Facts About Finland

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
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 Jyrki Katainen
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
Key features: High standard of education, social security and healthcare, all financed by the state
GDP per capita: 33,618 euros (2010)
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
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 (2011 extremes: coldest day in Salla -41.8 C/-43.2 F, warmest day in Ylitornio 32.8 C/91.0 F)