General information: From the XII to the XIX centuries. belonged to Sweden, from 1809 to Russia, gained independence in 1917. During the Second World War, Finland repelled the invasion of the Soviet Union and retained its independence. After the war, the Finns transformed the country from an economy based primarily on farming and forestry to a diversified industrial economy. The per capita income is not less than in Western Europe. As a member of the EU, Finland was the only Scandinavian country to join the Eurozone in 1999.
Location: Northern Europe, coast of the Baltic Sea, the Gulf of Bothnia and the Gulf of Finland between Sweden and Russia.
Geographical coordinates: 64° 00′ N. sh.; 26° 00’E
Reference map: Europe.
Area: total: 337,030 km2; land surface area: 305,470 km2; water surface area: 31,560 km2
Comparative area: somewhat smaller than the state of Montana.
Land borders: total: 2,628 km; with neighboring states: with Norway 729 km, with Sweden 586 km, with Russia 1,313 km.
Coastline: 1,126 km (excluding islands and numerous bays of the heavily indented coastline).
Maritime claims: neutral waters: 6 nautical miles; continental shelf: to a depth of 200 m or to the depth of field development; zone of exclusive right to fish: 12 nautical miles; territorial waters: 12 nautical miles (in the Gulf of Finland – 3 nautical miles).
Climate: Cold temperate, potentially subarctic, but comparatively mild due to the influence of the North Atlantic Current, the Baltic Sea and over 60,000 lakes.
Terrain: mostly lowlands, flat plains with lakes and low hills.
Maximum and minimum heights: lowest point: Baltic Sea 0 m; highest point: Mount Haltiatunturi 1,328 m.
Natural resources: timber, copper, zinc, iron ore, silver.
Land use: arable land: 8%; cultivated land: 0%; pasture: 0%; forests and plantations: 76%; others: 16% (1993 est.).
Irrigated land: 640 km2 (1993 est.).
Natural hazards: no data available.
Current environmental issues: air pollution from industry and power plants, which causes acid rain; water pollution from industrial effluents and agricultural chemicals; destruction of wildlife habitats threatens their populations.
International agreements on environmental protection: member: Air Pollution, Air Pollution – Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution – Sulfur 1985, Air Pollution – Sulfur 1994, Air Pollution – Volatile Organic Compounds, Antarctica – Environmental Protection Protocol, Conservation of Marine Life in Antarctica, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate change, Desertification, Endangered species, Environmental change, Hazardous waste, Law of the sea, Marine pollution, Marine life conservation, Nuclear test ban, Ozone layer protection, Ship pollution, Tropical timber 1983, Tropical timber 1994, Wetlands, Whaling; signed but not ratified: Air Pollution – Persistent Organic Pollutants, Kyoto Protocol. Note to the section “Geography”: long border with Russia;
Note to the section “Geography”:
Population: 5,175,783 (July 2001 est.).
Age structure: under 14: 18% (male 474,967; female 456,584); 15 to 64 years old: 66.97% (male 1,750,660; female 1,715,358); over 65: 15.03% (male 300,569; female 477,645) (2001 est.)
Population growth: 0.16% (2001 est.).
Birth rate: 10.69 newborns / 1000 people. (2001 est.).
Mortality: 9.75 deaths / 1000 people. (2001 est.).
Migration: 0.61 people /1000 people (2001 est.).
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.03 male/female; under 15: 1.04 male/female; 15 to 64 years old: 1.02 male/female; over 65: 0.63 male/female; for the general population: 0.95 male/female (2001 est.);
Child mortality: 3.79 deaths/1000 newborns (2001 est.).
Life expectancy: for the general population: 77.58 years; men: 73.92 years; women: 81.36 years (2001 est.);
General birth rate: 1.7 children/wives. (2001 est.).
Proportion of adults infected with HIV: 0.05% (1999 est.).
Number of people infected with HIV: 1,100 (1999 est.).
AIDS deaths: less than 100 (1999 est.).
Nationality: noun: Finn; adjective: Finnish.
Ethnic groups: Finns 93%, Swedes 6%, Saami 0.11%, Roma 0.12%, Tatars 0.02%.
Believers: Evangelical Lutheran 89%, Orthodox 1%, non-denominational 9%, other 1%.
