Nation profile

Aland
Åland

General information
Population
29,013 inhabitants (est. 2016)
Area
1.512 km² (13.517 km² if surrounding sea included)
Institutions
Government and Parliament of Aland
Major cities
Mariehamn, Jomala
State administration
Finland
Territorial languages
Swedish
Official languages
Swedish
Major religion
Christianity (Protestantism)

Aland is an archipelago located in the Baltic Sea, at the entrance to the Gulf of Bothnia, between Finland's and Sweden's coasts.

Until the early 19th century, Aland was part of the Kingdom of Sweden. They were ceded to Russia, alongside Finland, in 1809.

The archipelago remained under Russian control until the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917. Then, a large majority of representatives of municipalities and adult Aland's population signed a petition that called for reintegration to Sweden. The newborn Republic of Finland did not agree to, and the dispute was finally solved by the League of Nations, which in 1921 ruled that Aland should remain as Finnish territory but enjoying broad autonomy, with Swedish as its only official language, and demilitarized status.

Ever since, the archipelago has largely ruled itself separately from both Finland and Sweden in most areas. Its level of self-government has been expanded several times.

POLITICS

Prime Minister: Katrin Sjögren, Liberals for Aland (since 2015)
Political system: autonomous government within Finland
Distribution of seats (30 members). 2015 election:
Liberals for Aland - 7
Aland Centre - 7
Moderate Coalition for Aland - 5
Aland Social Democrats - 5
Non-Aligned Coalition - 3
Future of Aland - 2
Alandic Democracy - 1
Government: coalition of the Liberals for Aland, Moderate Coalition for Aland and Aland Social Democrats