Finland is very ethnically homogeneous. Most of the population is ethnic Finnish. The earliest inhabitants of the area were hunter-gatherers, most closely related to the modern-day Sami people of Finland. There are about 4,500 Sami left in Finland who are officially recognized as a minority. The Sami people have been living north of the Arctic Circle for over 7,000 years and account for a 5% minority in the Lapland Province. Finland does not keep official statistics on ethnicity.
Just 3.5% of the population is made up of foreign citizens, which is one of the lowest rates in the European Union. Most foreign citizens are from Estonia, Russia, and Sweden. Children of foreigners born in Finland do not automatically receive Finnish citizenship unless they cannot get citizenship in another nation. The official languages used in Finland include Finnish and Swedish, with a bit of Russian and other languages in use as well.
Based on population figures in 2009, the CIA World Factbook suggests that 16.6% of the Finland population were aged between 0 and 14 years. In addition, 66.4% were aged between 15 and 64.
As evidence of the slowing down of population growth, Finland also has a high percentage of people aged over 65 – 17% in 2009 and that is considerably higher than the world’s average.
Finland Religion, Economy and Polutics
In terms of religion among the population, Lutheran and Eastern Orthodox were measured at 70% and 1% respectively, with 28% either unspecified or having some other religion. Other religions in Finland include Islam, Hinduism, Judaism, and folk religions. There are two official National churches: the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland, which is Protestant, and the Finnish Orthodox Church. Citizens that belong to either of these churches have part of their taxes turned over to them.
According to the World Happiness Report, Finland comes in at first place, with a ranking of 7.632 overall for happiness. This report takes numerous factors into consideration, including GDP per capita, social support, healthy life expectancy, freedom to make life choices, generosity and perception of corruption.
The political system in Finland is a parliamentary republic made up of 317 municipalities. The president is the head of the state and the multi-party system. The parliament, president and all members of the government are elected by the people. The Prime Minister and eleven less significant ministers make up the Council of State in the central government of Finland. Finland is also broken up into six regions, each of which has administrative agencies. Within the judicial branch, there are 27 district courts, 6 courts of appeals and six regional administrative courts.
Finland Population History
Recorded Finland population figures date back to 1750 and have been faithfully updated ever since. They would clearly appear to have been rounded either up or down too and in 1750, it is shown that there were 421,000 people living here.
Ten years later, those numbers had climbed to 490,000 – a rise of just over sixteen percent and similar increases through the rest of the 1700’s took the population of Finland to 837,000 at the start of the 19th century.
The population of Finland climbed above one million for the first time by 1820 and as the 20th century began, figures within the country had increased to 2,655,900. This pattern of steady increases has continued ever since to the point where the Finland population in 2012 is rapidly approaching 5.5 million.
It is reported that population growth slowed in Finland after World War Two with average family sizes falling from 3.6 in 1950 to 2.7 by 1975. Therefore, while there is still growth here, it is considerably slower than it has been in the past.