Country Listing

Finland Table of Contents



Population: About 4.9 million at end of 1985, averaging 14.5 inhabitants per square kilometer. Population growth 0.5 percent per year during 1980-84 period. About 60 percent of population lived in urban municipalities in 1980s.

Language: Two official languages; Finnish spoken by 94 percent of population; Swedish spoken by 6 percent, most of whom live in southwestern and western coastal areas and Aland Islands.

Religion: Two official state churches; Lutheran Church of Finland with 88.9 percent of population as members; Orthodox Church of Finland with 1.1 percent. Constitutionally guaranteed freedom of religion permits existence of several dozen other religions. About 7 percent of Finns belong to no religion.

Education: A little more than 900,000 Finns attended schools and institutions of higher education in 1985. About half this number, aged seven to sixteen, enrolled in obligatory comprehensive school system. Around 100,000 each studied at academic high schools and country's twenty university-level facilities, while remainder were at multitude of institutions that provided career training of varying levels and duration.

Health and Welfare: Legislation guarantees all Finns high-quality health care regardless of income. Health problems resemble those of other countries of Northern Europe, with cardiovascular diseases and cancer chief causes of death. In mid1980s , Finland had world's lowest infant mortality rate. Welfare and social security legislation provide family and unemployment allowances and disability and retirement benefits.

Data as of December 1988