Finland

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PAGE LAST UPDATED ON NOVEMBER 15, 2011
Flag of Finland
(CONTAINS DESCRIPTION)
Location of Finland
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Map of Finland
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OF FINLAND
 

Introduction

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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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Geography

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Northern Europe, bordering the Baltic Sea, Gulf of Bothnia, and Gulf of Finland, between Sweden and Russia
 
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64 00 N, 26 00 E
 
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total: 338,145 sq km
country comparison to the world: 65
land: 303,815 sq km
water: 34,330 sq km
 
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slightly smaller than Montana
 
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total: 2,654 km
border countries: Norway 727 km, Sweden 614 km, Russia 1,313 km
 
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1,250 km
 
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territorial sea: 12 nm (in the Gulf of Finland - 3 nm)
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive fishing zone: 12 nm; extends to continental shelf boundary with Sweden
continental shelf: 200 m depth or to the depth of exploitation
 
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cold temperate; potentially subarctic but comparatively mild because of moderating influence of the North Atlantic Current, Baltic Sea, and more than 60,000 lakes
 
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mostly low, flat to rolling plains interspersed with lakes and low hills
 
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lowest point: Baltic Sea 0 m
highest point: Halti (alternatively Haltia, Haltitunturi, Haltiatunturi) 1,328 m
 
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timber, iron ore, copper, lead, zinc, chromite, nickel, gold, silver, limestone
 
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arable land: 6.54%
permanent crops: 0.02%
other: 93.44% (2005)
 
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770 sq km (2008)
 
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110 cu km (2005)
 
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total: 2.33 cu km/yr (14%/84%/3%)
per capita: 444 cu m/yr (1999)
 
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NA
 
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air pollution from manufacturing and power plants contributing to acid rain; water pollution from industrial wastes, agricultural chemicals; habitat loss threatens wildlife populations
 
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party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Sulfur 85, Air Pollution-Sulfur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
 
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long boundary with Russia; Helsinki is northernmost national capital on European continent; population concentrated on small southwestern coastal plain
 
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People and Society

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noun: Finn(s)
adjective: Finnish
 
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Finn 93.4%, Swede 5.6%, Russian 0.5%, Estonian 0.3%, Roma (Gypsy) 0.1%, Sami 0.1% (2006)
 
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Finnish (official) 91.2%, Swedish (official) 5.5%, other (small Sami- and Russian-speaking minorities) 3.3% (2007)
 
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Lutheran Church of Finland 82.5%, Orthodox Church 1.1%, other Christian 1.1%, other 0.1%, none 15.1% (2006)
 
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5,259,250 (July 2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 114
 
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0-14 years: 16% (male 429,450/female 414,570)
15-64 years: 66.1% (male 1,759,059/female 1,719,173)
65 years and over: 17.8% (male 385,671/female 551,327) (2011 est.)
 
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total: 42.5 years
male: 40.8 years
female: 44.3 years (2011 est.)
 
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0.075% (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 186
 
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10.37 births/1,000 population (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 184
 
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10.24 deaths/1,000 population (July 2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 49
 
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0.62 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 60
 
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urban population: 85% of total population (2010)
rate of urbanization: 0.6% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
 
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HELSINKI (capital) 1.107 million (2009)
 
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at birth: 1.04 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.69 male(s)/female
total population: 0.96 male(s)/female (2011 est.)
 
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8 deaths/100,000 live births (2008)
country comparison to the world: 151
 
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total: 3.43 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 212
male: 3.73 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 3.11 deaths/1,000 live births (2011 est.)
 
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total population: 79.27 years
country comparison to the world: 39
male: 75.79 years
female: 82.89 years (2011 est.)
 
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1.73 children born/woman (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 164
 
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11.7% of GDP (2009)
country comparison to the world: 14
 
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2.735 physicians/1,000 population (2008)
country comparison to the world: 48
 
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6.52 beds/1,000 population (2008)
country comparison to the world: 20
 
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improved:
urban: 100% of population
rural: 100% of population
total: 100% of population (2008)
 
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improved:
urban: 100% of population
rural: 100% of population
total: 100% of population (2008)
 
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0.1% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 125
 
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2,600 (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 130
 
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fewer than 100 (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 138
 
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15.7% (2008)
country comparison to the world: 32
 
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5.9% of GDP (2007)
country comparison to the world: 33
 
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definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 100%
male: 100%
female: 100% (2000 est.)
 
