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The majority of the population is concentrated in the southern region.
In terms of area, it is the eighth largest country in Europe and the most sparsely populated country in the European Union.
Following the 1917 Russian Revolution, Finland declared itself independent.
From the late 12th century, Finland was an integral part of Sweden, a legacy reflected in the prevalence of the Swedish language and its official status.
In the spirit of the notion of Adolf Ivar Arwidsson (1791–1858), "we are no-longer Swedes, we do not want to become Russians, let us therefore be Finns", the Finnish national identity started to become established.
Finland is a parliamentary republic with a central government based in the capital Helsinki, local governments in 317 municipalities, and an autonomous region, the Åland Islands.
Over 1.4 million people live in the Greater Helsinki metropolitan area, which produces a third of the country's GDP.
A peninsula with the Gulf of Finland to the south and the Gulf of Bothnia to the west, the country has land borders with Sweden to the northwest, Norway to the north, and Russia to the east.
Estonia is south of the country across the Gulf of Finland.