Population of Finland
According to Countryaah, the population is increasing slowly, mainly due to a small natural increase (0.4% per year in the 1990s). Infant mortality 5.6 pers. per 1000 newborns. The average life expectancy for men is 74 years, for women – 81.5 years.
Economically active population (2002) 2.16 million people The general trend is the movement of the population to cities. Average density 15 people. per 1 km2, 9/10 of the total population lives in the southwestern and southern parts of the country, south of the Pori-Tampere-Kumenlaskso-Kotka line. Lapland is the most deserted part – 2-3 people. per 1 km2.
Largest cities: Helsinki, Tampere (174 thousand people), Turku (160 thousand), Oulu (102 thousand).
The ethnic composition is homogeneous, St. 90% of the inhabitants are Finns. In the southern and western coastal regions – Swedes (300 thousand people), in the north – 2 thousand Saami (Lapps) speak the Saami language. 100 thousand foreigners live, of which 23 thousand are Russians.
The official languages are Finnish and Swedish. Finnish is spoken approx. 93% of the population, Swedish is the native language for 6% of the country’s inhabitants. Finnish is part of the group of Baltic-Finnic languages belonging to the Finno-Ugric, or Uralic, family of languages, which are spoken in total approx. 23 million people
The vast majority of believers belong to the Evangelical Lutheran Church (90%), there are Orthodox (1%).
History of Finland
All R. 1st millennium AD areas of initial settlement of Finno-Ugric tribes were formed. On the basis of the merger of the tribal groups of Sumi, Emi, Korelov, the Finnish people took shape. However, due to economic and geographical reasons, the state-political consolidation of the Finnish tribes was not achieved. All R. 12th c. the conquest of the country by the Swedish feudal lords begins. According to the Peace of Orekhov in 1323, which for the first time determined the state border between Sweden and Russia, the territory of modern Finland (Swedish Finland, i.e. the land of the Finns) became part of the Swedish kingdom. Swedish law and social order took root here, under which the Finnish peasant was never enslaved and retained personal freedom. The constant wars of Sweden against Russia in the 2nd half. 16th century had a disastrous effect on the position of the Finnish peasantry. Expanded M. Luther’s reformation spread to Finland, which contributed to the rise of the Finnish-speaking culture. The reformer and founder of the Finnish literary language, Bishop M. Agricola of Turku, translated the New Testament into Finnish in 1548.
During the period of great power (1617-1721), Sweden was able to push the border of Finland further to the east. As a result of the Swedish-Russian War of 1808–09, Russia conquered Finland. The meeting of representatives of the estates, convened by the Russian government in the city of Borgo (the Borgo Diet of 1809), approved the “special” conditions for the country’s entry into the Russian Empire as the Grand Duchy of Finland with broad autonomy.
In the 1820s-40s. in connection with the formation of the Finnish nation, the Finnoman movement developed, fighting for the equality of the Finnish language with Swedish. Compiled by E. Lennrut, the national epic Kalevala was published in 1835. The so-called. Golden age of Finnish culture: poet E. Leino, composer J. Sibelius, artist A. Galen-Kallela. With the language manifesto published by Alexander II in 1863, the path of Finnish to obtaining the status of the state language began. These processes and internal reforms in Russia contributed to the formation of the Finnish nation and statehood.
The need to equalize economic conditions within the empire and the growing strategic importance of the Baltic coast prompted con. 19th century the tsarist government to switch to a policy of infringement of Finnish autonomy. In the beginning. 1880s the first trade unions and workers’ unions appeared; in 1899 the Finnish Workers’ Party (from 1903 the Social Democratic Party of Finland, SDPF) was founded. In the beginning. 20th century economic growth continued, shifts in the structure of society (the number of landless people increased, emigration of the population increased, mainly to the USA). Under the influence of the Russian Revolution of 1905–07, a national-revolutionary movement unfolded, new political parties took shape, the estate parliament became elective, and Finnish women, for the first time in Europe, received equal voting rights. The October Revolution in Russia brought national independence.
Social and political contradictions between the right and left led to a civil war, which ended in May 1918 with the victory of government forces under the command of G. Mannerheim with the direct participation of the German expeditionary forces. In the summer of 1919, Finland was officially declared a republic, and K. J. Stolberg (1865–1952) was elected the first president. Domestic political situation in the 1920s. did not differ in stability: in 1919-30, 14 governments were replaced. In the autumn of 1929, a fascist, so-called. Lapuan movement. In 1930 the parliament was dissolved, the worker deputies were arrested. In 1930–31, the right-wing bourgeois government of P. Svinhufvud, who became president in 1931–37, was in power.
On November 30, 1939, the Soviet-Finnish “winter war” began, which ended in the defeat of Finland and the signing of a peace treaty in Moscow on March 12, 1940. On June 22, 1941, she entered the war against the USSR on the side of Nazi Germany, and formally announced only on June 26, the so-called. continuation war. In September 1944, as a result of the victories of the Soviet Army, Finland ceased hostilities; in March 1945, at the request of the allies in the anti-Hitler coalition, it declared war on the Third Reich. In 1947, a peace treaty was signed in Paris, under the terms of which Finland, in addition to the territories lost in 1940 on the Karelian Isthmus, ceded to the Soviet Union the Petsamo region. In April 1948, the Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance (DDSVP) was signed between the USSR and Finland.
Yu. K. Paasikivi (1870–1956), who was elected president in 1946, strove to create trusting relations with the USSR. DDSVP formed the basis of the so-called. Paasikivi lines. Over the following years, the country’s international position began to strengthen: in 1952, the Olympic Games were held in Helsinki. The goal of W.K. Kekkonen, who was elected president of the republic in 1956, was to ensure the functioning of the presidential republic and the expansion of foreign policy freedom of action under the sign of an active policy of neutrality by continuing the Paasikivi-Kekkonen line. This was reflected in the initiatives to organize and hold the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe in Helsinki in the summer of 1975. M. Koivisto was elected the new president of the republic in 1982.
Thanks to the “Paasikivi-Kekkonen Line” it was possible to maintain friendly relations with the USSR and close ties with Western countries. Soviet-Finnish relations were an exemplary example of the policy of peaceful coexistence. An intensive political dialogue and a high level of trade were maintained (25% in the mid-1980s, which ensured an increase of 1–2% of GDP). In 1973, the country entered into an agreement with the EU on free trade in manufactured goods, in 1986 it became a full member of the EFTA, and in 1989 the European Council.
Ahtisaari became the tenth president of the republic in the 1994 elections, in 2000 for the first time a woman became president – Tarja Halonen. In the parliamentary elections of 1995, the Finland Center party was defeated, and the new chairman of the SDPF, Paavo Lipponen, formed a unique government, which was called the “rainbow coalition”. In addition to the left – the SDPF, the Union of Left Forces, the Union of “Greens” (in June 2001 it left because of disagreement to expand nuclear energy), it also included the right – the National Coalition Party (NKP), the Swedish People’s Party.