Finland officially the Republic of Finland (Suomen tasavalta, republics, Finland), is a parliamentary republic in northern Europe and since 1995 member of the European Union. Finland borders on Sweden, Norway, Russia and the Baltic Sea. With 5.3 million inhabitants in an area only slightly smaller than Germany, Finland is one of the most sparsely populated countries in Europe. A large proportion of the population is focused on the south of the country with the capital Helsinki. The two official languages are Finnish and Swedish. 92% of the population is Finnish, 6% Swedish-speaking. The Swedish-speaking archipelago of Åland has a far-reaching autonomy status.
The area of Finland, which was sparsely populated for thousands of years, occurred with the integration into the Swedish kingdom since the 12th Century in the historical time. It remained for many centuries an integral part of Sweden until 1809 it was ceded to Russia, under whose rule became Finland as a nation. 1917 the country gained its independence.
Finland has a population of about 5.3 million people and has a population density of 15.5 inhabitants per square kilometer sparsely populated. Here, the population is very unevenly distributed. While the northern province of Lapland, with 1.9 inhabitants per square kilometer is almost deserted, some 40% of the population concentrated in the province of Southern Finland with 62.6 inhabitants per square kilometer. Only about 1.233 million people live in the Helsinki metropolitan area. Other metropolitan areas are the cities of Tampere, Turku and Oulu with their catchment areas.