is a loosely defined Geography, geographical and ...
were in frequent conflicts with
Novgorod Veliky Novgorod ( rus, links=yes, Великий Новгород, p=vʲɪˈlʲikʲɪj ˈnovɡərət), also known as just Novgorod (russian: Новгород, lit=newtown, links=yes), is the largest city and administrative centerAn administrati ...
and with each other. Also, during the 12th and 13th centuries several crusades from the Catholic realms of the Baltic Sea area were made against the Finnish tribes. According to historical sources,
Danes Danes ( da, danskere, ) are a North Germanic The North Germanic languages make up one of the three branches of the Germanic languages—a sub-family of the Indo-European languages—along with the West Germanic languages and the extinct East ...
waged at least three crusades to Finland, in 1187 or slightly earlier, in 1191 and in 1202, and
Swedes Swedes ( sv, svenskar) are a North Germanic The North Germanic languages make up one of the three branches of the Germanic languages The Germanic languages are a branch of the Indo-European The Indo-European languages are a lang ...
, possibly the so-called second crusade to Finland, in 1249 against
Tavastians Tavastians ( fi, Hämäläiset, sv, tavaster, russian: Емь, Yem, Yam) are a historic people and a modern subgroup (heimo) of the Finnish people Finns or Finnish people ( fi, suomalaiset, ) are a Baltic Finns, Baltic Finnic ethnic group nat ...
and the third crusade to Finland in 1293 against the Karelians. The so-called first crusade to Finland, possibly in 1155, is most likely an unreal event. Also, it is possible that Germans made violent conversion of Finnish pagans in the 13th century. According to a papal letter from 1241, the king of Norway was also fighting against "nearby pagans" at that time.


Swedish era

As a result of the crusades (mostly with the
second crusade The Second Crusade (1147–1150) was the second major crusade The Crusades were a series of religious wars initiated, supported, and sometimes directed by the Latin Church in the medieval period. The term refers especially to the Eastern M ...
led by
Birger Jarl (c. 121021 October 1266), or Birger Magnusson, was a Swedes, Swedish statesman, Jarl in Sweden, Jarl of Sweden and a member of the House of Bjelbo, who played a pivotal role in the consolidation of Sweden. Birger also led the Second Swedish Crus ...
) and the colonization of some Finnish coastal areas with Christian Swedish population during the Middle Ages, including the old capital
Turku Turku ( ; ; sv, Åbo, ; la, Aboa; russian: Турку, formerly ) is a city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social ...

Turku
, Finland gradually became part of the kingdom of Sweden and the sphere of influence of the
Catholic Church The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the List of Christian denominations by number of members, largest Christian church, with 1.3 billion baptised Catholics Catholic Church by country, worldwide . As the wo ...

Catholic Church
. Due to the Swedish conquest, the Finnish upper class lost its position and lands to the new Swedish and German nobility and to the Catholic Church. In Sweden even in the 17th and 18th centuries, it was clear that Finland was a conquered country and its inhabitants could be treated arbitrarily. Swedish kings visited Finland rarely and in Swedish contemporary texts Finns were portrayed to be primitive and their language inferior.
Swedish Swedish or ' may refer to: * Anything from or related to Sweden, a country in Northern Europe * Swedish language, a North Germanic language spoken primarily in Sweden and Finland * Swedish alphabet, the official alphabet used by the Swedish langua ...
became the dominant language of the nobility, administration, and education;
Finnish Finnish may refer to: * Something or someone from, or related to Finland * Finnish culture * Finnish people or Finns, the primary ethnic group in Finland * Finnish language, the national language of the Finnish people * Finnish cuisine See also

...
was chiefly a language for the
peasant A peasant is a pre-industrial Pre-industrial society refers to social attributes and forms of political and cultural organization that were prevalent before the advent of the Industrial Revolution The Industrial Revolution was the tra ...
ry, clergy, and local
court A court is any person or institution, often as a government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''Sta ...

court
s in predominantly Finnish-speaking areas. During the
Protestant Reformation The Reformation (alternatively named the Protestant Reformation or the European Reformation) was a major movement within Western Christianity File:Petersdom von Engelsburg gesehen.jpg, 250px, St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City, the larges ...
, the
Finns Finns or Finnish people ( fi, suomalaiset, ) are a Baltic Finns, Baltic Finnic ethnic group native to Finland. Finns are traditionally divided into smaller regional groups that span several countries adjacent to Finland, both those who are na ...
gradually converted to
Lutheranism Lutheranism is one of the largest branches of that identifies with the teachings of and was founded by , a 16th-century German monk and whose efforts to reform the theology and practice of the Catholic church launched the . The reaction of t ...
. In the 16th century,
Mikael Agricola Mikael Agricola (; c. 1510 – 9 April 1557) was a Finnish Finnish may refer to: * Something or someone from, or related to Finland * Finnish culture * Finnish people or Finns, the primary ethnic group in Finland * Finnish language, the national l ...

Mikael Agricola
published the first written works in Finnish, and Finland's current capital city,
Helsinki Helsinki ( or ; ; sv, Helsingfors, ; la, Helsingia) is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals (or ...

Helsinki
, was founded by
Gustav I of Sweden Gustav I, born Gustav Eriksson of the Vasa noble family and later known as Gustav Vasa (12 May 1496 – 29 September 1560), was King of Sweden The monarchy of Sweden concerns the monarchical head of state of Sweden,See the #IOG, Instrument ...
. The first university in Finland, the
Royal Academy of Turku The Royal Academy of Turku or the Royal Academy of Åbo ( sv, Kungliga Akademin i Åbo or ''Åbo Kungliga Akademi'', la, Regia Academia Aboensis, fi, Turun akatemia) was the first university in Finland, and the only Finnish university that was fo ...
, was established in 1640. The Finns reaped a reputation in the
Thirty Years' War The Thirty Years' War was a conflict fought largely within the Holy Roman Empire The Holy Roman Empire ( la, Sacrum Romanum Imperium; german: Heiliges Römisches Reich) was a multi-ethnic complex of territories in Western Europe, Weste ...
(1618–1648) as a well-trained
cavalry Historically, cavalry (from the French word ''cavalerie'', itself derived from "cheval" meaning "horse") are soldier A soldier is a person who is a member of a professional army An army (from Latin ''arma'' "arms, weapons" via O ...

cavalry
men called "
Hakkapeliitta Hakkapeliitta featured on a 1940 Finnish stamp Hakkapeliitta (Finnish language, Finnish pl. ''hakkapeliitat'') is a historiographical term used for a Finns, Finnish light cavalryman in the service of King Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden during the Th ...
", that division excelled in sudden and savage attacks, raiding and
reconnaissance In military operations, reconnaissance or scouting is the exploration of an area by military forces to obtain information about enemy forces, terrain Relief map of Sierra Nevada, Spain Terrain or relief (also topographical Topogr ...

reconnaissance
, which
King Gustavus Adolphus Gustavus Adolphus (), also known in English as Gustav II Adolf or Gustav II Adolph, was the King of Sweden from 1611 to 1632, and is credited for the rise of Swedish Empire, Sweden as a great European power ( sv, Stormaktstiden). During his reig ...
took advantage of in his significant battles, like in the Battle of Breitenfeld (1631) and the
Battle of Rain The Battle of Rain (also called the Battle of the River Lech or Battle of Lech) was fought on 15 April 1632 as part of the Thirty Years' War. The forces involved in this conflict were 40,000 Sweden, Swedish troops under Gustavus Adolphus of Sw ...
(1632). Finland suffered a severe famine in 1696–1697, during which about one third of the Finnish population died, and a devastating plague a few years later. In the 18th century, wars between Sweden and Russia twice led to the occupation of Finland by Russian forces, times known to the Finns as the
Greater Wrath Finland during the Great Northern War was dominated by the Russian invasion and subsequent military occupation of Finland, then part of Swedish Empire, Sweden, from 1714 until the treaty of Nystad 1721, which ended the Great Northern War. The perio ...
(1714–1721) and the
Lesser WrathLesser, from Eliezer (, "Help/Court of my Elohim, God"), is a surname. Notable people with the surname include: * Adolf Lesser (1851–1926), German physician * Aleksander Lesser (1814–1884), Polish painter and art critic * Anton Lesser (born 1952) ...
(1742–1743).Finland and the Swedish Empire
. ''Federal Research Division,
Library of Congress The Library of Congress (LC) is the research library A library is a collection of materials, books or media that are easily accessible for use and not just for display purposes. It is responsible for housing updated information in order ...

Library of Congress
''.
It is estimated that almost an entire generation of young men was lost during the Great Wrath, due mainly to the destruction of homes and farms, and to the burning of Helsinki. By this time Finland was the predominant term for the whole area from the
Gulf of Bothnia , showing the Gulf of Bothnia in the upper half Image:Scandinavia M2002074 lrg.jpg, Satellite image of Fennoscandia in winter. The northern part of the Gulf of Bothnia, the Bothnian Bay, is covered with sea ice. The Gulf of Bothnia (; fi, Pohja ...

Gulf of Bothnia
to the Russian border. Two Russo-Swedish wars in twenty-five years served as reminders to the Finnish people of the precarious position between Sweden and Russia. An increasingly vocal elite in Finland soon determined that Finnish ties with Sweden were becoming too costly, and following the
Russo-Swedish War Wars between Russia and Sweden have been recorded since as early as the 12th century. These conflicts include: {, class="sortable wikitable" , - bgcolor="#ececec" , War, , Notes , - , Swedish–Novgorodian Wars, , A series of conflicts between the ...
(1788–1790), the Finnish elite's desire to break with Sweden only heightened. Even before the war there were conspiring politicians, among them
Georg Magnus Sprengtporten Count Georg Magnus Sprengtporten (russian: Егор Максимович Шпренгпортен, translit=Egor Maksimovič Šprengporten, ; sv, Göran Magnus Sprengtporten; fi, Yrjö Manus Sprengtporten; 16 December 1740 – 13 October 1819), w ...

Georg Magnus Sprengtporten
, who had supported Gustav III's coup in 1772. Sprengtporten fell out with the king and resigned his commission in 1777. In the following decade he tried to secure Russian support for an autonomous Finland, and later became an adviser to Catherine II. In the spirit of the notion of
Adolf Ivar Arwidsson Adolf Ivar Arwidsson (7 August 1791 – 21 June 1858) was a Finnish political journalist, writer and historian. His writing was critical of Finland's status at the time as a Grand Duchy under the Russian Tsars. Its sharpness cost him his job ...
(1791–1858) – "we are not Swedes, we do not want to become Russians, let us therefore be Finns" – a Finnish national identity started to become established. Notwithstanding the efforts of Finland's elite and nobility to break ties with Sweden, there was no genuine independence movement in Finland until the early 20th century. As a matter of fact, at this time the Finnish peasantry was outraged by the actions of their elite and almost exclusively supported Gustav's actions against the conspirators. (The High Court of Turku condemned Sprengtporten as a traitor around 1793.) The Swedish era ended in the
Finnish War The Finnish War ( sv, Finska kriget, russian: Финляндская война, fi, Suomen sota) was fought between the Kingdom of Sweden (1721–1809), Kingdom of Sweden and the Russian Empire from 21 February 1808 to 17 September 1809. As a r ...
in 1809.


Russian era

On 29 March 1809, having been taken over by the armies of
Alexander I of Russia Alexander I (; – ) was the Emperor of Russia (Tsar) from 1801, the first King of Congress Poland from 1815, and the Grand Duke of Finland from 1809 to his death. He was the eldest son of Emperor Paul I and Sophie Dorothea of Württemberg. Bor ...

Alexander I of Russia
in the
Finnish War The Finnish War ( sv, Finska kriget, russian: Финляндская война, fi, Suomen sota) was fought between the Kingdom of Sweden (1721–1809), Kingdom of Sweden and the Russian Empire from 21 February 1808 to 17 September 1809. As a r ...
, Finland became an autonomous
Grand Duchy A grand duchy is a country A country is a distinct territorial body or political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective identity, who are organized by some form of Institutionalisa ...

Grand Duchy
in the
Russian Empire The Russian Empire, . commonly referred to as Imperial Russia, was a historical that extended across and from 1721, succeeding the following the that ended the . The Empire lasted until the was proclaimed by the that took power after the ...
with the recognition given at held in
Porvoo Porvoo (; sv, Borgå ; la, Borgoa) is a city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science Encyclopedia''. 2nd ed ...

Porvoo
. This situation lasted until the end of 1917. In 1811, Alexander I incorporated the Russian Vyborg province into the Grand Duchy of Finland. In 1854, Finland became involved in Russia's involvement in the
Crimean War The Crimean War, , was a military conflict fought from October 1853 to February 1856 in which Russian Empire, Russia lost to an alliance of Second French Empire, France, the Ottoman Empire, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, ...
, when the British and French navies bombed the Finnish coast and Åland during the so-called
Åland War The Åland War ( fi, Oolannin sota, sv, Åländska kriget) is the Finnish term for the operations of a British-French naval force against military and civilian facilities on the coast of the Grand Duchy of Finland in 1854–1856, during the Crimea ...
. During the Russian era, the Finnish language began to gain recognition. From the 1860s onwards, a strong Finnish nationalist movement known as the
Fennoman movement The Fennoman movement or Fennomania was a Finnish nationalism, Finnish nationalist movement in the 19th-century Grand Duchy of Finland, built on the work of the ''fennophile'' interests of the 18th and early-19th centuries. History After the C ...
grew, and one of its most prominent leading figures of the movement was the philosopher J. V. Snellman, who was strictly inclined to Hegel's idealism, and who pushed for the stabilization of the status of the Finnish language and its own currency, the
Finnish markka The Finnish markka ( fi, Suomen markka; sv, finsk mark; sign: mk; ISO code: FIM, internationally known also as Finnish mark) was the currency A currency, "in circulation", from la, currens, -entis, literally meaning "running" or "traversi ...
, in the Grand Duchy of Finland. Milestones included the publication of what would become Finland's
national epic A national epic is an epic poem An epic poem is a lengthy narrative poem Narrative poetry is a form of poetry Poetry (derived from the Greek language, Greek ''poiesis'', "making") is a form of literature that uses aesthetics, aesthe ...
– the ''
Kalevala The ''Kalevala'' ( fi, Kalevala, ) is a 19th-century work of epic poetry compiled by Elias Lönnrot from Karelian language, Karelian and Finnish language, Finnish oral folklore and Finnish mythology, mythology, telling an epic story about the Cre ...
'' – in 1835, and the Finnish language's achieving equal legal status with Swedish in 1892. The Finnish famine of 1866–1868 killed approximately 15% of the population, making it one of the worst
famine A famine is a widespread scarcity of food Food is any substance consumed to provide nutritional support for an organism In biology, an organism (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ὀργανισμός, ''organismos'') is any individual con ...

famine
s in European history. The famine led the Russian Empire to ease financial regulations, and investment rose in following decades. Economic and political development was rapid. The
gross domestic product Gross domestic product (GDP) is a monetary Image:National-Debt-Gillray.jpeg, In a 1786 James Gillray caricature, the plentiful money bags handed to King George III are contrasted with the beggar whose legs and arms were amputated, in the ...
(GDP) per capita was still half of that of the United States and a third of that of Britain. In 1906,
universal suffrage Universal suffrage (also called universal franchise, general suffrage, and common suffrage of the common man) gives the right to vote Suffrage, political franchise, or simply franchise, is the right to vote in public, political elections (a ...
was adopted in the Grand Duchy of Finland. However, the relationship between the Grand Duchy and the Russian Empire soured when the Russian government made moves to restrict Finnish
autonomy In developmental psychology Developmental psychology is the scientific Science () is a systematic enterprise that Scientific method, builds and organizes knowledge in the form of Testability, testable explanations and predictions ...
. For example, the universal suffrage was, in practice, virtually meaningless, since the tsar did not have to approve any of the laws adopted by the Finnish parliament. Desire for independence gained ground, first among radical liberals and socialists. The case is known as the "
Russification of Finland The policy of Russification of Finland (Finnish language, Finnish: ''sortokaudet/sortovuodet'' - times/years of oppression) was a governmental policy of the Russian Empire aimed at limiting the special status of the Grand Duchy of Finland and possi ...
", driven by the last tsar of Russian Empire,
Nicholas II Nicholas II or Nikolai II Alexandrovich Romanov . ( 186817 July 1918), known in the Russian Orthodox Church as Saint Nicholas the Passion-Bearer, . was the last Emperor of All Russia, ruling from 1 November 1894 until Abdication of Nicholas II ...

