The island boasts cliffs, heathlands, and huge expanses of pine forests. Roughly 9% of Åland is cultivable.
With around 29,000 inhabitants, Åland has the smallest population of the three autonomous territories in the Nordic Region. One third of the population lives in the capital Mariehamn. The official language of Åland is Swedish.
Although Åland is part of the Republic of Finland, it has its own autonomous parliament. In areas where Åland has its own legislation, it essentially operates as an independent nation.
Åland is a demilitarised and neutral zone. The Ålandic Parliament, the Lagting, is the supreme authority.
Åland is a member of the EU and its currency is the euro, but its relationship with the EU is regulated by way of a special protocol. In order to maintain the important sale of duty-free goods on ferries operating between Finland and Sweden, Åland is not part of the VAT union.
Important sources of income for Åland are shipping and ferry services, tourism, and the processing of agricultural and fishery products.
Total area: 1,581 km2
Lakes and rivers: 27 km2
Land area: 1,553 km2
Arable land and horticulture: 140 km2
Forests: 937 km2
Largest lake: Eastern and Western Kyrksundet 2.6 km2
Highest point: Orrdalsklint 129 m
Borders: 0.5 km (border with Sweden at Märket lighthouse)
Average temperature Mariehamn (1961–1990): January -0.7° C, July 15.8° C
Rainfall Mariehamn (2006): 546 mm
Population 2017: 29,214
Population, capital 2017: Mariehamn (municipality) 11,565
National day: 9 June (to celebrate independence day of 9 June 1922)
Form of government: Home rule – within the Republic of Finland
Parliament: Lagting (30 members)
Membership of EU: Since 1 January 1995 (not part of EU fiscal union)
Membership of NATO: No
Head of State (since March 2012): President Sauli Niinistö
Government Leader (since November 2015): Lantråd [Katrin Sjögren]
Official website: www.aland.ax
Official language: Swedish