The October Revolution in Russia changed the geopolitical situation anew. The dry capacity reaches litres. Finland also has a notable history in figure skating. Oulu Airport is the second largest, whilst another 25 airports have scheduled passenger services. Atlantic salmon remains the favourite of fly rod enthusiasts.
The Fahrenheit scale was the first standardized temperature scale to be widely used. Countries that use Fahrenheit. Countries that use Celsius. Retrieved 17 July It occurs naturally in the deserts of northern Africa, where it forms from puddles of animal urine. Walter Kettilby, , Chap. Experiments performed concerning the degree of heat of some boiling liquids , Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London , For an English translation, see: Archived from the original on 15 October Retrieved 13 December Chemisch Weekblad , volume 33 , pages —, cited and translated in http: Goodstein 14 January Measurement and Scientific Progress , pp.
Scandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences. Archived from the original on 26 September Retrieved 12 April A user's handbook to the codes". Retrieved 23 September The metric fallacy 2 ed. The American Institute of Weights and Measures. Retrieved 19 May Archived from the original on 13 May Retrieved 5 June Yes - and no". Archived from the original on 6 July Retrieved 6 June Federal Government of Canada.
Archived from the original on 10 August Home Laundering Consultative Council. Retrieved 15 July Office of Consumer Affairs, Government of Canada. The Unicode Standard, Version 8. Retrieved 6 September Conversion formulas and comparison. Retrieved from " https: Customary units of measurement in the United States Imperial units Units of temperature Science and technology in the Dutch Republic Dutch inventions introductions.
On 21 September , Finland unilaterally declared the Paris Peace Treaty obsolete, following the German reunification decision nine days earlier. Miscalculated macroeconomic decisions, a banking crisis , the collapse of its largest trading partner the Soviet Union , and a global economic downturn caused a deep early s recession in Finland.
The depression bottomed out in , and Finland saw steady economic growth for more than ten years. Financial and product market regulation were loosened. Some state enterprises have been privatized and there have been some modest tax cuts. The Finnish Lakeland is the area with the most lakes in the country. Much of the geography of Finland is a result of the Ice Age. The glaciers were thicker and lasted longer in Fennoscandia compared with the rest of Europe.
Their eroding effects have left the Finnish landscape mostly flat with few hills and fewer mountains. The retreating glaciers have left the land with morainic deposits in formations of eskers. These are ridges of stratified gravel and sand, running northwest to southeast, where the ancient edge of the glacier once lay. Among the biggest of these are the three Salpausselkä ridges that run across southern Finland.
Having been compressed under the enormous weight of the glaciers, terrain in Finland is rising due to the post-glacial rebound. As a result, the old sea bottom turns little by little into dry land: The landscape is covered mostly by coniferous taiga forests and fens , with little cultivated land.
The forest consists of pine , spruce , birch , and other species. The most common type of rock is granite. It is a ubiquitous part of the scenery, visible wherever there is no soil cover. Moraine or till is the most common type of soil, covered by a thin layer of humus of biological origin. Podzol profile development is seen in most forest soils except where drainage is poor. Gleysols and peat bogs occupy poorly drained areas. Phytogeographically , Finland is shared between the Arctic, central European, and northern European provinces of the Circumboreal Region within the Boreal Kingdom.
According to the WWF , the territory of Finland can be subdivided into three ecoregions: Taiga covers most of Finland from northern regions of southern provinces to the north of Lapland. On the southwestern coast, south of the Helsinki- Rauma line, forests are characterized by mixed forests, that are more typical in the Baltic region.
In the extreme north of Finland, near the tree line and Arctic Ocean, Montane Birch forests are common. Similarly, Finland has a diverse and extensive range of fauna. There are at least sixty native mammalian species, breeding bird species, over 70 fish species, and 11 reptile and frog species present today, many migrating from neighboring countries thousands of years ago.
Large and widely recognized wildlife mammals found in Finland are the brown bear the national animal , gray wolf , wolverine , and elk. Three of the more striking birds are the whooper swan , a large European swan and the national bird of Finland; the Western capercaillie , a large, black-plumaged member of the grouse family; and the Eurasian eagle-owl.
