The World Factbook (1990)/Finland

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The World Factbook (1990)
United States Central Intelligence Agency

pages 100–102


World Factbook (1990) Finland.jpg

 See regional map V


Total area: 337,030 km²; land area: 305,470 km²

Comparative area: slightly smaller than Montana

Land boundaries: 2,578 km total; Norway 729 km, Sweden 536 km, USSR 1,313 km

Coastline: 1,126 km excluding islands and coastal indentations

Maritime claims:

Contiguous zone: 6 nm
Continental shelf: 200 meters or to depth of exploitation
Exclusive fishing zone: 12 nm
Territorial sea: 4 nm

Climate: cold temperate; potentially subarctic, but comparatively mild because of moderating influence of the North Atlantic Current, Baltic Sea, and more than 60,000 lakes

Terrain: mostly low, flat to rolling plains interspersed with lakes and low hills

Natural resources: timber, copper, zinc, iron ore, silver

Land use: 8% arable land; 0% permanent crops; NEGL% meadows and pastures; 76% forest and woodland; 16% other; includes NEGL% irrigated

Environment: permanently wet ground covers about 30% of land; population concentrated on small southwestern coastal plain

Note: long boundary with USSR; Helsinki is northernmost national capital on European continent


Population: 4,977,325 (July 1990), growth rate 0.3% (1990)

Birth rate: 13 births/1,000 population (1990)

Death rate: 10 deaths/1,000 population (1990)

Net migration rate: NEGL migrants/1,000 population (1990)

Infant mortality rate: 6 deaths/1,000 live births (1990)

Life expectancy at birth: 71 years male, 80 years female (1990)

Total fertility rate: 1.7 children born/woman (1990)

Nationality: noun—Finn(s); adjective—Finnish

Ethnic divisions: Finn, Swede, Lapp, Gypsy, Tatar

Religion: 97% Evangelical Lutheran, 1.2% Eastern Orthodox, 1.8% other

Language: 93.5% Finnish, 6.3% Swedish (both official); small Lapp- and Russian- speaking minorities

Literacy: almost 100%

Labor force: 2,556,000; 33.1% services, 22.9% mining and manufacturing, 13.8% commerce, 10.3% agriculture, forestry, and fishing, 7.2% construction, 7.1% transportation and communications (1989 est.)

Organized labor: 80% of labor force


Long-form name: Republic of Finland

Type: republic

Capital: Helsinki

Administrative divisions: 12 provinces (läänit, singular—lääni); Ahvenanmaa, Häme, Keski-Suomi, Kuopio, Kymi, Lappi, Mikkeli, Oulu, Pohjois-Karjala, Turku ja Pori, Uusimaa, Vaasa

Independence: 6 December 1917 (from Soviet Union)

Constitution: 17 July 1919

Legal system: civil law system based on Swedish law; Supreme Court may request legislation interpreting or modifying laws; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, with reservations

National holiday: Independence Day, 6 December (1917)

Executive branch: president, prime minister, deputy prime minister, Council of State (Valtioneuvosto)

Legislative branch: unicameral Parliament (Eduskunta)

Judicial branch: Supreme Court (Korkein Oikeus)

Leaders: Chief of State—President Mauno KOIVISTO (since 27 January 1982);

Head of Government—Prime Minister Harri HOLKERI (since 30 April 1987); Deputy Prime Minister Pertti PAASIO (since NA January 1989)

Political parties and leaders: Social Democratic Party, Pertti Paasio; Center Party, Paavo Väyrynen; People's Democratic League (majority Communist front), Reijo Kakela; National Coalition (Conservative) Party, Ilkka Suominen; Liberal People's Party, Kyösti Lallukka; Swedish People's Party, Christoffer Taxell; Rural Party, leader NA

Suffrage: universal at age 18

Elections: President—last held 31 January-1 February and 15 February 1988 (next to be held January 1994); results—Mauno Koivisto 48%, Paavo Väyrynen 20%, Harri Holkeri 18%;

Parliament—last held 15-16 March 1987 (next to be held March 1991); results—Social Democratic 24.3%, National Coalition (Conservative) 23.9%, Center-Liberal People's 18.6%, People's Democratic League 9.4%, Rural 6.3%, Swedish People's 5.3%, Democratic Alternative 4.3%, Green League 4.0%, Finnish Christian League 2.6%, Finnish Pensioners 1.2%, Constitutional Rightist 0.1%; seats—(200 total) Social Democratic 56, National Coalition (Conservative) 53, Center-Liberal People's 40, People's Democratic League 16, Swedish People's 13, Rural 9, Finnish Christian League 5; Democratic Alternative 4, Green League 4

Communists: 28,000 registered members; an additional 45,000 persons belong to People's Democratic League

Other political or pressure groups: Finnish Communist Party (majority Communist faction), Jarmo Wahlström; Finnish Communist Party-Unity (minority faction), Esko-Juhani Tennila; Democratic Alternative (minority Communist front), Kristiina Halkola; Finnish Christian League, Esko Almgren; Constitutional Rightist Party; Finnish Pensioners Party; Green League, Heidi Hautala; Communist Workers Party, Timo Lahdenmaki

