Geography The northernmost country on the European continent Seventh largest country in Europe Between Sweden and Russia, also border with Norway No high mountains Forests and woodland: 76% 188 000 lakes of over 500 square meters
Basics population 5 325 208 17peoplepersquare kilometer 77 %lives in the provinces of South and West Finland Beautiful nature Sauna, sisu, Sibelius Official languages: Finnish and Swedish
History The new republic Turning towards Western Europe Trade withBritain Military trained in France World War II Finland foughtthreewars: the Winter War alone against the Soviet Union the Continuation War with Nazi Germany against the Soviet Union the Lapland War against Germany
In World War II, only three European capitals were never occupied: Moscow, London and Helsinki.
History Post-war Unique position in the Cold War the country was heavily influenced by the Soviet Union, but retained democracy and a market economy The reparations to the Soviet Union caused Finland to transform itself from a primarily agrarian economy to an industrialised one
History RapideconomicGrowth By 1975 GDP per capita was the 15th highest in the world Various industries benefited from trade privileges with the Soviets
Early 1990s recession
-- Miscalculated macroeconomic decisions, a banking crisis, the collapse of a primary trading partner (the Soviet Union) and a global economic downturn
EconomyNow Highlyindustrialised Free-marketeconomy Services 2/3 of the economy Key part of foreigntrade is manufacturing; Electronics Machinery Metal, forest, chemicalproducts
EconomyNow Main companies (a quarter of Finland's exports in 2003) (elevators) (airline) (largestpapermanufacturer in the world)
EconomyNow Exports 2005 Russia 11,0 % Sweden 10,8 % Germany 10,6 % UK 6,7 % USA 5,8 % Netherlands 4,8 % France 3,4 %
Germany 14,9 % Russia 14,0 % Sweden 10,5 % China 6,0 % UK 4,5 % USA 4,2 % Netherlands 4,0 %
Taxation The middle income worker suffers from a nearly 60% tax wedge Capital gains tax and corporate tax are 26%, about the EU median Those with capital holdings are able to exploit the gap between 60% and 26% increasing inequality Alcoholic beverages are separately taxed and highly restricted Much of the taxes are spent on public sector employees, many of which are jobs-for-life and amount to 124,000 state employees and 430,000 municipal employees sustainable? (Finland’s population only 5,2m)
Employment Workforcecurrently67,5% of the population Unemploymentrate 7,3% (192 000) Unemployedbetweenages 15-24: ~40 000 Baby boomers (bornafter WWII) willretire in the nextfewyears, whichshouldease the situation
GenderEquality Finland a pioneer In 1906, Finland became the first country in Europe to give women the right to vote in national elections and the first country in the world to give them right to be electoral candidates Most women (83%) mainly work full time Extensive system of public childcare The pay gap between men and women in Finland (20%) is, however, above the OECD average The president since 2000 has been a woman
Media Usage Conclusions: Total timespent on media similaracross generationssimilar, buttype of medium useddifferrent - e.g. internet vs. radio
Internet Usage (2008) Daily Internet users 66 % (16-74y) 70 % read online magazines 87 % of Internet users used online banking services 80 % of even the 60-74 age group banked online! Young, well-educated persons living in the capital region or large towns most likely to follow politics online Conclusions: Elderlyuse Internet but for conveniencereasons, not for entertainment orcommunication. Willtheyfollow the younger in Internet habits? 2. Young have a new way of becomingpolitical: theystillhaveopinions but a different forum to express themselvesthanthosepreviousgenerationsareused to.
Education Egalitarian Nordic system, no tuition fees for full-time students However, there are plans to introduce tuition fees to students from outside the European Union In the OECD's international assessment of student performance Finland has consistently been among the highest scorers worldwide Over 45% of 25-34 year olds have higher education - On average, ittakes 13 years for someonewithhighereducation to achieveworker’saveragesalary Is itworthstudying? - Toomanyacademicallyeducated?
Status Symbols Professional competence Building yourownwealth Good general knowledge, inc. languageskills Stablerelationship to closestfamilymembers Personalstyle NOTimportant:
”Exceptional” ConsumpitonPatterns Coffee 10 kg per annum per capita consumption level, the highest in the world. Ice Cream annual ice cream consumption is the highest in Europe: 13.5 litres per capita Alcohol High consumption of strong spirits compared to wine the tendency in Finnish drinking culture to maximiseintoxication.
Otherculturalcuriosities Tradition of Violence Finns have fourth most firearms in the world per capita (right after US, Yemen, Switzerland) High level of domestic violence Twoschoolshootings in oneyear (’07-’08), 19 killed Twice the Western average of manslaughters 2,000 Finns died of alcohol-related causes in 2005 Leading cause of death