The latter is considered an indicator of old-growth forest connectivity, and has been declining because of landscape fragmentation. Atlantic salmon remains the favourite of fly rod enthusiasts.
The endangered Saimaa ringed seal , one of only three lake seal species in the world, exists only in the Saimaa lake system of southeastern Finland, down to only seals today. The main factor influencing Finland's climate is the country's geographical position between the 60th and 70th northern parallels in the Eurasian continent's coastal zone.
In the Köppen climate classification , the whole of Finland lies in the boreal zone , characterized by warm summers and freezing winters. Within the country, the temperateness varies considerably between the southern coastal regions and the extreme north, showing characteristics of both a maritime and a continental climate.
Finland is near enough to the Atlantic Ocean to be continuously warmed by the Gulf Stream. The Gulf Stream combines with the moderating effects of the Baltic Sea and numerous inland lakes to explain the unusually warm climate compared with other regions that share the same latitude , such as Alaska , Siberia , and southern Greenland. In northern Finland, particularly in Lapland, the winters are long and cold, while the summers are relatively warm but short. The winter of the north lasts for about days with permanent snow cover from about mid-October to early May.
The Finnish climate is suitable for cereal farming only in the southernmost regions, while the northern regions are suitable for animal husbandry. A quarter of Finland's territory lies within the Arctic Circle and the midnight sun can be experienced for more days the farther north one travels.
At Finland's northernmost point, the sun does not set for 73 consecutive days during summer, and does not rise at all for 51 days during winter. Finland consists of 19 regions , called maakunta in Finnish and landskap in Swedish. The regions are governed by regional councils which serve as forums of cooperation for the municipalities of a region.
The main tasks of the regions are regional planning and development of enterprise and education. In addition, the public health services are usually organized on the basis of regions. Currently, the only region where a popular election is held for the council is Kainuu. Other regional councils are elected by municipal councils, each municipality sending representatives in proportion to its population.
In addition to inter-municipal cooperation, which is the responsibility of regional councils, each region has a state Employment and Economic Development Centre which is responsible for the local administration of labour, agriculture, fisheries, forestry, and entrepreneurial affairs. The Finnish Defence Forces regional offices are responsible for the regional defence preparations and for the administration of conscription within the region.
Regions represent dialectal, cultural, and economic variations better than the former provinces , which were purely administrative divisions of the central government. Historically, regions are divisions of historical provinces of Finland , areas which represent dialects and culture more accurately.
The fundamental administrative divisions of the country are the municipalities , which may also call themselves towns or cities. They account for half of public spending. Spending is financed by municipal income tax, state subsidies, and other revenue. As of [update] , there are municipalities,  and most have fewer than 6, residents.
In addition to municipalities, two intermediate levels are defined. Municipalities co-operate in seventy sub-regions and nineteen regions. These are governed by the member municipalities and have only limited powers. Sami people have a semi-autonomous Sami native region in Lapland for issues on language and culture.
The figures are as of 31 August The capital region — comprising Helsinki , Vantaa , Espoo and Kauniainen — forms a continuous conurbation of over 1. However, common administration is limited to voluntary cooperation of all municipalities, e. The Constitution of Finland defines the political system; Finland is a parliamentary republic within the framework of a representative democracy. The Prime Minister is the country's most powerful person. The current version of the constitution was enacted on 1 March , and was amended on 1 March Citizens can run and vote in parliamentary, municipal, presidential and European Union elections.
Suomen tasavallan presidentti ; in Swedish: Finland has had for most of its independence a semi-presidential system , but in the last few decades the powers of the President have been diminished.
In constitution amendments, which came into effect in or and also with a new drafted constitution of , amended in , the President's position has become primarily a ceremonial office. However, the President still leads the nation's foreign politics together with the Council of State and is the commander-in-chief of the Defence Forces.
Direct, one- or two-stage elections are used to elect the president for a term of six years and for a maximum of two consecutive terms. The current president is Sauli Niinistö ; he took office on 1 March Former presidents were K.
