#177 Country to Visit our BLOG – Aland Islands Population: 5,259,250


 Background
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.
 Geography
Long boundary with Russia; Helsinki is northernmost national capital on European continent; population concentrated on small southwestern coastal plain
Location: Northern Europe, bordering the Baltic Sea, Gulf of Bothnia, and Gulf of Finland, between Sweden and Russia
Geographic coordinates: 64 00 N, 26 00 E
Area: total: 338,145 sq km land: 303,815 sq km water: 34,330 sq kmSize comparison: slightly smaller than Montana
Land Boundaries: total: 2,654 km border countries: Norway 727 km, Sweden 614 km, Russia 1,313 km
Coastline: 1,250 km
Maritime claims: 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
Climate: cold temperate; potentially subarctic but comparatively mild because of moderating influence of the North Atlantic Current, Baltic Sea, and more than 60,000 lakes
Terrain: mostly low, flat to rolling plains interspersed with lakes and low hills
Elevation extremes: lowest point: Baltic Sea 0 m highest point: Halti (alternatively Haltia, Haltitunturi, Haltiatunturi) 1,328 m
Natural resources: timber, iron ore, copper, lead, zinc, chromite, nickel, gold, silver, limestone
Land use: arable land: 6.54% permanent crops: 0.02% other: 93.44% (2005)
Irrigated land: 770 sq km (2008)
Natural hazards: NA
Current Environment Issues: air pollution from manufacturing and power plants contributing to acid rain; water pollution from industrial wastes, agricultural chemicals; habitat loss threatens wildlife populations
International Environment Agreements: 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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 People
Population: 5,259,250 (July 2011 est.)
Age structure: 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.)
Median age: total: 42.5 years male: 40.8 years female: 44.3 years (2011 est.)
Population growth rate: 0.075% (2011 est.)
Birth rate: 10.37 births/1,000 population (2011 est.)
Death rate: 10.24 deaths/1,000 population (July 2011 est.)
Net migration rate: 0.62 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2011 est.)
Sex ratio: 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.)
Infant mortality rate: total: 3.43 deaths/1,000 live births male: 3.73 deaths/1,000 live births female: 3.11 deaths/1,000 live births (2011 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 79.27 years male: 75.79 years female: 82.89 years (2011 est.)
Total fertility rate: 1.73 children born/woman (2011 est.)
HIV/AIDS – adult prevalence rate: 0.1% (2009 est.)
HIV/AIDS – people living with HIV/AIDS: 2,600 (2009 est.)
HIV/AIDS – deaths: fewer than 100 (2009 est.)
Nationality: noun: Finn(s) adjective: Finnish
Ethnic groups: Finn 93.4%, Swede 5.6%, Russian 0.5%, Estonian 0.3%, Roma (Gypsy) 0.1%, Sami 0.1% (2006)
Religions: Lutheran Church of Finland 82.5%, Orthodox Church 1.1%, other Christian 1.1%, other 0.1%, none 15.1% (2006)
Languages: Finnish (official) 91.2%, Swedish (official) 5.5%, other (small Sami- and Russian-speaking minorities) 3.3% (2007)
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write total population: 100% male: 100% female: 100% (2000 est.)
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 Government
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: republic
Capital: 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]; 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]
Independence: 6 December 1917 (from Russia)
National holiday: Independence Day, 6 December (1917)
Constitution: 1 March 2000
Legal system: civil law system based on the Swedish model; note – the president may request the Supreme Court to review laws
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal
Executive branch: 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 (For more information visit the World Leaders website ) 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
Legislative branch: 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)
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 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]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
International organization participation: ADB (nonregional member), AfDB (nonregional member), Arctic Council, Australia Group, BIS, CBSS, CE, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, 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, UNMIS, UNMOGIP, UNRWA, UNTSO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC
Diplomatic representation in the US: 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
Diplomatic representation from the US: 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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 Economy
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.
GDP (purchasing power parity): GDP (purchasing power parity): $186 billion (2010 est.) $180.3 billion (2009 est.) $196.5 billion (2008 est.) note: data are in 2010 US dollars
GDP (official exchange rate): GDP (official exchange rate): $239.2 billion (2010 est.)
GDP – real growth rate: 3.1% (2010 est.) -8.2% (2009 est.) 0.9% (2008 est.)
