Where is Finland located?

What countries border Finland?

Finland Weather

What is the current weather in Finland?

Finland Facts and Culture

What is Finland famous for?

  • Cultural Attributes: Sisu (SEE-soo) a Finnish word that means independent, courageous, and strong defines the ideal Finn. People are generally reserved, they... More
  • Family: An average Finnish family has up to two children. Often both parents have jobs and they make most family decisions... More
  • Personal Apperance: Formal dress is worn on special occasions, and colorful native costumes are sometimes seen at festivals and weddings. They often... More
  • Recreation: All kinds of outdoor activities are popular in Finland. Finland has twenty-nine nature reserves covering nearly one-third of their country.... More
  • Diet: Because of Finland's dependence on nature some dishes are seasonal as well as regional. These are based on seafood,... More
  • Food and Recipes: Finns eat in continental style, with a fork in the left hand, knife in the right hand. On formal... More
  • Dating: Dating begins in groups at about age 15, when individuals may go to movies or dances. Sometimes marriage takes... More

Finland Facts

What is the capital of Finland?

Capital Helsinki
Government Type parliamentary republic
Currency Euro (EUR)
Total Area 130,558 Square Miles
338,145 Square Kilometers
Location Northern Europe, bordering the Baltic Sea, Gulf of Bothnia, and Gulf of Finland, between Sweden and Russia
Language Finnish 93.4% (official), Swedish 5.9% (official), small Sami- and Russian-speaking minorities
GDP - real growth rate 2.8%
GDP - per capita (PPP) $44,500.00 (USD)

Finland Demographics

What is the population of Finland?

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

The Finnish people take great pride in their language.  Through the years they have resisted other nation's attempts to impose their language on them. Over 93% of the population speaks Finnish, a Finnish-Ugric language coming from a language family different from Scandinavian languages. It is closely related to Estonian. Finland recognizes Sami, the tongue of the indigenous minority Sami.

English is popular as a second language. Swedish is the second official language, spoken by 6% of the population.  Finnish is a hard language to learn because the same word is used for "he" and "she" and the articles "a" and "the" are rarely used.

Nationality Noun Finn(s)
Population 5,571,665
Population Growth Rate 0.06%
Population in Major Urban Areas HELSINKI (capital) 1.134 million
Urban Population 83.700000

Finland Government

What type of government does Finland have?

Executive Branch chief of state: President Alexander STUBB (since 1 March 2024)

head of government: Prime Minister Petteri ORPO (since 20 June 2023)

cabinet: Council of State or Valtioneuvosto appointed by the president, responsible to Parliament

elections/appointments: president directly elected by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 6-year term (eligible for a second term); first round held on 28 January 2024 with a runoff on 11 February 2024 (next to be held by 28 January 2030); prime minister appointed by Parliament

election results: 2024: Alexander STUBB elected in the second round; percent of vote in the first round - Alexander STUBB (KoK) 27.2%, Pekka HAAVISTO (Vihr) 25.8%, Jussi HALLA-AHO (PS) 19.0%, Olli REHN (Kesk) 15.3%; percent of vote in second round - STUBB 51.6%, HAAVISTO 48.4%

2018: Sauli NIINISTO reelected president; percent of vote - Sauli NIINISTO (independent) 62.7%, Pekka HAAVISTO (Vihr) 12.4%, Laura HUHTASAARI (PS) 6.9%, Paavo VAYRYNEN (independent) 6.2%, Matti VANHANEN (Kesk) 4.1%, other 7.7%
Suffrage 18 years of age; universal
Citizenship citizenship by birth: no

citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Finland

dual citizenship recognized: yes

residency requirement for naturalization: 6 years
National Holiday Independence Day, 6 December (1917)
Constitution history: previous 1906, 1919; latest drafted 17 June 1997, approved by Parliament 11 June 1999, entered into force 1 March 2000

amendments: proposed by Parliament; passage normally requires simple majority vote in two readings in the first parliamentary session and at least two-thirds majority vote in a single reading by the newly elected Parliament; proposals declared "urgent" by five-sixths of Parliament members can be passed by at least two-thirds majority vote in the first parliamentary session only; amended several times, last in 2018
Independence 6 December 1917 (from Russia)

Finland Video

YouTube, Expoza Travel Finland Guide

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Finland Geography

What environmental issues does Finland have?

