Finland is called 'the land of the thousand lakes', as inland lakes and rivers make up 10% of the country. The large areas of forest cover almost two thirds of the land mass. Only 6% of Finland is arable.
Finland has a population of 5.5 million, around a million of whom live in the area in and around the capital city, Helsinki.
A significant Swedish-speaking minority lives in Finland, so Finnish and Swedish are both official languages.
Finland is a republic. The president, who is directly elected by the people, has real power over foreign affairs, EU policy and major military decisions. In all other matters, the parliament is the the country's highest authority.
Finland is a member of the EU, and its currency is the euro. The country is not a member of NATO.
The forestry, technology and metal industries are Finland's most important revenue sources. Finland is the world's biggest producer of mobile phones.
Per capita GDP is € 27,300 (2006).
Total area: 338,440 km2
Land area: 303,898 km2
Lakes and streams: 34,534 km2
Arable land and gardens: 22,805 km2
Forests: 227,767 km2
Largest lake: Saimaa 1,377 km2
Highest point: Mount Haltia 1,324 m
Coastline, mainland: 6,308 km
Average temperature Helsinki (2006): January -3.6° C, July 18.9° C
Precipation Helsinki (2005): 648 mm
Population 1 January 2014: 5 451 270
Population density 01.01.14: 17,9 pop./km2
Population, capital city 1 January 2014: 1 090 616 inh (Helsinki incl. suburbs) (1)
National day: 6. December (Independence Day)
Form of government: Republic
Parliament: Eduskunta (Parliament) (200 seats)
Membership of the EU: From 01.01.95
Membership of NATO: No
Head of State (March 2012): President Sauli Niinistö
Head of government (June 2011): Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen (Kokoomus/National Coalition Party)
Official website: www.finland.fi
Official language: Finnish and Swedish
1) Helsinki, Espoo (Esbo), Kauniainen (Grankulla) and Vantaa (Vanda)