Country in northern Europe

Finland, officially the Republic of Finland (Finnish: Suomen tasavalta; Swedish: Republiken Finland), is a country in Northern Europe bordering the Baltic Sea, Gulf of Bothnia, and Gulf of Finland, between Norway to the north, Sweden to the northwest, and Russia to the east. Finland is a Nordic country and is situated in the geographical region of Fennoscandia. The capital and largest city is Helsinki. Other major cities are Espoo, Vantaa, Tampere, Oulu and Turku.

Finland's population is 5.52 million (2018), and the majority of the population is concentrated in the southern region. 87.6% of the population is Finnish and speaks Finnish, a Uralic language unrelated to the Scandinavian languages; next come the Finland-Swedes (5.2%). Finland is the eighth-largest country in Europe and the most sparsely populated country in the European Union. The sovereign state is a parliamentary republic with a central government based in the capital city of Helsinki, local governments in 311 municipalities, and one autonomous region, the Åland Islands. Over 1.4 million people live in the Greater Helsinki metropolitan area, which produces one third of the country's GDP.


Finland was inhabited when the last ice age ended, approximately 9000 BCE. The first settlers left behind artefacts that present characteristics shared with those found in Estonia, Russia, and Norway. The earliest people were hunter-gatherers, using stone tools. The first pottery appeared in 5200 BCE, when the Comb Ceramic culture was introduced. The arrival of the Corded Ware culture in southern coastal Finland between 3000 and 2500 BCE may have coincided with the start of agriculture. The Bronze Age and Iron Age were characterised by extensive contacts with other cultures in the Fennoscandian and Baltic regions and the sedentary farming inhabitation increased towards the end of Iron Age. At the time Finland had three main cultural areas - Southwest Finland, Tavastia and Karelia - as reflected in contemporary jewellery.

From the late 13th century, Finland gradually became an integral part of Sweden through the Northern Crusades and the Swedish part-colonisation of coastal Finland, a legacy reflected in the prevalence of the Swedish language and its official status. In 1809, Finland was incorporated into the Russian Empire as the autonomous Grand Duchy of Finland. In 1906, Finland became the first European state to grant all adult citizens the right to vote, and the first in the world to give all adult citizens the right to run for public office.

Following the 1917 Russian Revolution, Finland declared itself independent. In 1918, the fledgling state was divided by civil war, with the Bolshevik-leaning Red Guard supported by the equally new Soviet Russia, fighting the White Guard, supported by the German Empire. After a brief attempt to establish a kingdom, the country became a republic. During World War II, the Soviet Union sought repeatedly to occupy Finland, with Finland losing parts of Karelia, Salla, Kuusamo, Petsamo and some islands, but retaining their independence.

Finland joined the United Nations in 1955 and established an official policy of neutrality. The Finno-Soviet Treaty of 1948 gave the Soviet Union some leverage in Finnish domestic politics during the Cold War era. Finland joined the OECD in 1969, the NATO Partnership for Peace in 1994, the European Union in 1995, the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council in 1997, and finally the Eurozone at its inception, in 1999.

Finland was a relative latecomer to industrialization, remaining a largely agrarian country until the 1950s. After World War II, the Soviet Union demanded war reparations from Finland not only in money but also in material, such as ships and machinery. This forced Finland to industrialize. It rapidly developed an advanced economy while building an extensive welfare state based on the Nordic model, resulting in widespread prosperity and one of the highest per capita incomes in the world. Finland is a top performer in numerous metrics of national performance, including education, economic competitiveness, civil liberties, quality of life, and human development. In 2015, Finland was ranked first in the World Human Capital and the Press Freedom Index and as the most stable country in the world during 2011-2016 in the Fragile States Index, and second in the Global Gender Gap Report. It also ranked first on the World Happiness Report report for 2018 and 2019. A large majority of Finns are members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, and freedom of religion is guaranteed under the Finnish Constitution.




