Finland has two official languages: Finnish and Swedish. Finnish, a Finno-Ugric language, is spoken by 91,3% and Swedish by 5,4 % of the population.
Saami (Lappish) is the mother tongue of about 1,700 people.
The Finnish language is a member of the Finno-Ugric linguistic family that includes, in one branch, Finnish, Estonian and a number of other Finnic tongues, and in the other, Hungarian, by far the biggest language of the Ugric group.
The official languages of Finland are Finnish and Swedish, the latter spoken as a mother tongue by about 6 % of the people.
Another indigenous minority language is Sami, spoken by the Sami people (also known as Lapps) of Lapland.
The official status of Swedish has historical roots in the period when Finland was a part of the Swedish realm, a period that lasted from the beginning of the 13th century until 1809.
The number of foreign citizens living permanently in Finland was about 91 000 in 2000.
The biggest groups were from the neighbouring countries Russia, Estonia and Sweden.