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Europe :: Finland
page last updated on October 28, 2009
Flag of Finland
(CONTAINS DESCRIPTION)
Location of Finland
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Map of Finland
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Introduction ::Finland
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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.
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Geography ::Finland
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Northern Europe, bordering the Baltic Sea, Gulf of Bothnia, and Gulf of Finland, between Sweden and Russia
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64 00 N, 26 00 E
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total: 338,145 sq km
country comparison to the world: 64
land: 303,815 sq km
water: 34,330 sq km
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slightly smaller than Montana
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total: 2,654 km
border countries: Norway 727 km, Sweden 614 km, Russia 1,313 km
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1,250 km
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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
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cold temperate; potentially subarctic but comparatively mild because of moderating influence of the North Atlantic Current, Baltic Sea, and more than 60,000 lakes
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mostly low, flat to rolling plains interspersed with lakes and low hills
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lowest point: Baltic Sea 0 m
highest point: Haltiatunturi 1,328 m
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timber, iron ore, copper, lead, zinc, chromite, nickel, gold, silver, limestone
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arable land: 6.54%
permanent crops: 0.02%
other: 93.44% (2005)
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640 sq km (2003)
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110 cu km (2005)
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total: 2.33 cu km/yr (14%/84%/3%)
per capita: 444 cu m/yr (1999)
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NA
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air pollution from manufacturing and power plants contributing to acid rain; water pollution from industrial wastes, agricultural chemicals; habitat loss threatens wildlife populations
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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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long boundary with Russia; Helsinki is northernmost national capital on European continent; population concentrated on small southwestern coastal plain
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People ::Finland
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5,250,275 (July 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 113
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0-14 years: 16.4% (male 438,425/female 422,777)
15-64 years: 66.8% (male 1,773,495/female 1,732,792)
65 years and over: 16.8% (male 357,811/female 524,975) (2009 est.)
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total: 42.1 years
male: 40.5 years
female: 43.7 years (2009 est.)
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0.098% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 191
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10.38 births/1,000 population (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 187
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10.07 deaths/1,000 population (July 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 62
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0.68 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 61
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urban population: 63% of total population (2008)
rate of urbanization: 0.8% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)
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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: 0.68 male(s)/female
total population: 0.96 male(s)/female (2009 est.)
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total: 3.47 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 216
male: 3.78 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 3.15 deaths/1,000 live births (2009 est.)
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total population: 78.97 years
country comparison to the world: 37
male: 75.48 years
female: 82.61 years (2009 est.)
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1.73 children born/woman (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 166
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less than 0.1% (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 137
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2,400 (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 136
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fewer than 100 (2003 est.)
country comparison to the world: 147
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noun: Finn(s)
adjective: Finnish
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Finn 93.4%, Swede 5.6%, Russian 0.5%, Estonian 0.3%, Roma (Gypsy) 0.1%, Sami 0.1% (2006)
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Lutheran Church of Finland 82.5%, Orthodox Church 1.1%, other Christian 1.1%, other 0.1%, none 15.1% (2006)
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Finnish 91.2% (official), Swedish 5.5% (official), other 3.3% (small Sami- and Russian-speaking minorities) (2007)
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definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 100%
male: 100%
female: 100% (2000 est.)
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total: 17 years
male: 17 years
female: 18 years (2006)
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6.4% of GDP (2005)
country comparison to the world: 33
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Government ::Finland
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conventional long form: Republic of Finland
conventional short form: Finland
local long form: Suomen tasavalta/Republiken Finland
local short form: Suomi/Finland
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republic
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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
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6 provinces (laanit, singular - laani); Ahvenanmaan Laani (Aland), Etela-Suomen Laani (Southern Finland), Ita-Suomen Laani (Eastern Finland), Lansi-Suomen Laani (Western Finland), Lapin Laani (Lapland), Oulun Laani
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6 December 1917 (from Russia)
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Independence Day, 6 December (1917)