Nicholas II
.


Civil war and early independence

After the 1917
February Revolution The February Revolution ( rus, Февра́льская револю́ция, p=fʲɪvˈralʲskəjə rʲɪvɐˈlʲutsɨjə, tr. ), known in Soviet historiography Soviet historiography is the methodology of history History (from Greek , ' ...
, the position of Finland as part of the Russian Empire was questioned, mainly by
Social DemocratsSocial Democrats is a name used by a number of political parties A political party is an organization that coordinates candidates to compete in a country's elections. It is common for the members of a political party to have similar ideas about ...
. Since the head of state was the
tsar Tsar ( or ), also spelled ''czar'', ''tzar'', or ''csar'', is a Royal and noble ranks, title used to designate Orthodox Slavs, East and South Slavic monarchs. In this last capacity it lends its name to a system of government, tsarist autocra ...

tsar
of Russia, it was not clear who the chief executive of Finland was after the revolution. The Parliament, controlled by social democrats, passed the so-called Power Act to give the highest authority to the Parliament. This was rejected by the
Russian Provisional Government The Russian Provisional Government ( rus, Временное правительство России, Vremennoye pravitel'stvo Rossii) was a provisional government of Russia established immediately following the abdication of Nicholas II. Th ...
which decided to dissolve the Parliament. New elections were conducted, in which right-wing parties won with a slim majority. Some social democrats refused to accept the result and still claimed that the dissolution of the parliament (and thus the ensuing elections) were extralegal. The two nearly equally powerful political blocs, the right-wing parties and the social democratic party, were highly antagonized. The
October Revolution The October Revolution,. officially known as the Great October Socialist Revolution. under the Soviet Union The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a that spanned during its existence ...

October Revolution
in Russia changed the geopolitical situation once more. Suddenly, the right-wing parties in Finland started to reconsider their decision to block the transfer of highest executive power from the Russian government to Finland, as the
Bolsheviks The Bolsheviks (Russian Russian refers to anything related to Russia, including: *Russians (русские, ''russkiye''), an ethnic group of the East Slavic peoples, primarily living in Russia and neighboring countries *Rossiyane (росс ...
took power in Russia. Rather than acknowledge the authority of the Power Act of a few months earlier, the right-wing government, led by
Prime Minister A prime minister or a premier is the head of the cabinet Cabinet or The Cabinet may refer to: Furniture * Cabinetry, a box-shaped piece of furniture with doors and/or drawers * Display cabinet, a piece of furniture with one or more transpa ...
, presented
Declaration of Independence#REDIRECT Declaration of independence {{Redirect category shell, {{R from other capitalisation ...
on 4 December 1917, which was officially approved two days later, on 6 December, by the
Finnish Parliament The Parliament of Finland (, ) is the Unicameralism, unicameral Parliamentary sovereignty, supreme legislature of Finland, founded on 9 May 1906. In accordance with the Constitution of Finland, sovereignty belongs to the people, and that powe ...

Finnish Parliament
. The
Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic The Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (Russian SFSR or RSFSR; rus, links=1, Росси́йская Сове́тская Федерати́вная Социалисти́ческая Респу́блика, Rossíyskaya Sovétskaya ...
(RSFSR), led by
Vladimir Lenin Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov. ( 1870 – 21 January 1924), better known by his alias Lenin,. was a Russian revolutionary, politician, and political theorist. He served as the first and founding head of government The head of government is e ...

Vladimir Lenin
, recognized independence on 4 January 1918. On 27 January 1918, the official opening shots of the
civil war A civil war, also known as an intrastate war in polemology, is a war between organized groups within the same Sovereign state, state (or country). The aim of one side may be to take control of the country or a region, to achieve independen ...
were fired in two simultaneous events: on the one hand the government's beginning to disarm the Russian forces in Pohjanmaa, and on the other, a coup launched by the
Social Democratic Party The name Social Democratic Party or Social Democrats has been used by many Political party, political parties in various countries around the world. Such parties are most commonly aligned to social democracy as their Ideologies of parties, pol ...
. The latter gained control of southern Finland and Helsinki, but the White government continued in exile from
Vaasa Vaasa (; sv, Vasa, , Sweden ), in the years 1855–1917 as Nikolainkaupunki ( sv, Nikolaistad; literally meaning "city of Nicholas I of Russia, Nicholas),
. This sparked the brief but bitter civil war. The
Whites White is a racialized classification of people and a skin color Afghan children with fair skin Human skin color ranges from the darkest brown to the lightest hues. Differences in skin color among individuals is caused by variation in p ...
, who were supported by
Imperial Germany The German Empire or the Imperial State of Germany,, officially '.Herbert Tuttle Herbert Tuttle (1846–1894) was an American historian. Biography Herbert Tuttle was born in Bennington, Vermont Bennington is a New England town, town ...
, prevailed over the Reds, which were guided by
Kullervo Manner Kullervo Achilles Manner (12 October 1880 – 15 January 1939) was a Finnish politician and journalist, and later a Soviet Union, Soviet politician. He was a member of the Finnish parliament, serving as its Speaker in 1917. He was also chairman ...

Kullervo Manner
's desire to make the newly independent country a
Finnish Socialist Workers' Republic The Finnish Socialist Workers' Republic (FSWR), more commonly referred to as Red Finland, was a self-proclaimed Finnish Finnish may refer to: * Something or someone from, or related to Finland * Finnish culture * Finnish people or Finns, the prima ...
(also known as "Red Finland") and part of the RSFSR. After the war, tens of thousands of Reds and suspected sympathizers were interned in camps, where thousands were executed or died from malnutrition and disease. Deep social and political enmity was sown between the Reds and Whites and would last until the
Winter War The Winter War,, sv, vinterkriget, rus, Зи́мняя война́, r=Zimnyaya voyna. The names Soviet–Finnish War 1939–1940 (russian: link=no, Сове́тско-финская война́ 1939–1940) and Soviet–Finland War 1939 ...
and beyond. Even nowadays, the civil war remains a sensitive topic. The civil war and the 1918–1920 activist expeditions called " Kinship Wars" into Soviet Russia strained Eastern relations. At that time, the idea of a
Greater Finland and the 1947 Paris Peace Treaties. , 150px Greater Finland ( fi, Suur-Suomi; et, Suur-Soome; Livonian language, Livonian: ''Sūr-Sūomõmō'', sv, Storfinland) is an irredentist and nationalist Nationalism is an idea and moveme ...

Greater Finland
also emerged for the first time. After a brief experimentation with monarchy, when an attempt to make
Prince Frederick Charles of Hesse Frederick Charles Louis Constantine, Prince and Landgrave Landgrave (german: Landgraf, nl, landgraaf, sv, lantgreve, french: landgrave; la, comes magnus, ', ', ', ', ') was a noble title used in the Holy Roman Empire, and later on in its ...
King of Finland proved to be a poor success, Finland became a
presidential republic A presidential system, or single executive system, is a form of government in which a head of government The head of government is either the highest or second highest official in the executive branch of a sovereign state, a federated state, ...
, with elected as its first president in 1919. As a liberal nationalist and with a legal background, Ståhlberg anchored the state in
liberal democracy Liberal democracy, also referred to as Western democracy, is the combination of a liberal Liberal or liberalism may refer to: Politics *a supporter of liberalism, a political and moral philosophy **Liberalism by country *an adherent of a L ...
, guarded the fragile shoot of the
rule of law The rule of law is defined in the ''Oxford English Dictionary The ''Oxford English Dictionary'' (''OED'') is the principal of the , published by (OUP). It traces the historical development of the English language, providing a compreh ...

rule of law
, and embarked on internal reforms. Finland was also one of the first European countries to strongly aim for equality for women, with
Miina Sillanpää Miina Sillanpää (originally Vilhelmiina Riktig, 4 June 1866 – 3 April 1952) was Finland's first female political minister, minister and a key figure in the workers' movement. In 2016, the Finnish government made 1 October an official Flag days i ...
serving in Väinö Tanner's cabinet as the first female minister in Finnish history in 1926–1927. The Finnish–Russian border was defined in 1920 by the Treaty of Tartu, largely following the historic border but granting Pechenga ( fi, Petsamo) and its
Barents Sea The Barents Sea ( , also ; no, Barentshavet, ; russian: Баренцево море, Barentsevo More) is a marginal sea This is a list of seas of the World Ocean, including marginal seas, areas of water, various gulfs, bights, bays, and stra ...
harbour to Finland. Finnish democracy did not experience any Soviet coup attempts and likewise survived the anti-communist
Lapua Movement The Lapua Movement ( fi, Lapuan liike, sv, Lapporörelsen) was a radical Finnish nationalist and anti-communist Anti-communism is a political movement and ideology opposed to communism. Organized anti-communism developed after the 1917 Octobe ...
. Nevertheless, the relationship between Finland and the Soviet Union remained tense. Army officers were trained in France, and relations with Western Europe and Sweden were strengthened. In 1917, the population was three million. Credit-based
land reform Land reform is a form of agrarian reformAgrarian reform can refer either, narrowly, to government-initiated or government-backed redistribution of agricultural land Agricultural land is typically land ''devoted to'' agriculture Agricultu ...

land reform
was enacted after the civil war, increasing the proportion of the capital-owning population. About 70% of workers were occupied in agriculture and 10% in industry. The largest export markets were the United Kingdom and Germany.


World War II and after

Finland fought the
Soviet Union The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a that spanned during its existence from 1922 to 1991. It was nominally a of multiple national ; in practice and were highly until its final years. The ...
in the
Winter War The Winter War,, sv, vinterkriget, rus, Зи́мняя война́, r=Zimnyaya voyna. The names Soviet–Finnish War 1939–1940 (russian: link=no, Сове́тско-финская война́ 1939–1940) and Soviet–Finland War 1939 ...
of 1939–1940 after the Soviet Union attacked Finland and in the
Continuation War The Continuation War, also known as Second Soviet-Finnish war, was a conflict fought by Finland and Nazi Germany, against the Soviet Union (USSR) from 1941 to 1944, as a part of World War II.; sv, fortsättningskriget; german: Fortsetzungskri ...
of 1941–1944, following
Operation Barbarossa Operation Barbarossa (german: link=no, Unternehmen Barbarossa), also known as the German invasion of the Soviet Union, was the code name A code name, call sign or cryptonym is a code word In communication Communication (from Latin ''c ...

Operation Barbarossa
, when Finland aligned with Germany following Germany's invasion of the Soviet Union. For 872 days, the German army, aided indirectly by Finnish forces, besieged Leningrad, the USSR's second-largest city. After Finnish resistance to a major Soviet offensive in June and July 1944 led to a standstill, the two sides reached an armistice. This was followed by the
Lapland War#REDIRECT Lapland War During World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a World war, global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. It involved World War II by country, the vast majority of the ...
of 1944–1945, when Finland fought retreating German forces in northern Finland. Perhaps the most famous war heroes during the aforementioned wars were Simo Häyhä,
Aarne Juutilainen Aarne Edward Juutilainen (; 18 October 1904 – 28 October 1976), nicknamed "The Terror of Morocco", was a Finnish army captain who served in the French Foreign Legion in Morocco between 1930 and 1935. After returning to Finland, he served i ...

Aarne Juutilainen
, and
Lauri Törni Lauri Allan Törni (28 May 1919 – 18 October 1965), later known as Larry Alan Thorne, was a Finland, Finnish born Americans, American soldier who fought under three flags: as a Finnish Army officer in the Winter War and the Continuation War ulti ...
. The treaties signed with the Soviet Union in 1947 and 1948 included Finnish obligations, restraints, and reparations, as well as further Finnish territorial concessions in addition to those in the
Moscow Peace Treaty The Moscow Peace Treaty was signed by Finland and the Soviet Union on 12 March 1940, and the ratifications were exchanged on 21 March. It marked the end of the 105-day Winter War, upon which Finland ceded border areas to the Soviet Union. The t ...
of 1940. As a result of the two wars, Finland ceded the Petsamo, along with parts of
Finnish Karelia Karelia (Finnish language, Finnish: ''Karjala'', Swedish language, Swedish: ''Karelen Russian language, Russian: Карелия'') was a Historical provinces of Finland, historical province of Finland which Finland partly Cession, ceded to the So ...

Finnish Karelia
and
Salla Salla (''Kuolajärvi'' until 1936) ( smn, Kyelijävri) is a municipality A municipality is usually a single administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region ...
. This amounted to 10% of Finland's land area and 20% of its industrial capacity, including the ports of
Vyborg Vyborg (russian: Выборг, p=ˈvɨbərk; fi, Viipuri ; sv, Viborg ; german: Wiborg ) is a in, and the of, in , . It lies on the near the head of the , to the northwest of , east of the capital , and south of , where the enters ...

