July 5, 2022

Finland (Finnish, Swedish), full name the Republic of Finland (Finnish Suomen Tasavalta, Swedish Republiken Finland), is a Nordic country in Northern Europe washed by the Baltic Sea, the Gulf of Bothnia and the Gulf of Finland, bordering Norway to the north, Sweden to the northwest and Russia to the east . The capital and largest city is Helsinki. Other important cities are Espoo, Vantaa, Tampere, Oulu and Turku. The country has a population of 5.6 million (as of 2020), most of whom live in the central and southern parts of the country and speak Finnish, a Balto-Finnish language from the Uralic language family, unrelated to Scandinavian languages. Finland is the eighth largest country in Europe and the least populated country in the European Union. It is a parliamentary republic consisting of 309 municipalities and one autonomous territory - the Åland Islands. More than 1.4 million people live in the Greater Helsinki metropolitan area, which produces a third of the country's gross domestic product. Swedish is the second official language of Finland, especially in some coastal areas and the Åland Islands. In the north of the country, in Lapland, is the traditional place of life of the Sami, the indigenous Finno-Ugric people. The vast majority of Finns are members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church. Finland was settled after the end of the last Ice Age, around 9000 BC. The Ridge Pottery culture from around 5200 BC produced the first pottery, and the Corded Pottery culture coincides with the beginning of agriculture in 3000 to 2500 BC The Bronze Age and Iron Age were characterized by extensive contacts with other cultures in Fennoscandinavia and the Baltic. At that time, Finland had three main cultural regions - Southwest Finland, Tavastia and Karelia. From the end of the 13th century, Finland gradually became an integral part of Sweden thanks to the Northern Crusades and the Swedish partial colonization of coastal Finland, which is still reflected in the spread of the Swedish language and its official status. In 1809, Finland was incorporated into the Russian Empire as the autonomous Grand Duchy of Finland. In 1906, Finland became the first European state to grant all adult citizens the right to vote, and the first in the world to give all adult citizens the right to run for public office. After the Russian Revolution in 1917, Finland declared independence. In 1918, the nascent state was divided by civil war; the Bolshevik-leaning Red Guard, supported by Soviet Russia, fought the White Guard, supported by the German Empire. After a brief attempt to establish a kingdom, the country became a republic. In World War II, it lost parts of Karelia, Sally, Kuusam and Petsam to the Soviet Union. Finland remained a predominantly agricultural country until the 1950s. After World War II, because of war reparations to the Soviet Union, it was forced to industrialize. The country rapidly developed into an advanced economy while building an extensive welfare state based on the Nordic model, leading to widespread prosperity and high per capita income. Finland is a top performer in a number of national performance indicators, including education, economic competitiveness, civil liberties, quality of life and human development. In 2015, Finland ranked first in the World Human Capital Index and Freedom of the Press Index, and as the most stable country in the world in 2011–2016 in the Fragile States Index and second in the World Gender Inequality Report. It also ranked first in the 2018 and 2019 World's Happiest Countries report.Finland became a member of the United Nations in 1955 and adopted an official policy of neutrality. The Finnish-Soviet Treaty of 1948 gave the Soviet Union