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Åland Islands

The Åland Islands, or simply Åland (, US also , Swedish: [???land] (listen), Finland Swedish: [?o?l?nd]; Finnish: Ahvenanmaa [??h?en??m???]), is an archipelago at the entrance to the Gulf of Bothnia in the Baltic Sea belonging to Finland. It is an autonomous and demilitarised region of Finland since 1920 by a decision of the League of Nations, and its only official language is Swedish. It is the smallest region of Finland, constituting 0.51% of its land area and 0.54% of its population. Mariehamn is the capital city of Åland.

Åland comprises Fasta Åland on which 90% of the population resides and a further 6,500 skerries and islands to its east. Of Åland's thousands of islands, 60 are inhabited. Fasta Åland is separated from the coast of Roslagen in Sweden by 38 kilometres (24 mi) of open water to the west. In the east, the Åland archipelago is contiguous with the Finnish Archipelago Sea. Åland's only land border is located on the uninhabited skerry of Märket, which it shares with Sweden. From Mariehamn, there is a ferry distance of about 160 kilometres (99 mi) to Turku, a coastal city of mainland Finland, and also to Stockholm, the capital of Sweden.

Åland's autonomous status means that those provincial powers normally exercised by representatives of the central Finnish government are largely exercised by its own government. The current demilitarised, neutral position of Åland dates back to the days of the Paris Peace Treaty after the Åland War in the 1850s.2021 marks the 100th anniversary of the autonomous status.

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