Vyborg
(Viipuri) and the ice-free Liinakhamari (Liinahamari). Almost the whole Finnish population, some 400,000 people, fled these areas. The former Finnish territory now constitutes part of Russia's
Republic of Karelia The Republic of Karelia (russian: Респу́блика Каре́лия, Respublika Kareliya, rʲɪˈspublʲɪkə kɐˈrʲelʲɪ(j)ə; krl, Karjalan tazavaldu; fi, Karjalan tasavalta; vep, Karjalan Tazovaldkund), or Karelia (russian: Кар ...
,
Leningrad Oblast Leningrad Oblast ( rus, Ленингра́дская о́бласть, Leningradskaya oblast’, lʲɪnʲɪnˈgratskəjə ˈobləsʲtʲ) is a federal subjects of Russia, federal subject of Russia (an oblast). It was established on 1 August 1927, ...
, and
Murmansk Oblast Murmansk Oblast ( rus, Му́рманская о́бласть, p=ˈmurmənskəjə ˈobləsʲtʲ, r=Murmanskaya oblast) is a federal subject (an oblast An oblast (; ) is a type of administrative division of Belarus, Bulgaria Bulgaria (; ...
. Finland was never occupied by Soviet forces and it retained its independence, but at a loss of about 97,000 soldiers. The war reparations demanded by the Soviet Union amounted to $300 million ( million in ). Finland rejected , in apparent deference to Soviet desires. However, in the hope of preserving Finland's independence, the United States provided secret development aid and helped the Social Democratic Party. Establishing trade with the Western powers, such as the United Kingdom, and paying reparations to the Soviet Union produced a transformation of Finland from a primarily
agrarian economy An agrarian society, or agricultural society, is any community whose economy is based on producing and maintaining crops and Agricultural land, farmland. Another way to define an agrarian society is by seeing how much of a nation's total production ...
to an industrialized one.
Valmet Valmet Oyj is a Finnish company and a developer and supplier of technologies, automation systems and services for the pulp (paper), pulp, paper and energy industry, energy industries. Valmet has over 200 years of history as an industrial operato ...

Valmet
was founded to create materials for war reparations. After the reparations had been paid off, Finland continued to trade with the Soviet Union in the framework of
bilateral trade Bilateral trade or clearing trade is trade exclusively between two states, particularly, barter trade based on bilateral deals between governments, and without using hard currency for payment. Bilateral trade agreements often aim to keep trade de ...
. In 1950, 46% of Finnish workers worked in agriculture and a third lived in urban areas. The new jobs in manufacturing, services, and trade quickly attracted people to the towns. The average number of births per woman declined from a
baby boom A baby boom is a period marked by a significant increase of birth rate. This demographic phenomenon is usually ascribed within certain geographical bounds of defined national and cultural Culture () is an umbrella term which encompasses ...
peak of 3.5 in 1947 to 1.5 in 1973. When baby-boomers entered the workforce, the economy did not generate jobs quickly enough, and hundreds of thousands emigrated to the more industrialized Sweden, with emigration peaking in 1969 and 1970. The
1952 Summer Olympics The 1952 Summer Olympics ( fi, Kesäolympialaiset 1952; sv, Olympiska sommarspelen 1952), officially known as the Games of the XV Olympiad, were an international multi-sport event A multi-sport event is an organized sporting Sporting may refer ...
brought international visitors. Finland took part in trade liberalization in the
World Bank The World Bank is an international financial institution An international financial institution (IFI) is a financial institution that has been established (or chartered) by more than one country, and hence is subject to international law. Its o ...
, the
International Monetary Fund The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is an international financial institution, headquartered in Washington, D.C. ) , image_skyline = , image_caption = Clockwise from top left: the Washington Monu ...

International Monetary Fund
and the
General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) is a between many countries, whose overall purpose was to promote by reducing or eliminating s such as or . According to its preamble, its purpose was the "substantial reduction of tariffs a ...
. Officially claiming to be , Finland lay in the grey zone between the
Western countries The Western world, also known as the West, refers to various region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study of the lands, features, inhabita ...

Western countries
and the Soviet bloc. The (Finno-Soviet Pact of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance) gave the Soviet Union some leverage in Finnish domestic politics. This was extensively exploited by president
Urho Kekkonen Urho Kaleva Kekkonen (; 3 September 1900 – 31 August 1986), often referred to by his initials UKK, was a Finnish politician who served as the eighth and longest-serving President of Finland The president of the Republic of Finland ( fi, ...
against his opponents. He maintained an effective monopoly on Soviet relations from 1956 on, which was crucial for his continued popularity. In politics, there was a tendency to avoid any policies and statements that could be interpreted as anti-Soviet. This phenomenon was given the name "
Finlandization Finlandization ( fi, suomettuminen; sv, finlandisering; et, soometumine; german: Finnlandisierung; russian: Финляндизация) is the process by which one powerful country makes a smaller neighboring country abide by the former's foreig ...
" by the West German press. During the
Cold War The Cold War was a period of tension between the and the and their respective allies, the and the , which began following . Historians do not fully agree on its starting and ending points, but the period is generally considered to span ...
, Finland also developed into one of the centres of the East-West espionage, in which both the
KGB The KGB ( rus, links=no, Комитет государственной безопасности (КГБ), a=ru-KGB.ogg, p=kəmʲɪˈtʲet ɡəsʊˈdarstvʲɪn(ː)əj bʲɪzɐˈpasnəsʲtʲɪ, Komitet Gosudarstvennoy Bezopasnosti), translated ...
and the
CIA The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA; ), known informally as "The Agency" and "The Company", is a civilian foreign intelligence service of the federal government of the United States The federal government of the United States (U.S. ...

CIA
played their parts. The 1949 established
Finnish Security Intelligence Service The Finnish Security Intelligence Service ( fi, Suojelupoliisi, Supo; ), formerly the Finnish Security Police, is the security Security is freedom from, or resilience against, potential Potential generally refers to a currently unrealized ability ...
(''SUPO, Suojelupoliisi''), an operational
security Security is freedom from, or resilience against, potential Potential generally refers to a currently unrealized ability. The term is used in a wide variety of fields, from physics Physics is the natural science that studies matter, its El ...
authority and a police unit under the
Interior Ministry An interior ministry (sometimes called ministry of internal affairs or ministry of home affairs) is a government ministry responsible for internal affairs, particularly public security, emergency management, civil registration and identification ...
, whose core areas of activity are
counter-Intelligence Counterintelligence is an activity aimed at protecting an agency's from an opposition's intelligence service. It includes gathering information and conducting activities to prevent , , s or other intelligence activities conducted by, for, or ...
,
counter-terrorism Counterterrorism (also spelled counter-terrorism), also known as anti-terrorism, incorporates the practice, military tactics Military tactics encompasses the art of organizing and employing fighting forces on or near the battlefield. They ...
and
national security National security or national defence is the security and Defence (military), defence of a sovereign state, nation state, including its Citizenship, citizens, economy, and institutions, which is regarded as a duty of government. Originally c ...
, also participated in this activity in some places. Despite close relations with the Soviet Union, Finland maintained a market economy. Various industries benefited from trade privileges with the Soviets, which explains the widespread support that pro-Soviet policies enjoyed among business interests in Finland. Economic growth was rapid in the postwar era, and by 1975 Finland's GDP per capita was the 15th-highest in the world. In the 1970s and 1980s, Finland built one of the most extensive
welfare state The welfare state is a form of government in which the state (or a well-established network of social institutions) protects and promotes the economic and social well-being of its citizens, based upon the principles of equal opportunity Equal o ...
s in the world. Finland negotiated with the
European Economic Community The European Economic Community (EEC) was a regional organization and Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country straddling Southeastern Europe and Western Asia. It shares borders with Greece ...

European Economic Community
(EEC, a predecessor of the European Union) a treaty that mostly abolished customs duties towards the EEC starting from 1977, although Finland did not fully join. In 1981, President Urho Kekkonen's failing health forced him to retire after holding office for 25 years. Finland reacted cautiously to the collapse of the Soviet Union, but swiftly began increasing integration with the West. On 21 September 1990, Finland unilaterally declared the
Paris Peace Treaty The Paris Peace Treaties (french: Traités de Paris) were signed on 10 February 1947 following the end of World War II in 1945. The Paris Peace Conference lasted from 29 July until 15 October 1946. The victorious wartime Allies of World War II, ...
obsolete, following the German reunification decision nine days earlier. Miscalculated macroeconomic decisions, a banking crisis, the collapse of its largest trading partner (the Soviet Union), and a global economic downturn caused a deep
early 1990s recession in Finland The early 1990s depression in Finland was one of the worst economic crises in Finland's history, even worse there than the 1930s Great Depression. The depression of 1991–1993 had a deep effect on the economy of Finland throughout the 1990s, espec ...
. The depression bottomed out in 1993, and Finland saw steady economic growth for more than ten years. Like other Nordic countries, Finland decentralized its economy since the late 1980s. Financial and product market regulation were loosened. Some state enterprises have been privatized and there have been some modest tax cuts. Finland joined the
European Union The European Union (EU) is a political and economic union of member states that are located primarily in Europe Europe is a which is also recognised as part of , located entirely in the and mostly in the . It comprises the wester ...

European Union
in 1995, and the
Eurozone The eurozone, officially called the euro area, is a monetary union of 19 Member state of the European Union, member states of the European Union (EU) that have adopted the euro (Euro sign, €) as their primary currency and sole legal tender. Th ...

Eurozone
in 1999. Much of the late 1990s economic growth was fueled by the success of the mobile phone manufacturer Nokia, which held a unique position of representing 80% of the market capitalization of the Helsinki Stock Exchange.


Geography

Lying approximately between latitudes 60th parallel north, 60° and 70th parallel north, 70° N, and longitudes 20th meridian east, 20° and 32nd meridian east, 32° E, Finland is one of the world's northernmost countries. Of world capitals, only Reykjavík lies more to the north than Helsinki. The distance from the southernmost point – Hanko, Finland, Hanko in Uusimaa – to the northernmost – Nuorgam in Lapland – is . Finland has about 168,000 lakes (of area larger than ) and 179,000 islands. Its largest lake, Saimaa, is the fourth largest in Europe. The Finnish Lakeland is the area with the most lakes in the country; many of the major cities in the area, most notably Tampere, Jyväskylä and Kuopio, are located in the immediate vicinity of the large lakes. The greatest concentration of islands is found in the southwest, in the Archipelago Sea between continental Finland and the main island of Åland. Much of the geography of Finland is a result of the Ice Age. The glaciers were thicker and lasted longer in
Fennoscandia __NOTOC__ Fennoscandia (Finnish Finnish may refer to: * Something or someone from, or related to Finland * Finnish culture * Finnish people or Finns, the primary ethnic group in Finland * Finnish language, the national language of the Finnish peop ...

Fennoscandia
compared with the rest of Europe. Their eroding effects have left the Finnish landscape mostly flat with few hills and fewer mountains. Its highest point, the Halti at , is found in the extreme north of Lapland at the border between Finland and Norway. The highest mountain whose peak is entirely in Finland is Ridnitšohkka at , directly adjacent to Halti. The retreating glaciers have left the land with moraine, morainic deposits in formations of eskers. These are ridges of stratified gravel and sand, running northwest to southeast, where the ancient edge of the glacier once lay. Among the biggest of these are the three Salpausselkä ridges that run across southern Finland. Having been compressed under the enormous weight of the glaciers, terrain in Finland is rising due to the post-glacial rebound. The effect is strongest around the Gulf of Bothnia, where land steadily rises about a year. As a result, the old sea bottom turns little by little into dry land: the surface area of the country is expanding by about annually. Relatively speaking, Finland is rising from the sea."Finland." Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite. Chicago: Encyclopædia Britannica, 2011. The landscape is covered mostly by coniferous taiga forests and fens, with little cultivated land. Of the total area 10% is lakes, rivers and ponds, and 78% forest. The forest consists of pine, spruce, birch, and other species. Finland is the largest producer of wood in Europe and among the largest in the world. The most common type of rock is granite. It is a ubiquitous part of the scenery, visible wherever there is no soil cover. Moraine or till is the most common type of soil, covered by a thin layer of humus of biological origin. Podzol profile development is seen in most forest soils except where drainage is poor. Gleysols and peat bogs occupy poorly drained areas.


Biodiversity

Phytogeography, Phytogeographically, Finland is shared between the Arctic, central European, and northern European provinces of the Circumboreal Region within the Boreal Kingdom. According to the World Wide Fund for Nature, WWF, the territory of Finland can be subdivided into three ecoregions: the Scandinavian and Russian taiga, Sarmatic mixed forests, and Scandinavian Montane Birch forest and grasslands. Taiga covers most of Finland from northern regions of southern provinces to the north of Lapland. On the southwestern coast, south of the Helsinki-Rauma, Finland, Rauma line, forests are characterized by mixed forests, that are more typical in the Baltic region. In the extreme north of Finland, near the tree line and Arctic Ocean, Montane Birch forests are common. Finland had a 2018 Forest Landscape Integrity Index mean score of 5.08/10, ranking it 109th globally out of 172 countries. Similarly, Finland has a diverse and extensive range of fauna. There are at least sixty native mammalian species, 248 breeding bird species, over 70 fish species, and 11 reptile and frog species present today, many migrating from neighbouring countries thousands of years ago. Large and widely recognized wildlife mammals found in Finland are the brown bear, grey wolf, wolverine, and Moose, elk. The brown bear, which is also nicknamed as the "king of the forest" by the Finns, is the country's official national animal, which also occur on the coat of arms of the Satakunta Regions of Finland, region is a crown-headed black bear carrying a sword, possibly referring to the regional capital city of Pori, whose Swedish name ''Björneborg'' and the Latin name ''Arctopolis'' literally means "bear city" or "bear fortress". Three of the more striking birds are the whooper swan, a large European swan and the national bird of Finland; the Western capercaillie, a large, black-plumaged member of the grouse family; and the Eurasian eagle-owl. The latter is considered an indicator of old-growth forest connectivity, and has been declining because of landscape fragmentation. Around 24,000 species of Insects are prevalent in Finland some of the most common being hornets with tribes of beetles such as the Onciderini also being common. The most common breeding birds are the willow warbler, common chaffinch, and redwing. Of some seventy species of freshwater fish, the northern pike, perch, and others are plentiful. Atlantic salmon remains the favourite of Fly fishing, fly rod enthusiasts. The endangered Saimaa ringed seal (''Pusa hispida saimensis''), one of only three lake seal species in the world, exists only in the Saimaa lake system of southeastern Finland, down to only 390 seals today. Ever since the species was protected in 1955, it has become the emblem of the Finnish Association for Nature Conservation. The Saimaa ringed seal lives nowadays mainly in two Finnish national parks, Kolovesi National Park, Kolovesi and Linnansaari National Park, Linnansaari, but strays have been seen in a much larger area, including near Savonlinna's town centre.