Relander — , P. Mannerheim — , J. The current president was elected from the ranks of the National Coalition Party for the first time since The presidency between and the present was instead held by a member of the Social Democratic Party or the Centre Party. The member unicameral Parliament of Finland Finnish: Riksdag exercises supreme legislative authority in the country. It may alter the constitution and ordinary laws, dismiss the cabinet, and override presidential vetoes.
Its acts are not subject to judicial review; the constitutionality of new laws is assessed by the parliament's constitutional law committee. The parliament is elected for a term of four years using the proportional D'Hondt method within a number of multi-seat constituencies through the most open list multi-member districts.
Various parliament committees listen to experts and prepare legislation. The speaker of the parliament is Paula Risikko National Coalition. Since universal suffrage was introduced in , the parliament has been dominated by the Centre Party former Agrarian Union , the National Coalition Party , and the Social Democrats. Their lowest common total of MPs, , was reached in the elections. For a few decades after , the Communists were a strong fourth party.
Due to the electoral system of proportional representation, and the relative reluctance of voters to switch their support between parties, the relative strengths of the parties have commonly varied only slightly from one election to another. However, there have been some long-term trends, such as the rise and fall of the Communists during the Cold War; the steady decline into insignificance of the Liberals and its predecessors from to ; and the rise of the Green League since In the elections, the Finns Party achieved exceptional success, increasing its representation from 5 to 39 seats, surpassing the Centre Party.
The Parliament can be dissolved by a recommendation of the Prime Minister, endorsed by the President. This procedure has never been used, although the parliament was dissolved eight times under the pre constitution, when this action was the sole prerogative of the president. After the parliamentary elections on 19 April , the seats were divided among eight parties as follows: After parliamentary elections, the parties negotiate among themselves on forming a new cabinet the Finnish Government , which then has to be approved by a simple majority vote in the parliament.
The cabinet can be dismissed by a parliamentary vote of no confidence, although this rarely happens the last time in , as the parties represented in the cabinet usually make up a majority in the parliament. The cabinet exercises most executive powers, and originates most of the bills that the parliament then debates and votes on.
It is headed by the Prime Minister of Finland , and consists of him or her, of other ministers, and of the Chancellor of Justice. The current prime minister is Juha Sipilä Centre Party. Each minister heads his or her ministry, or, in some cases, has responsibility for a subset of a ministry's policy. After the prime minister, the most powerful minister is the minister of finance. The incumbent Minister of Finance is Petteri Orpo. As no one party ever dominates the parliament, Finnish cabinets are multi-party coalitions.
As a rule, the post of prime minister goes to the leader of the biggest party and that of the minister of finance to the leader of the second biggest.
The judicial system of Finland is a civil law system divided between courts with regular civil and criminal jurisdiction and administrative courts with jurisdiction over litigation between individuals and the public administration. Finnish law is codified and based on Swedish law and in a wider sense, civil law or Roman law.
The court system for civil and criminal jurisdiction consists of local courts käräjäoikeus , tingsrätt , regional appellate courts hovioikeus , hovrätt , and the Supreme Court korkein oikeus , högsta domstolen.
The administrative branch of justice consists of administrative courts hallinto-oikeus , förvaltningsdomstol and the Supreme Administrative Court korkein hallinto-oikeus , högsta förvaltningsdomstolen. In addition to the regular courts, there are a few special courts in certain branches of administration. There is also a High Court of Impeachment for criminal charges against certain high-ranking officeholders.
Some crime types are above average, notably the high homicide rate for Western Europe. Finland has successfully fought against government corruption, which was more common in the s and 80s. In , Transparency International criticized the lack of transparency of the system of Finnish political finance.
Nine Ministers of Government submitted incomplete funding reports and even more of the members of parliament. The law includes no punishment of false funds reports of the elected politicians. According to the constitution, the president currently Sauli Niinistö leads foreign policy in cooperation with the government, except that the president has no role in EU affairs.
Finland has one of the world's most extensive welfare systems, one that guarantees decent living conditions for all residents, Finns, and non-citizens. Since the s the social security has been cut back, but still the system is one of the most comprehensive in the world.
