The Republic of Finland (Republiken Finland) or Finland (Sweden) is a member of the Nordic countries and the EU in Northern Europe at the end of the Baltic Sea. It is bordered on the east by Russia mainly from parts of East Karelia, on the Arctic in the north by Norway and on the west by Sweden. In the south, the nearest country is Estonia behind the Gulf of Finland, 80 km from the Finnish capital Helsinki.
In Köppen's climate classification, Finland belongs to the humid and cold winter type of snow and forest climate. Of the vegetation zones, Finland belongs mainly to the northern coniferous forest zone.
Finland is the least populated in the EU, with 5½ million inhabitants concentrated in the south. The population center is in Hämeenlinna and the seven northernmost provinces are periphery within the EU. The Finnish Constitution defines Finnish and Swedish as the national languages. At the end of 2018, Finnish speakers accounted for 87.6 per cent of the population and Swedish speakers for 5.2 per cent. Speakers of other languages accounted for 7.1% of the population. Finland belongs to the European Union and the euro area. Finland is a welfare state with a high GDP per capita. Finland has ranked high in several international comparisons, including education, economic competitiveness, civil liberties, quality of life, happiness and human development.
The etymology of the name Suomi is not entirely certain. It was originally a designation for the environment of the Gulf of Finland and later mainly for Southwest Finland, and later expanded to mean the whole country. The word has been explained as a loan word and one of its possible sources is the word zemē, meaning the country of the Baltic States (meaning ‘region’, ‘region’, ‘power’). According to the second explanation, the word would have been borrowed from the Indo-European word meaning human (meaning “people”, “people.”) The oldest surviving mention of the word is in the annals of the Frankish Empire written between 741–829. At 811, they mention a person named Finland in connection with a peace agreement. Today, in addition to the Baltic Finnish languages, the equivalents of the name Suomi are used in the Sámi languages, Latvia, Lithuania and Gaelic. The majority of the world's languages use the name Finland, which has its roots in the Latin term fenni. The name is first known to have been used by the Roman historian Tacitus in Germania in 98. The name Latina may have been borrowed from Germanic languages. One of the oldest surviving foreign language records of Finland is in the runestone U 528, which dates back to the 1030s.
Geography and geology
The bedrock of Finland belongs to the old Fennoscandian shield, where only small parts are younger than 1,800 million years. The bedrock is visible in many places. The oldest part of the bedrock is the 2,800–2,700 million-year-old archaic bedrock found in eastern and northern Finland. The majority of the Finnish bedrock is the Svecofennic bedrock, which was born in the Early Proterozoic period 1,930–1,800 million years ago. There is a significant granulite formation in northern Lapland. The most significant of the younger bedrock is rapakivi granites, which were formed in the Middle Proterozoic period of Southern Finland 1,650–1,540 million years ago. Finland covers an area of 338,449 km² (2017). The figure includes land and inland water areas. There are also 52,471 km² of sea areas. Due to land uplift, the land area is growing by about 7 km² annually. 4% of the land area has been built, agricultural land 9%, forest 77% and other land 10%. The southern part of the country and the coast of Ostrobothnia are flat, but in Central Finland the terrain becomes undulating. The dangers of Eastern Finland and the fells of Lapland are a relic of the Karelian Mountains that stretched from East Karelia to Lapland in ancient times. The highest fells in Lapland on the arm belong to the Scandinavians, whose bedrock is between 400 and 450 million years old