Languages): Finnish 93.4% (official), Swedish 5.9% (official), small Sámi and Russian speaking groups.
Literacy: definition: persons aged 15 and over who can read and write; for the general population: 100% (1980 est.). men: no data; women: no data.
Common long form: Republic of Finland;
conventional short form: Finland; local long form: Suomen Tasavalta; local short form: Suomi. State system: republic.
State structure: See a2zgov.com to know more about Finland government and politics.
Administrative division: 6 provinces (laanit): Ahvenanmaa, Itya-Suomi, Lansi-Suomi, Lappi, Oulu, Etelya-Suomi.
Independence: December 6, 1917 (until 1917 – as part of Russia).
National holiday: Independence Day, December 6 (1917).
Constitution: adopted July 17, 1919
Legal system: a civil law system based on Swedish law; The Supreme Court may require legislative change in the provisions of laws or their interpretation; subject to the compulsory jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice.
Suffrage: from the age of 18, universal.
chief of state: President Tarja HALONEN (since 1 March 2000);
head of government: Prime Minister Paavo LIPPONEN (since 13 April 1995), Deputy Prime Minister Sauli NIINISTO (since 13 April 1995);
government: The Council of State, appointed by the President, is responsible to Parliament; elections: president elected by universal suffrage for a term of 6 years, last elections held on 6 February 2000 (next to be held in February 2006); the prime minister and deputy prime minister are appointed by the president from among the members of the parliamentary majority after parliamentary elections; election results: Tarja HALONEN elected president; percentage of votes cast: Tarja HALONEN (SDP) 51.6%, Esco AHO (Kesk) 48.4%; note: government coalition: SFP, Kok, LA, SFP, GU.
Legislature: unicameral parliament (Eduskunta) (200 seats; members are elected by popular vote under a proportional system for 4 years); elections: last 21 March 1999 (next to be held in March 2003); election results: distribution of votes between parties: SDP 22.9%, Kesk 22.5%, Kok 21.0%, LA 10.9%, SFP 5.1%, GU 7.2%, SKL 4.2%; distribution of seats among parties: SDP 51, Kesk 48, Kok 46, LA 20, SFP 11, GU 11, SKL 10, others 3.
Judiciary: Supreme Court (Korkein Oikeus), judges appointed by the president.
Political parties and leaders: Center Party (Kesk) (Esko AHO); Finnish Christian Union (SKL) (Bjorn KALLIS [C. P. Bjarne KALLIS]); Green Union (GU) (Satu HASSlj); Left Union (Communist) (LA), consists of the People’s Democratic Union and the Democratic Alternative (Suvi-Anne SIIMES); National Coalition (Conservative) Party (Kok) (Sauli NIINISTO); Reform Group (SMP) (Risto KUISMA); Social Democratic Party (SDP) (Paavo LIPPONEN [Paavo LIPPONEN]); Swedish People’s Party (SFP) (Jan-Erik ENESTAM); Real Finns (Timo SOINI)
Political influence groups and their leaders: Communist Workers Party (Timo LAHDENMAKI [Timo LAHDENMAKI]); Constitutional Right Party; Finnish Communist Party Union (Yrjo HAKANEN); Finnish Party of Pensioners.
Participation in international organizations: AfDB, AsDB, Australia Group, BIS, CBSS, CCC, CE, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, ECE, EIB, EMU, ESA, EU, FAO, G-9, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, NAM (guest), NC, NEA, NIB, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OPCW, OSCE, PCA, PFP, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNFICYP, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIFIL, UNIKOM, UNMEE, UNMIBH, UNMIK, UNMOGIP, – UNMOP, UNTSO, UPU, WEU (observer ), WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO, ZC.
Diplomatic representation in the USA: Head of Mission: Ambassador Jaakko Tapani LAAJAVA; office: 3301 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008; phone:  (202) 298-5800; fax: [\] (202) 298-6030; Consulates General: Los Angeles, New York.
US Diplomatic Mission: Head of Mission: Ambassador Vacant, Chargé d’Affaires Carol VAN VOORST; embassy: Itainen Puistotie 14A, FIN-00140, Helsinki; mailing address: ARO AE 09723; phone:  (9) 171931; fax:  (9) 174681.
Description of the flag: white with a blue cross, the full length of the flag, the vertical part of the cross is shifted to the left side (as on the Danish flag).