Overview Finland, the sixth largest country in Europe, occupies an area of 338,312 sq km (130,622 square miles) — about twice the size of the United Kingdom. Its coastline, excluding indentations, is 1,100 kilometers long. Finland is bordered on the east and southeast by the Russian Federation, on the west by Sweden and the Gulf of Bothnia, on the north by Norway and on the south by the Gulf of Finland. Most of the country is low but not necessarily flat. Because the soil (mainly moraine deposits from ice age glaciers) is very thin the topography reflects the contours of the Archean bedrock. Elevations greater than 640 meters (2,100 ft) are found along the northwestern frontier with Norway, and in the extreme northern region of Lapland. Most of Finland’s 60,000 lakes, comprising 10% of the total area, lie in the southern half of the country and provide important waterways and log floating routes. An extensive and imposing archipelago, reaching from the Russian border on the south, westward to the Aland Islands and there northward, provides an important fishing and vacation area known for its magnitude and grandeur.

Another impressive physical feature and natural resource of Finland is its forests which cover 65% of the land area (the highest percentage in Europe). The forests of Finland are mainly coniferous; a limited area in the south and southwest contains hardwood deciduous trees. In Lapland, the spruce and pines disappear and dwarf birch usually forms the timberline.

Virtually all of Finland lies between latitudes 60°N and 70°N, but the Gulf Stream and the prevalence of warm westerly winds make the climate several degrees warmer than elsewhere at the same latitude. Summers are short and mild, and the days are long. In June and July only a 2-3 hour period of twilight separates sunset from sunrise. In the extreme north the sun does not set for 73 days during the mid-summer period. Precipitation, averaging 63cm (25 inches) annually, is distributed over all seasons. Winters are long and cold. Snow is possible from October through April, with January through March having the heaviest accumulations. Temperatures may vary from north to south, as does the snow coverage from one winter to the next.

Despite Helsinki’s location on the Gulf of Finland, the humidity is low. The city’s average temperature is +5°C (42°F). February and July mean temperatures are -5°C (23°F) and +17°C (63°F) respectively. Average temperatures in Lapland are -12°C (10°F) in January and +17°C (63°F) in July.

Border Countries Norway 729 km, Sweden 586 km, Russia 1,313 km
Environment - Current Issues air pollution from manufacturing and power plants contributing to acid rain; water pollution from industrial wastes, agricultural chemicals; habitat loss threatens wildlife populations
Environment - International Agreements party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Sulfur 85, Air Pollution-Sulfur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Terrain mostly low, flat to rolling plains interspersed with lakes and low hills

Finland Economy

How big is the Finland economy?

Economic Overview Finland has a highly industrialized, largely free-market economy with per capita GDP almost as high as that of Austria and the Netherlands and slightly above that of Germany and Belgium. Trade is important, with exports accounting for over one-third of GDP in recent years. The government is open to, and actively takes steps to attract, foreign direct investment.

Finland is historically competitive in manufacturing, particularly in the wood, metals, engineering, telecommunications, and electronics industries. Finland excels in export of technology as well as promotion of startups in the information and communications technology, gaming, cleantech, and biotechnology sectors. Except for timber and several minerals, Finland depends on imports of raw materials, energy, and some components for manufactured goods. Because of the cold climate, agricultural development is limited to maintaining self-sufficiency in basic products. Forestry, an important export industry, provides a secondary occupation for the rural population.

Finland had been one of the best performing economies within the EU before 2009 and its banks and financial markets avoided the worst of global financial crisis. However, the world slowdown hit exports and domestic demand hard in that year, causing Finland’s economy to contract from 2012 to 2014. The recession affected general government finances and the debt ratio. The economy returned to growth in 2016, posting a 1.9% GDP increase before growing an estimated 3.3% in 2017, supported by a strong increase in investment, private consumption, and net exports. Finnish economists expect GDP to grow a rate of 2-3% in the next few years.