Created almost entirely during the first three decades after World War II, the social security system was an outgrowth of the traditional Nordic belief that the state was not inherently hostile to the well-being of its citizens, but could intervene benevolently on their behalf. According to some social historians, the basis of this belief was a relatively benign history that had allowed the gradual emergence of a free and independent peasantry in the Nordic countries and had curtailed the dominance of the nobility and the subsequent formation of a powerful right wing.
Finland's history has been harsher than the histories of the other Nordic countries, but not harsh enough to bar the country from following their path of social development. The Finnish Defence Forces consist of a cadre of professional soldiers mainly officers and technical personnel , currently serving conscripts, and a large reserve. A universal male conscription is in place, under which all male Finnish nationals above 18 years of age serve for 6 to 12 months of armed service or 12 months of civilian non-armed service.
Approximately women choose voluntary military service every year. The army consists of a highly mobile field army backed up by local defence units. The army defends the national territory and its military strategy employs the use of the heavily forested terrain and numerous lakes to wear down an aggressor, instead of attempting to hold the attacking army on the frontier.
Finnish defence expenditure per capita is one of the highest in the European Union. The term total means that all sectors of the government and economy are involved in the defence planning. The armed forces are under the command of the Chief of Defence currently General Jarmo Lindberg , who is directly subordinate to the president in matters related to military command. The branches of the military are the army , the navy , and the air force.
The border guard is under the Ministry of the Interior but can be incorporated into the Defence Forces when required for defence readiness. At first he was reported be a casual Arabic student, however only later it was published that his studies were about jihadists, terrorism, and that he was employed by the military.
In May , Finnish Military sent nearly one million letters to all relevant males in the country, informing them about their roles in the war effort. It was globally speculated that Finland was preparing for war—however Finland claimed that this was a standard procedure, yet something never done before in Finnish history.
The economy of Finland has a per capita output equal to that of other European economies such as those of France, Germany, Belgium , or the UK. Primary production represents 2. The gross domestic product peaked in As of [update] , the country's economy is at the level.
Finland has significant timber, mineral iron , chromium , copper , nickel , and gold , and freshwater resources.
Forestry , paper factories, and the agricultural sector on which taxpayers spend [ clarification needed ] around 3 billion euros annually are important for rural residents so any policy changes affecting these sectors are politically sensitive for politicians dependent on rural votes.
Knowledge-intensive services have also resulted in the smallest and slow-growth sectors — especially agriculture and low-technology manufacturing — being ranked the second largest after Ireland.
Finland is highly integrated into the global economy, and international trade produces one third of GDP. Trade policy is managed by the European Union, where Finland has traditionally been among the free trade supporters, except for agricultural policy.
Finland's climate and soils make growing crops a particular challenge. Annual precipitation is usually sufficient, but it occurs almost exclusively during the winter months, making summer droughts a constant threat. In response to the climate, farmers have relied on quick-ripening and frost-resistant varieties of crops, and they have cultivated south-facing slopes as well as richer bottomlands to ensure production even in years with summer frosts.
Most farmland was originally either forest or swamp, and the soil has usually required treatment with lime and years of cultivation to neutralize excess acid and to improve fertility. Irrigation has generally not been necessary, but drainage systems are often needed to remove excess water.
Finland's agriculture has been efficient and productive—at least when compared with farming in other European countries. Forests play a key role in the country's economy, making it one of the world's leading wood producers and providing raw materials at competitive prices for the crucial wood-processing industries. As in agriculture, the government has long played a leading role in forestry, regulating tree cutting, sponsoring technical improvements, and establishing long-term plans to ensure that the country's forests continue to supply the wood-processing industries.
To maintain the country's comparative advantage in forest products, Finnish authorities moved to raise lumber output toward the country's ecological limits. In , the government published the Forest plan, drawn up by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. Private sector employees amount to 1. The average cost of a private sector employee per hour was Gender segregation between male-dominated professions and female-dominated professions is higher than in the US.
The unemployment rate was 9. As of [update] , 2. The average size is 2. Residential buildings total 1. The average residential property without land costs 1, euro per sq metre and residential land 8.
