Finland Facts

Interesting Finland Facts for Kids

Here are some interesting Finland Facts which were chosen and researched by kids especially for kids.

Finland Facts

Flag of FinlandFlag of Finland
  • Population: 5.5 million people live in Finland (2019)
  • Capital: Helsinki with over 648 000 inhabitants
  • Name: Republic of Finland, in Finnish: Suomi
Finland Coat of ArmsFinland Coat of Arms
  • Government: Republic, parliamentary democracy
  • Languages: Finnish (88%) and Swedish
  • Religion: mainly Christians (more than 71% are Evangelical Lutheran)
  • Life expectancy: 78 years (men) and 84 years (women)
  • Currency: 1 Euro (€)=100 ore
  • National Symbols: Swan (national bird), brown bear (national animal), lily-of-the-valley (national flower), silver birch (national tree)
  • National Day: 6 December (Independence Day)
Lily of the Valley
  • National Flag: The flag colours depict the blue of the lakes and the white of the snow. The anthem called ‘Maame’ (meaning 'Our Land')
  • HistoryFinland was settled already around 200 BC. In 12th century invaded by the Swedes and christianised. It was first a province and later Grand Duchy of Sweden. In the 17th and 18th century Russians claimed the territory and Finland was made an autonomous Grand Duchy of Russia. Finland gained its independence on 6 December 1917.

Finland Geography
Where is Finland? - Finland Map

Finland is a country in northern Europe. Finland belongs to the Scandinavian countries which also include Norway and Sweden. It is the easternmost country of the Scandinavian countries.

Finland borders Sweden to the West, Norway to the North, Russia to the East and the Baltic Sea to the South, Southwest and Southeast.

Map of FinlandMap of Finland

Finland is slightly smaller than Norway or Germany or Montana/USA. Finland's land area is about half the size of Texas/USA. The country is among Europe's most sparsely populated countries with Iceland, Sweden and Norway. 

A flight to Helsinki takes a three hours from London/UK, or eight hours from New York/USA. 

  • The highest point in Finland is the Halti on the border to Norway in Lapland. It is 1 324m/ 4 344 ft high.
  • The longest river in Finland is called Kemijoki.
  • Helsinki is the northernmost capital city of continental Europe.
  • Finland is among the most forested countries in the world. Finland is the most forested country in Europe.
Forest in Finland - image by Tonis ValingForest in Finland - image by Tonis Valing
  • Finland has over 187 000 lakes and is the country with the most lakes. Finland has the largest lake district in Europe.
  • Finland borders three countries: Norway, Sweden and Russia with the longest border shared between Finland and Russia.
  • As Finland is one of the most northern countries and the area extends into the Arctic region, you can experience the Northern lights and Midnight sun in Finland.
Aurora Borealis in FinlanNorthern Lights in Finland

Finland Facts | Finland Economy

  • Finland's natural resources include timber, iron ore, copper and zink. Hydroenergy is the main energy source in Finland. 
  • About 72% of the country is covered by forests, lakes and moors. Agriculture is mainly limited to the coastal regions.
  • Wood and paper are among the most dominant export products as are manufactured goods and technology. 
  • The main trading partners of Finland are Sweden and Germany.
  • Among the biggest Finnish companies are Nokia, which is one of the world’s largest network equipment manufacturers, and engineering company KONE which many will know from their elevators or moving walkways. 
  • Whilst the capital city Helsinki is the largest city of Finland, other big cities include Espoo, Turku, Tampere and Oulu. The interior areas are sparsely populated, with most inhabitants living in the Southern parts of the country or along the coastline.
  • Finland is the only Scandinavian country that uses the Euro as their currency, while all other Nordic countries have not joined the European monetary union or opted out of the Euro (as Denmark did).

Finland Attractions and Landmarks

Here are our favourite Finland attractions for kids:

  • Helsinki: The capital and main cultural city of Finland is nicknamed "Daughter of the Baltic".  Helsinki Cathedral, which is also referred to as St Nicholas Cathedral overlooks together with the Government Palace and the University building the city's huge main square called Senate Square. Sederholm House is known as the oldest building in Helsinki, built in 1757. Today, the popular City Museum is located in the building.
Helsinki and its CathedralHelsinki and its Cathedral
  • Rovaniemi: The capital of Finnish Lapland is home to the Santa Claus Village. The northern town of Finland is also the center of the husky sledding and snowmobile safaris and here you can go exploring on arctic circle hiking trails. This is also a good place to marvel at the northern lights (also called aurora borealis) in winter. In summertime, from early June to early July the sun does not set and midnight sun can be experienced. 
  • Tampere: The city in the interior of southern Finland is known for its arts scene and science museums. Great visits for families include the open-air museum that offers insights into life of the Finnish workers in the last century or the Labour museum that displays a huge steam engine, the Spy museum with displays of the world’s most famous spies or the Moomin Museum that focuses on original sketches of Tove Jansson. 
  • Rauma: This southwestern town is one of the oldest towns in Finland and a UNESCO World Heritage site for its wooden buildings. 
  • Turku: The medieval fortress dates back to the 13th century. In the old town, the market hall and the many museums are worth many a visit.
Turku castle
  • Vaasa: A strong Swedish influence can be experienced in the old centre of this city. Vaasa is known for its Swedish community and maritime history which can be learned in various museums. such as the open-air museum at Brage.

