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Republic of Finland
Suomen tasavalta  (Finnish)
Republiken Finland  (Swedish)
Anthem: Maamme  (Finnish)
Vårt land  (Swedish)
"Our Land"
and largest city
60°10′N 024°56′E / 60.167°N 24.933°E / 60.167; 24.933
Official languages Finnish, Swedish
Recognised regional languages Saami
Demonym Finns, Finnish
Government Parliamentary republic[1]
 -  President
 -  Prime Minister
 -  Autonomy
from Sweden
March 29, 1809 
 -  Declared
from Bolshevik Russia
December 6, 1917 
 -  Recognised January 4, 1918 
 -  Total 338,424 km2 (64th)
130,596 sq mi 
 -  Water (%) 10
 -  2010 estimate 5,374,781 (112th)
 -  2000 census 5,180,000
 -  Density 16/km2 (201st)
40/sq mi
GDP (PPP) 2010 estimate
 -  Total $183.095 billion[2]
 -  Per capita $34,044[2]
GDP (nominal) 2010 estimate
 -  Total $240.139 billion[2]
 -  Per capita $44,650.[2]
Gini (2000)26.9
Currency Euro ()¹ (EUR)
Time zone EET (UTC+2)
 -  Summer (DST) EEST (UTC+3)
Date format d.m.yyyy
Drives on the right
Calling code 358
Internet TLD .fi, .ax ²
1. Before 2002: Finnish markka
2. The .eu domain is also used, as it is shared with other European Union member states.

Finland, formally the Republic of Finland (Finnish: Suomi; Swedish: Finland), is a Nordic country situated in Northern Europe. It has borders with Sweden to the west, Russia to the east, and Norway to the north, while Estonia lies to its south across the Gulf of Finland. The capital city is Helsinki.

Finland, predominantly Lutheran, has a population of 5,540,745 as of 2022 (a 0.09% increase from 2021), spread over an area of 338,145 square kilometres (130,559 square miles). The majority of the population is concentrated in the southern part of the country. Finland is the sixth largest country in Europe in terms of area, with a low population density of 15.5 persons per square kilometre, making it the most sparsely populated country in the European Union. As their mother tongue, most Finns speak Finnish, one of the few official languages of the European Union that is not of Indo-European origin. The second official language, Swedish, is spoken natively by a 5.5 percent minority.

Previously part of Sweden and from 1809 an autonomous Grand Duchy within the Russian Empire, Finland declared its independence in 1917.

Nationalism in Finland

Knight of the Mannerheim Cross, Major General Erkki Raappana celebrates his 50th anniversary on 2 June 1943 with his wife Sylvia and son SS-Rottenführer Ermo Raappana (Waffen-SS volunteer) in Rukapirtti cabin, in the village of Tiiksa, Lake Novinkajärvi. Erkki Raappana had served in the Prussian 27th Jäger Battalion of the Imperial German Army between 1916 to 1918. His son Ermo Juhani Raappana (1921–1997) fought in the Winter War and enlisted with the Finnish Waffen-SS after graduation from the Reserve Officers School in 1941.

Origins of identity politics in Finland (most likely) emereged from a movement called the fennophiles during the late 18th century. Nationalism as a major movement arrived to Finland in the mid 19th century, supporters of this movement were know as the fennomans, this movement later split to conservative-nationalist and liberal-nationalist factions.

Language politics were important, the finnish language were to be raised from its decay and to replace the swedish language from all parts of life, from commerce to universities and literature. This didn't do, as a large minority in the population actually were swedish in language and ethnicity, so a counter-identity movement was born for the finland-swedes, known as the svecoman movement. During this period the politics were led from the university-circles, who among identity, were fighting for Finland's independence from the Russian Empire. Which was declared (during the Russian revolution) in the 6th of December in 1917.

Nationalism hadn't reached the working class.. They were more in to socialism and many had ties to Russian revolutionaries. This meant trouble as the workers, represented by the SDP-party wanted a revolution, like their friends were doing in the east. This led to civil war in 1918, of which the workers (reds) were eventually defeated by the nationalists (whites).

The following decades weren't stable. Commie-finnish exiles in Russia had started their agitation of the workers and farmers in Finland. This led to the formation of the radical nationalist and anti-communist Lapua Movement. This was a period when nationalism in Finland started becoming a countryside-thing, and of course university-nationalists still existed and worked closely with them. Lapua Movement used categoric steps against communists and socialists. This later led, as the movement demanded, on banning communism (anti-communist laws) from Finland.

Bolshevistic activities and damage

After the Bolshevik coup in Russia in October 1917, Finland's well-established parliament in December 1917 proclaimed the country's independence and its statehood was soon recognized by Bolshevist Russia, then stuck with a demoralized Red Army and hopes for world revolution. This recognition, however, did not spare Finland from becoming the first foreign victim of Communist experiments.