The average total household consumption was 20, euro, out of which housing consisted of about 5, euro, transport about 3, euro, food and beverages excluding alcoholic beverages at around 2, euro, and recreation and culture at around 2, euro. However, second quarter of saw a slow economic growth. Unemployment rate fell to a near one-decade low in June, marking private consumption growth much higher.
As of [update] , Finland has roughly the lowest industrial electricity prices in the EU equal to France. In , the energy market was around 90 terawatt hours and the peak demand around 15 gigawatts in winter. This means that the energy consumption per capita is around 7. Energy companies are about to increase nuclear power production, as in July the Finnish parliament granted permits for additional two new reactors.
The extensive road system is utilized by most internal cargo and passenger traffic. The annual state operated road network expenditure of around 1 billion euro is paid with vehicle and fuel taxes which amount to around 1.
The main international passenger gateway is Helsinki Airport with about 17 million passengers in Oulu Airport is the second largest, whilst another 25 airports have scheduled passenger services. Helsinki has an optimal location for great circle i. These services are branded as "Allegro" trains. The journey from Helsinki to Saint Petersburg takes only three and a half hours.
The majority of international cargo utilizes ports. Port logistics prices are low. Vuosaari Harbour in Helsinki is the largest container port after completion in and others include Kotka , Hamina , Hanko , Pori , Rauma , and Oulu. There is passenger traffic from Helsinki and Turku, which have ferry connections to Tallinn , Mariehamn , Stockholm and Travemünde. The Helsinki-Tallinn route, one of the busiest passenger sea routes in the world, has also been served by a helicopter line.
Initially, most development was based on two broad groups of export-led industries, the "metal industry" metalliteollisuus and "forest industry" metsäteollisuus. The "metal industry" includes shipbuilding, metalworking, the car industry, engineered products such as motors and electronics, and production of metals steel, copper and chromium.
The world's biggest cruise ships are built in Finnish shipyards. However, the Finnish economy has diversified, with expansion into fields such as electronics e. Nokia , metrology Vaisala , transport fuels Neste , chemicals Kemira , engineering consulting Pöyry , and information technology e.
Rovio Entertainment , known for Angry Birds , and is no longer dominated by the two sectors of metal and forest industry. Likewise, the structure has changed, with the service sector growing, with manufacturing reducing in importance; agriculture is only a minor part. Despite this, production for export is still more prominent than in Western Europe, thus making Finland more vulnerable to global economic trends. Finnish politicians have often emulated other Nordics and the Nordic model.
The level of protection in commodity trade has been low, except for agricultural products. Finland has top levels of economic freedom in many areas. In the Business competitiveness index — Finland ranked third in the world. Economists attribute much growth to reforms in the product markets. Nordic countries were pioneers in liberalizing energy, postal, and other markets in Europe.
This indicates exceptional ease in cross-border trading 5th , contract enforcement 7th , business closure 5th , tax payment 83rd , and low worker hardship th.
Finnish law forces all workers to obey the national contracts that are drafted every few years for each profession and seniority level. A lack of a national agreement in an industry is considered an exception. Much of the sudden growth can be attributed to the globalisation and modernisation of the country as well as a rise in positive publicity and awareness.
There are many attractions in Finland which attracted over 8 million visitors in The Finnish landscape is covered with thick pine forests and rolling hills, and complemented with a labyrinth of lakes and inlets. Much of Finland is pristine and virgin as it contains 40 national parks from the Southern shores of the Gulf of Finland to the high fells of Lapland.
Finland also has urbanised regions with many cultural events and activities. Commercial cruises between major coastal and port cities in the Baltic region, including Helsinki, Turku , Tallinn , Stockholm , and Travemünde , play a significant role in the local tourism industry.
Finland is locally regarded as the home of Saint Nicholas or Santa Claus , living in the northern Lapland region. Lapland is so far north that the Aurora Borealis , fluorescence in the high atmosphere due to solar wind , is seen regularly in the fall, winter, and spring. Outdoor activities range from Nordic skiing , golf, fishing, yachting , lake cruises, hiking, and kayaking , among many others.
