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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





Ritvik Chaturvedi
August 27, 2021
The Indian Express
Graves like that of Suontaka and Vivallen indicate that gender identities might have been fluid in early medieval European societies
Vincent Ialenti
August 13, 2021
Scientific American
Scientific American is the essential guide to the most awe-inspiring advances in science and technology, explaining how they change our understanding of the world and shape our lives.
Science X staff
August 13, 2021
Duck species in Finland are faring poorly, with more than half of the species listed as threatened to a varying degree, with alien predators as one of the suspected causes.
Peter O'Connell
August 12, 2021
STATE PENSION payments and rules differ from country to country, but where in the world has ranked as having the worlds best pension?
Karl Flinders
August 10, 2021
Dutch citizens come top in a study on awareness of internet risks in Europe, which showed major differences across the continent
August 10, 2021
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -- Gov. Tim Walz plans to lead a trade mission to England and Finland later this year. Walz will lead a delegation with about 30 representatives of the state's medical technology, food and agriculture, environmental technology and education sectors Nov.
August 3, 2021
BMW Esports is shifting up a gear on the sim racing scene in the second half of the year. The sim community will do battle for prize money totalling over 135,000 US dollars in competitions on the iRacing, rFactor 2 and Assetto Corsa Competizione platforms in 2021. The grand finale, BMW SIM LIVE, will this year take place virtually over two days for the first time, on 20th and 21st November. Sunday's BMW SIM GT Cup race on iRacing heralded the start of the intense stage of competition le...
Omar Faridi
July 10, 2021
Crowdfund Insider
European Commission approves merger request from P27 Nordic payments initiative to form Pan Nordic Payments platform.
Sam Kingsley
July 7, 2021
The serene, icy waters of Finland's Lake Saimaa are a boon to fishermen and tourists, but their presence also threatens one of the world's rarest and most endangered seals.
July 6, 2021
HELSINKI (AP) -- Finland's northernmost Arctic Lapland region has recorded its hottest...
The Associated Press
July 6, 2021
ABC News
Finland's northernmost Arctic Lapland region has recorded its hottest temperature for more than a century at 33.6 degrees Celsius (92.5 Fahrenheit)
July 6, 2021
HELSINKI (AP) -- Finland's northernmost Arctic Lapland region has recorded its hottest temperature for more than a century at 33.6 degrees Celsius (92.5 Fahrenheit), during a heatwave that's been afflicting the entire Nordic country for weeks.
Omar Faridi
July 5, 2021
Crowdfund Insider
Loan based crowdfunding and (peer to peer) P2P lender Fellow Finance has funded €18 million in oans in June 2021.
July 2, 2021
Funds managed by CapMan Buyout have agreed to sell Solera Beverage Group to the listed beverage company Royal Unibrew A/S. Solera Beverage Group is a leading importer and distributor of wine and other beverages in the Nordic monopolised markets. The group houses over 700 world-renowned brands and sold over 44 million litres of beverages, reaching sales of NOK 1.9 billion in 2020. Royal Unibrew, the Danish multi-regional beverage company listed on OMX Copenhagen, has today entered into...
Bob Yirka
June 30, 2021
A pair of researchers from the University of Turku and the University of Helsinki, respectively, both in Finland, has found a well-preserved ancient carved snake at Järvensuo 1, a dig site in south-west Finland. In their paper published on the Cambridge University Press site Cambridge Core, Satu Koivisto and Antti Lahelma describe where the artifact was found, its condition, its age and its possible purpose.
Tom Metcalfe
June 29, 2021
A 4,400-year-old life-size wooden snake unearthed in Finland may have been a staff used in "magical" rituals by a Stone Age shaman.
June 28, 2021
/PRNewswire/ -- ReportsnReports added 5G Core Market by Component (Solutions and Services), Network Function (Access and Mobility Management Function, Policy...
BBC News
June 23, 2021
BBC News
Appetite for reliable reporting has increased but trust still below pre-Brexit levels, report says.
June 22, 2021
The Economic Times
While many Western countries are battling weak population growth, few are feeling the effects as sharply as Finland.
June 21, 2021
Managing Madrid
Belgium topped the group while Hazard put his fitness levels to the test


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