Geographic and Governmental Profile of Finland

Finland was a province and then a grand duchy under Sweden from the 12th to the 19th centuries, and an autonomous grand duchy of Russia after 1809. It won its complete independence in 1917. During World War II, it was able to successfully defend its freedom and resist invasions by the Soviet Union - albeit with some loss of territory. In the subsequent half century, the Finns made a remarkable transformation from a farm/forest economy to a diversified modern industrial economy; per capita income is now among the highest in Western Europe. A member of the European Union since 1995, Finland was the only Nordic state to join the euro system at its initiation in January 1999. In the 21st century, the key features of Finland's modern welfare state are a high standard of education, equality promotion, and national social security system - currently challenged by an aging population and the fluctuations of an export-driven economy.
Northern Europe, bordering the Baltic Sea, Gulf of Bothnia, and Gulf of Finland, between Sweden and Russia
Geographic coordinates
64 00 N, 26 00 E
Continent / Subcontinent
338,145 sq km
303,815 sq km
34,330 sq km
Area - comparative
slightly smaller than Montana
Land boundaries
2,654 km
border countries:
Norway 727 km, Sweden 614 km, Russia 1,313 km
1,250 km
Maritime claims
territorial sea:
12 nm (in the Gulf of Finland - 3 nm)
contiguous zone:
24 nm
exclusive fishing zone:
12 nm; extends to continental shelf boundary with Sweden
continental shelf:
200 m depth or to the depth of exploitation
cold temperate; potentially subarctic but comparatively mild because of moderating influence of the North Atlantic Current, Baltic Sea, and more than 60,000 lakes
mostly low, flat to rolling plains interspersed with lakes and low hills
Elevation extremes
lowest point:
Baltic Sea 0 m
highest point:
Halti (alternatively Haltia, Haltitunturi, Haltiatunturi) 1,328 m
Natural resources
timber, iron ore, copper, lead, zinc, chromite, nickel, gold, silver, limestone
Land use
arable land:
permanent crops:
93.44% (2005)
Get Chart Code
Get Chart Code
Irrigated land
770 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources
110 cu km (2005)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural)
2.33 cu km/yr (14%/84%/3%)
per capita:
444 cu m/yr (1999)
Natural hazards
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
Geography - note
long boundary with Russia; Helsinki is northernmost national capital on European continent; population concentrated on small southwestern coastal plain
Country name
conventional long form:
Republic of Finland
conventional short form:
local long form:
Suomen tasavalta/Republiken Finland
local short form:
Government type
geographic coordinates:
60 10 N, 24 56 E
time difference:
UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
daylight saving time:
+1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October
Administrative divisions
19 regions (maakunnat, singular - maakunta (Finnish); landskapen, singular - landskapet (Swedish)); Aland (Swedish), Ahvenanmaa (Finnish); Etela-Karjala (Finnish), Sodra Karelen (Swedish) [South Karelia]; Etela-Pohjanmaa (Finnish), Sodra Osterbotten (Swedish) [South Ostrobothnia]; Etela-Savo (Finnish), Sodra Savolax (Swedish) [South Savo]; Kanta-Hame (Finnish), Egentliga Tavastland (Swedish); Kainuu (Finnish), Kajanaland (Swedish); Keski-Pohjanmaa (Finnish), Mellersta Osterbotten (Swedish) [Central Ostrobothnia]; Keski-Suomi (Finnish), Mellersta Finland (Swedish) [Central Finland]; Kymenlaakso (Finnish), Kymmenedalen (Swedish); Lappi (Finnish), Lappland (Swedish); Paijat-Hame (Finnish), Paijanne-Tavastland (Swedish); Pirkanmaa (Finnish), Birkaland (Swedish) [Tampere]; Pohjanmaa (Finnish), Osterbotten (Swedish) [Ostrobothnia]; Pohjois-Karjala (Finnish), Norra Karelen (Swedish) [North Karelia]; Pohjois-Pohjanmaa (Finnish), Norra Osterbotten (Swedish) [North Ostrobothnia]; Pohjois-Savo (Finnish), Norra Savolax (Swedish) [North Savo]; Satakunta (Finnish and Swedish); Uusimaa (Finnish), Nyland (Swedish) [Newland]; Varsinais-Suomi (Finnish), Egentliga Finland (Swedish) [Finland Proper]
6 December 1917 (from Russia)
1 March 2000
Legal system
civil law system based on the Swedish model; note - the president may request the Supreme Court to review laws
International law organization participation
accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch
chief of state:
President Sauli NINISTO (since 1 March 2012)
head of government:
Prime Minister Jyrki KATAINEN (since 22 June 2011)
Council of State or Valtioneuvosto appointed by the president, responsible to parliament
president elected by popular vote for a six-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 5 February 2012 (next to be held in February 2018); the parliament elects a prime minister who is then appointed to office by the president
election results:
percent of vote - Sauli NIINISTO (Kok) 36.96%, Pekka HAAVISTO (Vihr) 18.76%, Paavo VAYRYNEN (Kesk) 17.53%, Timo SOINI (TF) 9.4%, Paavo LIPPONEN (SDP) 6.7%, Paavo ARHINMĂ„KI (Vas) 5.48%, Eva BIAUDET (SFP) 2.7%, Sari ESSAYAH (KD) 2.47%; a runoff election between NIINISTO and HAAVISTO was held 5 February 2012 - NIINISTO 62.59%, HAAVISTO 37.41%; Jyrki KATAINEN elected prime minister; election results 118-72
government coalition - KoK, SDP, VIHR, SFP, VAS, and KD
Legislative branch
unicameral Parliament or Eduskunta (200 seats; members elected by popular vote on a proportional basis to serve four-year terms)
last held on 17 April 2011 (next to be held in April 2015)
election results:
percent of vote by party - Kok 20.4%, SDP 19.1%, TF 19%, Kesk 15.8%, Vas 8.1%, Vihr 7.2%, SFP 4.3%, KD 4%, other 2%; seats by party - Kok 44, SDP 42, TF 39, Kesk 35, Vas 14, Vihr 10, SFP 9, KD 6, other 1 (the constituency of Aland) (2012)
Judicial branch
general courts - deal with criminal and civil cases (include district courts, Courts of Appeal, and the Supreme Court or Korkein Oikeus, whose judges are appointed by the president); administrative courts
Political parties and leaders
Center Party (Suomen Keskusta) or Kesk [Juha SIPILA]; Christian Democrats (Kristillisdemokraatit) or KD [Paivi RASANEN]; Green Party (Vihrea litto) or Vihr [Ville NIINISTO]; Left Alliance (Vasemmistolitto) or Vas [Paavo ARHINMAKI]; National Coalition Party (Kansallinen Kokoomus) or Kok [Jyrki KATAINEN]; Social Democratic Party (Suomen Sosialidemokraattinen) or SDP [Jutta URPILAINEN]; Swedish People's Party (Svenska Folkpartiet) or SFP [Carl HAGLUND]; The Finns (Perussuomalaiset) or TF [Timo SOINI]
International organization participation
ADB (nonregional member), AfDB (nonregional member), Arctic Council, Australia Group, BIS, CBSS, CD, CE, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, ECB, EIB, EMU, ESA, EU, FAO, FATF, G-9, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, NC, NEA, NIB, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OPCW, OSCE, Paris Club, PCA, PFP, Schengen Convention, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNMIL, UNMOGIP, UNRWA, UNTSO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC
Diplomatic representation in the US
chief of mission:
Ambassador Ritva KOUKKU-RONDE
3301 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
[1] (202) 298-5800
[1] (202) 298-6030
consulate(s) general:
Los Angeles, New York
Diplomatic representation from the US
chief of mission:
Ambassador Bruce J. ORECK
Itainen Puistotie 14B, 00140 Helsinki
mailing address:
APO AE 09723
[358] (9) 616250
[358] (9) 6162 5800
Flag description
white with a blue cross extending to the edges of the flag; the vertical part of the cross is shifted to the hoist side in the style of the Dannebrog (Danish flag); the blue represents the thousands of lakes scattered across the country, while the white is for the snow that covers the land in winter
National symbol(s)
National anthem
"Maamme" (Our Land)
Johan Ludvig RUNEBERG/Fredrik PACIUS
in use since 1848; although never officially adopted by law, the anthem has been popular since it was first sung by a student group in 1848; Estonia's anthem uses the same melody as that of Finland
Data source 1: All Above textual data, maps and flags were extracted from The World Factbook which was prepared by the Central Intelligence Agency and made available on the following link: The World Factbook. Lebanese Economy Forum is not sponsered or affiliated, in any way, by the US Central Intelligence Agency
Data source 2: Plots and Charts are constructed using the world bank public data catalog which can be viewed by visiting the following link: World Bank Data Catalog. Lebanese Economy Forum is not sponsored or affiliated, in any way, by the worldbank

Comments are closed.