Wildlife is abundant in Finland. Bird-watching is popular for those fond of avifauna, however hunting is also popular. Elk and hare are common game in Finland. Olavinlinna in Savonlinna hosts the annual Savonlinna Opera Festival. The population of Finland is currently about 5. Approximately half of voters are estimated to be over 50 years old.
This is the third-lowest population density of any European country, behind those of Norway and Iceland , and the lowest population density in the EU. Finland's population has always been concentrated in the southern parts of the country, a phenomenon that became even more pronounced during 20th-century urbanisation.
Two of the three largest cities in Finland are situated in the Greater Helsinki metropolitan area — Helsinki and Espoo. Tampere holds the third place while also Helsinki-neighbouring Vantaa is the fourth. If they are born in Finland and cannot get citizenship of any other country, they become citizens.
Finnish and Swedish are the official languages of Finland. The language is one of only four official EU languages not of Indo-European origin. Finnish is closely related to Karelian and Estonian and more remotely to the Sami languages and Hungarian. Swedish is the native language of 5. The Nordic languages and Karelian are also specially treated in some contexts.
Finnish Romani is spoken by some 5,—6, people, Finnish Romani and Finnish Sign Language are also recognized in the constitution. There are two sign languages: Finnish Sign Language , spoken natively by 4,—5, people,  and Finland-Swedish Sign Language , spoken natively by about people. Tatar language is spoken by a Finnish Tatar minority of about people who moved to Finland mainly during the Russian rule from the s until the s.
Sami language has an official language status in the north, in Lapland or in northern Lapland, where the Sami people predominate, numbering around 7,  and recognized as an indigenous people. About a quarter of them speak a Sami language as their mother tongue. The rights of minority groups in particular Sami , Swedish speakers , and Romani people are protected by the constitution.
The largest immigrant languages are Russian 1. German, French, Spanish and Russian can be studied as second foreign languages from the fourth grade at 10 years of age; some schools may offer other options.
People can only register one language and so bilingual or multilingual language users' language competencies are not properly included. A citizen of Finland that speaks bilingually Finnish and Swedish will often be registered as a Finnish only speaker in this system.
Similarly "old domestic language" is a category applied to some languages and not others for political not linguistic reasons, for example Russian. A small minority belongs to the Finnish Orthodox Church 1. Other Protestant denominations and the Roman Catholic Church are significantly smaller, as are the Muslim 2. The main Lutheran and Orthodox churches are national churches of Finland with special roles such as in state ceremonies and schools.
In , Finland was the first Nordic country to disestablish its Evangelical Lutheran church by introducing the Church Act, followed by the Church of Sweden in Although the church still maintains a special relationship with the state, it is not described as a state religion in the Finnish Constitution or other laws passed by the Finnish Parliament. As an autonomous Grand Duchy under Russia —, Finland retained the Lutheran State Church system, and a state church separate from Sweden, later named the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland , was established.
It was detached from the state as a separate judicial entity when the new church law came to force in After Finland had gained independence in , religious freedom was declared in the constitution of and a separate law on religious freedom in Through this arrangement, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland lost its position as a state church but gained a constitutional status as a national church alongside the Finnish Orthodox Church , whose position however is not codified in the constitution.
However, the majority of Lutherans attend church only for special occasions like Christmas ceremonies, weddings, and funerals. The Lutheran Church estimates that approximately 1. Life expectancy has increased from 71 years for men and 79 years for women in to 79 years for men and 84 years for women in There has been a slight increase or no change in welfare and health inequalities between population groups in the 21st century.
Lifestyle-related diseases are on the rise. More than half a million Finns suffer from diabetes , type 1 diabetes being globally the most common in Finland.
Many children are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. The number of musculoskeletal diseases and cancers are increasing, although the cancer prognosis has improved. Allergies and dementia are also growing health problems in Finland. One of the most common reasons for work disability are due to mental disorders, in particular depression. There are residents for each doctor.
Most pre-tertiary education is arranged at municipal level. Even though many or most schools were started as private schools, today only around 3 percent of students are enrolled in private schools mostly specialist language and international schools , much less than in Sweden and most other developed countries.
