Finland Table of Contents
Size: About 338,145 square kilometers, slightly larger than Missouri and Illinois combined. About 10 percent of area made up of inland water. A quarter of the country above Arctic Circle.
Topography: Four natural regions. Archipelago Finland begins in southwestern coastal waters and culminates in Aland Islands. Coastal Finland a band of clay plains, extending from Soviet to Swedish border. Seldom exceeding width of 100 kilometers, plains slope upward to central plateau that forms basis of interior lake district. This core region contains more than 55,000 lakes set within country's densest forests. Rising above central plateau, upland Finland extends into Lapland, where forests gradually yield to harsh climate. Above timber line are barren fells and numerous bogs. Upland Finland crossed by country's largest and longest rivers.
Climate: Gulf Stream and North Atlantic Drift Current moderate temperatures somewhat, but winter still lasts up to seven months in north, and most years gulfs of Finland and Bothnia freeze, making icebreakers necessary for shipping. Long days in summer permit farming far to north. Continental weather systems can bring quite warm summer temperatures and severe cold spells in winter.
Data as of December 1988