Finland is a poor country


A picture from the Repovesi National Park. Finland is known as the land of a thousand lakes. In fact, it's almost 200,000.

Finland is located in the far north of Europe. The country's direct neighbors on the Baltic Sea are Norway, Sweden and Russia. The capital Helsinki is located in the southwest of the country and is the largest city in the country. Most of the other larger cities such as Turku, Tampere and Espoo are also located in the south of the country.

Finland is almost as big as Germany, but has only about as many inhabitants as the state of Hesse. The north in particular is sparsely populated. Most of the people in the south live in or around the larger cities.

The Finns speak Finnish, Swedish or, in the far north in Lapland, Sami. The Swedish-speaking Finns live in the south and in the west on the coast.

What does the country look like?

Lake Inari in the north of the country
There are thousands of small islands off the coast of Finland, the skerries.

Since Finland is quite far to the north, the climate there is rather cold. However, the country is so big that the climate is not the same across the country. In the far north of Lapland, winter lasts up to 200 days, while in the south it lasts around 100 days. In winter the temperatures are mostly below 0 degrees Celsius and the many lake freezes close. The sea around the land also regularly freezes over. In summer, the temperatures across the country are much more pleasant and can sometimes reach more than 25 degrees Celsius.

A large part of Finland is covered by forest, in no other country in Europe there is so much forest. Conifers in particular grow because of the cool climate. No trees grow on the mountains in the north of the country.

Finland is also known as the land of a thousand lakes, but there are actually almost 200,000 lakes in Finland. The largest of these lakes is Lake Saimaa in the south, it is the fourth largest lake in Europe. There are thousands of islands off the coast of Finland called the skerries.

The northern part of Finland lies above the Arctic Circle. This means that in winter the sun does not rise at all for up to 50 days. In summer, on the other hand, the sun does not set for days and even shines at midnight. The Finns then, like the other nations of Northern Europe, celebrate the so-called Midsummer Festival.

What happened in Finland in the past?

Until 1809 Finland was part of Sweden. After that, the country belonged to Russia for almost 100 years. Finland finally gained independence in 1917. In the chaos of World War II, the Soviet Union attacked Finland. For this reason, the Finns joined the Germans when they attacked the Soviet Union and hoped for help. After a few years of war, the Finns made peace with the Soviet Union, but lost some territories to the Soviet Union. In contrast to Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia, Finland remained free.

It has always been difficult for Finland to live with its large neighbor, the Soviet Union. The Soviet government interfered in the country's politics at times. a. In 1995 Finland became a member of the European Union.

What is Finland known for?

Finns like to go to the sauna. Since it is often cold here, they can warm up there. Because a sauna is a room that can be made very hot. You sit there and sweat together with friends.

The country is also known for some animals that are only found in a few other countries, such as the moose. In Lapland in the north of the country there are also a lot of reindeer walking around. The Sami people live on these reindeer, which roam freely in the Lapland wilderness in summer. Brown bears can also be found in Finland.

Many also believe that Santa Claus lives in Finland. In Rovaniemi, a city in northern Finland, you can visit Santa's village. He also replies to letters.

How do people in Finland earn their money?

Until the Second World War, Finland was a rather poor country. The people lived mainly from agriculture. Due to the harsh climate and the short summers there, however, you couldn't make a living from it.

Today Finland is one of the richer countries in the European Union. The people of Finland make a lot of money with industry. Thanks to the many forests, a lot of wood has always been processed there. The metal industry is also important. Many electronic products, such as smartphones, are also developed in Finland. For example, the Finnish company Nokia, which for many years sold the largest number of cell phones worldwide, became famous.

Many tourists also come to Finland. They come mainly because of the untouched nature or to visit the capital Helsinki and the surrounding area. In summer, many Finns and foreign visitors spend the long days in a Mökki. This is a holiday home in the middle of nature, often by a lake or by the sea. In winter there are many winter sports.