Finland (Suomen tasavalta, Republiken Finland) is a Parliamentary Republic. It is a member of the European Union. Finland is located in Northern Europe in the eastern part of Scandinavia. Neighboring countries are Norway to the north, Sweden to the north-west and Russia to the east and south-east. It is washed by the Baltic Sea to the west and south by the Gulfs of Bothnia and Finland respectively.
Among major cities are the capital Helsinki/Helsingfors, Turku, Vaasa, Oulu, Tampere, Lahti, Kuopio and Rovaniemi. The territory of Finland lies between the 60° and 70° latitude north. Over one third of the territory lies north of the Arctic Circle, which makes the country one of the northernmost countries of the world.
The Finnish territory is mostly flat and sprinkled with more than 180,000 lakes of glacial origin: Saimaa with 4,377 square kilometers, Päijänne with 1,081 square kilometers, Inari with 1,040 square kilometers, Pielinen with 894 sq km, Oulujärvi with 887 sq km, Haukivesi with 620 sq km, Orivesi-Paasivesi with 536 sq km), Kallavesi with 513 sq km, Keitele with 500 sq km, which are mainly located in the south-east.
In the central northern area north of the river Oulu is a range of hills. In the north-west of the country along the border with Norway rise the highest elevations of the Scandinavian Alps. Here is the highest peak of Finland, the Mount Haltitunturi with 1,324 m. On the rest of the northern Finnish territory lies Lapland, which is covered with large untouched forest.
The country is rich in rivers. The Torne is important. It marks much of It runs through Lapland and flows into the Gulf of Bothnia. Just south of it are the rivers Oulujoki and Iijoki. The forests are spanning almost 90% of Finland. They are the most important economic resource of Finland. The The coast of Finland is rather jagged, but low and sandy and is full of islands, especially in its south-western part, where the vast archipelago of the Åland Islands is situated.
English text correction by Dietrich Köster.
- Area: 338,145 sq km (arable land 8%, pastures 1%, forests 69%, uncultivated and unproductive land 22%)
- Population: 5,323,000 (2008)
- State Capital: Helsinki/Helsingfors
- Official languages: Finnish and Swedish. Regional language Sami.
- Religion: Evangelical-Lutheran Church (82%), Orthodox Church (1%).
- Currency: Euro (EUR)
- Time: Time in Finland is 2 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT+2), Summer (Daylight Saving Time UTC+3).