Climate

The main factor influencing Finland's climate is the country's geographical position between the 60th and 70th northern parallels in the Eurasian continent's coastal zone. In the Köppen climate classification, the whole of Finland lies in the subarctic climate, boreal zone, characterized by warm summers and freezing winters. Within the country, the temperateness varies considerably between the southern coastal regions and the extreme north, showing characteristics of both a Oceanic climate, maritime and a continental climate. Finland is near enough to the Atlantic Ocean to be continuously warmed by the Gulf Stream. The Gulf Stream combines with the moderating effects of the Baltic Sea and numerous inland lakes to explain the unusually warm climate compared with other regions that share the same latitude, such as Alaska, Siberia, and southern Greenland. Winters in southern Finland (when mean daily temperature remains below ) are usually about 100 days long, and in the inland the snow typically covers the land from about late November to April, and on the coastal areas such as Helsinki, snow often covers the land from late December to late March. Even in the south, the harshest winter nights can see the temperatures fall to although on coastal areas like Helsinki, temperatures below are rare. Climatic summers (when mean daily temperature remains above ) in southern Finland last from about late May to mid-September, and in the inland, the warmest days of July can reach over . Although most of Finland lies on the taiga belt, the southernmost coastal regions are sometimes classified as hemiboreal. In northern Finland, particularly in Lapland, the winters are long and cold, while the summers are relatively warm but short. The most severe winter days in Lapland can see the temperature fall down to . The winter of the north lasts for about 200 days with permanent snow cover from about mid-October to early May. Summers in the north are quite short, only two to three months, but can still see maximum daily temperatures above during heat waves. No part of Finland has Arctic tundra, but Alpine tundra can be found at the fells Lapland. The Finnish climate is suitable for cereal farming only in the southernmost regions, while the northern regions are suitable for
animal husbandry Animal husbandry is the branch of agriculture concerned with animals that are raised for meat, animal fiber, fibre, milk, eggs, or other products. It includes day-to-day care, selective breeding and the raising of livestock. Husbandry has a long ...
. A quarter of Finland's territory lies within the Arctic Circle and the midnight sun can be experienced for more days the farther north one travels. At Finland's northernmost point, the sun does not set for 73 consecutive days during summer, and does not rise at all for 51 days during winter.


Regions

Finland consists of 19 Regions of Finland, regions, called in Finnish and in Swedish. The regions are governed by regional councils which serve as forums of cooperation for the Municipalities of Finland, municipalities of a region. The main tasks of the regions are regional planning and development of enterprise and education. In addition, the public health services are usually organized on the basis of regions. Currently, the only region where a popular election is held for the council is Kainuu. Other regional councils are elected by municipal councils, each municipality sending representatives in proportion to its population. In addition to inter-municipal cooperation, which is the responsibility of regional councils, each region has a state Employment and Economic Development Centre which is responsible for the local administration of labour, agriculture, fisheries, forestry, and entrepreneurial affairs. The Finnish Defence Forces regional offices are responsible for the regional defence preparations and for the administration of conscription within the region. Regions represent dialectal, cultural, and economic variations better than the former Provinces of Finland, provinces, which were purely administrative divisions of the central government. Historically, regions are divisions of historical provinces of Finland, areas which represent dialects and culture more accurately. Six Regional State Administrative Agencies of Finland, Regional State Administrative Agencies were created by the state of Finland in 2010, each of them responsible for one of the regions called in Finnish and in Swedish; in addition, Åland was designated a seventh region. These take over some of the tasks of the earlier Provinces of Finland (''lääni''/''län''), which were abolished. The region of Eastern Uusimaa, Eastern Uusimaa (Itä-Uusimaa) was consolidated with Uusimaa on 1 January 2011.


Administrative divisions

The fundamental administrative divisions of the country are the Municipalities of Finland, municipalities, which may also call themselves towns or cities. They account for half of public spending. Spending is financed by municipal income tax, state subsidies, and other revenue. , there are 309 municipalities, and most have fewer than 6,000 residents. In addition to municipalities, two intermediate levels are defined. Municipalities co-operate in seventy Sub-regions of Finland, sub-regions and nineteen Regions of Finland, regions. These are governed by the member municipalities and have only limited powers. The autonomous province of Åland has a permanent democratically elected regional council. Sami people have a semi-autonomous Sami native region (Finland), Sami native region in Lapland for issues on language and culture. In the following chart, the number of inhabitants includes those living in the entire municipality (''kunta/kommun''), not just in the built-up area. The land area is given in km2, and the density in inhabitants per km2 (land area). The figures are as of . The capital region – comprising Helsinki,
Vantaa Vantaa (; sv, Vanda, ) is a city and municipality A municipality is usually a single administrative division having Municipal corporation, corporate status and powers of self-government or jurisdiction as granted by national and regional ...
,
Espoo Espoo (, ; sv, Esbo; la, Espo) is a city A city is a large .Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science Encyclopedia''. 2nd edition. London: R ...

Espoo
and
Kauniainen Kauniainen (; sv, Grankulla) is a small town A town is a human settlement. Towns are generally larger than villages and smaller than city, cities, though the criteria to distinguish between them vary considerably in different parts ...
– forms a continuous conurbation of over 1.1 million people. However, common administration is limited to voluntary cooperation of all municipalities, e.g. in Helsinki Metropolitan Area Council.


Government and politics


Constitution

The Constitution of Finland defines the political system; Finland is a parliamentary republic within the framework of a representative democracy. The
Prime Minister A prime minister or a premier is the head of the cabinet Cabinet or The Cabinet may refer to: Furniture * Cabinetry, a box-shaped piece of furniture with doors and/or drawers * Display cabinet, a piece of furniture with one or more transpa ...
is the country's most powerful person. The current version of the constitution was enacted on 1 March 2000, and was amended on 1 March 2012. Citizens can run and vote in parliamentary, municipal, presidential and Elections in the European Union, European Union elections.


President

The head of state of Finland is President of Finland, President of the Republic of Finland (in Finnish: ''Suomen tasavallan presidentti''; in Swedish: ''Republiken Finlands president''). Finland has had for most of its independence a semi-presidential system, but in the last few decades the powers of the President have been diminished. Constitutional amendments, which came into effect in 1991 and 1992, as well as a new drafted constitution of 2000 (amended in 2012), have made the presidency a primarily ceremonial office. However, the President still leads the nation's foreign politics together with the Council of State and is the commander-in-chief of the Defence Forces.Formerly a semi-presidential republic, it is now a parliamentary republic according to David Arter, First Chair of Politics at Aberdeen University. In his "Scandinavian Politics Today" (Manchester University Press, revised 2008 ), he quotes as follows: "There are hardly any grounds for the epithet 'semi-presidential'." Arter's own conclusions are only slightly more nuanced: "The adoption of a new constitution on 1 March 2000 meant that Finland was no longer a case of semi-presidential government other than in the minimalist sense of a situation where a popularly elected fixed-term president exists alongside a prime minister and cabinet who are responsible to parliament (Elgie 2004: 317)". According to the Finnish Constitution, the president has no possibility to rule the government without the ministerial approval, and does not have the power to dissolve the parliament under his or her own desire. Finland is actually represented by its prime minister, and not by its president, in the Council of the Heads of State and Government of the European Union. The 2012 constitutional amendments reduced the powers of the president even further. The position still does entail some powers, including responsibility for Foreign relations of Finland, foreign policy (excluding affairs related to the
European Union The European Union (EU) is a political and economic union of member states that are located primarily in Europe Europe is a which is also recognised as part of , located entirely in the and mostly in the . It comprises the wester ...

European Union
) in cooperation with Cabinet of Finland, the cabinet, being Commander-in-Chief, the head of the armed forces, some decree and pardoning powers, and some appointive powers. Direct, one- or two-stage elections are used to elect the president for a term of six years and for a maximum of two consecutive 6-year terms. The current president is Sauli Niinistö; he took office on 1 March 2012. Former presidents were Kaarlo Juho Ståhlberg, K. J. Ståhlberg (1919–1925), Lauri Kristian Relander, L. K. Relander (1925–1931), Pehr Evind Svinhufvud, P. E. Svinhufvud (1931–1937), Kyösti Kallio (1937–1940), Risto Ryti (1940–1944), Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim, C. G. E. Mannerheim (1944–1946), Juho Kusti Paasikivi, J. K. Paasikivi (1946–1956),
Urho Kekkonen Urho Kaleva Kekkonen (; 3 September 1900 – 31 August 1986), often referred to by his initials UKK, was a Finnish politician who served as the eighth and longest-serving President of Finland The president of the Republic of Finland ( fi, ...
(1956–1982), Mauno Koivisto (1982–1994), Martti Ahtisaari (1994–2000), and Tarja Halonen (2000–2012). The current president was elected from the ranks of the National Coalition Party for the first time since 1946. The presidency between 1946 and the present was instead held by a member of the
Social Democratic Party The name Social Democratic Party or Social Democrats has been used by many Political party, political parties in various countries around the world. Such parties are most commonly aligned to social democracy as their Ideologies of parties, pol ...
or the Centre Party (Finland), Centre Party.


Parliament

The 200-member Unicameralism, unicameral Parliament of Finland (, ) exercises supreme legislative authority in the country. It may alter the constitution and ordinary laws, dismiss the cabinet, and override presidential vetoes. Its acts are not subject to judicial review; the constitutionality of new laws is assessed by the parliament's Parliament of Finland#Committees, constitutional law committee. The parliament is elected for a term of four years using the proportional D'Hondt method within a number of multi-seat constituencies through the Open list#Most open, most open list multi-member districts. Various parliament committees listen to experts and prepare legislation. Since
universal suffrage Universal suffrage (also called universal franchise, general suffrage, and common suffrage of the common man) gives the right to vote Suffrage, political franchise, or simply franchise, is the right to vote in public, political elections (a ...
was introduced in 1906, the parliament has been dominated by the Centre Party (Finland), Centre Party (former Agrarian Union), the National Coalition Party, and the Social Democratic Party of Finland, Social Democrats. These parties have enjoyed approximately equal support, and their combined vote has totalled about 65–80% of all votes. Their lowest common total of MPs, 121, was reached in the 2011 elections. For a few decades after 1944, the Communist Party of Finland, Communists were a strong fourth party. Due to the electoral system of proportional representation, and the relative reluctance of voters to switch their support between parties, the relative strengths of the parties have commonly varied only slightly from one election to another. However, there have been some long-term trends, such as the rise and fall of the Communists during the Cold War; the steady decline into insignificance of the Liberals (Finland), Liberals and their predecessors from 1906 to 1980; and the rise of the Green League since 1983. The Marin Cabinet is the incumbent 76th government of Finland. It was formed following the collapse of the Rinne Cabinet and officially took office on 10 December 2019. The cabinet consists of a coalition formed by the
Social Democratic Party The name Social Democratic Party or Social Democrats has been used by many Political party, political parties in various countries around the world. Such parties are most commonly aligned to social democracy as their Ideologies of parties, pol ...
, the Centre Party (Finland), Centre Party, the Green League, the Left Alliance (Finland), Left Alliance, and the Swedish People's Party of Finland, Swedish People's Party.


Cabinet

After parliamentary elections, the parties negotiate among themselves on forming a new cabinet (the Finnish Government), which then has to be approved by a simple majority vote in the parliament. The cabinet can be dismissed by a parliamentary vote of no confidence, although this rarely happens (the last time in 1957), as the parties represented in the cabinet usually make up a majority in the parliament. The cabinet exercises most executive powers, and originates most of the bills that the parliament then debates and votes on. It is headed by the Prime Minister of Finland, and consists of him or her, of other ministers, and of the Chancellor of Justice (Finland), Chancellor of Justice. The current prime minister is Sanna Marin (Social Democratic Party). Each minister heads his or her ministry, or, in some cases, has responsibility for a subset of a ministry's policy. After the prime minister, the most powerful minister is the Minister of Finance (Finland), minister of finance. The incumbent Minister of Finance is Matti Vanhanen. As no one party ever dominates the parliament, Finnish cabinets are multi-party coalitions. As a rule, the post of prime minister goes to the leader of the biggest party and that of the minister of finance to the leader of the second biggest.


Law

The judicial system of Finland is a Civil law (legal system), civil law system divided between
court A court is any person or institution, often as a government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''Sta ...

court
s with regular civil and criminal jurisdiction and administrative courts with jurisdiction over litigation between individuals and the public administration. Finnish law is codified and based on Judiciary of Sweden, Swedish law and in a wider sense, civil law or Roman law. The court system for civil and criminal jurisdiction consists of local courts (''käräjäoikeus'', ''tingsrätt''), Hovrätt, regional appellate courts (''hovioikeus'', ''hovrätt''), and the Supreme Court of Finland, Supreme Court (''korkein oikeus'', ''högsta domstolen''). The administrative branch of justice consists of administrative courts (''hallinto-oikeus'', ''förvaltningsdomstol'') and the Supreme Administrative Court of Finland, Supreme Administrative Court (''korkein hallinto-oikeus'', ''högsta förvaltningsdomstolen''). In addition to the regular courts, there are a few special courts in certain branches of administration. There is also a Judicial system of Finland#High Court of Impeachment, High Court of Impeachment for criminal charges against certain high-ranking officeholders. Around 92% of residents have confidence in Finland's security institutions.Policing corruption, International Perspectives. The overall Crime in Finland, crime rate of Finland is not high in the EU context. Some crime types are above average, notably the high homicide rate for Western Europe. A day fine system is in effect and also applied to offenses such as speeding. Finland has successfully fought against government corruption, which was more common in the 1970s and 1980s.The History of Corruption in Central Government By Seppo Tiihonen, International Institute of Administrative Sciences For instance, economic reforms and EU membership introduced stricter requirements for open bidding and many public monopolies were abolished. Today, Finland has a very low number of corruption charges; Transparency International ranks Finland as one of the least corrupt countries in Europe. In 2008, Transparency International criticized the lack of transparency of the system of Finnish political finance. According to GRECO in 2007, corruption should be taken into account in the Finnish system of election funds better. 2007 Finnish campaign finance scandal, A scandal revolving around campaign finance of the 2007 parliamentary elections broke out in spring 2008. Nine cabinet ministers submitted incomplete funding reports and even more of the members of parliament. The law includes no punishment of false funds reports of the elected politicians.


Foreign relations

According to the 2012 constitution, the president (currently Sauli Niinistö) leads foreign policy in cooperation with the government, except that the president has no role in EU affairs.Finnish constitution
Section 93.
In 2008, president Martti Ahtisaari was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Finland was considered a cooperative model state, and Finland did not oppose proposals for a common EU defence policy. This was reversed in the 2000s, when Tarja Halonen and Erkki Tuomioja made Finland's official policy to resist other EU members' plans for common defence."Finland's foreign policy idea" ("Suomen ulkopolitiikan idea"), Risto E. J. Penttilä, 2008.


