Finland is a country in northern Europe with a total population of 5.3 million and a land area of 304,000 km2. The population density is 17 persons per square kilometre, and about 60% of the inhabitants live in the cities. The size of these cities is rather small compared to the European average. Finland has only three cities with more than 200,000 inhabitants.
The national age distribution at the end of 2005 placed 17.3% of the population in the 0–14 age group, 12.5% in the 15–24 group, 12.2% in the 25–34, 13.8% in the 35–44, 14.7% in the 45–54, 13.6% in the 55–64 and 16% in the over-65 group. At the moment, it seems that the ageing of the population will be a political and social challenge in the future from the perspective of maintaining the high living standard and providing social welfare services for senior citizens.
Finland is ethnically homogenous. Only 2.2% of the population is foreign. The three largest groups comprising this small percentage are Russian, Estonian and Swedish. Finland has two official languages, Finnish and Swedish. Approximately 6% of the population is Swedish-speaking.
Finland is a constitutional republic with a parliamentary form of government. The country gained independence in 1917 after having been a Grand Duchy under Russia since 1809. Before that date, Finland was part of Sweden. According to the Constitution, the supreme executive power is entrusted to the President, but the general government of state affairs rests with the Council of State. The Council of State consists of the Prime Minister and seventeen ministers. The President is elected directly by the people for a 6-year term, and he may be re-elected once. The Parliament is comprised of a single chamber of 200 members. The members of parliament are elected for a 4-year term through direct proportional elections.
KeywordsNegative Life Event Ninth Grader Juvenile Delinquency Hard Drug Juvenile Crime
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