Member of: ADB, CCC, CEMA (special cooperation agreement), DAC, EC (free trade agreement), EFTA, ESA (associate), FAO, GATT, IAEA, IBRD, ICAC, ICAO, ICES, ICO, IDA, IDB—Inter-American Development Bank, IFAD, IFC, IHO, ILO, ILZSG, IMF, IMO, INTELSAT, INTERPOL, IPU, ITU, IWC—International Wheat Council, Nordic Council, OECD, UN, UNESCO, UPU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WSG

Diplomatic representation: Ambassador Jukka VALTASAARI; Chancery at 3216 New Mexico Avenue NW, Washington DC 20016; telephone (202) 363-2430; there are Finnish Consulates General in Los Angeles and New York, and Consulates in Chicago and Houston; US—Ambassador John G. WEINMANN; Embassy at Itainen Puistotie 14ASF-00140, Helsinki (mailing address is APO New York 09664); telephone [358](0) 171931

Flag: white with a blue cross that extends 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)


Overview: Finland has a highly industrialized, largely free market economy, with per capita output nearly three-fourths the US figure. Its main economic force is the manufacturing sector—principally the wood, metals, and engineering industries. Trade is important, with the export of goods representing about 25% of GNP. Except for timber and several minerals, Finland depends on imported raw materials, energy, and some components of manufactured goods. Because of the climate, agricultural development is limited to maintaining self-sufficiency in basic commodities. Economic prospects are generally bright, the main shadow being the increasing pressures on wages and prices.

GDP: $74.4 billion, per capita $15,000; real growth rate 4.6% (1989 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 6.5% (1989)

Unemployment rate: 3.4% (1989)

Budget: revenues $28.3 billion; expenditures $28.1 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA billion (1988 est.)

Exports: $22.2 billion (f.o.b., 1988); commodities—timber, paper and pulp, ships, machinery, clothing and footwear; partners—EC 44.2% (UK 13.0%, FRG 10.8%), USSR 14.9%, Sweden 14.1%, US 5.8%

Imports: $22.0 billion (c.i.f., 1988); commodities foodstuffs, petroleum and petroleum products, chemicals, transport equipment, iron and steel, machinery, textile yarn and fabrics, fodder grains; partners—EC 43.5% (FRG 16.9%, UK 6.8%), Sweden 13.3%, USSR 12.1%, US 6.3%

External debt: $5.3 billion (1989)

Industrial production: growth rate 4.3% (1989)

Electricity: 13,324,000 kW capacity; 49,330 million kWh produced, 9,940 kWh per capita (1989)

Industries: metal manufacturing and ship-building, forestry and wood processing (pulp, paper), copper refining, foodstuffs, textiles, clothing

Agriculture: accounts for 8% of GNP (including forestry); livestock production, especially dairy cattle, predominates; forestry is an important export earner and a secondary occupation for the rural population; main crops—cereals, sugar beets, potatoes; 85% self-sufficient, but short of food and fodder grains; annual fish catch about 160,000 metric tons

Aid: donor—ODA and OOF commitments (1970-87), $1.7 billion

Currency: markka (plural—markkaa); 1 markka (FMk) or Finmark = 100 penniä

Exchange rates: markkaa (FMk) per US$1—4.0022 (January 1990), 4.2912 (1989), 4.1828 (1988), 4.3956 (1987), 5.0695 (1986), 6.1979 (1985)

Fiscal year: calendar year


Railroads: 5,924 km total; Finnish State Railways (VR) operate a total of 5,863 km 1.524-meter gauge, of which 480 km are multiple track and 1,445 km are electrified

Highways: about 103,000 km total, including 35,000 km paved (bituminous, concrete, bituminous-treated surface) and 38,000 km unpaved (stabilized gravel, gravel, earth); additional 30,000 km of private (state-subsidized) roads

Inland waterways: 6,675 km total (including Saimaa Canal); 3,700 km suitable for steamers

Pipelines: natural gas, 580 km

Ports: Helsinki, Oulu, Pori, Rauma, Turku; 6 secondary, numerous minor ports

Merchant marine: 82 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 737,811 GRT/764,695 DWT; includes 1 passenger, 11 short-sea passenger, 18 cargo, 1 refrigerated cargo, 24 roll-on/roll-off cargo, 12 petroleum, oils, and lubricants (POL) tanker, 5 chemical tanker, 2 liquefied gas, 7 bulk, 1 combination bulk

Civil air: 39 major transport

Airports: 160 total, 157 usable; 56 with permanent-surface runways; none with runways over 3,659 m; 23 with runways 2,440-3,659 m; 22 with runways 1,220-2,439 m

Telecommunications: good service from cable and radio relay network; 3,140,000 telephones; stations—4 AM, 42 (101 relays) FM, 79 (195 relays) TV; 2 submarine cables; satellite service via Swedish earth stations; satellite earth stations—2 Atlantic Ocean INTELSAT and 1 EUTELSAT

Defense Forces

Branches: Army, Navy, Air Force

Military manpower: males 15-49, 1,312,941; 1,091,416 fit for military service; 32,288 reach military age (17) annually

Defense expenditures: 1.5% of GDP (1989 est.)