Interesting Finland Facts for Kids
Here are some interesting Finland Facts which were chosen and researched by kids especially for kids.
Flag of Finland
- Population: 5.5 million people live in Finland (2022)
- Capital: Helsinki with over 1.3 million inhabitants
- Name: Republic of Finland, in Finnish (short form): Suomi
Finland 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 cents
- 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')
- History: Finland 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.
- President: Sauli Niiniströ
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 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 1,324 m/ 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 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.
Northern 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. Finland is Europe's largest producer of wood. 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 is also referred to as St Nicholas Cathedral.
Helsinki and its Cathedral
Helsinki 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.
- 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.
Summer in Finland
- 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.
Then there are also 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.
Rauma - image by Eric Carlander
- 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.
- 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.
Vaasa - image by Henri Elemo
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 their population counts 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 various clubs in the afternoon. A long tradition in Helsinki schools is the participation in the annual magazine that is 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
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 Finns visit public saunas as well. There are about 1.5 million saunas in the country!
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
- 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 on 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 2000 of these fascinating mammals roaming around freely in Finland. The male bears can weigh up to 300 kg and hunt mainly deer and elks (moose). The eastern borderlands to Russia 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 usually drink buttermilk with this filling dish.
Typical Finnish Kalakukko
- Ruisreikäleipä: Finnish bread is typically a 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 bread
- Hernekeitto: This pea soup consists of mushed peas that are cooked with onions and mustard. Sometimes pork or minced meat is added. Traditionally eaten every Thursday, this dish is still served in many Finnish restaurants mainly on Thursdays. The soup is accompanied by a tasty desert: thick sweet pancakes that have been baked in the oven and are then topped with jam. Yummy!
- Runebergintorttu: known as Runeberg Cakes: This cake and bread crumb pastry is baked in a tray that is higher than the usual muffin mould. The cake is topped with raspberry jam and was originally created by Runeberg’s wife Fredrika.
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 2022, Midsummer will be celebrated with bonfires on 25 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
- Finland Promotion Board. "A Guide to Finnish Customs and Manners." This is Finland. Last accessed 20 May 2022.
- Finland Promotion Board. "A Finnish Poet and his Pastry". This is Finland. Last accessed 20 May 2022.
- Institute for the Languages of Finland. "Languages of Finland." Kotus.fi. Last accessed 20 May 2022.
- Central Intelligence Agency. "Europe: Finland." World Fact Book. Last updated 14 May 2022. Accessed 20 May 2022
- Helsinki Tourism. Top 15 sights in Helsinki. MyHelsinki. Last accessed 20 May 2022.
- Kati Pohjanpalo. World’s Happiest Ranking Goes to Finland for Fifth Year in a Row. Bloomberg. 18 March 2022. Last accessed 20 May 2022
Image Credits: all images own and shutterstock.com/; Forest image by Toris Valing/shutterstock.com; Rauma image by Eric Carlander/shutterstock.com; Vaasa image by Henri Elemo/shutterstock.com
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Finland Facts | Related Pages
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