Finland's main challenges will be reducing high labor costs and boosting demand for its exports. In June 2016, the government enacted a Competitiveness Pact aimed at reducing labor costs, increasing hours worked, and introducing more flexibility into the wage bargaining system. As a result, wage growth was nearly flat in 2017. The Government was also seeking to reform the health care system and social services. In the long term, Finland must address a rapidly aging population and decreasing productivity in traditional industries that threaten competitiveness, fiscal sustainability, and economic growth.
Industries metals and metal products, electronics, machinery and scientific instruments, shipbuilding, pulp and paper, foodstuffs, chemicals, textiles, clothing
Currency Name and Code Euro (EUR)
Export Partners Germany 14.2%, Sweden 10.1%, US 7%, Netherlands 6.8%, China 5.7%, Russia 5.7%, UK 4.5%
Import Partners Germany 17.7%, Sweden 15.8%, Russia 13.1%, Netherlands 8.7%

Finland News and Current Events

What current events are happening in Finland?
Source: Google News

Finland Travel Information

What makes Finland a unique country to travel to?

Country Description

Finland is a highly developed democracy with a modern economy. It is a member of the European Union. Tourist facilities are widely available.


Although the crime rate in Finland is low compared to the United States and most European countries, it has increased in recent years. However, Finland remains relatively safe. U.S. citizens visiting Finland are seldom victims of crime, but visitors should not be complacent regarding personal safety or the protection of valuables. The same precautions employed in the United States should be followed in Finland. Finnish police services are excellent. Travelers should be aware that some police officers speak little English. Due to the low crime rate, Finland has fewer police officers than most European nations. Outside of key sites in major urban centers, police rarely project a visible presence; consequently, response times to crisis situations may take longer in rural areas. All forms of public transportation are considered safe. Street crimes, such as mugging and pick-pocketing, remain uncommon, but do occur.

Don’t buy counterfeit and pirated goods, even if they are widely available. Not only are the bootlegs illegal to bring back into the United States, if you purchase them you may also be breaking local law.

Criminal Penalties

While you are traveling in Finland, you are subject to its laws even if you are a U.S. citizen. Foreign laws and legal systems can be vastly different than our own.

There are also some things that might be legal in the country you visit, but still illegal in the United States; for instance, you can be prosecuted under U.S. law if you buy pirated goods. Engaging in sexual conduct with children or using or disseminating child pornography in a foreign country is a crime prosecutable in the United States. If you break local laws in Finland, your U.S. passport won’t help you avoid arrest or prosecution. It’s very important to know what’s legal and what’s not wherever you go.

While some countries will automatically notify the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate if a U.S. citizen is detained or arrested in a foreign country, that might not always be the case. To ensure that the United States is aware of your circumstances, request that the police and prison officials notify the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate as soon as you are arrested or detained overseas.


The Finnish people take great pride in their language.  Through the years they have resisted other nation's attempts to impose their language on them. Over 93% of the population speaks Finnish, a Finnish-Ugric language coming from a language family different from Scandinavian languages. It is closely related to Estonian. Finland recognizes Sami, the tongue of the indigenous minority Sami.

English is popular as a second language. Swedish is the second official language, spoken by 6% of the population.  Finnish is a hard language to learn because the same word is used for "he" and "she" and the articles "a" and "the" are rarely used.

Medical Facilities and Health Information

In Finland, medical facilities and staff are generally excellent and widely available for emergency services. English is commonly spoken by Finnish medical personnel. Helsinki is a frequent medical evacuation point for emergency cases from the countries of the former Soviet Union. The public hospital system and many private hospitals honor foreign credit cards. Most pharmacies (apteekki in Finnish) are open during normal shopping hours and major cities have at least one 24-hour service pharmacy.

