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Country of Finland Flag

Capital: Helsinki

Population: 5,532,156

Brief History of Finland:

The Finnish people settled in the land that is today call Finland thousands of years ago. During the 12th Century, the Kingdom of Swedentook over the land and it remained a part of Sweden for almost 700 years. During this time, Swedish took over as the dominant language in the area. The language eventually reverted back to Finnish during the 1800s.

In 1809, Russia and the armies of Czar Alexander I conquered Finland and took possession of the land. It became a grand duchy of Russia for around 100 years.

In 1835, the publication of the Finnish national epic, The Kalevala--a collection of traditional myths and legends--first stirred the nationalism that later led to Finland's independence from Russia. When the Bolshevik Revolution occurred in Russia in 1917 Finland claimed independence. Finland staunchly defended its independence including fighting wars against the Soviet Union during World War II. During the Cold War, Finland was considered a neutral country and a grey zone between the West and the Soviet Union.

Country of Finland Map

The Geography of Finland

Total Size: 338,145 square km

Size Comparison: slightly smaller than Montana

Geographical Coordinates: 64 00 N, 26 00 E

World Region or Continent: Europe

General Terrain: mostly low, flat to rolling plains interspersed with lakes and low hills

Geographical Low Point: Baltic Sea 0 m

Geographical High Point: Haltiatunturi 1,328 m

Climate: cold temperate; potentially subarctic but comparatively mild because of moderating influence of the North Atlantic Current, Baltic Sea, and more than 60,000 lakes

Major cities: HELSINKI (capital) 1.107 million (2009), Espoo, Tampere, Vantaa

The People of Finland

Type of Government: republic

Languages Spoken: Finnish 92% (official), Swedish 5.6% (official), other 2.4% (small Sami- and Russian-speaking minorities) (2003)

Independence: 6 December 1917 (from Russia)

National Holiday: Independence Day, 6 December (1917)

Nationality: Finn(s)

Religions: Lutheran National Church 84.2%, Greek Orthodox in Finland 1.1%, other Christian 1.1%, other 0.1%, none 13.5% (2003)

National Symbol: lion

National Anthem or Song: Maamme (Our Land)

Economy of Finland

Major Industries: metals and metal products, electronics, machinery and scientific instruments, shipbuilding, pulp and paper, foodstuffs, chemicals, textiles, clothing

Agricultural Products: barley, wheat, sugar beets, potatoes; dairy cattle; fish

Natural Resources: timber, iron ore, copper, lead, zinc, chromite, nickel, gold, silver, limestone

Major Exports: machinery and equipment, chemicals, metals; timber, paper, pulp (1999)

Major Imports: foodstuffs, petroleum and petroleum products, chemicals, transport equipment, iron and steel, machinery, textile yarn and fabrics, grains

Currency: euro (EUR)

National GDP: $194,300,000,000

** Source for population (2012 est.) and GDP (2011 est.) is CIA World Factbook.

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