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1 March 2000
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civil law system based on Swedish law; the president may request the Supreme Court to review laws; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations
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18 years of age; universal
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chief of state: President Tarja HALONEN (since 1 March 2000)
head of government: Prime Minister Matti VANHANEN (since 24 June 2003); Deputy Prime Minister Jyrki KATAINEN (since 19 April 2007)
cabinet: Council of State or Valtioneuvosto appointed by the president, responsible to parliament
elections: president elected by popular vote for a six-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held 15 January 2006 (next to be held in January 2012); the president appoints the prime minister and deputy prime minister from the majority party or the majority coalition after parliamentary elections and the parliament must approve the appointment; Prime Minister VANHANEN reelected 17 April 2007
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%; a runoff election between HALONEN and NIINISTO was held 29 January 2006 - HALONEN 51.8%, NIINISTO 48.2%; Matti VANHANEN reelected prime minister; election results 121-71
note: government coalition - Kesk, KOK, VIHR, and SFP
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unicameral Parliament or Eduskunta (200 seats; members are elected by popular vote on a proportional basis to serve four-year terms)
elections: last held 18 March 2007 (next to be held March 2011)
election results: percent of vote by party - Kesk 23.1%, Kok 22.3%, SDP 21.4%, VAS 8.8%, VIHR 8.5%, KD 4.9%, SFP 4.5%, True Finns 4.1%, other 3.4%; seats by party - Kesk 51, Kok 50, SDP 45, VAS 17, VIHR 15, SFP 9, KD 7, True Finns 5, other 1
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Supreme Court or Korkein Oikeus (judges appointed by the president)
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Center Party or Kesk [Matti VANHANEN]; Christian Democrats or KD [Paivi RASANEN]; Green Party or VIHR [Tarja CRONBERG]; Left Alliance or VAS [Martti KORHONEN] (composed of People's Democratic League and Democratic Alternative); National Coalition Party (conservative) or Kok [Jyrki KATAINEN]; Social Democratic Party or SDP [Jutta URPILAINEN]; Swedish People's Party or SFP [Stefan WALLIN]; True Finns [Timo SOINI]
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ADB (nonregional member), AfDB (nonregional member), Arctic Council, Australia Group, BIS, CBSS, CE, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, EIB, EMU, ESA, EU, FAO, G-9, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, NAM (guest), NC, NEA, NIB, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OPCW, OSCE, Paris Club, PCA, PFP, Schengen Convention, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNMIL, UNMIS, UNMOGIP, UNTSO, UPU, WCO, WEU (observer), WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC
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chief of mission: Ambassador Pekka LINTU
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
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chief of mission: Ambassador Barbara BARRETT
embassy: Itainen Puistotie 14B, 00140 Helsinki
mailing address: APO AE 09723
telephone: [358] (9) 616250
FAX: [358] (9) 6162 5800
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white with a blue cross extending to the edges of the flag; the vertical part of the cross is shifted to the hoist side in the style of the Dannebrog (Danish flag); the blue represents the thousands of lakes scattered across the country, while the white is for the snow that covers the land in winter
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Economy ::Finland
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Finland has a highly industrialized, largely free-market economy with per capita output roughly that of the UK, France, Germany, and Italy. Its key economic sector is manufacturing - principally the wood, metals, engineering, telecommunications, and electronics industries. Trade is important; Finland's ratio of exports to GDP has risen from a quarter to 37% over the past 15 years. 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. Although Finland has been one of the best performing economies within the EU in recent years and its banks and financial markets have avoided the worst of global financial crisis, the world slowdown has hit export growth and domestic demand and will serve as a brake on economic growth in 2009 and 2010. The slowdown of construction, other investment, and exports will cause unemployment to rise. During 2009, unemployment will climb to over 8% of the labor force. Long-term challenges include the need to address a rapidly aging population and decreasing productivity that threaten competitiveness, fiscal sustainability, and economic growth.
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$193.5 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 54
$191.8 billion (2007 est.)
$184.1 billion (2006 est.)
note: data are in 2008 US dollars
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$274 billion (2008 est.)
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0.9% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 181
4.2% (2007 est.)
4.9% (2006 est.)
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$36,900 (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 31
$36,600 (2007 est.)
$35,200 (2006 est.)
note: data are in 2008 US dollars
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agriculture: 2.8%
industry: 32.4%
services: 64.9% (2008 est.)
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2.703 million (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 106
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agriculture and forestry 4.5%, industry 18.3%, construction 7.3%, commerce 16%, finance, insurance, and business services 14.5%, transport and communications 7%, public services 32.4% (2008)
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6.4% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 81
6.9% (2007 est.)
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NA%
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lowest 10%: 3.6%
highest 10%: 24.7% (2007)
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29.5 (2007)
country comparison to the world: 117
25.6 (1991)
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20.6% of GDP (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 100
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revenues: $143.8 billion
expenditures: $132.3 billion (2008 est.)
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33.4% of GDP (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 69
46.8% of GDP (2004 est.)
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4.1% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 67
2.5% (2007 est.)
