Finnish language is one of the Finno-Ugrian languages and first of the two official languages of Finland together with Swedish. The closest to Finnish in this group is Estonian. Another language which belongs to Finno-Ugric group of the Ural language family is Hungarian but it differs from Finnish significantly.
1. Finnish as an official language in Finland
Finnish is spoken by approximately 5 mil people in Finland which is nearly 90% of all native speakers. It is also spoken in Sweden, Estonia, Norway, Russia and Canada. Almost 6% of the population speaks Swedish. The official status of last is historically conditioned because from the 13th century to 1809 Finland was a part of Sweden. Only in 1892 Finnish gained a status of official language. Today Finland is officially bilingual in Finnish and Swedish. Besides Finns and Swedes, in Finland another ethnic group lives called Laplanders which language is Suomi.