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Demographics of Finland

Finland numbers some five million inhabitants and has an average population density of 16 inhabitants per square kilometre. This makes it, after Norway and Iceland, the most thinly populated country in Europe. Population distribution is very uneven. About 60 per cent live in towns and cities, with 1.2 million living in Helsinki Metropolitan Area alone. In arctic Lapland, on the other hand, there are only two people to every square kilometre. The original inhabitants of Finland are the Lapps - the Sami. There 4,500 of them living in Finland today and they are recognised as a minority with their own language. They have been living north of the Arctic Circle for more than 7,000 years now. In the sixties many Finns abandoned rural areas for Sweden, while most immigrants into Finland itself come from other European countries. With 88 per cent of Finns in its congregation, the Lutheran church is the largest in the country. The official languages are Finnish and Swedish, the latter being the first language of about six per cent of the Finnish population. There is a historical explanation for the status of Swedish as an official language: from the 13th to the 19th century Finland was part of the Kingdom of Sweden.

Population: 5,183,545 (July 2002 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 17.9% (male 471,920; female 454,082)
15-64 years: 66.9% (male 1,752,493; female 1,717,544)
65 years and over: 15.2% (male 306,216; female 481,290) (2002 est.)

Population growth rate:
0.14% (2002 est.)

Birth rate:
10.6 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Death rate:
9.78 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Net migration rate:
0.62 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.64 male(s)/female
total population: 0.95 male(s)/female (2002 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 3.76 deaths/1,000 live births (2000 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 77.41 years
male: 73.74 years
female: 81.2 years (2000 est.)

Total fertility rate: 1.7 children born/woman (2000 est.)

Nationality:
noun: Finn(s)
adjective: Finnish

Ethnic groups: Finn 93%, Swede 6%, Lapp 0.11%, Roma 0.12%, Tatar 0.02%, Somali[?] 0.01%

Religions: Evangelical Lutheran 89%, Greek Orthodox 1%, none 9%, other 1%

Languages: Finnish 93.4% (official), Swedish 5.9% (official), Russian 0.1%, small Lapp speaking minority

Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 100% (1980 est.)
male: NA%
female: NA%

See also : Finland



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