Finland is located in Scandinavia, the northern most part of Europe, and covers an area of 338 127 km2. Finland is the sixth largest country in Europe. Finland is divided into five provinces: Southern, Eastern and Western Finland, Oulu and Lapland.
Finland has a population of about 5.4 million. The capital of the country is Helsinki, which has almost 600 000 inhabitants.
Religion and rights
In Finland, where there is complete freedom of religion, Lutherans account for 85.6% of the population, Orthodox Christians for 1.1% (living mainly in the towns and in the easternmost districts) and those unaffiliated with any church in total 12.7%.
Finland is known champion of women`s rights because since 1906 women have been participating in social and political life actively. Finland is the first country where women could fully exercise their voting rights and eligibility to stand for elective office.
Politics and economics
Finland is a democratic republic. The president is elected by a direct referendum for a six-year term. The current President of Finland is Sauli Niinistö (2012-2018).The Finnish Parliament comprises 200 representatives. The parliamentary term is four years.
Finland is a member of many multilateral organizations such as United Nations since 1955, Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) since 1969, Council of Europe (COE) since 1989 and European Union (EU) since 1995. Euro has been the currency since 2002.
Finland is well placed in many international comparisons of national performance such as the share of high-technology, manufacturing and health care. Finland is ranked 1st in the 2009 Legatum Prosperity rating, which is based on economical performance and quality of life.
You can listen or watch Finnish news in English while you are in Finland. YLE News broadcasts in English at 11:05am on TV1 (weekdays except national holidays). Their services are also available via FM, cable and webradio, Facebook, Twitter, teletext and podcast.
A five-minute radio bulletin of domestic news in English can be heard weekdays at 7:30am and 9:29am on YLE Mondo. On weekends the bulletin airs at 7.55am.
A three-minute roundup of international and domestic news is broadcast at 3:55pm on Radio YLE 1 frequencies throughout the country. YLE Radio 1 can be heard at 87.9 or 90.9 FM. The latter is also available online.
Source: Statistics Finland and CIMO
Photo: Mika Pietilä