finland

Finland, officially the Republic of Finland, is a Nordic country situated in the Fennoscandian region of Northern Europe. It is bordered by Sweden to the west, Norway to the north and Russia to the east, while Estonia lies to the south across the...

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Finland, officially the Republic of Finland, is a Nordic country situated in the Fennoscandian region of Northern Europe. It is bordered by Sweden to the west, Norway to the north and Russia to the east, while Estonia lies to the south across the eponymous Gulf of Finland.

An estimated 5.4 million people live in Finland, with the majority concentrated in its southern regions. In terms of area, it is the eighth largest country in Europe and the most sparsely populated country in the European Union. Politically, it is a parliamentary republic with a central government based in the capital of Helsinki, local governments in 336 municipalities and an autonomous region, the Åland Islands. About one million residents live in the Greater Helsinki area and a third of the country's GDP is produced there. Other larger cities include Tampere, Turku, Oulu, Jyväskylä, Lahti and Kuopio.

some cities

experiences (2)

have you spent time in finland? share your experiences

4

oulu, finland - anonymous' reflections after years there in their 20s

posted by anonymous on 10/31/13.

How much time have you spent in Finland?

I've been here since September 19th 2012. So just over a year now, time flies.

How old were you when you came to Finland? Where were you before?

I was 21, it was around a month after turning 21 actually. I am originally from Scotland.

What brought you to Finland? What made you choose Finland over any other place you could've gone?

I wouldn't really say I had any choice in the matter. I met a girl online, we decided it would be awesome to see each other, so I came here thinking I'd only be here for around 5 weeks. Now we're married and with a child on the way.

Describe the city you live in in Finland and your impressions of it.

Oulu is a very nice city, one thing I've noticed is that it's very flat, extremely flat, this is strange as I'm from Scotland. It's a very clean city, everything seems to run on time and as soon as the snow starts to fall it'll be shoveled onto the sides of the roads in hours. It's a pretty efficient place, even if some people look down on it for being ''depressing.'

How does the city you live in compare to other cities in Finland? What drew you to the city you live in over other cities in...

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2

espoo, finland - anonymous' reflections after years there in their 20s

posted by anonymous on 01/08/14.

How much time have you spent in Finland?

I lived there for 3.5 years and have visited numerous times since 2003. Probably 4+ years spent there total.

How old were you when you came to Finland? Where were you before?

I was 25 at the time. Before this I spent most of my time in SLC, Utah. Born in Florida though and my family travelled tons.

What brought you to Finland? What made you choose Finland over any other place you could've gone?

My boyfriend (met in Everquest) was Finnish. He was more settled than I was at the point at which we decided to live together, thus I moved to him. I didn't actually move to live with him until sometime after we were engaged (moved to Finland in January of 2005.)

Describe the city you live in in Finland and your impressions of it.

I lived in Espoo (Olari to be precise) a suburbia of Helsinki. We lived in a nice spot, close to the sea and a forest for riding bikes. A lot of families around, shops, gyms etc. Espoo, like much of Finland, has horrible architecture. I think my first query was whether I was moving to Soviet Russia (due to the austerity of the architecture). I find it very convenient to live there though. Close to Helsinki...

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demographics

population

5,262,930 (July 2012 est.)

ethnic groups

Finn 93.4%, Swede 5.6%, Russian 0.5%, Estonian 0.3%, Roma (Gypsy) 0.1%, Sami 0.1% (2006)

languages

Finnish (official) 91.2%, Swedish (official) 5.5%, other (small Sami- and Russian-speaking minorities) 3.3% (2007)

religions

Lutheran Church of Finland 82.5%, Orthodox Church 1.1%, other Christian 1.1%, other 0.1%, none 15.1% (2006)

age structure

0-14: 0-14 years: 15.9% (male 426,501/ female 411,897)

15-64: 15-64 years: 65.6% (male 1,745,531/ female 1,705,782)

65+: 65 years and over: 18.5% (male 403,848/ female 569,371) (2012 est.)

urbanization

85% of total population (2010)

life expectancy

79.41 years

obesity rate

15.7% (2008)

literacy rate

100%

average years of education

17 years

economics

cost of living

7/10 (medium-high)

economic overview

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...

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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. In addition to marginal growth prospects, general government finances will remain in deficit during the next few years. The great challenge of economic policy will be to mitigate a possible recession in 2012 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.

major industries

metals and metal products, electronics, machinery and scientific instruments, shipbuilding, pulp and paper, foodstuffs, chemicals, textiles, clothing

metals and metal products, electronics, machinery and scientific instruments, shipbuilding, pulp and paper, foodstuffs, chemicals, textiles, clothing

gdp per capita

$36,000 (2011 est.)

gdp growth rate

2.7% (2011 est.)

gdp composition by sector

agriculture: 2.9% industry: 27.7% services: 69.4% (2011 est.)

unemployment rate

7.8% (2011 est.)

population below poverty line

NA%

gini index

26.8 (2008) country comparison to the world: 126 25.6 (1991)