GDP – per capita (PPP): GDP – per capita (PPP): $35,400 (2010 est.) $34,400 (2009 est.) $37,500 (2008 est.) note: data are in 2010 US dollars
GDP – composition by sector: agriculture: 2.9% industry: 29% services: 68.1% (2010 est.)
Labor force: 2.672 million (2010 est.)
Labor force – by occupation: 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)
Unemployment rate: 8.4% (2010 est.) 8.2% (2009 est.)
Population below poverty line: NA%
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: 3.6% highest 10%: 24.7% (2007)
Distribution of family income – Gini index: 26.8 (2008) 25.6 (1991)
Inflation rate (consumer prices): Inflation rate (consumer prices): 1.7% (2010 est.) 1.6% (2009 est.)
Investment (gross fixed): Investment (gross fixed): 18.3% of GDP (2010 est.)
Budget: revenues: $122.1 billion expenditures: $128.1 billion note: Central Government Budget (2010 est.)
Public debt: 48.3% of GDP (2010 est.) 40.1% of GDP (2009 est.)
Agriculture – products: barley, wheat, sugar beets, potatoes; dairy cattle; fish
Industries: metals and metal products, electronics, machinery and scientific instruments, shipbuilding, pulp and paper, foodstuffs, chemicals, textiles, clothing
Industrial production growth rate: 5.1% (2010 est.)
Electricity – production: 67.94 billion kWh (2009 est.)
Electricity – consumption: 83.09 billion kWh (2008 est.)
Electricity – exports: 3.375 billion kWh (2009 est.)
Electricity – imports: 12.09 billion kWh (2009 est.)
Oil – production: 8,718 bbl/day (2010 est.)
Oil – consumption: 217,400 bbl/day (2010 est.)
Oil – exports: 133,600 bbl/day (2009 est.)
Oil – imports: 318,100 bbl/day (2009 est.)
Oil – proved reserves: 0 bbl (1 January 2011 est.)
Natural gas – production: NA (2010 est.)
Natural gas – consumption: 4.782 billion cu m (2010 est.)
Natural gas – exports: 0 cu m (2010 est.)
Natural gas – imports: 4.782 billion cu m (2010 est.)
Natural gas – proved reserves: 0 cu m (1 January 2011 est.)
Current account balance: $7.561 billion (2010 est.) $3.343 billion (2009)
Exports: $69.4 billion (2010 est.) $62.91 billion (2009 est.)
Exports – commodities: electrical and optical equipment, machinery, transport equipment, paper and pulp, chemicals, basic metals; timber
Exports – partners: Sweden 11.6%, Germany 10.2%, Russia 8.5%, US 7%, Netherlands 6.9%, China 5%, UK 4.9% (2010)
Imports: $64.96 billion (2010 est.) $58.12 billion (2009 est.)
Imports – commodities: foodstuffs, petroleum and petroleum products, chemicals, transport equipment, iron and steel, machinery, textile yarn and fabrics, grains
Imports – partners: Russia 17.4%, Germany 14.7%, Sweden 14.5%, Netherlands 8.2%, China 4.4% (2010)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold: $9.6 billion (31 December 2010 est.) $11.46 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
Debt – external: $370.8 billion (30 June 2010) $339.5 billion (31 December 2008)
Stock of direct foreign investment – at home: $83.2 billion (31 December 2010 est.) $83.69 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment – abroad: $122.1 billion (31 December 2010 est.) $118.1 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares: $118.2 billion (31 December 2010) $91.02 billion (31 December 2009) $154.4 billion (31 December 2008)
Exchange rates: 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
Telephones in use: 1.43 million (2009) country comparison to the world: 66
Cellular Phones in use: 7.7 million (2009)
Telephone system: 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)
Radio broadcast stations:
Television broadcast stations:
Internet country code: .fi; note – Aland Islands assigned .ax
Internet hosts: 4.394 million (2010)
Internet users: 4.393 million (2009)
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 Transportation
Airports: 148 (2010) country comparison to the world: 38
Airports (paved runways): 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)
Airports (unpaved runways): total: 73 914 to 1,523 m: 3 under 914 m: 70 (2010)
Pipelines: gas 694 km (2010)
Railways: total: 5,919 km broad gauge: 5,919 km 1.524-m gauge (3,067 km electrified) (2009)
Roadways: total: 78,141 km paved: 50,914 km (includes 739 km of expressways) unpaved: 27,227 km (2009)
Waterways: 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)
Merchant marine: total: 93 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)
Ports and terminals: Helsinki, Kotka, Naantali, Porvoo, Raahe, Rauma
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 Military
Military branches: Finnish Defense Forces (FDF): Army, Navy (includes Coastal Defense Forces), Air Force (Suomen Ilmavoimat) (2007)
Military service age and obligation: 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)
Manpower available for military service: males age 16-49: 1,155,368 females age 16-49: 1,106,193 (2010 est.)
Manpower fit for military service: males age 16-49: 955,151 females age 16-49: 912,983 (2010 est.)

One thought on “#177 Country to Visit our BLOG – Aland Islands Population: 5,259,250

  1. ÁLVARO GÓMEZ CASTRO September 13, 2012 / 4:32 PM

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    Greetings from Santa Marta, Colombia

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