Finland 1978

By | December 17, 2021

Finland has expanded the field of its relations with foreign countries: starting from March 15, 1961 it was welcomed into the EFTA (but with a position apart from the other components) and since 1969 it has been a member of the OECD. The state is now divided into 12 provinces, following the creation (March 1960) of northern Karelia (km 2 21,461; cap. Joensuu) and of the central province (km 2 19,279; cap. Jyväskyla).

Population. – Finland has slightly changed the number of its residents (1974 estimate: 4,672,385, which corresponds to a density of 14 residents per km 2) due to the low birth rate (which fell from 21.2 ‰ in 1955 to 12.2 in 1973), with consequent modest natural growth, which is moreover lost due to emigration abroad (on average 10,000 people). However, the urban population is growing (1970: 51% of the total) and Helsinki records a considerable increase (1970: 510,352 residents; In 1973 the first section of its metro was opened).

Economic conditions. – Land use has undergone minor changes. The action of the cooperatives is effective, but the tendency to abandon the countryside and move towards the south-west persists, while on the other hand the use of mechanical means is possible only where the extension of the property allows it. A law for internal colonization (1959-68) allowed the creation of new farms (2441 in number, mostly in the northern provinces), the improvement of existing ones, the construction of new roads (4200 km) and canals. drainage (6000 km), the reclamation of 7000 km 2. But in some cases, where the farms are too small, it is preferred to give prizes to the farmers so that they do not cultivate the land and extend the forest. Just 8.1% of the territorial area is destined for arable and arborescent cultures, while 57.7% is for forests and 34% is uncultivated and unproductive. The harvest of the fields is subject to considerable variations from one year to the next (cold and rain often cause bad harvests), but overall production tends to increase, except for rye; so oats went from 11 million q in 1960 to 12.4 million in 1972; wheat from 3.4 million to 4.6; barley from 4.4 to 11.4; potatoes from 1.8 million q to 7.1 million. The number of cattle remains unchanged (1972: 1,835,000), but the production of butter and cheese is increasing. Main product of sea fishing (59. Harengula sprattus, a small herring, common in the Baltic; fishing in lakes and rivers is of lesser importance, as it is opposed by the floating of timber. But it is above all from the forests that Finland draws its greatest resources, since they feed the wood industry (especially plywood), cellulose (mechanical and chemical pulp) and paper (especially from newspapers). It goes without saying that the woods (distributed among 370,000 owners) are well cared for, sowing the most useful species, fertilizing, transplanting, taking care of the drainage of the water. For Finland business, please check

To the minerals already known, among which the iron pyrites and cuprifere emerge, must be added (since 1966) the chromium of a mine near Kemi (refined in Tornio) and the cobalt of Kokkala, associated with iron ore (worked at Rautaruukki, where a new steel mill was built in 1964). Total steel production was 1,615,200 t in 1973 (1960: 258,000). Cement production also increased (1973: 2.1 million t). A first nuclear plant is being built in Lovisa, 80 km E of Helsinki. A car factory was also built (1968) in collaboration with a Swedish company. In progress is the tourism industry. In the national production the part relating to agriculture tends to decrease (20% in 1938; 11% in 1961; 9% in 1967), while the part of industry is increasing (1967: 30%).

Communications. – The railway network has grown due to the opening (1971) of the Tampere-Parkano-Sejnäjoki line (153 km) and the line connecting Onkamo to Parikka, near the Soviet border (98 km) is under construction. A significant improvement in the field of transport has been had since 1969 with the reopening and restructuring of the Saimaa canal (km 58) which connects Lake Saimaa with the Gulf of Finland (Vyborg), passing through Soviet territory; the floating of the timber is greatly facilitated.

Foreign trade. – The trade balance, which had reached balance in 1968, has worsened in the following years and the deficit in 1975 was quite significant. In 1972 exports (shared between Western and Eastern European countries) were represented by forest products (55%, but 80% in 1958), metallurgical products (respectively 24% and 14%), agricultural products (6% and 5%). %). In the field of paper, competition from Canada is being felt.

Bibl.: WR Mead, H. Smeds, Winter in Finland; a study in human geography, New York 1967; E. Ehlers, Nordfinnland. Möglichkeiten und Grenzen seiner wirtsch. Erschliessung, in Geogr. Rundschau, XX (1968), pp. 46-59; RA Helin, Finland regains an outlet to the sea: the Saimaa canal, in Geogr. Review, XLVIII (1968), pp. 167-94; W. Evers, Finnland im Spannungsfeld zwischen Ost und West, Hannover 1969. The issue of Sept.-Dec. is dedicated to relations between Italy and Finland. 1975 of the magazine Il Veltro.

Finland 1978