Facts about Finland

  • Finland is the eighth largest country in Europe in extension. Yet it is the European Union’s most sparsely populated country.
  • Finland has 187,888 lakes (larger than 500 m²), a world record. The largest of them, Saimaa, is Europe’s fourth largest lake and is also the home to the rarest fresh water seal in the world.
  • Finnish landscape is mostly flat with few hills or mountains. This is due to the eroding effects of heavy ice age glaciers. Today, the terrain is still rising steadily due to post-glacial rebound.
  • Finland’s education system is considered as one of the best in the world. Children start comprehensive school when they are seven years old.
  • The city of Helsinki, which is Finland's capital, is the second northernmost capital city in the world, after Reykjavik.
  • Finland has two official languages. Finnish is spoken by almost 90% of the population and slightly more than 5% are native Swedish speakers. The Sami language is the indigenous language of Language. Two thirds of the Finnish population can speak English.
  • Almost 80% of the Finnish land is covered by forests.
  • There are approximately almost 3 million saunas in Finland. Finns meet in the sauna to enjoy free time with friends and even for important business meetings.
  • Finland is an egalitarian society and has a long tradition of gender equality. And Finnish politics have been ruled by women. In April 2003 became the first country in Europe to have both a female president and prime minister.
  • Finland became in 1906 the first European country to guarantee equal voting rights to men and women.
  • Finland joined the European Union in 1995. It is the only Nordic country that joined also the single currency (Euro) at its original launch in 1999.
  • A quarter of the Finnish land is located in the Arctic Circle. This is why Lapland and other northern regions are known as the 'Land of the Midnight Sun'. The sun doesn’t set there for 73 consecutive summer days (this is called the Nightless Night) and in winter it doesn’t rise at all for 51 days (the Polar Night).
  • The Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) can be admired in every season but summer in Lapland and in other parts of Finland. In Lapland some accommodation establishments offer the possibility to spend the night in an glass igloo to enjoy this natural spectacle.
  • Finland was the first country in the world to make Internet access a legal right for its citizens.