Military

The Finnish Defence Forces consist of a Cadre (military), cadre of professional soldiers (mainly officers and technical personnel), currently serving conscripts, and a large reserve. The standard readiness strength is 34,700 people in uniform, of which 25% are professional soldiers. A universal male Conscription in Finland, conscription is in place, under which all male Finnish nationals above 18 years of age serve for 6 to 12 months of armed service or 12 months of Siviilipalvelus, civilian (non-armed) service. Voluntary post-conscription overseas peacekeeping service is popular, and troops serve around the world in UN, NATO, and EU missions. Approximately 500 women choose voluntary military service every year. Women are allowed to serve in all combat arms including front-line infantry and special forces. The army consists of a highly mobile field army backed up by local defence units. The army defends the national territory and its military strategy employs the use of the heavily forested terrain and numerous lakes to wear down an aggressor, instead of attempting to hold the attacking army on the frontier. Finnish defence expenditure per capita is one of the highest in the European Union. The Finnish military doctrine is based on the concept of total defence. The term total means that all sectors of the government and economy are involved in the defence planning. The armed forces are under the command of the Chief of Defence (Finland), Chief of Defence (currently General Jarmo Lindberg), who is directly subordinate to the president in matters related to military command. The branches of the military are Finnish Army, the army, Finnish Navy, the navy, and Finnish Air Force, the air force. The Finnish Border Guard, border guard is under the Ministry of the Interior but can be incorporated into the Defence Forces when required for defence readiness. Even while Finland hasn't joined the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the country has joined the NATO Response Force, the EU Battlegroup, the NATO Partnership for Peace and in 2014 signed a NATO memorandum of understanding,MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING (MOU) BETWEEN THE GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF FINLAND AND HEADQUARTERS, SUPREME ALLIED COMMANDER TRANSFORMATION
NATO
thus forming a practical coalition. In 2015, the Finland-NATO ties were strengthened with a host nation support agreement allowing assistance from NATO troops in emergency situations. Finland has been an active participant in the Afghanistan and Kosovo.


Social security

Finland has one of the world's most extensive welfare systems, one that guarantees decent living conditions for all residents: Finns, and non-citizens. Since the 1980s the social security has been cut back, but still the system is one of the most comprehensive in the world. Created almost entirely during the first three decades after World War II, the social security system was an outgrowth of the traditional Nordic belief that the state was not inherently hostile to the well-being of its citizens, but could intervene benevolently on their behalf. According to some social historians, the basis of this belief was a relatively benign history that had allowed the gradual emergence of a free and independent peasantry in the Nordic countries and had curtailed the dominance of the nobility and the subsequent formation of a powerful right wing. Finland's history has been harsher than the histories of the other Nordic countries, but not harsh enough to bar the country from following their path of social development.Text from PD source: US Library of Congress:

', Library of Congress Call Number DL1012 .A74 1990.


Human rights

§ 6 in two sentences of the Finnish Constitution states: ''"No one shall be placed in a different position on situation of sex, age, origin, language, religion, belief, opinion, state of health, disability or any other personal reason without an acceptable reason."'' Finland has been ranked above average among the world's countries in democracy, press freedom, and human development (economics), human development. Amnesty International has expressed concern regarding some issues in Finland, such as alleged permitting of stopovers of
CIA The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA; ), known informally as "The Agency" and "The Company", is a civilian foreign intelligence service of the federal government of the United States The federal government of the United States (U.S. ...

CIA
Extraordinary rendition, rendition flights, the imprisonment of conscientious objectors, and societal discrimination against Romani people and members of other ethnic and linguistic minorities.


Economy

The economy of Finland has a per capita output equal to that of other European economies such as those of France, Germany, Belgium, or the UK. The largest sector of the economy is the service sector at 66% of GDP, followed by manufacturing and refining at 31%. Primary sector of the economy, Primary production represents 2.9%. With respect to International trade, foreign trade, the key economic sector is manufacturing. The largest industries in 2007 were electronics (22%); machinery, vehicles, and other engineered metal products (21.1%); forest industry (13%); and chemicals (11%). The gross domestic product peaked in 2008. , the country's economy is at the 2006 level. Finland has significant timber, mineral (iron, chromium, copper, nickel, and gold), and freshwater resources. Forestry, paper factories, and the agricultural sector (on which taxpayers spend around €3 billion annually) are important for rural residents so any policy changes affecting these sectors are politically sensitive for politicians dependent on rural votes. The Greater Helsinki area generates around one third of Finland's GDP. In a 2004 OECD comparison, high-technology manufacturing in Finland ranked second largest after Ireland. Knowledge-intensive services have also resulted in the smallest and slow-growth sectors – especially agriculture and low-technology manufacturing – being ranked the second largest after Ireland.Finland Economy 2004, OECD Finland's climate and soils make growing crops a particular challenge. The country lies between the latitudes 60°N and 70°N, and it has severe winters and relatively short growing seasons that are sometimes interrupted by frost. However, because the Gulf Stream and the North Atlantic Drift Current moderate the climate, Finland contains half of the world's arable land north of 60° north latitude. Annual precipitation is usually sufficient, but it occurs almost exclusively during the winter months, making summer droughts a constant threat. In response to the climate, farmers have relied on quick-ripening and frost-resistant varieties of crops, and they have cultivated south-facing slopes as well as richer bottomlands to ensure production even in years with summer frosts. Most farmland was originally either forest or swamp, and the soil has usually required treatment with lime and years of cultivation to neutralize excess acid and to improve fertility. Irrigation has generally not been necessary, but drainage systems are often needed to remove excess water. Finland's agriculture has been efficient and productive—at least when compared with farming in other European countries. Forests play a key role in the country's economy, making it one of the world's leading wood producers and providing raw materials at competitive prices for the crucial wood-processing industries. As in agriculture, the government has long played a leading role in forestry, regulating tree cutting, sponsoring technical improvements, and establishing long-term plans to ensure that the country's forests continue to supply the wood-processing industries. To maintain the country's comparative advantage in forest products, Finnish authorities moved to raise lumber output toward the country's ecological limits. In 1984, the government published the Forest 2000 plan, drawn up by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. The plan aimed at increasing forest harvests by about 3% per year, while conserving forestland for recreation and other uses. Private sector employees amount to 1.8 million, out of which around a third with tertiary education. The average cost of a private sector employee per hour was €25.10 in 2004. , average purchasing power-adjusted income levels are similar to those of Italy, Sweden, Germany, and France. In 2006, 62% of the workforce worked for enterprises with less than 250 employees and they accounted for 49% of total business turnover and had the strongest rate of growth. The female employment rate is high. Gender segregation between male-dominated professions and female-dominated professions is higher than in the US.The Nordic Model of Welfare: A Historical Reappraisal, by Niels Finn Christiansen The proportion of part-time workers was one of the lowest in OECD in 1999. In 2013, the 10 largest private sector employers in Finland were Itella, Nokia, OP Financial Group, OP-Pohjola, ISS A/S, ISS, VR (company), VR, Kesko, UPM-Kymmene, YIT, Metso, and Nordea. The unemployment rate was 9.4% in 2015, having risen from 8.7% in 2014. Youth unemployment rate rose from 16.5% in 2007 to 20.5% in 2014. A fifth of residents are outside the job market at the age of 50 and less than a third are working at the age of 61. In 2014, nearly one million people were living with minimal wages or unemployed not enough to cover their costs of living. , 2.4 million households reside in Finland. The average size is 2.1 persons; 40% of households consist of a single person, 32% two persons and 28% three or more persons. Residential buildings total 1.2 million, and the average residential space is per person. The average residential property without land costs €1,187 per sq metre and residential land €8.60 per sq metre. 74% of households had a car. There are 2.5 million cars and 0.4 million other vehicles. Around 92% have a mobile phone and 83.5% (2009) List of countries by number of Internet users, Internet connection at home. The average total household consumption was €20,000, out of which housing consisted of about €5,500, transport about €3,000, food and beverages (excluding alcoholic beverages) at around €2,500, and recreation and culture at around €2,000. According to Invest in Finland, private consumption grew by 3% in 2006 and consumer trends included durables, high-quality products, and spending on well-being. In 2017, Finland's GDP reached €224 billion. However, second quarter of 2018 saw a slow economic growth. Unemployment rate fell to a near one-decade low in June, marking private consumption growth much higher. Finland has the highest concentration of cooperatives relative to its population. The largest retailer, which is also the largest private employer, S Group, S-Group, and the largest bank, OP-Group, in the country are both cooperatives.


Energy

The free and largely privately owned financial and physical Nordic energy markets traded in NASDAQ OMX Commodities Europe and Nord Pool Spot exchanges, have provided competitive prices compared with other EU countries. , Finland has roughly the lowest industrial electricity prices in the EU-15 (equal to France). In 2006, the energy market was around 90 terawatt hours and the peak demand around 15 gigawatts in winter. This means that the List of countries by energy consumption per capita, energy consumption per capita is around 7.2 tons of oil equivalent per year. Industry and construction consumed 51% of total consumption, a relatively high figure reflecting Finland's industries. Finland's hydrocarbon resources are limited to peat and wood. About 10–15% of the electricity is produced by hydropower, which is low compared with more mountainous Sweden or Norway. In 2008, renewable energy (mainly hydropower and various forms of wood energy) was high at 31% compared with the EU average of 10.3% in final energy consumption. Russia in the European energy sector, Russia supplies more than 75% of Finland's List of countries by oil exports, oil imports and 100% of total List of countries by natural gas exports, gas imports. Finland has four privately owned nuclear reactors producing 18% of the country's energy at the Otaniemi campus. The fifth AREVA-Siemens AG, Siemens-built reactor – the world's largest at 1600 MWe and a focal point of Europe's nuclear industry – has faced many delays and is currently scheduled to be operational by June 2022, over 12 years after the original planned opening. A varying amount (5–17%) of electricity has been imported from Russia (at around 3 gigawatt power line capacity), Sweden and Norway. The Onkalo spent nuclear fuel repository is currently under construction at the Olkiluoto Nuclear Power Plant in the municipality of Eurajoki, on the west coast of Finland, by the company Posiva.


Transport

Finland's road system is utilized by most internal cargo and passenger traffic. The annual state operated road network expenditure of around €1 billion is paid for with vehicle and fuel taxes which amount to around €1.5 billion and €1 billion, respectively. Among the Highways in Finland, Finnish highways, the most significant and busiest main roads include the Turku Highway (European route E18, E18), the Tampere Highway (European route E12, E12), the Lahti Highway (European route E75, E75), and the ring roads (Ring I and Ring III) of the Helsinki metropolitan area and the Tampere Ring Road of the Tampere urban area. The main international passenger gateway is Helsinki Airport, which handled about 21 million passengers in 2019 (5 million in 2020 due to COVID-19 pandemic). Oulu Airport is the second largest with 1 million passengers in 2019 (300,000 in 2020), whilst another List of airports in Finland, 25 airports have scheduled passenger services. The Helsinki Airport-based Finnair, Blue1, and Nordic Regional Airlines, Norwegian Air Shuttle sell air services both domestically and internationally. Helsinki has an optimal location for great circle (i.e. the shortest and most efficient) routes between Western Europe and the Far East. Despite having a low population density, the Government annually spends around €350 million to maintain the network of railway tracks. Rail transport is handled by the state owned VR Group, which has a 5% passenger market share (out of which 80% are from urban trips in Greater Helsinki) and 25% cargo market share.Transport and communications ministry—Rail. For year 2009 update
Finnish Railway Statistics 2010
For subsequent years when available
Finnish Railway Statistics.
liikennevirasto.fi
Since 12 December 2010, Karelian Trains, a joint venture between Russian Railways and VR Group, has been running Karelian Trains Class Sm6, Alstom Pendolino operated high-speed services between Saint Petersburg's Finlyandsky Rail Terminal, Finlyandsky and Helsinki's Helsinki Central railway station, Central railway stations. These services are branded as "Allegro" trains. The journey from Helsinki to Saint Petersburg takes only three and a half hours. A high-speed rail line is planned between ELSA-rata, Helsinki and Turku, with a line from the capital to Tampere also proposed. Helsinki opened the world's northernmost Helsinki Metro, metro system in 1982, which also serves the neighbouring city of Espoo since 2017. The majority of international cargo shipments are handled at ports. Vuosaari Harbour in Helsinki is the largest container port in Finland; others include Kotka, Hamina, Hanko, Finland, Hanko, Pori, Rauma, Finland, Rauma, and Oulu. There is passenger traffic from Helsinki and Turku, which have ferry connections to Tallinn, Mariehamn, Stockholm and Travemünde. The Helsinki-Tallinn route – one of the busiest passenger sea routes in the world – has also been served by a helicopter line, and the Helsinki-Tallinn Tunnel has been proposed to provide railway services between the two cities. Largely following the example of the Øresund Bridge between Sweden and Denmark, the Kvarken Bridge connecting Umeå in Sweden and
Vaasa Vaasa (; sv, Vasa, , Sweden ), in the years 1855–1917 as Nikolainkaupunki ( sv, Nikolaistad; literally meaning "city of Nicholas I of Russia, Nicholas),
in Finland to cross the Gulf of Bothnia has also been planned for decades.


Industry

Finland rapidly industrialized after World War II, achieving GDP per capita levels comparable to that of Japan or the UK in the beginning of the 1970s. Initially, most of the economic development was based on two broad groups of export-led industries, the "metal industry" (''metalliteollisuus'') and "forest industry" (''metsäteollisuus''). The "metal industry" includes shipbuilding, metalworking, the automotive industry, engineered products such as motors and Electronics industry, electronics, and production of metals and alloys including steel, copper and chromium. Many of the world's biggest cruise ships, including MS Freedom of the Seas and the Oasis of the Seas have been built in Finnish shipyards. The "forest industry" includes forestry, timber, pulp and paper, and is often considered a logical development based on Finland's extensive forest resources, as 73% of the area is covered by forest. In the pulp and paper industry, many major companies are based in Finland; Ahlstrom-Munksjö, Metsä Board, and UPM (company), UPM are all Finnish forest-based companies with revenues exceeding €1 billion. However, in recent decades, the Finnish economy has diversified, with companies expanding into fields such as electronics (Nokia), metrology (Vaisala), petroleum (Neste), and Video games in Finland, video games (Rovio Entertainment), and is no longer dominated by the two sectors of metal and forest industry. Likewise, the structure has changed, with the service sector growing, with manufacturing declining in importance; agriculture remains a minor part. Despite this, production for export is still more prominent than in Western Europe, thus making Finland possibly more vulnerable to global economic trends. In 2017, the Finnish economy was estimated to consist of approximately 2.7% agriculture, 28.2% manufacturing and 69.1% services. In 2019, the per-capita income of Finland was estimated to be $48,869. In 2020, Finland was ranked 20th on the ease of doing business index, among 190 jurisdictions.


