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free messaging smsThe Republic of Finland, is one of the Nordic countries and a member of the European Union. Situated in Northern Europe, it shares land borders with Sweden to the west, Russia to the east and Norway to the north while Estonia lies to its south. Finland is bounded by the Baltic Sea with the Gulf of Finland to the south and the Gulf of Bothnia to the west. The Aland Islands, off the south-western coast, are an autonomous province of Finland.

Finland is ranked 11th on the 2006 United Nations Human Development Index.

Along with Estonian, Hungarian and Maltese, Finnish is one of the few official languages of the European Union that is not of Indo-European origin.

finland map
(and largest city)
60°10?N 24°56?E
Official languages Finnish, Swedish
Government Parliamentary democracy 1
 - President Tarja Halonen
 - Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen
Independence From Bolshevist Russia 
 - Declared December 6, 1917 
 - Recognised January 3, 1918 
Accession to EU January 1, 1995
 - Total 338,145 km? (65th)
130,558 sq mi 
 - Water (%) 9.4
 - 2006 estimate 5,274,820 (October 2006) (112th)
 - 2000 census 5,181,115
 - Density 16/km? (190th)
40/sq mi
GDP (PPP) 2005 estimate
 - Total $163 billion (52nd)
 - Per capita $31,208 (13th)
GDP (nominal) 2005 estimate
 - Total $193.491 billion (31st)
 - Per capita $37,504 (11th)
HDI(2004) 0.947 (high) (11th)
Currency Euro (ˆ)2 (EUR)
Time zone EET (UTC+2)
 - Summer (DST) EEST (UTC+3)
Internet TLD .fi 3
Calling code +358

Geography and nature

finland travel, free love sms textTopography

Finland is a country of thousands of lakes and islands; 187,888 lakes (larger than 500 m?) and 179,584 islands to be precise. One of these lakes, Saimaa, is the 5th largest in Europe. The Finnish landscape is mostly flat with few hills and its highest point, the Halti at 1,328 metres, is found in the extreme north of Lapland. Besides the many lakes the landscape is dominated by extensive boreal forests (about 75 per cent of land area) and little arable land. The greater part of the islands are found in south-west, part of the archipelago of the Aland Islands, and along the southern coast in the Gulf of Finland. Finland is one of the few countries in the world that is still growing. Owing to the post-glacial rebound that has been taking place since the last ice age, the surface area of the country is growing by about 7 square kilometres a year.

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