Finland Facts| Languages

The official languages in Finland are Finnish and Swedish. Finnish belongs to the finno-ugric languages and together with the Hungarian language is often said to be one of the most difficult languages to learn.

Whilst the mother tongue of the vast majority people in Finland is Finnish, there are minor groups of Swedish speakers. Some other minority languages such as Sámi (or Saami) or Karelian are registered as official languages in some regions too.

Three of the ten Sámi languages that are still spoken in Finland. The indigenous language in Finland is called Sami - which includes several Sámi languages. In Finland there are about 10,000 speakers of the Sámi language. 

Finland Facts | Finland People

Flag of the Sámi people

The Sámi people are Finland's indigenous people. Some of the Sámi also live in Sweden, Norway and Russia and count in total about 75,000 people. Did you know that the Sámi people are the only recognised indigenous people in the EU area?

There are only few Sámi-language schools in Finland, but more and more schools offer bilingual education so that the languages do not die out. Finland is ranked as one of the best countries for its strong education system.

Finnish school children go to school in the mornings and usually join clubs in the afternoon. A long tradition in Helsinki schools is the participation in the annual magazine written and produced by primary school children from grades 1 to 6 to support local charities. The magazine called Kevätpörriäinen (Buzzing Spring Bee) first appeared in 1949 and is created every spring, it is sold in schools and by school children who raise funds for charitable causes.

Iceskating in Helsinki - image by Watermelontart/shutterstock.comIceskating in Helsinki - image by Watermelontart

Ice hockey, ice skating and cross-country skiing are popular sports in winter. Finnish pastimes in the summer months include swimming, various watersports and fishing. 

Most families have their own sauna at home or in their apartment block, some visit public saunas as well. There are about 1.5 million saunas in the country - with 5.5 million inhabitants!

Famous Finnish People | Famous Finns

Famous Finns are:

  • Kimi Räikkönen: Formula One World Champion
  • Mika Häkkinen (nicknamed "The Flying Finn): Formula One World Driver
  • Tove Marika Jansson (1914 - 2001): comic strip author, painter and illustrator, famous for the Moomin characters and comics
Moomin characters by Tove Jansson on display in Helsinki - image by iOso/shutterstockMoomin characters by Tove Jansson on display in Helsinki
  • Jean Sibelius (1865 - 1957): Finnish composer and violinist
  • Johan Ludvig Runeberg (1804 - 1877): Finland's most celebrated poet, playwright and patriot. Runeberg wrote of the text of the Finnish anthem. Finland celebrates Runeberg Day on the anniversary of the poet’s birthday 5 February. 

Finland Facts | Finland Animals

The Finnish national bird is the whooper swan which is also featured on the Finnish 1 euro coin.

The national animal is the brown bear. There are still about 2 000 of these fascinating mammals roaming around freely in Finland. The male bears can weigh up to 300kg and hunt mainly deer and elks (moose). The eastern borderlands are the best places to see bears in their natural habitat.

In Finland you can also see caribou and reindeer which roam freely in the countryside.

Reindeer in Lapland/northern Finland

Finland Facts | Food in Finland

Typical Finnish food includes:

  • Kalakukko is considered the national dish of Finland. It consists of fish, pork and bacon baked inside a bread dough. Finns drink buttermilk with this dish.
Typical Finnish KalakukkoTypical Finnish Kalakukko
  • Ruisreikäleipä: round flat disk of bread. This Finnish rye bread has a hole in the middle and is lighter and softer than German rye bread
Finnish rye breadFinnish rye bread
  • Hernekeitto: pea soup consists of mushed peas cooked with onion and mustard. Sometimes pork or minced meat is added. Traditionally eaten every Thursday, it is still served on this day in many Finnish restaurants. Thick sweet pancakes that have been baked in the oven and are then topped with jam are usually served as desert after the soup.
  • Runebergintorttu: known as Runeberg Cakes: cake and bread crumb pastry is baked in tray similar to the usual muffin mould but higher, topped with raspberry jam- originally created by Runeberg’s wife Fredrika.
Finnish RunebergcakeRunebergcake

Interesting Finland Facts
Did you know...?

... that many Finns own holiday homes in the countryside. They visit their holiday cabins or cottages which are called mökki after Midsummer, which is usually celebrated between 20th and 26th June. In 2020, Midsummer will be celebrated with bonfires on 20 June. There they spend their time with swimming in the nearby lakes, hiking, cycling or fishing and barbecues.

Summer home in Finland with sauna building and barn

Finland Facts for Kids
Useful Resources

  • Finland Promotion Board. "A Guide to Finnish Customs and Manners." This is Finland. Accessed 6 December 2019
  • Finland Promotion Board. "A Finnish Poet and his Pastry". This is Finland. Accessed 6 December 2019
  • Institute for the Languages of Finland. "Languages of Finland." Kotus.fi. Accessed 6 December 2019
  • Central Intelligence Agency. "Europe: Finland." World Fact Book. Update 26 October 2019. Accessed 6 December 2019


Finland Facts | Related Pages

We hope you enjoyed reading our Finland Facts for Kids. Make sure to bookmark this page, as we plan to add on more information to make this page even more interesting, not only for children:-)

Picture credits on this page: Images by SXC.hu and Shutterstock.com


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