Finland, a parliamentary republic in Northern Europe. The country borders the Baltic Sea, the Gulf of Bothnia, and the Gulf of Finland, it maintains land borders with Norway, Sweden, and Russia, and it shares maritime borders with Estonia.
Formerly a grand duchy in the Russian empire, the country became independent in 1917. Finland is since then a formally neutral country, and like Sweden not a member of NATO.
Finland covers an area of 338,145 km², making it almost the size of Germany, or slightly smaller than the US state of Montana. The country’s landscape offers a lot of National Parks, covered mostly with coniferous taiga forests (78%), bogs and fens, it has rarely cultivated land. About 10% of its area is occupied by lakes, rivers and ponds. Halti Mountain at 1,324 m is Finland’s highest point.
A population of 5.5 million people (in 2017) making Finland one of the most sparsely populated countries in Europe, about half of the population live in the southern coastal region. Capital and largest city is Helsinki, spoken languages are Finnish (89%), Swedish (5.3%), and Sami, a language spoken by the Laplanders (Sami), the indigenous people inhabiting the Arctic area of Sápmi.