Public policy

Finnish politicians have often emulated the Nordic model.The Nordic Model
by Torben M. Andersen, Bengt Holmström, Seppo Honkapohja, Sixten Korkman, Hans Tson Söderström, Juhana Vartiainen
Nordics have been free-trading and relatively welcoming to skilled migrants for over a century, though in Finland Immigration to Finland, immigration is relatively new. The level of protection in commodity trade has been low, except for agricultural products. Finland has top levels of economic freedom in many areas. Finland is ranked 16th in the 2008 global Index of Economic Freedom and ninth in Europe. While the manufacturing sector is thriving, the OECD points out that the service sector would benefit substantially from policy improvements. The 2007 International Institute for Management Development, IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook ranked Finland 17th most Competitiveness, competitive. The World Economic Forum 2008 index ranked Finland the sixth most competitive. In both indicators, Finland's performance was next to Germany, and significantly higher than most European countries. In the Business competitiveness index 2007–2008 Finland ranked third in the world. Economists attribute much growth to reforms in the product markets. According to the OECD, only four EU-15 countries have less regulated product markets (UK, Ireland, Denmark and Sweden) and only one has less regulated financial markets (Denmark). Nordic countries were pioneers in liberalizing energy, postal, and other markets in Europe. The legal system is clear and business bureaucracy less than most countries. Property rights are well protected and contractual agreements are strictly honoured. Finland is rated the least corrupt country in the world in the Corruption Perceptions Index and 13th in the Ease of doing business index. This indicates exceptional ease in cross-border trading (5th), contract enforcement (7th), business closure (5th), tax payment (83rd), and low worker hardship (127th). In Finland, Collective agreement#Finland, collective labour agreements are universally valid. These are drafted every few years for each profession and seniority level, with only few jobs outside the system. The agreement becomes universally enforceable provided that more than 50% of the employees support it, in practice by being a member of a relevant trade union. The unionization rate is high (70%), especially in the middle class (AKAVA, mostly for university-educated professionals: 80%).


Tourism

In 2017, tourism in Finland grossed approximately €15.0 billion with a 7% increase from the previous year. Of this, €4.6 billion (30%) came from foreign tourism. In 2017, there were 15.2 million overnight stays of domestic tourists and 6.7 million overnight stays of foreign tourists. Much of the sudden growth can be attributed to the globalization of the country as well as a rise in positive publicity and awareness. While Russia remains the largest market for foreign tourists, the biggest growth came from Chinese markets (35%). Tourism contributes roughly 2.7% to Finland's GDP, making it comparable to agriculture and forestry. Baltic Sea cruiseferries, Commercial cruises between major coastal and port cities in the Baltic region, including Helsinki,
Turku Turku ( ; ; sv, Åbo, ; la, Aboa; russian: Турку, formerly ) is a city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social ...

Turku
, Mariehamn, Tallinn, Stockholm, and Travemünde, play a significant role in the local tourism industry. There are also separate ferry connections dedicated to tourism in the vicinity of Helsinki and its region, such as the connection to the fortress island of Suomenlinna or the connection to the old town of
Porvoo Porvoo (; sv, Borgå ; la, Borgoa) is a city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science Encyclopedia''. 2nd ed ...

Porvoo
. By passenger counts, the Port of Helsinki is the World's busiest ports, busiest port in the world after the Port of Dover in the United Kingdom and the Port of Tallinn in Estonia. The Helsinki-Vantaa International Airport is the fourth busiest airport in the Nordic countries in terms of passenger numbers, and about 90% of Finland's international air traffic passes through the airport.
Lapland Lapland may refer to: Places *Lapland or Sápmi, an ethno-cultural region stretching over northern Fennoscandia (parts of Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Russia) **Lapland (Finland) (''Lappi''/''Lappland''), a Finnish region ***Lapland (former provi ...
has the highest tourism consumption of any Finnish region. Above the Arctic Circle, in midwinter, there is a polar night, a period when the sun does not rise for days or weeks, or even months, and correspondingly, midnight sun in the summer, with no sunset even at midnight (for up to 73 consecutive days, at the northernmost point). Lapland is so far north that the aurora borealis, fluorescence in the high atmosphere due to solar wind, is seen regularly in the fall, winter, and spring. Finnish Lapland is also locally regarded as the home of Saint Nicholas or Santa Claus, with several theme parks, such as Santa Claus Village and Santa Park in Rovaniemi. Other significant tourist destinations in Lapland also include ski resorts (such as Levi, Finland, Levi, Ruka, Finland, Ruka and Ylläs) and sleigh rides led by either reindeer or Husky, huskies. Tourist attractions in Finland include the natural landscape found throughout the country as well as urban attractions. Finland is covered with thick pine forests, rolling hills, and lakes. Finland contains 40 List of national parks of Finland, national parks (such as the Koli National Park in North Karelia), from the Southern shores of the
Gulf of Finland The Gulf of Finland ( fi, Suomenlahti; et, Soome laht; rus, Фи́нский зали́в, r=Finskiy zaliv, p=ˈfʲinskʲɪj zɐˈlʲif; sv, Finska viken) is the easternmost arm of the Baltic Sea. It extends between Finland to the north and E ...
to the high fells of Lapland. Outdoor activities range from Nordic skiing, golf, fishing, yachting, lake cruises, hiking, and kayaking, among many others. Bird-watching is popular for those fond of avifauna, however hunting is also popular. Moose, Elk and hare are common game in Finland. Finland also has urbanized regions with many cultural events and activities. The most famous List of tourist attractions in Helsinki, tourist attractions in Helsinki include the Helsinki Cathedral and the Suomenlinna sea fortress. The most well-known Finnish amusement parks include Linnanmäki in Helsinki, Särkänniemi in Tampere, PowerPark in Kauhava, Tykkimäki in Kouvola and Nokkakivi in Laukaa. St. Olaf's Castle (''Olavinlinna'') in Savonlinna hosts the annual Savonlinna Opera Festival, and the medieval milieus of the cities of
Turku Turku ( ; ; sv, Åbo, ; la, Aboa; russian: Турку, formerly ) is a city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social ...

Turku
, Rauma, Finland, Rauma and
Porvoo Porvoo (; sv, Borgå ; la, Borgoa) is a city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science Encyclopedia''. 2nd ed ...

Porvoo
also attract curious spectators.


Demographics

The population of Finland is currently about 5.5 million. The current birth rate is 10.42 per 1,000 residents, for a Total fertility rate, fertility rate of 1.49 children born per Women in Finland, woman, one of the lowest in the world, significantly below the replacement rate of 2.1. In 1887 Finland recorded its highest rate, 5.17 children born per woman. Finland has one of the oldest populations in the world, with a median age of 42.6 years. Approximately half of voters are estimated to be over 50 years old. Finland has an average population density of 18 inhabitants per square kilometre. This is the third-lowest population density of any European country, behind those of Norway and Iceland, and the lowest population density of any European Union member country. Finland's population has always been concentrated in the southern parts of the country, a phenomenon that became even more pronounced during 20th-century urbanization. Two of the three largest cities in Finland are situated in the Greater Helsinki
metropolitan area A metropolitan area or metro is a region consisting of a densely populated urban core Urban means "related to a city". In that sense, the term may refer to: * Urban area, geographical area distinct from rural areas * Urban culture, the cul ...

metropolitan area
—Helsinki and
Espoo Espoo (, ; sv, Esbo; la, Espo) is a city A city is a large .Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science Encyclopedia''. 2nd edition. London: R ...

Espoo
, and some municipalities in the metropolitan area have also shown clear growth of population year after year, the most notable being Järvenpää, Nurmijärvi, Kirkkonummi, Kerava and Sipoo. In the largest cities of Finland, Tampere holds the third place after Helsinki and Espoo while also Helsinki-neighbouring
Vantaa Vantaa (; sv, Vanda, ) is a city and municipality A municipality is usually a single administrative division having Municipal corporation, corporate status and powers of self-government or jurisdiction as granted by national and regional ...
is the fourth. Other cities with population over 100,000 are
Turku Turku ( ; ; sv, Åbo, ; la, Aboa; russian: Турку, formerly ) is a city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social ...

Turku
, Oulu, Jyväskylä, Kuopio, and Lahti. On the other hand, Sottunga of Åland is the smallest municipality in Finland in terms of population (Luhanka in mainland Finland), and Savukoski of
Lapland Lapland may refer to: Places *Lapland or Sápmi, an ethno-cultural region stretching over northern Fennoscandia (parts of Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Russia) **Lapland (Finland) (''Lappi''/''Lappland''), a Finnish region ***Lapland (former provi ...
is sparsely populated in terms of population density. , there were 423,494 people with a foreign background living in Finland (7.7% of the population), most of whom are from the former Soviet Union, Estonia, Somalia, Iraq and former Yugoslavia. The children of foreigners are not automatically given Finnish citizenship, as Finnish nationality law practices and maintain ''jus sanguinis'' policy where only children born to at least one Finnish parent are granted citizenship. If they are born in Finland and cannot get citizenship of any other country, they become citizens. Additionally, certain persons of Finnish descent who reside in countries that were once part of
Soviet Union The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a that spanned during its existence from 1922 to 1991. It was nominally a of multiple national ; in practice and were highly until its final years. The ...
, retain the Right of return#Finland, right of return, a right to establish permanent residency in the country, which would eventually entitle them to qualify for citizenship. 387,215 people in Finland in 2018 were born in another country, representing 7% of the population. The 10 largest foreign born groups are (in order) from Russia,
Estonia Estonia ( et, Eesti ), officially the Republic of Estonia ( et, Eesti Vabariik, links=no), is a country in northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by the Gulf of Finland across from Finland, to the west by the Baltic Sea across from Sweden ...

Estonia
, Sweden, Iraq, Somalia, China, Thailand, Serbia, Vietnam] and Turkey. Immigration to Finland, Finland's immigrant population is growing. By 2035, the three largest cities in Finland are projected to have over a quarter of residents of a foreign-speaking background: in Helsinki, they are projected to form 26% of the population; in
Espoo Espoo (, ; sv, Esbo; la, Espo) is a city A city is a large .Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science Encyclopedia''. 2nd edition. London: R ...

Espoo
, 30%; and in
Vantaa Vantaa (; sv, Vanda, ) is a city and municipality A municipality is usually a single administrative division having Municipal corporation, corporate status and powers of self-government or jurisdiction as granted by national and regional ...
, 34%. The Helsinki region is projected to have 437,000 people of a foreign linguistic background, compared to 201,000 in 2019.


Language

Finnish Finnish may refer to: * Something or someone from, or related to Finland * Finnish culture * Finnish people or Finns, the primary ethnic group in Finland * Finnish language, the national language of the Finnish people * Finnish cuisine See also

...
and
Swedish Swedish or ' may refer to: * Anything from or related to Sweden, a country in Northern Europe * Swedish language, a North Germanic language spoken primarily in Sweden and Finland * Swedish alphabet, the official alphabet used by the Swedish langua ...
are the official languages of Finland. Finnish predominates nationwide while Swedish is spoken in some coastal areas in the west and south (with towns such as Ekenäs, Finland, Ekenäs, Pargas, Närpes, Kristinestad, Jakobstad and Nykarleby.) and in the autonomous region of Åland, which is the only monolingual Swedish-speaking region in Finland. The native language of 87.3% of the population is Finnish, which is part of the Finnic subgroup of the Uralic languages, Uralic language. The language is one of only four official Languages of the European Union, EU languages not of Indo-European languages, Indo-European origin, and has no relation through descent to the other North Germanic languages, national languages of the Nordic countries, Nordics. Conversely, Finnish is closely related to Estonian language, Estonian and Karelian language, Karelian, and more distantly to Hungarian language, Hungarian and the Sámi languages. Swedish is the native language of 5.2% of the population (Swedish-speaking Finns).Statistics Finland, Population
Retrieved on 18 October 2017.
Finnish is dominant in all the country's larger cities; though Helsinki,
Turku Turku ( ; ; sv, Åbo, ; la, Aboa; russian: Турку, formerly ) is a city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social ...

Turku
and
Vaasa Vaasa (; sv, Vasa, , Sweden ), in the years 1855–1917 as Nikolainkaupunki ( sv, Nikolaistad; literally meaning "city of Nicholas I of Russia, Nicholas),
were once predominantly Swedish-speaking, they have undergone a language shift since the 19th century, getting a Finnish-speaking majority. Swedish is a compulsory school subject and general knowledge of the language is good among many non-native speakers: in 2005, a total of 47% of Finnish citizens reported the ability to speak Swedish, either as primary or a secondary language. Likewise, a majority of Swedish-speaking non-Ålanders are able to speak Finnish. However, most Swedish speaking youth reported seldom using Finnish: 71% reported always or mostly speaking Swedish in social settings outside of their households. The Finnish side of the land border with Sweden is unilingually Finnish-speaking. The Swedish across the border is distinct from the Swedish spoken in Finland. There is a sizeable pronunciation difference between the varieties of Swedish spoken in the two countries, although their mutual intelligibility is nearly universal. Finnish Kalo language, Finnish Romani is spoken by some 5,000–6,000 people; Romani and Finnish Sign Language are also recognized in the constitution. There are two sign languages: Finnish Sign Language, spoken natively by 4,000–5,000 people, and Finland-Swedish Sign Language, spoken natively by about 150 people. Mishar Tatar dialect, Tatar is spoken by a Finnish Tatars, Finnish Tatar minority of about 800 people whose ancestors moved to Finland mainly during Russian rule from the 1870s to the 1920s. The Sámi languages have an official status in parts of Lapland, where the Sámi, numbering around 7,000, are recognized as an Indigenous peoples, indigenous people. About a quarter of them speak a Sami language as their mother tongue. The Sami languages that are spoken in Finland are Northern Sami, Inari Sami language, Inari Sami, and Skolt Sami language, Skolt Sami. The rights of minority groups (in particular Sami people#Finland, Sami, Swedish-speaking population of Finland, Swedish speakers, and Finnish Kale, Romani people) are protected by the constitution. The Nordic countries#Languages, Nordic languages and Karelian language, Karelian are also specially recognized in parts of Finland. The largest immigrant languages are Russian language, Russian (1.5%), Estonian language, Estonian (0.9%), Arabic (0.6%), Somali language, Somali (0.4%) and English (0.4%). English is studied by most pupils as a compulsory subject from the first grade (at seven years of age), formerly from the third or fifth grade, in the comprehensive school (in some schools other languages can be chosen instead), as a result of which
Finns Finns or Finnish people ( fi, suomalaiset, ) are a Baltic Finns, Baltic Finnic ethnic group native to Finland. Finns are traditionally divided into smaller regional groups that span several countries adjacent to Finland, both those who are na ...
' English language skills have been significantly strengthened over several decades. German, French, Spanish and Russian can be studied as second foreign languages from the fourth grade (at 10 years of age; some schools may offer other options). About 93% of Finns can speak a second language. The figures in this section should be treated with caution, as they come from the official Finnish population register. People can only register one language and so bilingual or multilingual language users' language competencies are not properly included. A citizen of Finland that speaks bilingually Finnish and Swedish will often be registered as a Finnish only speaker in this system. Similarly "old domestic language" is a category applied to some languages and not others for political not linguistic reasons, for example Russian.