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3% (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 95
5% (31 December 2007)
note: this is the European Central Bank's rate on the marginal lending facility, which offers overnight credit to banks in the euro area
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5.04% (December 2008)
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$NA (31December 2008)
$NA (31 December 2007)
note: see entry for the European Union for money supply in the euro area; the European Central Bank (ECB) controls monetary policy for the 16 members of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU); individual members of the EMU do not control the quantity of money and quasi money circulating within their own borders
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$NA (31 December 2008)
$NA (31 December 2007)
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$227 billion (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 31
$225.4 billion (31 December 2007)
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$NA (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 26
$369.2 billion (31 December 2007)
$265.5 billion (31 December 2006)
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barley, wheat, sugar beets, potatoes; dairy cattle; fish
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metals and metal products, electronics, machinery and scientific instruments, shipbuilding, pulp and paper, foodstuffs, chemicals, textiles, clothing
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0.4% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 129
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77.24 billion kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 36
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86.9 billion kWh (2008)
country comparison to the world: 32
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3.335 billion kWh (2008 est.)
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16.11 billion kWh (2008 est.)
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9,789 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 86
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215,600 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 55
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133,000 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 62
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347,400 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 31
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0 bbl
country comparison to the world: 171
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0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 183
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4.735 billion cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 60
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0 cu m (2008)
country comparison to the world: 59
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4.739 billion cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 34
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0 cu m (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 182
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$5.518 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 33
$10.12 billion (2007 est.)
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$96.62 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 37
$90.2 billion (2007 est.)
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electrical and optical equipment, machinery, transport equipment, paper and pulp, chemicals, basic metals; timber
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Russia 11.6%, Sweden 10%, Germany 10%, US 6.4%, UK 5.5%, Netherlands 5.1% (2008)
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$87.51 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 38
$78.22 billion (2007 est.)
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foodstuffs, petroleum and petroleum products, chemicals, transport equipment, iron and steel, machinery, textile yarn and fabrics, grains
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Russia 16.3%, Germany 15.7%, Sweden 13.6%, Netherlands 6.3%, China 5.1%, UK 4.2% (2008)
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$8.346 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 72
$8.385 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
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$332.2 billion (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 25
$314.1 billion (31 December 2007)
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$84.44 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 38
$88.69 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
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$115.8 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 24
$114.2 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
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euros (EUR) per US dollar - 0.6827 (2008 est.), 0.7345 (2007), 0.7964 (2006), 0.8041 (2005), 0.8054 (2004)
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Communications ::Finland
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1.65 million (2008)
country comparison to the world: 63
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6.83 million (2008)
country comparison to the world: 73
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general assessment: modern system with excellent service
domestic: digital fiber-optic fixed-line network and an extensive 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)
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AM 2, FM 59, shortwave 2 (2008)
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120 (plus 431 repeaters) (1999); note - on 1 September 2007, Finland began broadcasting all television signals digitally; analog broadcasts via cable networks were discontinued 29 February 2008
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.fi; note - Aland Islands assigned .ax
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4.205 million (2009)
country comparison to the world: 18
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4.383 million (2008)
country comparison to the world: 46
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Transportation ::Finland
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148 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 37
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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 (2009)
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total: 73
914 to 1,523 m: 3
under 914 m: 70 (2009)
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gas 694 km (2008)
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total: 5,794 km
country comparison to the world: 31
broad gauge: 5,794 km 1.524-m gauge (3,047 km electrified) (2008)
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total: 78,141 km
country comparison to the world: 62
paved: 50,914 km (includes 700 km of expressways)
unpaved: 27,227 km (2009)
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7,842 km
country comparison to the world: 18
note: includes Saimaa Canal system of 3,577 km; southern part leased from Russia (2008)
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total: 98
country comparison to the world: 51
by type: bulk carrier 3, cargo 28, carrier 1, chemical tanker 6, container 3, passenger 5, passenger/cargo 18, petroleum tanker 5, roll on/roll off 27, vehicle carrier 2
foreign-owned: 8 (Estonia 2, Germany 1, Norway 3, Sweden 2)
registered in other countries: 47 (Bahamas 9, Germany 4, Gibraltar 3, Netherlands 14, Norway 1, Panama 2, Saint Kitts and Nevis 1, Sweden 12, UK 1) (2008)
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Hamina, Helsinki, Kokkola, Kotka, Naantali, Pori, Raahe, Rauma, Turku
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Military ::Finland
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Finnish Defense Forces (FDF): Army, Navy (includes Coastal Defense Forces), Air Force (Suomen Ilmavoimat) (2007)
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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 (2008)
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males age 16-49: 1,169,910
females age 16-49: 1,121,187 (2008 est.)
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males age 16-49: 962,479
females age 16-49: 920,297 (2009 est.)
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male: 33,784
female: 32,621 (2009 est.)
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2% of GDP (2005 est.)
country comparison to the world: 83
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Transnational Issues ::Finland
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various groups in Finland advocate restoration of Karelia and other areas ceded to the Soviet Union, but the Finnish Government asserts no territorial demands
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