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total: 17 years
male: 16 years
female: 18 years (2008)
 
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total: 20.5%
country comparison to the world: 53
male: 22%
female: 18.8% (2009)
 
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Government

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conventional long form: Republic of Finland
conventional short form: Finland
local long form: Suomen tasavalta/Republiken Finland
local short form: Suomi/Finland
 
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republic
 
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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
 
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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]; Osterbotten (Swedish), Pohjanmaa (Finnish) [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) [Southwest Finland]
 
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6 December 1917 (from Russia)
 
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Independence Day, 6 December (1917)
 
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1 March 2000
 
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civil law system based on the Swedish model; note - the president may request the Supreme Court to review laws
 
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accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
 
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18 years of age; universal
 
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chief of state: President Tarja HALONEN (since 1 March 2000)
head of government: Prime Minister Jyrki KATAINEN (since 22 June 2011)
cabinet: Council of State or Valtioneuvosto appointed by the president, responsible to parliament
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elections: president elected by popular vote for a six-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 15 January 2006 (next to be held in January 2012); the parliament elects a prime minister who is then appointed to office by the president; Prime Minister KATAINEN elected on 22 June 2011
election results: percent of vote - Tarja HALONEN (SDP) 46.3%, Sauli NIINISTO (Kok) 24.1%, Matti VANHANEN (Kesk) 18.6%, Heidi HAUTALA (VIHR) 3.5% other 10.5%; a runoff election between HALONEN and NIINISTO was held 29 January 2006 - HALONEN 51.8%, NIINISTO 48.2%; Jyrki KATAINEN elected prime minister; election results 118-72
note: government coalition - KoK, SDP, VIHR, SFP, VAS, and KD
 
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unicameral Parliament or Eduskunta (200 seats; members elected by popular vote on a proportional basis to serve four-year terms)
elections: 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)
 
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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
 
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Center Party or Kesk [Mari KIVINIEMI]; Christian Democrats or KD [Paivi RASANEN]; Green Party or VIHR [Anni SINNEMAKI]; Left Alliance or VAS [Paavo ARHINMAKI]; National Coalition Party or Kok [Jyrki KATAINEN]; Social Democratic Party or SDP [Jutta URPILAINEN]; Swedish People's Party or SFP [Stefan WALLIN]; The Finns or TF [Timo SOINI]
 
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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
 
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chief of mission: Ambassador Ritva KOUKKU-RONDE
chancery: 3301 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 298-5800
FAX: [1] (202) 298-6030
consulate(s) general: Los Angeles, New York
 
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chief of mission: Ambassador Bruce J. ORECK
embassy: Itainen Puistotie 14B, 00140 Helsinki
mailing address: APO AE 09723
telephone: [358] (9) 616250
FAX: [358] (9) 6162 5800
 
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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
 
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lion
 
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name: "Maamme" (Our Land)
lyrics/music: Johan Ludvig RUNEBERG/Fredrik PACIUS
note: 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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Economy

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Finland has a highly industrialized, largely free-market economy with per capita output roughly that of Austria, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Sweden. Trade is important with exports accounting for over one third of GDP in recent years. Finland is strongly competitive in manufacturing - principally the wood, metals, engineering, telecommunications, and electronics industries. Finland excels in high-tech exports such as mobile phones. Except for timber and several minerals, Finland depends on imports of raw materials, energy, and some components for manufactured goods. Because of the climate, agricultural development is limited to maintaining self-sufficiency in basic products. Forestry, an important export earner, provides a secondary occupation for the rural population. Finland had been one of the best performing economies within the EU in recent years and its banks and financial markets avoided the worst of global financial crisis. However, the world slowdown hit exports and domestic demand hard in 2009, with Finland experiencing one of the deepest contractions in the euro zone. A recovery of exports, domestic trade, and household consumption stimulated economic growth in 2010. The recession left a deep mark on general government finances and the debt ratio, turning previously strong budget surpluses into deficits. Despite good growth prospects, general government finances will remain in deficit during the next few years. The great challenge of economic policy will be to implement a post-recession exit strategy in which measures supporting growth will be combined with general government adjustment measures. Longer-term, Finland must address a rapidly aging population and decreasing productivity that threaten competitiveness, fiscal sustainability, and economic growth.
 
