Finland Facts

● Population: 5.4 million

● Capital: Helsinki

● Geographic size: 338,000 km2, of which 33,000 km2 is water

● Cities:

  • Helsinki (590,000 inhabitants; Helsinki metropolitan area: 1.25 million)
  • Espoo (250,000)
  • Tampere (215,000)
  • Vantaa (200,000)
  • Turku (180,000)
  • Oulu (145,000)

● Lakes: 188,000

● Islands: 180,000

● National parks: 37

● Archipelago: The largest in Europe is situated off the southwest coast of Finland. Parts of the archipelago make up Åland, an autonomous Swedish-speaking province.

● Weather: Four seasons with stark contrasts between them; snowy winters with the Northern Lights and the polar night, warm summers with white nights and the Midnight Sun.

● Type of state: Independent republic since December 6th, 1917.

● Head of state: President of the Republic, elected every six years. Current president is Sauli Niinistö.

● Joined the EU: 1995

● Currency: Euro

● Official languages: Finnish and Swedish

  • 91 % speak Finnish as their first language, while 5.4 % speak Swedish. Sámi is the mother tongue of roughly 1,700 indigenous Sámi people in northern Lapland.

● Time Zone: GMT + 2 hrs

● Traffic and driving: Right-hand traffic, no road tolls. Headlights must be used at all times. Snow tires are obligatory from December to February.