Finland State Overview


A third of Finland is within the Arctic circle beyond the 60th parallel, and it is together with Iceland the most northern state on the planet, and not for pleasure in its flag only 2 colors predominate: white and blue. Snow and lakes (there are about 55,000, being the country with the most lakes on the planet), and although a third of the Finnish territory is in such a severe climate zone, towards the south of the country, a branch of the Gulf Stream reaches to heat the air and soften the low temperatures.

Its territory includes the Åland Islands, an archipelago of about 6,500 islands that lines the Finnish coast on the shores of the Baltic Sea.

The extension of Finland, including the 33,145 km2 of continental waters, is 338,145 km² of surface. Helsinki is the capital and the largest city of Finland.


In the interior regions gray mountain soils predominate. The northern third of Finland is covered by acid peat bogs. The most fertile soils, with clays of marine origin, are found in the southern coastal plains.


Due to the moderating influence of the water bodies surrounding Finland, its climate is considerably less severe than it corresponds to its latitude. The average temperature in July along the southern coast is 15.6ºC, and in February 8.9ºC. The average precipitations (including snow and rain) oscillate between the 460 mm collected in the north and the 710 mm of the south. Snow covers the ground for four to five months of the year in the south and for about seven months in the north.

Natural resources

Finland’s most valuable natural resource is its forests, which cover three-fifths of the territory. The main economically exploitable species are fir, pine and silver birch. The only natural fuels are wood (including coal) and peat. In 2006, wood production was 50,811,617 m³. In addition, it has rich deposits of metallic minerals such as copper, zinc, iron and nickel. Lead, vanadium, silver and gold are also traded. Granite and limestone are the most abundant non-metallic materials.


In the early 1990s, hydroelectric plants and 4 nuclear reactors provided around 12% and 27%, respectively, of Finland’s annual electricity production. In 2003, 79,614 million KWh of electricity were produced.


In 1997, the gross domestic product, according to World Bank estimates, was 210,652 million dollars, which is equivalent to 40,000.10 dollars per capita. Finland’s current wealth and the nature of its highly industrialized economy are in stark contrast to the situation in 1945. The Second World War left Finland with major economic problems, particularly high inflation, unemployment and an unfavorable trade balance.

Subsequently, the industrial sector expanded rapidly, in particular to meet the demand of the former Soviet Union. In the late 1960s the industry employed more employees than agriculture and forestry combined, although the wood processing industry remains the backbone of the economy, contributing around 40% of export earnings. The trade balance improved significantly in the period of time up to 1989. Except for companies intended for public use, industry and businesses are privately owned.

However, the government exercises considerable control over the economy through numerous regulations. The average budgeted expenditure for the period 1990 – 1994 was 36,400 million; and the income, for the same period, of 35,900 million dollars. Total revenues in 2006 were $ 80,587 million; and the expenses, in the same year, of 74,189 million dollars.


According to topschoolsintheusa, Finland is a republic, with a democratic form of government that combines the parliamentary system with the presidential one. The country is governed according to the Constitution adopted on July 17, 1919.

Executive power

Finland is governed by a president, who is elected for a six-year term by direct popular vote. If no candidate obtains an absolute majority, he is elected by an electoral college made up of 301 members elected by popular vote according to a proportional representation system. The president appoints a cabinet called the Council of State, subject to the approval of Parliament and headed by the prime minister. The minimum age to exercise the right to vote is 18 years.

Legislative power

The Finnish Parliament, known as the Diet (in Finnish, Eduskunta; in Swedish, Riksdag), is unicameral and consists of 200 members elected by popular and direct suffrage for a four-year term based on proportional representation.

Power of attorney

The local court system in Finland is divided into municipal courts in cities and district courts in rural areas. The courts of appeal are located in Turku, Vaasa, Kuopio, Kuovola, Rovaniemi and Helsinki. The High Court, established in Helsinki, is the final court of appeal for civil and criminal cases.

Local government

A prefect or governor, elected by the country’s president, exercises executive power in each of the 19 Finnish provinces. Below the provincial level, the local government unit is the municipality or commune, with collection power. There are 102 urban communes and 353 rural ones. Residents of the Åland Islands, who have been granted broad autonomy, elect 30 members of their Parliament, who in turn appoint an executive assembly that shares power with the governor.

Political parties

Proportional representation allows the existence of coalitions in government, historically led by the Social Democratic Party or by the Center Party. The first of these, of a moderate and center-left character, was founded in 1899 and currently defends the public character of certain essential industries, while the second, founded in 1906, gains the support of conservative rural areas.

Other important parties are: the Left Alliance, created in 1990; the Communist Party of Finland (founded in 1918); the party of the National Coalition (1918), defender of private enterprise; the Swedish People’s Party (1906), representing the Swedish minority in Finland, and the Green League.

Finland State Overview