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$186 billion (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 56
$180.3 billion (2009 est.)
$196.5 billion (2008 est.)
note: data are in 2010 US dollars
 
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$239.2 billion (2010 est.)
 
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3.1% (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 121
-8.2% (2009 est.)
0.9% (2008 est.)
 
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$35,400 (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 35
$34,400 (2009 est.)
$37,500 (2008 est.)
note: data are in 2010 US dollars
 
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agriculture: 2.9%
industry: 29%
services: 68.1% (2010 est.)
 
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2.672 million (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 106
 
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agriculture and forestry: 4.9%
industry: 16.7%
construction: 7.1%
commerce: 19.4%
finance, insurance, and business services: 12.8%
transport and communications: 6.3%
public services: 32.8% (2009)
 
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8.4% (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 97
8.2% (2009 est.)
 
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NA%
 
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lowest 10%: 3.6%
highest 10%: 24.7% (2007)
 
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26.8 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 131
25.6 (1991)
 
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18.8% of GDP (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 132
 
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revenues: $125.2 billion
expenditures: $131.9 billion
note: Central Government Budget (2010 est.)
 
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52.4% of GDP (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 17
 
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-2.8% of GDP (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 91
 
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48.4% of GDP (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 53
43.8% of GDP (2009 est.)
 
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1.7% (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 56
1.6% (2009 est.)
 
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1.75% (31 December 2010)
country comparison to the world: 117
1.75% (31 December 2009)
note: this is the European Central Bank's rate on the marginal lending facility, which offers overnight credit to banks in the euro area
 
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2.267% (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 184
2.552% (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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$113 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 29
$113.6 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
note: see entry for the European Union for money supply in the euro area; the European Central Bank (ECB) controls monetary policy for the 17 members of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU); individual members of the EMU do not control the quantity of money circulating within their own borders
 
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$172.9 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 41
$173.4 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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$242.6 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 37
$242.2 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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$118.2 billion (31 December 2010)
country comparison to the world: 43
$91.02 billion (31 December 2009)
$154.4 billion (31 December 2008)
 
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barley, wheat, sugar beets, potatoes; dairy cattle; fish
 
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metals and metal products, electronics, machinery and scientific instruments, shipbuilding, pulp and paper, foodstuffs, chemicals, textiles, clothing
 
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5.1% (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 80
 
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67.94 billion kWh (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 39
 
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83.09 billion kWh (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 35
 
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3.375 billion kWh (2009 est.)
 
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12.09 billion kWh (2009 est.)
 
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8,718 bbl/day (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 88
 
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217,400 bbl/day (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 54
 
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133,600 bbl/day (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 60
 
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318,100 bbl/day (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 33
 
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0 bbl (1 January 2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 130
 
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0 cu m (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 127
 
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4.782 billion cu m (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 62
 
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0 cu m (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 95
 
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4.782 billion cu m (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 34
 
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0 cu m (1 January 2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 135
 
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$7.561 billion (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 27
$5.892 billion (2009)
 
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$69.4 billion (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 43
$62.91 billion (2009 est.)
 
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electrical and optical equipment, machinery, transport equipment, paper and pulp, chemicals, basic metals; timber
 
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Sweden 11.6%, Germany 10.2%, Russia 8.5%, US 7%, Netherlands 6.9%, China 5%, UK 4.9% (2010)
 
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$65 billion (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 40
$58.12 billion (2009 est.)
 
