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Finland facts

Total area: 338,145 km² (sixth largest in Europe)

Population: 5.3 millions
Age structure:
0-14 years: 16.9%
15-64 years: 66.7%
65 years and over: 16.4%

Capital: Helsinki

Government type: Republic (Independent since 1917); EU membership in 1995

Official languages: Finnish 92%, Swedish 5.6%

Consumption of wine: 10.7 litres per capita (2009)

Finland is located in Northern Europe in between of Sweden and Russia. A part from these countries, Finland borders with Norway. It is surrounded by the Baltic Sea, Gulf of Bothnia, and Gulf of Finland. A quarter of its area is north of the Arctic Circle. Finland gained its independence in 1917 and became member of the European Union in 1995.

Forests, lakes and small islands are characteristic to the Finnish scenery. In fact, forests cover three quarters of the country’s surface, there are about 190 000 lakes and almost the same number of islands. The archipelago – largest in Europe – includes the autonomous province of Åland Islands. Highest point in the country is Haltiatunturi (1 328 m) situated in Lapland, in Northern Finland.

Climate in Finland is cold temperate; comparatively mild taking into consideration the geographical location of the country, because of the moderating influence of the North Atlantic Current, Baltic Sea and the numerous lakes. There are four seasons of the year with clear differences from one another. Winters are cold and summers are warm. The mean annual temperature in the capital, Helsinki, is 5.3 °C.

Finland can be characterized as an advanced industrial economy with metal, engineering and electronic industries counting for about 60% and forest products industry for about 20% of the export revenues.

Natural resources: timber, iron ore, copper, lead, zinc, chromite, nickel, gold, silver, limestone.