Facts about Åland

Åland
Photographer
Freyja Finnsdóttir
Åland is made up of 6,757 islands between Sweden and Finland. Although Åland is part of Finland, the islanders speak Swedish.

Fasta Åland is the largest of islands and home to the capital, Mariehamn. The Sea of Åland to the west of the islands stretches to Swedish Roslagen coast. To the east, Åland borders the Finnish archipelago of Åboland. 

Politics in Åland

Åland is part of the Republic of Finland but has its own devolved parliament. In devolved policy areas Åland acts more or less as an independent nation.

Åland is a demilitarised and neutral zone. The parliament, known as the Lagting, is the highest authority.

Åland is a member of the EU and uses the euro. However, its relationship to the EU is regulated by a special protocol: to maintain the important duty-free sales on ships between Finland and Sweden, Åland is not part of the VAT area.  

National day: June 9 (Self-Government Day, 9 June 1922)

Form of government: Home rule – within the Republic of Finland

Parliament: Lagtinget (30 MPs)

Membership of the EU: Since 1 January 1995 (but not part of the tax union)

Membership of NATO: No

Population

Åland is the smallest of the three autonomous territories in the Nordic Region and has a population of 30,000. One-third of the population lives in the capital, Mariehamn. The official language is Swedish.

Population 2020: 29,884

Population, the capital 2017: Mariehamn (municipality) 11,565

Population trend

Economy

The main sources of income on Åland are shipping and ferry services, tourism and the processing of agricultural and fishery products.

Per capita GDP: €36,200 (2020)

Currency: Euro

Geography

The islands boast cliffs, heathlands and large expanses of pine forest. Roughly 9% of Åland consists of arable land.

Total area: 1,581 km²

Lakes and rivers: 27 km²

Land area: 1,553 km²

Agricultural 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)

Climate and environment

Åland has a temperate climate with significant levels of precipitation.

Precipitation Mariehamn (2006): 546 mm

Average temperature Mariehamn (2018): 7.1°C (max. 31.2°C, min. -18.7°C) 

 

The average temperature in Mariehamn

Languages

The official language of Åland is Swedish, unlike the rest of Finland which is bilingual. In practice, many islanders speak Finnish to varying degrees, but far from all of them.

Official language: Swedish

Interested in moving to Åland?

If you are interested in moving to Åland, contact Info Norden, the Nordic Council of Ministers’ information service.

Do you want to know more about Åland and the rest of the Nordic countries?

The biennial report State of the Nordic Region provides a comprehensive and unique insight into the Nordic countries, drawing on statistical data on demographics, the labour market, education and the economy in the Region.

Interested in more statistics?

We have collated relevant Nordic data and statistics in the Nordic Statistics database. The database covers multiple subject areas and all of the Nordic countries.