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foodstuffs, petroleum and petroleum products, chemicals, transport equipment, iron and steel, machinery, textile yarn and fabrics, grains
 
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Russia 17.4%, Germany 14.7%, Sweden 14.5%, Netherlands 8.2%, China 4.4% (2010)
 
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$9.555 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 73
$11.46 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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$518 billion (30 June 2011)
country comparison to the world: 24
$370.8 billion (30 June 2010)
 
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$82.71 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 39
$84.44 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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$130.6 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 23
$126.8 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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euros (EUR) per US dollar -
0.755 (2010)
0.7198 (2009)
0.6827 (2008)
0.7345 (2007)
0.7964 (2006)
 
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Communications

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1.25 million (2010)
country comparison to the world: 69
 
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8.39 million (2010)
country comparison to the world: 78
 
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general assessment: modern system with excellent service
domestic: digital fiber-optic fixed-line network and an extensive mobile-cellular network provide domestic needs
international: country code - 358; submarine cables provide links to Estonia and Sweden; satellite earth stations - access to Intelsat transmission service via a Swedish satellite earth station, 1 Inmarsat (Atlantic and Indian Ocean regions); note - Finland shares the Inmarsat earth station with the other Nordic countries (Denmark, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden)
 
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a mix of publicly-operated TV stations and privately-owned TV stations; the 2 publicly-owned TV stations recently expanded services and the largest private TV station has introduced several special-interest pay-TV channels; cable and satellite multi-channel subscription services are available; all TV signals have been broadcast digitally since September 2007; analog broadcasts via cable networks were terminated in February 2008; public broadcasting maintains a network of 13 national and 25 regional radio stations; a large number of private radio broadcasters (2008)
 
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.fi; note - Aland Islands assigned .ax
 
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4.394 million (2010)
country comparison to the world: 21
 
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4.393 million (2009)
country comparison to the world: 55
 
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Transportation

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148 (2010)
country comparison to the world: 37
 
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total: 75
over 3,047 m: 3
2,438 to 3,047 m: 26
1,524 to 2,437 m: 10
914 to 1,523 m: 22
under 914 m: 14 (2010)
 
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total: 73
914 to 1,523 m: 3
under 914 m: 70 (2010)
 
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gas 694 km (2010)
 
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total: 5,919 km
country comparison to the world: 31
broad gauge: 5,919 km 1.524-m gauge (3,067 km electrified) (2009)
 
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total: 78,141 km
country comparison to the world: 61
paved: 50,914 km (includes 739 km of expressways)
unpaved: 27,227 km (2009)
 
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7,842 km (includes Saimaa Canal system of 3,577 km; southern part leased from Russia; water transport is used frequently in the summer and is widely replaced with sledges on the ice in winter; there are 187,888 lakes in Finland that cover 31,500 km) (2010)
country comparison to the world: 18
 
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total: 93
country comparison to the world: 53
by type: bulk carrier 1, cargo 26, carrier 1, chemical tanker 6, container 3, passenger 4, passenger/cargo 16, petroleum tanker 5, roll on/roll off 28, vehicle carrier 3
foreign-owned: 6 (Cyprus 1, Estonia 2, Iceland 1, Norway 2)
registered in other countries: 52 (Bahamas 8, Germany 5, Gibraltar 2, Liberia 2, Malta 2, Netherlands 14, Norway 1, Panama 2, Sweden 16) (2010)
 
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Helsinki, Kotka, Naantali, Porvoo, Raahe, Rauma
 
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Military

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Finnish Defense Forces (FDF): Army, Navy (includes Coastal Defense Forces), Air Force (Suomen Ilmavoimat) (2007)
 
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18 years of age for male voluntary and compulsory - and female voluntary - national military and nonmilitary service; service obligation 6-12 months; mandatory retirement at age 60 (2010)
 
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males age 16-49: 1,155,368
females age 16-49: 1,106,193 (2010 est.)
 
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males age 16-49: 955,151
females age 16-49: 912,983 (2010 est.)
 
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male: 32,599
female: 31,416 (2010 est.)
 
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2% of GDP (2005 est.)
country comparison to the world: 70
 
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Transnational Issues

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various groups in Finland advocate restoration of Karelia and other areas ceded to the Soviet Union, but the Finnish Government asserts no territorial demands
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