What do Santa Claus, Nokia and Angry Birds all have in common? Yes, they are all great fun and kids love them, but they also all come from Finland. Being such a tiny country with a fragile history where the three major threats were once summarized by the foreign minister as being “Russia, Russia, and Russia”. Finland is a country located in northern Europe next to its Scandinavian neighbors Sweden and Norway in the west and Russia in the east. 2017 is an important year for Finland. It is celebrating its 100th anniversary as an independent country.
Finland, arguably the most beautiful place on earth. It has the best spot to observe the northern lights in all their glory. It has more forest and water than anywhere else in all of Europe. And it’s the best place for skiing.
Here we have found some Interesting, Fun & bizarre facts about the greatest country on Earth Finland.
1. The Least Corrupt Country in the World
The Corruption Perception Index is considered the “gold standard for determining corruption worldwide”. In it’s 2012 results, Finland, Denmark and New Zealand shared the top spot. In reflecting on the reasons for this apparent lack of corruption, Business Insider notes that all these countries “have high GDP per capita, low inequality rates, literacy rates close to 100 press, and prioritize human right issues such as gender equality and freedom of information.”
2. Most Heavy Metal Bands per Capita
The graphs don’t lie. Finland has the most heavy metal bands per capita in the world. The dark winter surely plays a major role in this attachment to suicidal lyrics, double bass drum, and the color black: the Nordic countries are the clear winners of this genre. But even in this crowd, Finland stands apart. While Sweden and Norway have only 27 heavy metal bands per 100.000 inhabitants, Finland boasts double as much, 54 bands per 100.000. A metal band in every village!
3. The Best Education System in the World
As mentioned, the PISA rankings put Finland as number one in at least one of the categories of Science, Reading and Mathematics every time from 2000 to 2006. Because of this, even today it is impossible to read an article in New York Times about education, without somebody mentioning Finland as an example. This despite the fact, that in the latest Pisa results East Asian countries have taken the lead and Finland is pushed down to 5th place in Science and 12th place in Math.
4. The Country with the Heaviest Coffee Consumption in the World
How do you survive days when the sun peeks from the horizon for a few hours, before dropping back towards the more blessed countries in the south? What do you do when it is freezing cold and completely dark outside, and you feel that you can’t get out of the bed to face the harsh reality?
The answer: You drink coffee. While the annual world average of coffee consumption is 1.3 kg per person, the average Finnish person likes to indulge plenty of cups per day to consume 12 kg of coffee per year.
The harsh winter is not so harsh when you are constantly high on caffeine.
5. Wife Carrying World Championship
Finland hosts a bizarre competition called the “Wife Carrying World Championship” every year. Men who manage to carry their wives through an obstacle the fastest, will get their wife’s weight in beer. Imagine 50+ kg of beer and having proven yourself as a strong person!
6. Most Saunas per Capita
This is a category where Finland truly sets itself apart from the rest of the world. the unquestioned champions of sauna!
Think about it: 3.3 million saunas for 5.3 million people. More than one sauna for every other citizen. Take a family of five, include the babies and the grandparents, and they are prone to have at least three saunas. There are saunas everywhere in Finland: Every newer apartment is equipped with a sauna, all hotels, gyms and office buildings have them. Even foreigners living in Finland can’t escape them: Bruce Oreck, the former bodybuilder and current US Ambassador in Finland admits going to sauna at least once per week.
7. Best Country in the World to Be a Mother
For the last 14 years, Save the Children has been ranking countries based on how good places they are for mothers. And the current leader is Finland.
The low lifetime risk for maternal death (1 in 12.200 is five times better than the US death rate of 1 in 2.400) and the amount of women in national government (42.5% as compared to US 18.2%) are some of the criteria that land Finland to the number one position as the place to give birth and raise a family.
8. The Country Drinking the Most Milk per Capita
What do Finnish people drink? Beer and vodka might be the first images that come to mind. But alas, Finland is only 11th in beer consumption around the world, and much “worse” in spirit consumption. But when it comes to milk, Finnish people consume 1 liter per day per person (0.26 gallons) outranking its rival Sweden to claim the top spot around the world.
9. Helsinki is the most livable city in the world
When Monocle investigated cities of the world to find the most livable, Helsinki, the capital of Finland, emerged as number one. According to the Monocle, “the Finnish capital stands out for its fundamental courage to rethink its urban ambitions, and for possessing the talent, ideas and guts to pull it off.” Helsinki has indeed changed quite much from those not-so-far-away-days when one could only buy alcohol when one ordered a meal.
10. Helsinki is the Most Honest City in the World
Reader’s Digest decided to drop 192 wallets into 16 different cities from New York to Mumbai to see how many of them would be returned. In every city 12 wallets were dropped and in Lisbon, Portugal, only one of the wallets was returned – by a couple on holiday from Holland. Compare this with Helsinki, the winner of the experiment, where 11 wallets out of 12 were returned making the capital of Finland the most honest city in the world.
P.S. If you thought that honesty is an effect of how rich or poor a country is, think again: Number two, with 9 wallets returned, was Mumbai in India, which beat, for example, New York (8 wallets returned), Berlin (6 wallets returned) and London (5 wallets returned).
11. Finland does the Best Mobile Games in the World
Finnish mobile games are the most successful. Supercell made recently history by holding the #1 and #2 positions as the top grossing US iPad and iPhone apps. Other recent Finnish apps hitting the top position in downloads or revenue include Badlands and Oceanhorn. In a recent chart, three Finnish companies held together more Top 5 positions in iPad charts than all US vendors combined. Not bad for a country of five million people, and surely the most hit games per capita any country has ever produced.
And then there is Angry Birds, the most famous Finnish product since the Nokia phones. Get this: Recently Rovio, the company behind Angry Birds, announced that the downloads for their flagship game had surpassed two billions. Two billions!
12. The Country Borrowing the Most Books from Public Libraries per Capita
In New York people borrow on average 8 books per capita per year. In Berlin the number is 6.8, in London 4.8, in Paris 4, in Shanghai 2.5, and in Rio de Janeiro 0.03. In Finland, however, the number is 18 per capita. That means that a family of five borrowing 100 books during one year is nothing unusual. In fact it is the norm rather than the exception.
13. National speeding fines are scary
If you’re a rich person in Finland and happen to get caught speeding through the roads, the cost of the fines will be calculated by using your annual income. A super rich man was once fined 200,000 euros for a single offence!
14. Finland weird prison system
Finland has a prison in which the only thing separating inmates from escape is a yellow picket fence. And here’s the kicker, the inmates hold the keys to these fences. One can see no barbed wire in sight. This makes the Scandinavian prisons vastly superior to the harsher ones in the US.
15. World’s first internet browser
There will always remain the dispute over who created the Internet, but it is a historically established fact that Finland was the first nation which had created the world’s first Internet Browser with a user interface. A few months later, Internet Explorer surfaced and took all that credit.