The Finnish Civil War broke out between and amid post-WWI confusion and social instability, resulting in social disaster but on the other hand guaranteeing Finland's sovereignty from the Soviet Union under the 1920 peace treaty. Finnish Red Guards and remnants of the Red Army attempted a coup in Helsinki, remaining in the area and much of Southern Finland until the decisive battle of Tampere. White Guards, supported by imperial Germany Deutsche Finnland-Intervention, advanced from North and Central Finland and took the victory by May. Some 100 000 fighters were involved in the conflict and both sides resorted to acts of terror. The Red Terror claimed 1400-1650 lives, while some 7000-10.000 perished in the White Terror. In all, 37.000-38.500 died in the war and 20.000 children were orphaned. Up to 76.000 prisoners captured by White Guards and German forces were tried and about 100 executed on orders of the Tribunal of Treason. Others received mostly light sentences and were pardoned in the 1920s. Mortality was nevertheless high due to severe hunger and Spanish flu.

Despite the fratricidal war of 1918, executions, prison camps, the 1930s economic crisis of and schismatic political tensions, the Finnish people stood up united against Soviet Union's 1939 aggression that unleashed the Winter War. Cast into the Soviet sphere of influence under the secret protocol of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, Finland successfully resisted for 105 days, losing at least 26.662 dead and 39.886 wounded. Although total Soviet losses were five times higher, the toll was heavier on the Finnish population: Finland lost 1,8% of its then population of 3,7 million while Soviet Union lost 0,15% of its total population and managed to conquer as much as 10% of Finland's territory.

After the Soviet-German war broke out in 1941, Soviet air forces started bombing Finnish cities and Finland's Eduskunta decided on 25. June 1941 to launch the Continuation War against the Soviets. Finland's toll in this war was 58.000-65.000 dead and 158.000 wounded. After Finnish forces were forced to retreat from Karelia in the heavy battles of 1944, a truce was signed in September that year and asserted by the Paris Peace Treaty of 1947.

Thus, the attempts to establish Communism in Finland more or less directly claimed at least 50.000 lives and left tens of thousands wounded in the 1918 war and Winter War. This estimate does not include victims of the Continuation War. Yet countless war crimes were commited by the Red Army against Finnish civilians. In addition, 423.000 Karelians - 11% of the region's population - lost their homes when evacuated from areas annexed by the Soviet Union.

Political status today

Finland is today a democratic parliamentary republic and has been a member state of the United Nations since 1955 and the European Union since 1995. Finland has thriving services and manufacturing sectors and is a highly democratic welfare state with low levels of corruption, consistently ranking at or near the top in international comparisons of national performance.

Finland is eleventh on the United Nations' Human Development Index. According to the World Audit Democracy profile, Finland is the freest nation in the world in terms of civil liberties, freedom of the press, low corruption levels and political rights. Finland is rated the sixth most peaceful country in the world by the Economist Intelligence Unit, and since 1945, Finland has been at peace, adopting neutrality in wartime.

Since the 1980's years coloured people invade Finland as other Scandinavian countries causing decrease of security and living standard, increasing of cirminality.


Finland is a country of thousands of lakes and islands – 187,888 lakes (larger than 500 m2) and 179,584 islands.[3] Its largest lake, Saimaa, is the fourth largest in Europe. The Finnish landscape is mostly flat with few hills and fewer mountains. Its highest point, the Halti at 1324 m, is found in the extreme north of Lapland at the border between Finland and Norway. The highest mountain, its peak being in Finland, is Ridnitsohkka at 1,316 m (4,318 ft), directly adjacent to Halti.

Finland lies between latitudes 59° and 71° N, and longitudes 20° and 32° E.

Forest covers 86% of the country's area,[4] the largest forested area in Europe. The forest consists of pine, spruce, birch, larch and other species. Finland is the largest producer of wood in Europe and among the largest in the world.

The landscape is covered mostly (seventy-five percent of land area) by coniferous taiga forests and fens, with little arable land. The most common type of rock is granite. It is a ubiquitous part of the scenery, visible wherever there is no soil cover. Moraine or till is the most common type of soil, covered by a thin layer of humus of biological origin. Podzol profile development is seen in most forest soils except where drainage is poor. Gleysols and peat bogs occupy poorly drained areas. The greater part of the islands are found in the southwest in the Archipelago Sea, part of the archipelago of the Åland Islands, and along the southern coast in the Gulf of Finland.

Finland is one of the few countries in the world whose surface area is still expanding. Owing to the post-glacial rebound that has been taking place since the last ice age, the surface area of the country is expanding by about 7 km2 annually.[5]

The distance from the southernmost – Hanko – to the northernmost point in the country – Nuorgam – is Template:Km to mi.


