338,145 sq km (130,558 sq mi)
Population (2009 est.):
Capital and largest city (2003 est.):
Helsinki - 1,162,900 (metro. area)
Other large cities:
Espoo - 229,500; Tampere - 201,200; Vantaa - 189,200; Turku - 178,100
Finnish 92%, Swedish 6% (both official); small Sami- (Lapp) and Russian-speaking minorities
Evangelical Lutheran 84%, Greek Orthodox 1%, other Christian 1%, none 14%
GMT+2; DST: GMT+3 (from last Sunday in March to last Sunday in October)
AC 230V/50Hz; European plugs with two round pins are the standard
Finland is a country in northern Europe, on the Baltic Sea, bordered by Sweden on the west, Russia on the east, and Norway on the north.
The country is mostly a heavily forested lowland (less than 180 m or 600 ft above sea level), covered with numerous rivers, thousands of lakes and inland islands. In fact, Finland has more islands than any other country in the world - 30,000 off the Baltic Sea coast and 98,000 islands in its lakes.
About 69% of Finland's area is covered by forest, mostly coniferous taiga. Further 10% is underwater, taken by almost 188,000 lakes. From that around 8,000 sq km (3,088 sq miles) are protected areas, constituting country's 35 national parks.
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