Primary school takes normally six years and lower secondary school three years. Most schools are managed by municipal officials. The flexible curriculum is set by the Ministry of Education and the Education Board. Education is compulsory between the ages of 7 and After lower secondary school, graduates may either enter the workforce directly, or apply to trade schools or gymnasiums upper secondary schools.
Trade schools offer a vocational education: Graduation from either formally qualifies for tertiary education. In tertiary education, two mostly separate and non-interoperating sectors are found: Education is free and living expenses are to a large extent financed by the government through student benefits.
Forest improvement, materials research, environmental sciences, neural networks, low-temperature physics, brain research, biotechnology, genetic technology, and communications showcase fields of study where Finnish researchers have had a significant impact. Finland has a long tradition of adult education, and by the s nearly one million Finns were receiving some kind of instruction each year. Forty percent of them did so for professional reasons. Adult education appeared in a number of forms, such as secondary evening schools, civic and workers' institutes, study centres, vocational course centres, and folk high schools.
Study centres allowed groups to follow study plans of their own making, with educational and financial assistance provided by the state. Folk high schools are a distinctly Nordic institution.
Originating in Denmark in the nineteenth century, folk high schools became common throughout the region. Adults of all ages could stay at them for several weeks and take courses in subjects that ranged from handicrafts to economics.
Finland is highly productive in scientific research. In addition, 38 percent of Finland's population has a university or college degree , which is among the highest percentages in the world. In a new law was enacted considering the universities, which defined that there are 16 of them as they were excluded from the public sector to be autonomous legal and financial entities, however enjoying special status in the legislation.
The change caused deep rooted discussions among the academic circles. English language is important in Finnish education. There are a number of degree programs that are taught in English, which attracts thousands of degree and exchange students every year.
In December the OECD reported that Finnish fathers spend an average of eight minutes a day more with their school-aged children than mothers do. Written Finnish could be said to have existed since Mikael Agricola translated the New Testament into Finnish during the Protestant Reformation , but few notable works of literature were written until the nineteenth century and the beginning of a Finnish national Romantic Movement.
This prompted Elias Lönnrot to collect Finnish and Karelian folk poetry and arrange and publish them as the Kalevala , the Finnish national epic. Many writers of the national awakening wrote in Swedish, such as the national poet Johan Ludvig Runeberg and Zachris Topelius. After Finland became independent, there was a rise of modernist writers , most famously the Finnish-speaking Mika Waltari and Swedish-speaking Edith Södergran. World War II prompted a return to more national interests in comparison to a more international line of thought, characterized by Väinö Linna.
The visual arts in Finland started to form their individual characteristics in the 19th century, when Romantic nationalism was rising in autonomic Finland. The best known of Finnish painters, Akseli Gallen-Kallela , started painting in a naturalist style, but moved to national romanticism.
Finland's best-known sculptor of the twentieth century was Wäinö Aaltonen , remembered for his monumental busts and sculptures. Finns have made major contributions to handicrafts and industrial design: Finnish architecture is famous around the world, and has contributed significantly to several styles internationally, such as Jugendstil or Art Nouveau , Nordic Classicism and Functionalism.
Among the top twentieth-century Finnish architects to gain international recognition are Eliel Saarinen and his son Eero Saarinen. Architect Alvar Aalto is regarded as among the most important twentieth-century designers in the world;  he helped bring functionalist architecture to Finland, but soon was a pioneer in its development towards an organic style.
Much of Finland's classical music is influenced by traditional Karelian melodies and lyrics, as comprised in the Kalevala. Karelian culture is perceived as the purest expression of the Finnic myths and beliefs, less influenced by Germanic influence than the Nordic folk dance music that largely replaced the kalevaic tradition.
Finnish folk music has undergone a roots revival in recent decades, and has become a part of popular music. The people of northern Finland, Sweden, and Norway, the Sami , are known primarily for highly spiritual songs called joik.
The same word sometimes refers to lavlu or vuelie songs, though this is technically incorrect. The first Finnish opera was written by the German-born composer Fredrik Pacius in In the s Finnish nationalism based on the Kalevala spread, and Jean Sibelius became famous for his vocal symphony Kullervo.
He soon received a grant to study runo singers in Karelia and continued his rise as the first prominent Finnish musician. In he composed Finlandia , which played its important role in Finland gaining independence.
