Most Finns, some two thirds, now live in urban areas, while one third remain in a rural environment.
The capital, Helsinki, and the neighbouring towns, Espoo and Vantaa, form the fast growing Helsinki metropolitan region, which is now home to almost a million Finns.
Other important towns are Tampere and Turku in southern Finland, and Oulu in the north. Ethnically, Finland is still a very homogeneous country.
The foreign community accounts for somewhat over two per cent of the population. The biggest groups of immigrants are from Russia, Estonia and Sweden. Among them are a considerable number of people of Finnish descent.
The Finnish language is a member of the Finno-Ugric linguistic family that includes, in one branch, Finnish, Estonian and a number of other Finnic tongues, and in the other, Hungarian, by far the biggest language of the Ugric group.
Finland has two official languages, Finnish and Swedish, the latter spoken as a mother tongue by about 6 % of the people. The official status of Swedish has historical roots in the period when Finland was a part of the Swedish realm, a period that lasted from the early 13th century until 1809.
Another indigenous language is Sami, spoken within the small community of Sami people in Lapland (also known as Lapps). English has become the most popular foreign language and is widely spoken.
Learn to speak Finnish
Some consider Finnish a hard language to learn, but the beauty of the language makes it worthwhile. The frequency of vowels used in Finnish gives it a very pleasant sound.
Finnish has regional dialects and different social variants (jargons, slang, etc.). Colloquial Finnish often differs markedly from the standard language.
Therefore, the sentences you might learn in class differ from the ones people use in everyday life, though the meaning is the same.