Further reading


Documentaries, videos and podcasts





Jon Henley Europe correspondent and agencies
May 21, 2020
the Guardian
A portrait of Sweden's chief epidemiologist, Anders Tegnell, hangs below a sign telling people to wash their hands at a restaurant in Stockholm. Photograph: Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP via Getty Images
May 19, 2020
About | Advertise | Contact | Disclaimer | News | The Daily Deal Newsletter by FinSMEs is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Bruce Y. Lee
May 17, 2020
Should you be taking Vitamin D supplements during the pandemic?
Donna Lu
May 6, 2020
New Scientist
Finland's two-year test of universal basic income has concluded that it doesn't seem to disincentivise working, and benefits recipients' mental and financial wellbeing
Steve O'Hear
May 4, 2020
Icebreaker claims to be Finland's most active pre-seed VC. The firm, which also invests in Estonia and Sweden, has backed 38 companies in the last three years out of its first fund, with a 65% success rate so far for companies that have been able to raise follow-on funding. Two weeks ago, Icebreaker announced the [...]
Johan Ahlander
April 30, 2020
Per Arne Fredin has been at the sharp end of Sweden's policy to buck the norm and avoid a COVID-19 lockdown - a decision that has been hailed as both visionary and irresponsible by public figures around the world.
Steve O'Hear
April 27, 2020
TechCrunch, the Finnish venture capital firm that backs "pre-founders" and pre-seed to seed-stage startups, has launched a second fund, with a first close of €50 million. That's already significantly larger than Icebreaker's first fund (which closed at €20 million) and reflects the VC's geographical expansion. In addition to Finland, where Icebreaker claims to be the [...]
Richard Orange
April 18, 2020
The Telegraph
Claim comes amid bitter debate over success of Sweden's relaxed approach
April 17, 2020
The phone brings a 48 MP camera but sticks to the dated Kirin 710 chipset.
Reuters Editorial
April 6, 2020
Finland's largest tech event Slush, which was scheduled for November 2020, said on Monday it has decided to cancel the conference due to the spread of the new coronavirus.
April 1, 2020
Together with other major Finnish companies, TietoEVRY is involved in a project to expand the testing of coronavirus samples through international cooperation. Mehiläinen, a private health care provider in Finland, has created a process, where covid-19 tests carried out in Finland will be sent to a laboratory in South Korea for analysis on Finnair's charter flights. The goal is to nearly double the amount of coronavirus tests in Finland and have 18,000 samples analyzed in South Korea du...
Matthew Weaver (now) and Helen Sullivan (earlier)
March 26, 2020
the Guardian
People wearing protective face masks in a queue at a drugstore in Tokyo, Japan. Photograph: Issei Kato/Reuters
Reuters Editorial
March 20, 2020
Finland's national health authority questioned on Friday the World Health Organization's call on countries to test as many patients as possible for coronavirus, after the country ran out of testing capacity this week.
March 16, 2020
The coronavirus epidemic has had a severe impact on demand for air travel, and several countries have set restrictions on air travel. Finnair has today commented on the financial implications of the situation in a stock exchange release. Finnair is now making substantial adjustments to its traffic and will reduce approximately 90 per cent of its normal capacity, compared to 2019, starting from the beginning of April 2020. These adjustments will be in effect until the situation improves. A...
Reuters Editorial
March 5, 2020
Finland's Nokia Oyj has entered into partnership with Intel to accelerate its so-far sluggish shift to 5G, the company said on Thursday, a day after announcing a similar deal with Marvell Technology .
Reuters Editorial
March 4, 2020
Finland's Nokia Oyj has entered into partnership with Marvell Technology, the companies said on Wednesday, as Nokia seeks to accelerate its so-far sluggish shift to 5G.
February 24, 2020
This is a video from the very first Heavy Metal Knitting Championship, held in Joensuu, Finland last summer. From what I could gather, it involves a person knitting to the beat of a backing heavy metal band, although, FULL...
February 12, 2020
Vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy is a risk factor for infantile rickets. This deficiency results in neonatal development and poor fetal growth. Also predispose to preeclampsia, preterm birth, and gestational diabetes mellitus. Low levels of vitamin D are also associated with the increased risk of Asthma in children. The researchers of Columbia University, New York ...
Reuters Editorial
February 11, 2020
Finland's biggest game maker Supercell reported on Tuesday its full-year 2019 sales rose 2% to 1.39 billion euros ($1.52 billion) although core earnings slipped 4%.
Press Trust of India
February 9, 2020
Besides Germany, Britain and Italy, other European nations with cases of the virus include France, Russia, Belgium, Sweden, Finland and Spain.


Golden logo
Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0; additional terms apply. By using this site, you agree to our Terms & Conditions.