He remains one of Finland's most popular national figures and is a symbol of the nation. Today, Finland has a very lively classical music scene and many of Finland's important composers are still alive, such as Magnus Lindberg , Kaija Saariaho , Kalevi Aho , and Aulis Sallinen. Iskelmä coined directly from the German word Schlager , meaning "hit" is a traditional Finnish word for a light popular song. Finnish popular music also includes various kinds of dance music ; tango , a style of Argentine music , is also popular.
The light music in Swedish-speaking areas has more influences from Sweden. Modern Finnish popular music includes a number of prominent rock bands, jazz musicians, hip hop performers, dance music acts, etc. During the early s, the first significant wave of Finnish rock groups emerged, playing instrumental rock inspired by groups such as The Shadows. Around , Beatlemania arrived in Finland, resulting in further development of the local rock scene. During the late s and s, Finnish rock musicians increasingly wrote their own music instead of translating international hits into Finnish.
During the decade, some progressive rock groups such as Tasavallan Presidentti and Wigwam gained respect abroad but failed to make a commercial breakthrough outside Finland. This was also the fate of the rock and roll group Hurriganes. The Finnish punk scene produced some internationally acknowledged names including Terveet Kädet in the s.
Hanoi Rocks was a pioneering s glam rock act that inspired the American hard rock group Guns N' Roses , among others. Many Finnish metal bands have gained international recognition. HIM and Nightwish are some of Finland's most internationally known bands. Apocalyptica are an internationally famous Finnish group who are most renowned for mixing strings-led classical music with classic heavy metal.
Around twelve feature films are made each year. Finland's most internationally successful TV shows are the backpacking travel documentary series Madventures and the reality TV show The Dudesons , about four childhood friends who perform stunts and play pranks on each other in similar vein to the American TV show Jackass.
Thanks to its emphasis on transparency and equal rights, Finland's press has been rated the freest in the world. Today, there are around newspapers, popular magazines, 2, professional magazines, 67 commercial radio stations, three digital radio channels and one nationwide and five national public service radio channels.
Each year, around 12, book titles are published and 12 million records are sold. Sanoma publishes the newspaper Helsingin Sanomat its circulation of ,  making it the largest , the tabloid Ilta-Sanomat , the commerce-oriented Taloussanomat and the television channel Nelonen. The other major publisher Alma Media publishes over thirty magazines, including the newspaper Aamulehti , tabloid Iltalehti and commerce-oriented Kauppalehti.
Worldwide, Finns, along with other Nordic peoples and the Japanese, spend the most time reading newspapers. Yle, the Finnish Broadcasting Company, operates five television channels and thirteen radio channels in both national languages.
Yle is funded through a mandatory television license and fees for private broadcasters. All TV channels are broadcast digitally , both terrestrially and on cable. In regards to telecommunication infrastructure, Finland is the highest ranked country in the World Economic Forum's Network Readiness Index NRI — an indicator for determining the development level of a country's information and communication technologies.
Finland ranked 1st overall in the NRI ranking, unchanged from the year before. Value-added services are rare. Finnish cuisine is notable for generally combining traditional country fare and haute cuisine with contemporary style cooking.
Fish and meat play a prominent role in traditional Finnish dishes from the western part of the country, while the dishes from the eastern part have traditionally included various vegetables and mushrooms. Refugees from Karelia contributed to foods in eastern Finland. Finnish foods often use wholemeal products rye , barley , oats and berries such as bilberries , lingonberries , cloudberries , and sea buckthorn.
Milk and its derivatives like buttermilk are commonly used as food, drink, or in various recipes. Various turnips were common in traditional cooking, but were replaced with the potato after its introduction in the 18th century. According to the statistics, red meat consumption has risen, but still Finns eat less beef than many other nations, and more fish and poultry. This is mainly because of the high cost of meat in Finland.
Finland has the world's highest per capita consumption of coffee. All official holidays in Finland are established by Acts of Parliament. Christmas is the most extensively celebrated, and at least 24 to 26 December is taken as a holiday. Various sporting events are popular in Finland.