|Area||337,030 sq km|
|Population||5,351,000 (2009 est.)|
|Language||Finnish 90.67% (official), Swedish 5.43% (official), small Sámi- and Russian-speaking minorities|
|Religion||Evangelical Lutheran 79.9%, Russian Orthodox 1.1%, other 1.3%, none 17.7%|
|Electricity||230V/50Hz (European plug)|
|Time Zone||UTC +2|
Finland (Finnish: Suomi, Swedish: Finland) is in Northern Europe and has borders with Russia to the east, Norway to the north, and Sweden to the west. The country is a thoroughly modern welfare state with well-planned and comfortable small towns and cities, but still offers vast areas of unspoiled nature. Finland has approximately 188,000 lakes (about 10% of the country) and a similar number of islands. In the northernmost part of the country the Northern Lights can be seen in the winter and midnight sun in the summer. Finns also claim the mythical mountain of Korvatunturi as the home of Santa Claus, and a burgeoning tourist industry in Lapland caters to Santa fans. Despite living in one of the most technologically developed countries in the world, the Finns love to head to their summer cottages in the warmer months to enjoy all manner of relaxing pastimes including sauna, swimming, fishing and barbecuing. Today, Finland has a distinctive language and culture that marks it apart from the rest of Nordic Europe.