Geography

Finland covers 338,000 km sq.
A quarter is within the Arctic circle.
69% of the country’s surface is forest. 10% is water.
There are 187,888 lakes and 179,584 islands.
Finland has the greatest number of bogs in proportion to its area.
In the far north, the sun doesn’t set for 73 days in summer.
In winter, it doesn’t rise for 51 days.
The highest temperature ever recorded in Finland was 35.9°C, in the southern city of Turku.
The lowest was -51°C, in Lapland.

People

Population = 5,200,000.
78% are proud to be Finnish.
Average life expectancy is 80.3 for women, 73.3 for men.
Women represent 52% of the total workforce.
81.2% live in urban communities.
1 million live in the Helsinki metropolitan area.

Family

641,000 families have children.
The average family has 1.8 children
Finland has the lowest infant mortality in the world.
1 in 5 families own a dog.
Natural population growth is 0.2%
There are 24,348 marriages each year and 13, 853 divorces.

Religion

85.1% are Lutheran.
1.1% are Orthodox.
12.7% have no religious affiliation.

Language

93% speak Finnish.
6% speak Swedish,
20 000 speak Russian,
1700 speak Sami (Lappish).
Finnish has longer swear words than any other language.
It has no future tense.

Saunas

Saunas are integral to Finnish life.
There are 1.7 million saunas (1 for every 3 Finns).
The president and the prime minister each have their own official sauna.
Traditionally, women used to give birth in the sauna.

Education and innovation

Finland is the most economically competitive nation in the world.
Finns are the most literate population in the world.
13% have a university degree.
Finnish company Nokia produced the world’s first mobile phone in 1987.
73% of Finns have mobile phones, the largest proportion in the world.

Finnish Festivals

Finns enjoy many unique festivals:
‘Midsummer’s Day’ (Juhannus) is the most important annual event for Finns.
On ‘Sleepyhead Day’, 27 July, the laziest person in the towns of Naantali and Hanko is thrown into the sea.
‘The annual wife-carrying championship’ is held every July in Sonkajärvi.

Famous Finns

Alvar Aalto, architect
Santa Claus, philanthropist
Mika Häkkinen, Formula One driver
Tove Jansson, creator of the Moomins
Aki Kaurismaki, Film director
Jean Sibelius, composer
Linus Torvalds, creator of Linux operating system