If you are a tourist or temporary visitor to Finland and you require immediate emergency medical assistance, you may visit a local medical center, clinic, or first-aid station (ensiapuasema in Finnish). Usually these stations are located at hospitals and will provide a full range of services. The emergency telephone number, 112, can be used throughout Finland to contact emergency medical services.

Travelers with special medical needs should consult with their personal physicians and take appropriate precautions, including bringing adequate supplies of necessary medication. Medicines may be brought into the country as long as they are intended for the traveler’s personal use; however, there are special requirements concerning the quantity. Finland allows travelers from the European Economic Area to bring personal prescription medicines (up to a one year supply) without a customs declaration. All others may bring a 90-day supply of personal prescription drugs to Finland. A formal doctor's note may be requested by Finnish customs officials. Prescribed narcotics are more highly restricted, however, and may only be brought into the country for the traveler’s personal use for a maximum of 14 days and must be accompanied by a medical certificate stating why the traveler needs them.

In addition, stringent Finnish customs regulations prohibit travelers from receiving drugs from abroad after having arrived in the country. Travelers may also find local physicians reluctant to prescribe equivalent quantities of dosages. For more detailed information, please visit the Finnish National Tourist Board website or contact the Embassy of Finland.

Safety and Security

Finland remains largely free of terrorist incidents. However, like other countries in the Schengen area, Finland’s open borders with its Western European neighbors allow the possibility of terrorist groups anonymously entering and exiting the country. Elements of organized crime groups operating in the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe are present in Finland, but do not represent a specific danger to U.S. citizen residents or tourists. U.S. citizens are reminded to remain vigilant with regard to their personal security and to exercise caution.

Traffic Safety and Road Conditions

While in Finland, you may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. Finnish roads are comparable to those in the United States, but the traffic rules are not.

Finland has an extensive network of highways, as well as excellent public transportation services throughout the country. A valid U.S. driver’s license may be used while visiting Finland, but drivers must be at least 18 years of age. Driving in Finland is on the right. Traffic approaching from the right has priority, even if entering a primary roadway from a secondary one; as such, stop signs are rarely used in Finland, which can cause confusion if cars converge at the same time at an intersection. In addition, it is common practice in Finland, including in large cities, to turn off traffic lights at major intersections early in the evening. Some roads in Helsinki designated as two-way are narrow, making passing difficult. Road signs use standard international symbols and Finnish text. Many urban streets have traffic lanes reserved for public transportation only. Unless otherwise noted on traffic signs, the speed limit varies from 30km/h to 40 km/h in urban areas, to 80 km/h on open roads, and 120 km/h on expressways during summer (reduced to 100 km/h during winter). Vehicles must use headlights at all times. Use of seatbelts is mandatory for drivers and all passengers. Children under 135cm (approx. 53 inches) in height must be seated in approved child or booster seats or use appropriate safety equipment as stated on the Finnish police website and the Finnish Department of Transportation fact sheets.

Public transport in Finland is good quality and is the recommended method of travel. Passenger trains, intercity buses, and air flights provide regular service over longer distances. Public transportation in urban centers includes buses, subways, trams, suburban trains, and taxis. Taxis are more expensive than in major U.S. cities. Most local residents use public transport in Helsinki as parking can be hard to find and expensive. The bus, train, and subway systems are relatively safe.

You should be aware that drunk-driving laws are strict and acceptable blood-alcohol levels are much lower in Finland than in the United States. Police strictly enforce all traffic laws and institute random roadside breath-analyzer tests. Drivers who register a 0.05 or higher blood-alcohol content are subject to immediate arrest. For more information, please review the Finnish Police website.

Driving in Finland during the winter months can be hazardous. Daylight hours are very short and drivers should be comfortable driving in darkness. Icy road conditions are common. Your vehicle must be winterized with snow tires from December to February. Engine heaters are strongly recommended. When driving at night, drivers must be alert to moose wandering onto major roadways. Striking a moose can severely damage a vehicle and even fatally injure its occupants. If you are in a car accident, it is important to have your insurance paperwork with you. In the event of an emergency, call 112 for emergency services.

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