Shine with facts about Finland

Your friends cannot fail to be impressed with all the facts you’ll know about Finnish geography, history, people and economy.

read article

You won’t be ready for a PhD on Finland, but this page will give you enough info to impress at least your pals.


  • Population: 5.5 million, 18.1 inhabitants per km² ( 46.6 per square mile)
  • Life expectancy: Men 78 years, women 84 years
  • Languages: Official languages are Finnish (spoken by 87.9%) and Swedish (5.2%). Sámi is the mother tongue of about 1,900 people, members of the indigenous Sámi people of northern Lapland
  • Religion: Christianity; 70.9 % Lutheran and about 1.1% Orthodox. In practice society is fairly secularised.

State & Government

  • Independence: Declared on December 6, 1917. Previously a grand duchy in the Russian empire for 108 years, and a part of Sweden for 600 years before that
  • Form of government: Republic, parliamentary democracy
  • Parliament: 200 members in one chamber, elected every 4 years in a direct vote (next elections in 2019)
  • Cabinet: Multiparty coalition cabinet. The current Cabinet is run by Prime Minister Juha Sipilä
  • Head of State: President of the Republic, elected every 6 years, two-term maximum. Currently Mr Sauli Niinistö, elected in 2012 and re-elected in 2018.
  • International cooperation: Member of United Nations since 1955 and European Union since 1995.

Society & Economy

  • Key features: High standard of education, social security and healthcare, all financed by the state
  • GDP per capita: 40,612 euros (2017)
  • Main exports: Electrotechnical goods, metal products, machinery, transport equipment, wood and paper products, chemicals
  • Main imports: Raw materials, investment goods, energy, consumer goods (for example cars and textiles)
  • Currency unit: Euro

Geography & Climate

  • Area: 338,440 km² (131,991 square miles), the fifth-largest country in Western Europe
  • Greatest length from north to south: 1,157 km (717 miles)
  • Greatest width from east to west: 542 km (336 miles)
  • Capital: Helsinki (1.4 million inhabitants in metropolitan area)
  • Climate: Great contrasts – cold winters and fairly warm summers (2017 extremes: coldest day in Muonio -41.2 C/-42.1 F, warmest day in Utsjoki 29.1 C/84.3 F)

Sources: Statistics Finland, National Board of Customs, Population Register Center, State Provincial Office of Lapland,

Updated July 2018