Last updated: July 11, 2018
What do you know about Finland? Here’s a list of 25 Interesting facts about Finland and the Finns that you probably didn’t know!
Further down in the article, you can also read some fun Finland facts as well as more general information such as total population, biggest cities, highest mountain, biggest lake etc.
To make this even more fun, I want to challenge you. How many of these facts about Finland did you already know before reading? Share your result in the comment section at the end of this article!
1. Finland is ranked #1 as the happiest country in the world
The latest UN report stated that Finland is now the happiest country in the world. The Nordic countries are in general always at the top, but Finland made a big climb this year from number 5 to number 1.
2. It can be very expensive to drive faster than the speed limit
The Speeding fines in Finland are calculated on the violator’s total income. This means that millionaires can face fines of up to 100 000 when driving faster than the speed limit.
3. Unique Finnish Sports
Heard about any of these sports? In Finland, they are totally legitimate sports. Check out the video below to see what to expect at the Wife-carrying championship!
- Wife-carrying championship
- Mosquito hunting competition
- Mobile phone throwing
- Swamp Football
- Air Guitar
4. There are 187,888 lakes within Finnish territory
That’s a lot of lakes, so no wonder that the country is sometimes referred to as “the land of thousands of lakes”.
5. And the average Finn consumes 12 kilos of coffee each year
The Nordic countries are famous for being heavy coffee-drinkers and the Finns are not an exception. How many cups per year is hard to estimate, but the average Finn will consume as much as 12 kilos of coffee annually!
6. Heavy Metal is huge in Finland
In fact, there are more Heavy Metal bands per capita here than anywhere else in the world. In 2006, the Finnish Heavy-metal band Lordi took over the Eurovision Song contest when they won the competition with their song “Hardrock Halleluja”.
Some other notable Finnish Heavy metal bands and artists are Nightwish, Apocalyptica, Ensiferum, HIM, Amorphis and Children of Bodom.
7. Finland also has the world’s highest annual consumption of milk per capita
The Finns also drink a lot of milk. In fact, they have the world’s highest annual consumption of milk per capita!
8. There are more Saunas than Cars
Heard about the Finnish Sauna tradition? If you have, then you will probably not be as surprised by this fact about Finland, but yes, there are more Saunas than cars!
Even Burger King in Helsinki has a Sauna.
Danish, Norwegian and Swedish is quite similar and when making a small effort it’s not hard to understand the 3 of those languages, even though they are not exactly the same.
Finnish however, is something completely else. The Finnish language is part of the Finno-Ugric language group and is way more similar to Estonian than the Scandinavian languages, even though it neighbors the Scandinavian countries.
It’s not even an Indo-European language, it belongs to the Uralic language family, which makes it quite unique and cool since most European languages are a part of the Indo-European language tree!
10. Finland has free education, even at the university level
One of the things Finns should really pride themselves with is the fact that they offer free education for students, even at university level. This also applies to international students from EU/EES.
Non-EU-nationals can also enjoy free tuition fees if the classes taken are taught in Finnish or Swedish, or doctoral studies in any language.
11. The Finns love Salmiakki (Salty Licorice)
So do I, and I want to say thanks for creating this amazing candy. Salmiakki is truly the best!
12. The Finnish Passport is one of the best
Finns can pride themselves on having the third best passport in the world, just shortly behind Germany, Singapore, and Japan.
This means that they can visit the most of the countries in the world without getting a visa.
13. Northern Lights, Midnight Sun & Polar Night
These spectacular events can all be experienced here. During the winter, you can see the Northern Lights, and also experience the Polar night in the Northern parts of the country. It’s the darkest months of the year and for several weeks the sun won’t rise.
And the opposite occurs during summer when the sun never sets, also known as the midnight sun.
14. Finland was the first country in Europe to give all women the right to vote
As one of the most gender equal countries in the world nowadays this fact might not come as a huge surprise, but at the time they allowed women to vote back in 1906, this was definitely something special.
New Zealand and Australia did allow women to vote a couple of years before, but it was here in Finland that all women no matter social status could fully vote, and also stand for parliament.
15. Freedom to Roam – The Right to Public Access
Just like the neighboring Scandinavian countries, you can enjoy the freedom to roam and have the right to public access. Which basically means that you can forage mushrooms, berries and flowers, camp, walk and enjoy nature as long as you don’t litter.
Bonus Fact: The coldest temperature measured was -51.5 degrees Celsius
If you travel here during the winter months, make sure that you bring a warm jacket. While you probably won’t have to face the record low temperature, the average temperature in Helsinki during the winter months is still -5 degrees Celsius.
The coldest temperature measured in the country was back in 1999 in Kittilä where the temperature went all the way down to -51.5 degrees Celsius (−60.7 °F).
5 x Fun facts about Finland and the Finns
- The first prize in the wife-carrying championship is the wife’s weight in beer
- In Finland when someone earns their Ph.dD, they get a top hat and a sword
- There’s a resort where you can sleep in a glass igloo and watch the northern lights
- The Finnish Capital Helsinki has a Burger King restaurant with a Sauna
- In Finland, they have ‘National Sleepy Head Day’, where the last person in a family to wake up is thrown into a lake or the sea by the rest of the family.
5 x Finland facts for kids
- Angry Birds was created in Finland
- The Brown Bear is the country’s national animal
- In Rovaniemi, you can visit the Santa Claus village
- You can also visit the Moomin Valley
- Riding a Hobby Horse is a sport
General Facts about Finland
Below are some general info such as total population, land area, biggest lake, highest mountain and other general facts about Finland that might be interesting to know.
- Total Population: 5.4 million
- Capital: Helsinki
- Life expectancy: Men 78 years, women 83 years
- Highest Mountain: Halti – 1,324 m above the sea
- Land area: 338,424 km2
- Largest Lake: Suur-Saimaa (4400 km2)
- National Day: 6 December (Independence Day).
- Government: Republic, parliamentary democracy
- President: Sauli Niinistö
- Primary minister: Juha Sipilä
- Currency: Euro
- Official language: Official languages are Finnish (spoken by 88.9%) and Swedish (5.3%). Sami is also recognized as a regional language.
- Official Website: Finland.fi
- Member of EU: Yes.
- Member of Nato: No
- National song: “Maamme”
- Time zone: EET (UTC+2) Summe (DST) – EEST (UTC+3)
- Country Number/Prefix:
- Country Code: FI
If you’re looking for facts about Finland, it might also be interested to know about the biggest cities.
The Finnish Flag
The blue is a symbol for all the lakes and the white color is a symbol of the snow in the winters. This version of the Finnish Flag has been the official national flag since 1918.
Map of Finland
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How many of these facts about Finland did you know beforehand? Share your result in the comment section below!