Phytogeographically, Finland is shared between the Arctic, central European and northern European provinces of the Circumboreal Region within the Boreal Kingdom. According to the WWF, the territory of Finland can be subdivided into three ecoregions: the Scandinavian and Russian taiga, Sarmatic mixed forests and Scandinavian Montane Birch forest and grasslands.

Similarly, Finland has a diverse and extensive range of fauna. There are at least sixty native mammalian species, 248 breeding bird species, over seventy fish species and eleven reptile and frog species present today, many migrating from neighboring countries thousands of years ago.

Large and widely recognized wildlife mammals found in Finland are the brown bear (the national animal), gray wolf, wolverine, elk (moose) and reindeer. Three of the more striking birds are the Whooper Swan, a large European swan and the national bird of Finland, the Capercaillie, a large, black-plumaged member of the grouse family and the European Eagle-owl. The latter is considered an indicator of old-growth forest connectivity, and has been declining because of landscape fragmentation.[6] The most common breeding birds are the willow warbler, chaffinch and redwing.[7] Of some seventy species of freshwater fish, the northern pike, perch and others are plentiful. Atlantic salmon remains the favorite of fly rod enthusiasts.

The endangered Saimaa Ringed Seal, one of only three lake seal species in the world, exists only in the Saimaa lake system of southeastern Finland, down to only 300 seals today. It has become the emblem of the Finnish Association for Nature Conservation.[8]


The Finnish climate is suitable for grain farming in the southernmost regions but not further north.[9]

Finland has a humid and cool semi continental climate, characterized by warm summers and freezing winters. The climate type in southern Finland is north temperate climate. Winters of southern Finland (average day time temperature is below 0 °C) are usually 4 months long, and the snow typically covers the land from middle of December to early April. In the southern coast, it can melt many times during early winter, and then come again. The coldest winter days of southern Finland are usually under -20 °C, and the warmest days of July and early August can be as high as 30 °C, although this is relatively rare.[10]

Summers in the southern Finland last 4 months (from the mid of May to mid of September). In northern Finland, particularly in Lapland, a subarctic climate dominates, characterized by cold – occasionally severe – winters and relatively warm, short summers. Winters in north Finland are nearly 7 months long, and snow covers the lands almost 6 months, from October to early May. Summers in the north are quite short, only 2–3 months.

The main factor influencing Finland's climate is the country's geographical position between the 60th and 70th northern parallels in the Eurasian continent's coastal zone, which shows characteristics of both a maritime and a continental climate, depending on the direction of air flow. Finland is near enough to the Atlantic Ocean to be continuously warmed by the Gulf Stream, which explains the unusually warm climate considering the absolute latitude.[10]

A quarter of Finland's territory lies within the Arctic Circle and the midnight sun can be experienced – for more days, the farther north one travels. At Finland's northernmost point, the sun does not set for 73 consecutive days during summer, and does not rise at all for 51 days during winter.

External links

In German


  1. Formerly a semi-presidential republic, it's now a parliamentary republic according to David Arter, First Chair of Politics at Aberdeen University, who in his "Scandinavian Politics Today" (Manchester University Press, revised 2008), quotes Jaakko Nousiainen in "From semi-presidentialism to parliamentary government" in Scandinavian Political Studies 24 (2) p95–109 as follows: "There are hardly any grounds for the epithet 'semi-presidential'." Arter's own conclusions are only slightly more nuanced: "The adoption of a new constitution on 1 March 2000 meant that Finland was no longer a case of semi-presidential government other than in the minimalist sense of a situation where a popularly elected fixed-term president exists alongside a prime minister and cabinet who are responsible to parliament (Elgie 2004: 317)". According to the Finnish Constitution, the President has no possibility to rule the government without the ministerial approval, and substantially has not the power to disband the parliament under its own desire. Finland is actually represented by its Prime Minister, and not by its President, in the Council of the Heads of State and Government of the European Union.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Finland. International Monetary Fund. Retrieved on 2010-04-21.
  3. Statistics Finland. Retrieved on 2007-01-22.
  5. Trends in sea level variability. Finnish Institute of Marine Research (2004-08-24). Retrieved on 2007-01-22.
  6. Nutritional and genetic adaptation of galliform birds: implications for hand-rearing and restocking. Oulu University Library (2000). Retrieved on 2008-05-23.
  7. BirdLife Finland. BirdLife International (2004) Birds in Europe: population estimates, trends and conservation status. Cambridge, UK. (BirdLife Conservation Series No. 12). Retrieved on 2007-01-22.
  8. SOS: Save our seals. this is Finland (Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland).
  9. Finland's Northern Conditions – Challenges and Opportunities for Agriculture (PDF), p. 4
  10. 10.0 10.1 Finland's climate. Finnish Meteorological Institute.