With around 187,000 lakes, Finland is the
world's richest country in relation to its size.
Sweden's forested eastern neighbor is also known for its
good school results and for successful international
peace mediation. The country's economy has shown
weaknesses in recent years but is basically stable.
Politically, Finland is usually governed by broad
Brief profiles of Finland, including geography, history, politics, economics as well as common acronyms about this country.
Geography and climate
Finland is located in northern Europe and
borders east to Russia, north to Norway and northwest to
Sweden. Estonia across the Gulf of Finland in the Baltic
Sea in the south is also considered to be Finland's
neighboring country. In the west, Finland has a coast
towards the Gulf of Bothnia and the Bothnian Sea.
Most of Finland consists of hilly lowland, which
mainly consists of moraine soils. About three-quarters
of the land area is covered by forest, mainly coniferous
forest, and less than a tenth is arable land. The
northwestern parts of Finland are part of the
Scandinavian mountain range.
Finland is sometimes called "the land of a thousand
lakes". With its around 187,000 lakes, Finland is the
world's richest country in relation to its size. The
largest lake, Saimen (Saimaa), lies to the east. About a
tenth of the land area is submerged.
Finland also has many islands, most of which are in
the lakes. Along the coast there is an extensive
archipelago, including outside the city of Vaasa and in
the southwestern and southern coastal areas.
Between Sweden and Finland lies the archipelago of
Åland, which is a landscape with some autonomy (see
Finland has an inland climate, which provides cold
winters and hot summers. However, the Gulf Stream in the
Atlantic affects the Finnish climate and makes it
smoother and milder than it otherwise would have been.
Over a third of Finland lies north of the Arctic
Circle and has two months of midnight sun. The winters
last from October to May and the temperature can fall
below 30 min. The ports in the Gulf of Bothnia are
ice-covered for several months. During the summers in
the north, the temperature can approach 30 plus degrees.
In the rest of Finland it is winter between November
and mid March and the temperature differences between
the seasons are smaller than in the north. The mildest
is the climate in the southwest. July is the warmest
month, while January and February are the coldest.
The rainfall is usually moderate. In the area around
the capital Helsinki, an average of 750 mm of
precipitation falls annually. It is mostly rainy during
the late summer, while March is the driest month. Spring
is particularly dry along the coasts.
FACTS - GEOGRAPHY AND CLIMATE
338 145 km2 (2018)
Swedish +1 hour
Adjacent country (s)
Sweden, Norway, Russia
Capital with number of inhabitants
Helsinki (Helsinki) 620 700 (Estimated) (2015)
Other major cities
Espoo (Espoo) 265,500, Tampere (Tampere) 223,000,
Vantaa (Vantaa) 210,800 (Estimated) (2015)
Mountain slope / Haltiantunturi (1328 m asl)
Saimaa / Saimaa
Average Precipitation / month
Helsinki 60 mm (July), 33 mm (Jan)
Average / day
Helsinki 17 °C (July), –6 °C (Jan)
Nokia sells its mobile manufacturing
Telecom company Nokia decides to sell its manufacturing of mobile phones to
Microsoft for EUR 5.4 billion (about SEK 47 billion). The transaction must be
approved by shareholders and competition authorities.
Call for Swedish education
A citizen initiative to abolish compulsory Swedish education collects over
50,000 signatures, which means that the Riksdag must raise the issue. According
to the proposal, Swedish teaching for Finnish-speaking pupils in compulsory
school and upper secondary school will be voluntary.
Home Minister in windy weather
Minister of the Interior Päivi Räsänen of the Christian Democrats wakes up
when she says in a speech during the mission days of the Finnish State Church
that people in certain conscience issues should obey the words of the Bible
rather than Finnish law. For example, she mentions abortion, euthanasia and
gender-neutral marriage. Archbishop Kari Mäkinen withdraws from the statement
but according to an internet site, a thousand people are demanding exit from the
Lutheran church for a single day.
The language issue leads to murder threats
The Deputy Chairman of the Swedish People's Party and two Finnish-Swedish
journalists may receive murder threats for their defense of the Swedish as a
compulsory school subject.
No to compulsory Russian education
The government refuses a request from six municipalities near the Russian
border in the south-east to change the compulsory Swedish teaching in schools to
Russian. According to an opinion poll, 60 percent of Finns want to keep Swedish
as a compulsory language in schools, but the true Finns' voters and young men in
eastern Finland want Russian as compulsory language instead.