Åland Islands

Åland, also called the Åland Islands, is an archipelago in the Baltic Sea. It is situated at the entrance to the Gulf of Bothnia and forms an autonomous, demilitarised, monolingually Swedish-speaking administrative province of Finland.

The islands consist of the main island Fasta Åland (where 90% of the population resides) and an archipelago to the east that consists of over 6,500 skerries and islands. Fasta Åland is separated from the coast of Sweden by forty kilometres of open water to the west. In the east, the Åland archipelago is virtually contiguous with the Finnish Archipelago Sea. Åland's only land border is extremely short and strangely shaped; it is located on the uninhabited island of Märket, which it shares with Sweden.

Due to Åland's autonomous status, the powers exercised at the provincial level by representatives of the central state administration in the rest of Finland are largely exercised by the Government of Åland in Åland.

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