Finland: Facts and Information

Finland Fact File

Location: Finland is located in Northern Europe. It is one of the Nordic countries (along with Denmark, Iceland, Norway and Sweden), and it shares borders with Sweden, Norway and Russia.

Capital: Helsinki (also Finland’s largest city)

Population: 5.4 million (approx)

Area: 338.424 sq km

Currency: Euro

Official Languages: Finnish and Swedish

 

The Flag of Finland

Flag of Finland

 

Other Facts About Finland

  • In 1809 Finland gained its independence from Sweden. It had been a part of Sweden since the 12th century.
  • Finland played an important role in World War 2. They twice fought battles against the Soviet Union. These were called the Winter War (from 1939-1940) and the Continuation War (1941 to 1944). In the Lapland War (1944 – 1945), Finnish troops forced the Germans out of northern Finland. It is estimated that more than 90,000 soldiers from Finland were killed during WW2.
  • Only the city of Reykjavik (Iceland) is further north than Helsinki, the capital of Finland.
  • There are more than 180,000 lakes in Finland. The largest of these is Saimaa.
  • More than four fifths of the country is covered by pine and birch forests, and wood is one of Finland’s main exports.
  • Brown bears, wolves, reindeer, wolverines and elk can all be found in the wild in Finland. The brown bear is Finland’s national animal.
  • In winter in northern Finland, which can often last for 200 days, the temperature can drop to as low as -45 degrees C.
  • One quarter of Finland is located within the Arctic Circle.
  • Lapland is a region of Finland. Traditionally thought to be the home of Santa Claus, many tourists visit Lapland every year at Christmas time.
  • The Northern Lights (or Aurora Borealis) can be seen regularly in Finland.
  • The most famous Finnish writer is Tove Jansson. She is best known for her series of Moomin books.
  • In Lapland, reindeer meat is often eaten with a lingonberry sauce.
  • The national sport of Finland is Pesapallo (a striking and fieldning game which is bit like baseball).
  • Ice hockey, cross-country skiing and Formula 1 are also popular spectator sports.
  • Finland has produced some of the world’s best athletes and sportspeople, including: Jari Kurri and Teemu Selanne (ice hockey), Jari Litmanen (football), Mika Hakkinen and Kimi Raikkonen (Formula 1) and Tommi Makinen (rally driving).
  • The company Nokia was started in Finland.

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