Largest cities


Religion

With 3.9 million members, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland is one of the largest Lutheran churches in the world and is also by far Finland's largest religious body; at the end of 2019, 68.7% of Finns were members of the church.Population structure
Statistics Finland
The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland has seen its share of the country's population declining by roughly one percent annually in recent years. The decline has been due to both church membership resignations and falling baptism rates. The second largest group, accounting for 26.3% of the population in 2017, has no religious affiliation. The irreligious group rose quickly from just below 13% in the year 2000. A small minority belongs to the Finnish Orthodox Church (1.1%). Other Protestant denominations and the Catholic Church in Finland, Roman Catholic Church are significantly smaller, as are the Jewish and other non-Christian communities (totalling 1.6%); for example, in the Protestant trend, there are about 1,500 Baptists concentrated in the region of Central Finland, and there are only about 2,000 Methodism, Methodists who are scattered around the country. The Pew Research Center estimated the Muslim population at 2.7% in 2016. The main Lutheran and Orthodox churches are national churches of Finland with special roles such as in state ceremonies and schools. In 1869, Finland was the first Nordic country to disestablishment, disestablish its Evangelical Lutheran church by introducing the Church Act, followed by the Church of Sweden in 2000. Although the church still maintains a special relationship with the state, it is not described as a state religion in the Constitution of Finland, Finnish Constitution or other laws passed by the Finnish Parliament. Finland's state church was the Church of Sweden until 1809. As an autonomous Grand Duchy under Russia 1809–1917, Finland retained the Lutheran State Church system, and a state church separate from Sweden, later named the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland, was established. It was detached from the state as a separate judicial entity when the new church law came to force in 1869. After Finland had gained independence in 1917, religious freedom was declared in the constitution of 1919 and a separate law on religious freedom in 1922. Through this arrangement, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland lost its position as a state church but gained a constitutional status as a national church alongside the Finnish Orthodox Church, whose position however is not codified in the constitution. In 2016, 69.3% of Finnish children were Baptism, baptized and 82.3% were Confirmation (Lutheran Church), confirmed in 2012 at the age of 15, and over 90% of the funerals are Christian. However, the majority of Lutherans attend church only for special occasions like Christmas ceremonies, weddings, and funerals. The Lutheran Church estimates that approximately 1.8% of its members attend church services weekly. The average number of church visits per year by church members is approximately two. According to a 2010 Eurobarometer poll, 33% of Finnish citizens responded that they "believe there is a God"; 42% answered that they "believe there is some sort of spirit or life force"; and 22% that they "do not believe there is any sort of spirit, God, or life force". According to ISSP survey data (2008), 8% consider themselves "highly religious", and 31% "moderately religious". In the same survey, 28% reported themselves as "agnostic" and 29% as "non-religious".


Health

Life expectancy has increased from 71 years for men and 79 years for women in 1990 to 79 years for men and 84 years for women in 2017. The under-five mortality rate has decreased from 51 per 1,000 live births in 1950 to 2.3 per 1,000 live births in 2017, ranking Finland's rate among the lowest in the world. The fertility rate in 2014 stood at 1.71 children born/per woman and has been below Sub-replacement fertility, the replacement rate of 2.1 since 1969.Statistics Finland – Births 2014
Stat.fi (14 April 2015). Retrieved 18 May 2016.
With a low birth rate women also become mothers at a later age, the mean age at first live birth being 28.6 in 2014. A 2011 study published in ''The Lancet'' medical journal found that Finland had the lowest stillbirth rate out of 193 countries, including the UK, France and New Zealand. There has been a slight increase or no change in welfare and health inequalities between population groups in the 21st century. Lifestyle-related diseases are on the rise. More than half a million Finns suffer from diabetes, type 1 diabetes being globally the most common in Finland. Many children are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. The number of musculoskeletal diseases and cancers are increasing, although the cancer prognosis has improved. Allergies and dementia are also growing health problems in Finland. One of the most common reasons for work disability are due to mental disorders, in particular Major depressive disorder, depression. Treatment for depression has improved and as a result the historically high suicide rates have declined to 13 per 100 000 in 2017, closer to the North European average. Suicide rates are still among the highest among developed countries in the OECD. There are 307 residents for each doctor. About 19% of health care is funded directly by households and 77% by taxation. In April 2012, Finland was ranked second in Gross National Happiness in a report published by The Earth Institute. Since 2012, Finland has every time ranked at least in the top 5 of world's happiest countries in the annual
World Happiness Report The World Happiness Report is a publication of the United Nations The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization that aims to maintain international peace and international security, security, develop friendly relations among ...

World Happiness Report
by the
United Nations The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization An intergovernmental organization (IGO) is an organization composed primarily of sovereign states (referred to as ''member states''), or of other organizations through formal ...

United Nations
, as well as ranking as the happiest country in 2018.


Education and science

Most pre-tertiary education is arranged at municipal level. Even though many or most schools were started as private schools, today only around 3 percent of students are enrolled in private schools (mostly specialist language and international schools), much less than in Sweden and most other developed countries. Pre-school education is rare compared with other EU countries and formal education is usually started at the age of 7. Primary school takes normally six years and lower secondary school three years. Most schools are managed by municipal officials. The flexible curriculum is set by the Ministry of Education and Culture (Finland), Ministry of Education and Culture and the Education Board. Education is compulsory between the ages of 7 and 16. After lower secondary school, graduates may either enter the workforce directly, or apply to trade schools or Gymnasium (school), gymnasiums (upper secondary schools). Trade schools offer a vocational education: approximately 40% of an age group choose this path after the lower secondary school. Academically oriented gymnasiums have higher entrance requirements and specifically prepare for Abitur and tertiary education. Graduation from either formally qualifies for tertiary education. In tertiary education, two mostly separate and non-interoperating sectors are found: the profession-oriented polytechnics and the research-oriented universities. Education is free and living expenses are to a large extent financed by the government through student benefits. There are 15 universities and 24 Universities of Applied Sciences (UAS) in the country. The University of Helsinki is ranked 75th in the Top University Ranking of 2010. The World Economic Forum ranks Finland's tertiary education No. 1 in the world. Around 33% of residents have a tertiary degree, similar to Nordics and more than in most other OECD countries except Canada (44%), United States (38%) and Japan (37%). The proportion of foreign students is 3% of all tertiary enrolments, one of the lowest in OECD, while in advanced programs it is 7.3%, still below OECD average 16.5%. Other reputable universities of Finland include Aalto University in
Espoo Espoo (, ; sv, Esbo; la, Espo) is a city A city is a large .Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science Encyclopedia''. 2nd edition. London: R ...

Espoo
, both University of Turku and Åbo Akademi University in
Turku Turku ( ; ; sv, Åbo, ; la, Aboa; russian: Турку, formerly ) is a city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social ...

Turku
, University of Jyväskylä, University of Oulu, LUT University in Lappeenranta and Lahti, University of Eastern Finland in Kuopio and Joensuu, and Tampere University. More than 30% of tertiary graduates are in science-related fields. Forest improvement, materials research, environmental sciences, neural networks, low-temperature physics, brain research, biotechnology, genetic technology, and communications showcase fields of study where Finnish researchers have had a significant impact. Finland has a long tradition of adult education, and by the 1980s nearly one million Finns were receiving some kind of instruction each year. Forty percent of them did so for professional reasons. Adult education appeared in a number of forms, such as secondary evening schools, civic and workers' institutes, study centres, vocational course centres, and folk high schools. Study centres allowed groups to follow study plans of their own making, with educational and financial assistance provided by the state. Folk high schools are a distinctly Nordic institution. Originating in Denmark in the 19th century, folk high schools became common throughout the region. Adults of all ages could stay at them for several weeks and take courses in subjects that ranged from handicrafts to economics. Finland is highly productive in scientific research. In 2005, Finland had the fourth most scientific publications per capita of the OECD countries. In 2007, 1,801 patents were filed in Finland. In addition, 38% of Finland's population has a university or college degree, which is among the highest percentages in the world. In 2010 a new law was enacted considering the universities, which defined that there are 16 of them as they were excluded from the public sector to be autonomous legal and financial entities, however enjoying special status in the legislation. As result many former state institutions were driven to collect funding from private sector contributions and partnerships. The change caused deep rooted discussions among the academic circles. English language is important in Finnish education. There are a number of degree programs that are taught in English, which attracts thousands of degree and exchange students every year. In December 2017 the
OECD The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD; french: Organisation de Coopération et de Développement Économiques, OCDE) is an intergovernmental economic organisation with 38 member countries, founded in 1961 to st ...

OECD
reported that Finnish fathers spend an average of eight minutes a day more with their school-aged children than mothers do.


Culture


Sauna

The Finns' love for Finnish sauna, saunas is generally associated with Finnish cultural tradition in the world. Sauna is a type of dry steam bath practiced widely in Finland, which is especially evident in the strong tradition around Midsummer and Christmas. In Finland, the sauna has been a traditional cure or part of the treatment for many different diseases, thanks to the heat, which is why the sauna has been a very Hygiene, hygienic place. There is an old Finnish saying: ''"Jos sauna, terva ja viina ei auta, on tauti kuolemaksi."'' ("If sauna, tar and Liquor, booze doesn't help you, then a disease is deadly"). The word is of Proto-Finnish origin (found in Finnic and Sámi languages) dating back 7,000 years. Steam baths have been part of European tradition elsewhere as well, but the sauna has survived best in Finland, in addition to Sweden, the Baltic states, Russia, Norway, and parts of the United States and Canada. Moreover, nearly all Finnish houses have either their own sauna or in multi-storey apartment houses, a timeshare sauna. Public saunas were previously common, but the tradition has declined when saunas have been built nearly everywhere (private homes, municipal swimming halls, hotels, corporate headquarters, gyms, etc.). At one time, the World Sauna Championships were held in Heinola, Finland, but the death of a Russian competitor in 2010 finally stopped organizing the competitions as too dangerous. The Finnish sauna culture was inscribed on the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage Lists at the 17 December 2020 meeting of the UNESCO Intergovernmental Committee Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage. As authorized by the state, the Finnish Heritage Agency commits, together with Finnish sauna communities and promoters of the sauna culture, to safeguard the vitality of the sauna tradition and to highlight its importance as part of customs and wellbeing.


Literature

Written Finnish could be said to have existed since
Mikael Agricola Mikael Agricola (; c. 1510 – 9 April 1557) was a Finnish Finnish may refer to: * Something or someone from, or related to Finland * Finnish culture * Finnish people or Finns, the primary ethnic group in Finland * Finnish language, the national l ...

Mikael Agricola
translated the New Testament into Finnish during the
Protestant Reformation The Reformation (alternatively named the Protestant Reformation or the European Reformation) was a major movement within Western Christianity File:Petersdom von Engelsburg gesehen.jpg, 250px, St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City, the larges ...
, but few notable works of literature were written until the 19th century and the beginning of a Finnish national Romanticism, Romantic Movement. This prompted Elias Lönnrot to collect Finnish and Karelian folk poetry and arrange and publish them as the ''
Kalevala The ''Kalevala'' ( fi, Kalevala, ) is a 19th-century work of epic poetry compiled by Elias Lönnrot from Karelian language, Karelian and Finnish language, Finnish oral folklore and Finnish mythology, mythology, telling an epic story about the Cre ...
'', the Finnish
national epic A national epic is an epic poem An epic poem is a lengthy narrative poem Narrative poetry is a form of poetry Poetry (derived from the Greek language, Greek ''poiesis'', "making") is a form of literature that uses aesthetics, aesthe ...
. The era saw a rise of poets and novelists who wrote in Finnish, notably Aleksis Kivi (''The Seven Brothers''), Minna Canth (''Anna Liisa''), Eino Leino ('), Johannes Linnankoski (''The Song of the Blood-Red Flower'') and Juhani Aho (''The Railroad (novel), The Railroad'' and ''Juha (novel), Juha''). Many writers of the national awakening wrote in Swedish, such as the national poet J. L. Runeberg (''The Tales of Ensign Stål'') and Zachris Topelius (''The Tomten in Åbo Castle''). After Finland became independent, there was a rise of Modernist literature, modernist writers, most famously the Finnish-speaking Mika Waltari and Swedish-speaking Edith Södergran. Frans Eemil Sillanpää was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1939. World War II prompted a return to more national interests in comparison to a more international line of thought, characterized by Väinö Linna with his ''The Unknown Soldier (novel), The Unknown Soldier'' and Under the North Star trilogy, ''Under the North'' Star trilogy. Besides Lönnrot's ''Kalevala'' and Waltari, the Swedish-speaking Tove Jansson, best known as the creator of ''The Moomins'', is the most translated Finnish writer; her books have been translated into more than 40 languages. Popular modern writers include Arto Paasilinna, Veikko Huovinen, Antti Tuuri, Ilkka Remes, Kari Hotakainen, Sofi Oksanen, Tuomas Kyrö, and Jari Tervo, while the best novel is annually awarded the prestigious Finlandia Prize.


Visual arts, design, and architecture

The visual arts in Finland started to form their individual characteristics in the 19th century, when Romantic nationalism was rising in autonomic Finland. The best known of Finnish painters, Akseli Gallen-Kallela, started painting in a naturalist style, but moved to national romanticism. Other notable world-famous Finnish painters include Magnus Enckell, Pekka Halonen, Eero Järnefelt, Helene Schjerfbeck and Hugo Simberg. Finland's best-known sculptor of the 20th century was Wäinö Aaltonen, remembered for his monumental Bust (sculpture), busts and sculptures. Finns have made major contributions to handicrafts and industrial design: among the internationally renowned figures are Timo Sarpaneva, Tapio Wirkkala and Ilmari Tapiovaara. Finnish architecture is famous around the world, and has contributed significantly to several styles internationally, such as Jugendstil (or Art Nouveau), Nordic Classicism and Functionalism (architecture), Functionalism. Among the top 20th-century Finnish architects to gain international recognition are Eliel Saarinen and his son Eero Saarinen. Architect Alvar Aalto is regarded as among the most important 20th-century designers in the world; he helped bring Functionalism (architecture), functionalist architecture to Finland, but soon was a pioneer in its development towards an organic style. Aalto is also famous for his work in furniture, lamps, textiles and glassware, which were usually incorporated into his buildings.


