Skip links

Facts About Finland For Kids

Finland is bordered by Sweden in the west, Norway in the north and Russia in the east, while Estonia lies to its south across the Gulf of Finland. It is the eighth largest country in Europe in terms of area and the most sparsely populated country in the European Union.

  • Finland is a parliamentary republic with a central government based in Helsinki and local governments in 336 municipalities, and an autonomous region of the Åland Islands.
  • About one million residents live in the Greater Helsinki area, which consists of Helsinki, Espoo, Kauniainen and Vantaa, and a third of the country’s GDP is produced there.
  • The Finnish Declaration of Independence from Russia in 1917 was followed by a civil war in which the red side was defeated with German support.
  • Finland joined the United Nations in 1955, the OECD in 1969, the European Unionin 1995, and the eurozone at its inception in 1999.
  • Finland was a relative latecomer to industrialisation, remaining a largely agrarian country until the 1950s.
  • With the best educational system in Europe according to some measures, Finlandhas recently been ranked as one of the world’s most peaceful, competitive and livable countries.
  • Two were found in the Swedish province of Uppland and have the inscription finlonti (U 582).
  • The arrival of the Corded Ware culture in southern coastal Finland between 3000 and 2500 BCE may have coincided with the start of agriculture.
  • The Bronze Age (1500–500 BCE) and Iron Age were characterised by extensive contacts with other cultures in the Fennoscandian and Baltic regions.
  • In the 17th century, Swedish became the dominant language of the nobility, administration and education; Finnish was chiefly a language for the peasantry, clergy and local courts in predominantly Finnish-speaking areas.
  • For example, the universal suffrage was, in practice, virtually meaningless, since the tsar did not have to approve any of the laws adopted by the Finnish parliament.
  • After the 1917 February Revolution, the position of Finland as part of the Russian Empire was questioned, mainly by Social Democrats.
  • This was rejected by the Russian Provisional Government and by the right-wing parties in Finland.
  • During World War II, Finland fought the Soviet Union twice: in the Winter War of 1939–40 after the Soviet Union had attacked Finland; and in the Continuation War of 1941–44, following Operation Barbarossa, in which Germany invaded the Soviet Union.
  • However, the United States provided secret development aid and helped the still non-communist Social Democratic Party in hopes of preserving Finland’s independence.
  • The constitution in its current form came into force on 1 March 2000, and was amended on 1 March 2012.
  • The parliament can be dissolved by a recommendation of the prime minister endorsed by the president.
  • Nordics have been free-trading and relatively welcoming to skilled migrants for over a century, though in Finland immigration is relatively new.
  • IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook 2007 ranked Finland 17th most competitive.
  • At the time, Finland was still an autonomous Grand Duchy within the Russian Empire and the Finns took great national pride especially in the three gold medals won by the original Flying Finn Hannes Kolehmainen at the 1912 Summer Olympics.