North America
North America
South America
South America


Administrative divisions (GPS Maps)


People and Society






Finland was a province and then a grand duchy under Sweden from the 12th to the 19th centuries, and an autonomous grand duchy of Russia after 1809. It won its complete independence in 1917. During World War II, it was able to successfully defend its freedom and resist invasions by the Soviet Union - albeit with some loss of territory. In the subsequent half century, the Finns made a remarkable transformation from a farm/forest economy to a diversified modern industrial economy; per capita income is now among the highest in Western Europe. A member of the European Union since 1995, Finland was the only Nordic state to join the euro system at its initiation in January 1999. In the 21st century, the key features of Finland's modern welfare state are a high standard of education, equality promotion, and national social security system - currently challenged by an aging population and the fluctuations of an export-driven economy.


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Country name
Conventional long form Republic of Finland
Conventional short form Finland
Local long form
Suomen tasavalta/Republiken Finland
Local short form Suomi/Finland

Government type

Name Helsinki
Geographic coordinates 60 10 N, 24 56 E
Time difference
UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Daylight saving time
+1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October

Administrative divisions
19 regions (maakunnat, singular - maakunta (Finnish); landskapen, singular - landskapet (Swedish)); Aland (Swedish), Ahvenanmaa (Finnish); Etela-Karjala (Finnish), Sodra Karelen (Swedish) [South Karelia]; Etela-Pohjanmaa (Finnish), Sodra Osterbotten (Swedish) [South Ostrobothnia]; Etela-Savo (Finnish), Sodra Savolax (Swedish) [South Savo]; Kanta-Hame (Finnish), Egentliga Tavastland (Swedish); Kainuu (Finnish), Kajanaland (Swedish); Keski-Pohjanmaa (Finnish), Mellersta Osterbotten (Swedish) [Central Ostrobothnia]; Keski-Suomi (Finnish), Mellersta Finland (Swedish) [Central Finland]; Kymenlaakso (Finnish), Kymmenedalen (Swedish); Lappi (Finnish), Lappland (Swedish); Paijat-Hame (Finnish), Paijanne-Tavastland (Swedish); Pirkanmaa (Finnish), Birkaland (Swedish) [Tampere]; Pohjanmaa (Finnish), Osterbotten (Swedish) [Ostrobothnia]; Pohjois-Karjala (Finnish), Norra Karelen (Swedish) [North Karelia]; Pohjois-Pohjanmaa (Finnish), Norra Osterbotten (Swedish) [North Ostrobothnia]; Pohjois-Savo (Finnish), Norra Savolax (Swedish) [North Savo]; Satakunta (Finnish and Swedish); Uusimaa (Finnish), Nyland (Swedish) [Newland]; Varsinais-Suomi (Finnish), Egentliga Finland (Swedish) [Finland Proper]

6 December 1917 (from Russia)

1 March 2000

Legal system
Civil law system based on the Swedish model; note - the president may request the Supreme Court to review laws

International law organization participation
Accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction

18 years of age; universal

Executive branch
Chief of state
President Sauli NINISTO (since 1 March 2012)
Head of government
Prime Minister Jyrki KATAINEN (since 22 June 2011)
Council of State or Valtioneuvosto appointed by the president, responsible to parliament
President elected by popular vote for a six-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 5 February 2012 (next to be held in February 2018); the parliament elects a prime minister who is then appointed to office by the president
Election results
Percent of vote - Sauli NIINISTO (Kok) 36.96%, Pekka HAAVISTO (Vihr) 18.76%, Paavo VAYRYNEN (Kesk) 17.53%, Timo SOINI (TF) 9.4%, Paavo LIPPONEN (SDP) 6.7%, Paavo ARHINMĂ„KI (Vas) 5.48%, Eva BIAUDET (SFP) 2.7%, Sari ESSAYAH (KD) 2.47%; a runoff election between NIINISTO and HAAVISTO was held 5 February 2012 - NIINISTO 62.59%, HAAVISTO 37.41%; Jyrki KATAINEN elected prime minister; election results 118-72
Government coalition - KoK, SDP, VIHR, SFP, VAS, and KD

Legislative branch
Unicameral Parliament or Eduskunta (200 seats; members elected by popular vote on a proportional basis to serve four-year terms)
Last held on 17 April 2011 (next to be held in April 2015)
Election results
Percent of vote by party - Kok 20.4%, SDP 19.1%, TF 19%, Kesk 15.8%, Vas 8.1%, Vihr 7.2%, SFP 4.3%, KD 4%, other 2%; seats by party - Kok 44, SDP 42, TF 39, Kesk 35, Vas 14, Vihr 10, SFP 9, KD 6, other 1 (the constituency of Aland) (2012)

Judicial branch
General courts - deal with criminal and civil cases (include district courts, Courts of Appeal, and the Supreme Court or Korkein Oikeus, whose judges are appointed by the president); administrative courts

Political parties and leaders
Center Party (Suomen Keskusta) or Kesk [Juha SIPILA]; Christian Democrats (Kristillisdemokraatit) or KD [Paivi RASANEN]; Green Party (Vihrea litto) or Vihr [Ville NIINISTO]; Left Alliance (Vasemmistolitto) or Vas [Paavo ARHINMAKI]; National Coalition Party (Kansallinen Kokoomus) or Kok [Jyrki KATAINEN]; Social Democratic Party (Suomen Sosialidemokraattinen) or SDP [Jutta URPILAINEN]; Swedish People's Party (Svenska Folkpartiet) or SFP [Carl HAGLUND]; The Finns (Perussuomalaiset) or TF [Timo SOINI]

International organization participation
ADB (nonregional member), AfDB (nonregional member), Arctic Council, Australia Group, BIS, CBSS, CD, CE, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, ECB, EIB, EMU, ESA, EU, FAO, FATF, G-9, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, NC, NEA, NIB, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OPCW, OSCE, Paris Club, PCA, PFP, Schengen Convention, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNMIL, UNMOGIP, UNRWA, UNTSO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC

Diplomatic representation in the us
Chief of mission Ambassador Ritva KOUKKU-RONDE
3301 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
Telephone [1] (202) 298-5800
FAX [1] (202) 298-6030
Consulate(s) general Los Angeles, New York

Diplomatic representation from the us
Chief of mission Ambassador Bruce J. ORECK
Itainen Puistotie 14B, 00140 Helsinki
Mailing address APO AE 09723
Telephone [358] (9) 616250
FAX [358] (9) 6162 5800

Flag description
White with a blue cross extending to the edges of the flag; the vertical part of the cross is shifted to the hoist side in the style of the Dannebrog (Danish flag); the blue represents the thousands of lakes scattered across the country, while the white is for the snow that covers the land in winter

National symbol(s)

National anthem
Name "Maamme" (Our Land)
Johan Ludvig RUNEBERG/Fredrik PACIUS
In use since 1848; although never officially adopted by law, the anthem has been popular since it was first sung by a student group in 1848; Estonia's anthem uses the same melody as that of Finland


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Lovholmen Southern Finland

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