Europe: Finland

About Finland

Ruled by Sweden from the 12th to the 19th centuries and by Russia from 1809, Finland finally won its independence in 1917. During World War II, it was able to successfully defend its freedom and fend off invasions by the Soviet Union and Germany. In the subsequent half century, the Finns have made a remarkable transformation from a farm/forest economy to a diversified modern industrial economy; per capita income is now on par with Western Europe. As a member of the European Union, Finland was the only Nordic state to join the euro system at its initiation in January 1999.

Vital Statistics
Capitol City: Helsinki
Population: 5,175,783 (July 2001 est.)
Percent below poverty: NA%
Language: Finnish 93.4% (official), Swedish 5.9% (official), small Lapp- and Russian-speaking minorities
Date of independence: 6 December 1917 (from Russia)
Form of government: republic
Title of Leader: President
Natural Resources: timber, copper, zinc, iron ore, silver
Environmental Issues: air pollution from manufacturing and power plants contributing to acid rain; water pollution from industrial wastes, agricultural chemicals; habitat loss threatens wildlife populations
Agricultural Products: cereals, sugar beets, potatoes; dairy cattle; fish
Imports: foodstuffs, petroleum and petroleum products, chemicals, transport equipment, iron and steel, machinery, textile yarn and fabrics, grains
Exports: machinery and equipment, chemicals, metals; timber, paper, pulp
Trading Partners: IMPORTS: EU 60% (Germany 15%, Sweden 11%, UK 7%), US 8%, Russia 7%, Japan 6% (1999)
EXPORTS: EU 58% (Germany 13%, Sweden 10%, UK 9%, France 5%, Netherlands 4%), US 8%, Russia, Japan (1999)


Finland Headlines


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