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Finland in facts

Updated January 2014

You won't be ready for a PhD on Finland, but this page will give you enough info to impress at least your pals.


  • Population: 5.4 million, 15.8 inhabitants per km² (40.5 per square mile)
  • Life expectancy: Men 76 years, women 83 years
  • Languages: Official languages are Finnish (spoken by 91%) and Swedish (5.4%). Sámi is the mother tongue of about 1,700 people, members of the indigenous Sámi people of northern Lapland
  • Religion: Christianity; 79.9 % Lutheran and about 1.1% Orthodox. In practice society is fairly secularised

State & Government

  • Independence: Declared on December 6, 1917. Previously a grand duchy in the Russian empire for 108 years, and a part of Sweden for 600 years before that
  • Form of government: Republic, parliamentary democracy
  • Parliament: 200 members in one chamber, elected every 4 years in a direct vote (next elections in 2015) 
  • Cabinet: Multiparty coalition cabinet. The current Cabinet is run by Prime Minister Alexander Stubb 
  • Head of State: President of the Republic, elected every 6 years, two-term maximum. Currently Mr Sauli Niinistö, elected in 2012.
  • International cooperation: Member of United Nations since 1955 and European Union since 1995

Society & Economy

  • Key features: High standard of education, social security and healthcare, all financed by the state
  • GDP per capita: 35,571 euros (2012) 
  • Main exports: Electrotechnical goods, metal products, machinery, transport equipment, wood and paper products, chemicals
  • Main imports: Raw materials, investment goods, energy, consumer goods (for example cars and textiles)
  • Currency unit: Euro

Geography & Climate

  • Area: 338,424 km² (131,985 square miles), the fifth-largest country in Western Europe
  • Greatest length from north to south: 1,160 km (720 miles)
  • Greatest width from east to west: 540 km (335 miles)
  • Capital: Helsinki (1.25 million inhabitants in metropolitan area)
  • Climate: Great contrasts – cold winters and fairly warm summers (2013 extremes: coldest day in Sodankylä -39.7 C/-39.5 F, warmest day in Liperi 32.4 C/90.3 F)

Sources: Statistics Finland, National Board of Customs, Population Register Center, State Provincial Office of Lapland,


Visit Finland (tourist info)
Findicator (up-to-date information on key social indicators)
Statistics Finland
About Finland Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland
The President of the Republic of Finland
The Finnish Government
The Finnish Parliament
Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland

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