How is it December already? I guess that saying about “Time flies when you’re having fun” is true! Of course, the beginning of a new month also means a new Country of the Month. And... up next is Finland!
One of our main motives for choosing Finland for December was the long-held belief that Father Christmas calls Finland home.
Here are 10 fun facts to get us started:
1. With an average population density of 17 people per square kilometer, Finland is one of the most sparsely populated countries in the European Union. As of 2013, the total population sits at only 5.4 million.
2. Finland’s official name is the Republic of Finland. Helsinki is the capital city, with a total population of 1,075,000.
|via Flickr by Timo Newton-Syms|
3. Finland recognizes two official languages: Finnish and Swedish. It’s estimated that 90% of the population speaks Finnish as it’s native language, and 5% of the population speaks Swedish as it’s native language. Finland also recognizes the indigenous language, Sami, as a minority language.
4. This country earned its nickname, “Land of the Thousand Lakes,” quite honestly. It’s estimated that Finland has a total of 188,000 lakes and 179,500 islands.
5. Forests cover approximately 86% of Finland. This makes them both the largest forested area and the greatest producer of wood in Europe.
6. Finland is ranked as having the third highest literacy rate in the world, which is 100%. Finland is also ranked first in the world for their quality of education.
7. Finns really love saunas! It’s estimated that there are 2,000,000 saunas in Finland.
8. Much of the country experiences very long, harsh winters. During the winter there are times when the sun doesn’t come above the horizon!
|via Flickr by Aleksi Stenberg|
9. In Finland, traffic violation fines are determined on a sliding scale according to how much you earn per year.
10. Besides being the home of Father Christmas, Finland is also home to the creators of the worldwide popular game Angry Birds!
We’re going to have so much fun in the last few weeks leading up to Christmas!
Did we miss anything? Drop us a line in the comments below so we can add it to the list!