Finland is called ‘the land of the thousand lakes’, as inland lakes and rivers make up 10% of the country. The large areas of forest cover almost two thirds of the land mass. Only 6% of Finland is arable.Finland has a population of 5.5 million, around a million of whom live in the area in and around the capital city, Helsinki. A significant Swedish-speaking minority lives in Finland, so Finnish and Swedish are both official languages. Finland is a republic. The president, who is directly elected by the people, has real power over foreign affairs, EU policy and major military decisions. In all other matters, the parliament is the the country’s highest authority. Finland is a member of the EU, and its currency is the euro. The country is not a member of NATO.The forestry, technology and metal industries are Finland’s most important revenue sources. Finland is the world’s biggest producer of mobile phones. Approximately 10,000 years ago, people began to move to Finland. They came from the east from current Russia and from the south through the Baltic region. The roots of the Finnish language are in Central Russia, but the language has elements of Baltic and Germanic languages, too. Swedish-speaking people have lived in Finland for over 800 years. In the winter, the Finnish weather is cold with snowfalls. Normally, the country is under a permanent snow cover throughout the winter. The temperature is usually below 0°C. Daytime temperatures can be -10°C and sometimes as low as -20°C. In Northern Finland, the temperature can be as low as -30°C. If the ground is covered with snow and ice, it is also slippery. In the winter you need to dress warmly. This means that you should wear at least a padded jacket, a woolly jumper and a woolly hat, gloves, a scarf and warm winter shoes. You should wear several layers of clothing in cold weather. The population of Finland includes a variety of minorities with a different language, culture or religion from the majority of Finns. Traditional Finnish minorities include the Swedish-speaking Finns, Sami, Romani, Jews and Tatars. During the past 20 years, many more minorities have formed in Finland due to the increase in immigration. Many immigrants have arrived in Finland from Russia, Estonia, the Balkans, Somalia and Iraq, for example. Finnish and Swedish are Finland’s national languages. Finnish as a native tongue is spoken by nearly 4.9 million people while Swedish is the native language of slightly less than 300,000 people. Other languages are spoken by approximately 245,000 people. The most prominent languages after Finnish and Swedish are Russian, Estonian, English, Somali and Arabic.