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
Official Languages: Finnish and Swedish
The 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.