Music

;Classical Much of Finland's classical music is influenced by traditional Karelian melodies and lyrics, as comprised in the ''
Kalevala The ''Kalevala'' ( fi, Kalevala, ) is a 19th-century work of epic poetry compiled by Elias Lönnrot from Karelian language, Karelian and Finnish language, Finnish oral folklore and Finnish mythology, mythology, telling an epic story about the Cre ...
''. Karelian culture is perceived as the purest expression of the Baltic Finns, Finnic myths and beliefs, less influenced by Germanic peoples, Germanic influence than the Nordic folk dance music that largely replaced the kalevaic tradition. Finnish folk music has undergone a roots revival in recent decades, and has become a part of popular music. The people of northern Finland, Sweden, and Norway, the
Sami Places * Sápmi, a cultural region in Northern Europe * Sami, Burkina Faso, a district of the Banwa Province * Sami District, Gambia * Sami, Cephalonia, a municipality in Greece * Sami (ancient city), in Elis, Greece * Sami Bay, east of Sami, Ceph ...
, are known primarily for highly spiritual songs called joik. The same word sometimes refers to lavlu or vuelie songs, though this is technically incorrect. The first Finnish opera was written by the German-born composer Fredrik Pacius in 1852. Pacius also wrote the music to the poem Maamme, ''Maamme/Vårt land'' (Our Country), Finland's national anthem. In the 1890s Finnish nationalism based on the ''Kalevala'' spread, and Jean Sibelius became famous for his vocal symphony ''Kullervo (Sibelius), Kullervo''. He soon received a grant to study ''runo singers'' in Karelia and continued his rise as the first prominent Finnish musician. In 1899 he composed ''Finlandia'', which played its important role in Finland gaining independence. He remains one of Finland's most popular national figures and is a symbol of the nation. Another one of the most significant and internationally best-known Finnish-born classical composers long before Sibelius was Bernhard Crusell. ;Modern ''Iskelmä'' (coined directly from the German word ''Schlager'', meaning "hit") is a traditional Finnish word for a light popular song. Finnish popular music also includes various kinds of dance music; Tango music, tango, a style of Music of Argentina, Argentine music, is also popular. The light music in Swedish-speaking areas has more influences from Sweden. Modern Finnish popular music includes a number of prominent rock bands, jazz musicians, Hip hop music, hip hop performers, dance music acts, etc. Also, at least a couple of Finnish polkas are known worldwide, such as ''Säkkijärven polkka'' and ''Ievan polkka''. During the early 1960s, the first significant wave of Finnish rock groups emerged, playing instrumental rock inspired by groups such as The Shadows. Around 1964, Beatlemania arrived in Finland, resulting in further development of the local rock scene. During the late 1960s and '70s, Finnish rock musicians increasingly wrote their own music instead of translating international hits into Finnish. During the decade, some progressive rock groups such as Tasavallan Presidentti and Wigwam (Finnish band), Wigwam gained respect abroad but failed to make a commercial breakthrough outside Finland. This was also the fate of the rock and roll group Hurriganes. The Finnish punk scene produced some internationally acknowledged names including Terveet Kädet in the 1980s. Hanoi Rocks was a pioneering 1980s glam rock act that inspired the American hard rock group Guns N' Roses, among others. Many Finnish metal bands have gained international recognition; Finland has been often called the "Promised Land of Heavy Metal", because there are more than 50 metal Bands for every 100,000 inhabitants – more than any other nation in the world.


Cinema and television

In the film industry, notable directors include brothers Mika Kaurismäki, Mika and Aki Kaurismäki, Dome Karukoski, Antti Jokinen, Jalmari Helander, Mauritz Stiller, Edvin Laine, Teuvo Tulio, Spede Pasanen, and Hollywood film director and producer Renny Harlin. Internationally well-known Finnish actors and actresses include Jasper Pääkkönen, Peter Franzén, Laura Birn, Irina Björklund, Samuli Edelmann, Krista Kosonen, Ville Virtanen (actor), Ville Virtanen and Joonas Suotamo. Around twelve feature films are made each year. One of the most internationally successful Finnish films are ''The White Reindeer'', directed by Erik Blomberg in 1952, which won the Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Language Film, Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Film in 1956, five years after its limited release in the United States; ''The Man Without a Past'', directed by Aki Kaurismäki in 2002, which was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 2002 and won the Grand Prix (Cannes Film Festival), Grand Prix at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival; and ''The Fencer'', directed by Klaus Härö in 2015, which was nominated for the 73rd Golden Globe Awards#Film, 73rd Golden Globe Awards in the Best Foreign Language Film category as a Finnish/German/Estonian co-production. In Finland, the most significant films include ''The Unknown Soldier (1955 film), The Unknown Soldier'', directed by Edvin Laine in 1955, which is shown on television every Independence Day (Finland), Independence Day. ''Here, Beneath the North Star'' from 1968, also directed by Laine, which includes the Finnish Civil War from the perspective of the Red Guards (Finland), Red Guards, is also one of the most significant works in Finnish history. A 1960 Crime film, crime comedy film ''Inspector Palmu's Mistake (film), Inspector Palmu's Mistake'', directed by Matti Kassila, was voted in 2012 the best Finnish film of all time by Finnish film critics and journalists in a poll organized by Yle Uutiset, but the 1984 comedy film ''Uuno Turhapuro in the Army'', the ninth film in the Uuno Turhapuro, ''Uuno Turhapuro'' film series, remains Finland's most seen domestic film made since 1968 by Finnish audience. Although Finland's television offerings are largely known for their domestic Drama (film and television), dramas, such as the long-running soap opera series ''Salatut elämät'', there are also internationally known drama series, such as ' and ''Bordertown (Finnish TV series), Bordertown''. One of Finland's most internationally successful TV shows are the backpacking travel documentary series ''Madventures (Finnish TV program), Madventures'' and the reality TV show ''The Dudesons''.


Media and communications

Thanks to its emphasis on transparency and equal rights, Finland's press has been rated the freest in the world. Today, there are around 200 newspapers, 320 popular magazines, 2,100 professional magazines, 67 commercial radio stations, three digital radio channels and one nationwide and five national Public broadcasting, public service radio channels. Each year, around 12,000 book titles are published and 12 million records are sold. Sanoma publishes the newspapers ''Helsingin Sanomat'' (its circulation of 412,000 making it the largest) and ''Aamulehti'', the Tabloid (newspaper format), tabloid ''Ilta-Sanomat'', the commerce-oriented ''Taloussanomat'' and the television channel Nelonen. The other major publisher Alma Media publishes over thirty magazines, including the tabloid ''Iltalehti'' and commerce-oriented ''Kauppalehti''. Worldwide, Finns, along with other Nordic peoples and the Japanese, spend the most time reading newspapers. Yle, the Finnish Broadcasting Company, operates five television channels and thirteen radio channels in both national languages. Yle is funded through a mandatory television license and fees for private broadcasters. All TV channels are broadcast Digital television, digitally, both terrestrially and on cable. The commercial television channel MTV3 and commercial radio channel Radio Nova (Finland), Radio Nova are owned by Nordic Broadcasting (Bonnier Group, Bonnier and Proventus). In regards to telecommunication infrastructure, Finland is the highest ranked country in the World Economic Forum's Network Readiness Index (NRI) – an indicator for determining the development level of a country's information and communication technologies. Finland ranked first overall in the 2014 NRI ranking, unchanged from the year before. This is shown in its penetration throughout the country's population. Around 79% of the population use the Internet (2007). Finland had around 1.52 million broadband Internet connections by the end of June 2007 or around 287 per 1,000 inhabitants. All Finnish schools and public libraries have Internet connections and computers and most residents have a mobile phone.


Cuisine

Finnish cuisine is notable for generally combining traditional country fare and ''haute cuisine'' with contemporary style cooking. Fish (food), Fish and meat play a prominent role in traditional Finnish dishes from the western part of the country, while the dishes from the eastern part have traditionally included various vegetables and Edible mushroom, mushrooms. Refugees from Karelia contributed to foods in eastern Finland. Many regions have strongly branded traditional delicacies, such as Tampere has ''mustamakkara'' and Kuopio has ''kalakukko''. Finnish foods often use wholemeal products (rye, barley, oats) and berries (such as bilberry, bilberries, lingonberry, lingonberries, cloudberry, cloudberries, and sea buckthorn). Milk and its derivatives like buttermilk are commonly used as food, drink, or in various recipes. Various turnips were common in traditional cooking, but were replaced with the potato after its introduction in the 18th century. According to the statistics, red meat consumption has risen, but still Finns eat less beef than many other nations, and more fish and poultry. This is mainly because of the high cost of meat in Finland. Finland has the world's second highest per capita consumption of coffee. Milk consumption is also high, at an average of about , per person, per year, even though 17% of the Finns are lactose intolerant.


Public holidays

There are several holidays in Finland, of which perhaps the most characteristic of Finnish culture include Christmas (''joulu''), Midsummer (''juhannus''), Vappu, May Day (''vappu'') and Independence Day (Finland), Independence Day (''itsenäisyyspäivä''). Of these, Christmas and Midsummer are special in Finland because the actual festivities take place on eves, such as Christmas Eve (''jouluaatto'') and Juhannus, Midsummer's Eve (''juhannusaatto''), while Christmas Day (''joulupäivä'') and Midsummer's Day (''juhannuspäivä'') are more consecrated to rest. Other public holidays in Finland are New Year's Day (''uudenvuodenpäivä''), Epiphany (holiday)#Finland, Epiphany (''loppiainen''), Good Friday (''pitkäperjantai''), Easter Sunday (''pääsiäissunnuntai'') and Easter Monday (''pääsiäismaanantai''), Ascension Day (''helatorstai''), All Saints' Day (''pyhäinpäivä'') and Saint Stephen's Day#Finland, Saint Stephen's Day (''tapaninpäivä''). All official holidays in Finland are established by Acts of Parliament. On the other hand, ''laskiainen'' that is strongly part of the Finnish tradition is not defined as a public holiday in relation to the above-mentioned holidays.


Sports

Various sporting events are popular in Finland. Pesäpallo, resembling baseball, is the national sport of Finland, although the most popular sport in terms of spectators is ice hockey. The 2016 IIHF World Championship, Ice Hockey World Championships 2016 final, Finland-Canada, was watched by 69% of Finnish people on TV. Other popular sports include Track and field, athletics, cross-country skiing (sport), cross-country skiing, ski jumping, association football, football, volleyball, and basketball. While ice hockey is the most popular sport when it comes to attendance at games, association football is the most played team sport in terms of the number of players in the country and is also the most appreciated sport in Finland. In terms of medals and gold medals won per capita, Finland is the best performing country in Olympic history. Finland first participated as a nation in its own right at the Olympic Games in 1908, while still an autonomous
Grand Duchy A grand duchy is a country A country is a distinct territorial body or political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective identity, who are organized by some form of Institutionalisa ...

Grand Duchy
within the
Russian Empire The Russian Empire, . commonly referred to as Imperial Russia, was a historical that extended across and from 1721, succeeding the following the that ended the . The Empire lasted until the was proclaimed by the that took power after the ...
. At the 1912 Summer Olympics, great pride was taken in the three gold medals won by the original "Flying Finn" Hannes Kolehmainen. Finland was one of the most successful countries at the Olympic Games before
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literatur ...
. At the 1924 Summer Olympics, Finland, a nation then of only 3.2 million people, came second in the medal count. In the 1920s and '30s, Finnish long-distance runners dominated the Olympics, with Paavo Nurmi winning a total of nine Olympic gold medals between 1920 and 1928 and setting 22 official world records between 1921 and 1931. Nurmi is often considered the greatest Finnish sportsman and one of the greatest athletes of all time. For over 100 years, Finnish male and female athletes have consistently excelled at the javelin throw. The event has brought Finland nine Olympic gold medals, five world championships, five European championships, and 24 world records. The
1952 Summer Olympics The 1952 Summer Olympics ( fi, Kesäolympialaiset 1952; sv, Olympiska sommarspelen 1952), officially known as the Games of the XV Olympiad, were an international multi-sport event A multi-sport event is an organized sporting Sporting may refer ...
were held in Helsinki. Other notable sporting events held in Finland include the 1983 World Championships in Athletics, 1983 and 2005 World Championships in Athletics. Finland also has a notable history in figure skating. Finnish skaters have won 8 world championships and 13 junior world cups in synchronized skating, and Finland is considered one of the best countries at the sport. Some of the most popular recreational sports and activities include floorball, Nordic walking, running, cycling, and skiing (alpine skiing, cross-country skiing, and ski jumping). Floorball, in terms of registered players, occupies third place after football and ice hockey. According to the Finnish Floorball Federation, floorball is the most popular school, youth, club and workplace sport. , the total number of licensed players reaches 57,400. Especially since the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup, Finland national basketball team, Finland's national basketball team has received widespread public attention. More than 8,000 Finns travelled to Spain to support their team. Overall, they chartered more than 40 aeroplanes.


See also

* Bibliography of Finland * List of Finland-related topics * Outline of Finland


Notes


References


Further reading

* Chew, Allen F. ''The White Death: The Epic of the Soviet-Finnish Winter War'' (). * Engle, Eloise and Paananen, Pauri. ''The Winter War: The Soviet Attack on Finland 1939–1940'' (). * ''Insight Guide: Finland'' (). * Max Jakobson, Jakobson, Max. ''Finland in the New Europe'' (). * Jutikkala, Eino; Pirinen, Kauko. ''A History of Finland'' (). * Matti Klinge, Klinge, Matti. ''Let Us Be Finns: Essays on History'' (). * Lavery, Jason. ''The History of Finland'', Greenwood Histories of the Modern Nations, Greenwood Press, 2006 (, ). * Lewis, Richard D. ''Finland: Cultural Lone Wolf'' (). * ''Lonely Planet: Finland'' () * Mann, Chris. ''Hitler's Arctic War: The German Campaigns in Norway, Finland, and the USSR 1940–1945'' (). * Rusama, Jaakko. ''Ecumenical Growth in Finland'' (). * Singleton, Fred. ''A Short History of Finland'' (). * Jean-Jacques Subrenat, Subrenat, Jean-Jacques. ''Listen, there's music from the forest; a brief presentation of the Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival'' (). * Swallow, Deborah. ''Culture Shock! Finland: A Guide to Customs and Etiquette'' (). * William R. Trotter, Trotter, William R. ''A Frozen Hell: The Russo-Finnish Winter War of 1939–1940'' ().


External links


Finland
''The World Factbook''. Central Intelligence Agency. *
Finland profile
from the BBC News
Key Development Forecasts for Finland
from International Futures
Population in Finland 1750–2010


(Statistics Finland)
Official statistical information about Finland
from Findicator. Government
This is Finland
the official English-language online portal (administered by the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs (Finland), Ministry for Foreign Affairs)
Finland
(University of Colorado Boulder Libraries Government Publications) Maps * * Travel
Official Travel Site of Finland
{{coord, 64, N, 26, E, region:FI_type:country, display=title Finland, Northern European countries Members of the Nordic Council Member states of the Council of Europe Member states of the European Union Member states of the Union for the Mediterranean Member states of the United Nations Post–Russian Empire states Republics States and territories established in 1917 Swedish-speaking countries and territories Fennoscandia Countries in Europe Christian states