Finland & Israel: Main Visuals Differences

Jan 18, 2020

Every time when I travel from Finland to Israel and back, the huge differences between the two countries hits me even before I leave the airport.

Here are a few examples and the reasons behind them:

No matter what time is it, Ben-Gurion airport in Tel Aviv is always louder and busier than the Helsinki airport, which demonstrates the general atmosphere of the country as well.

The reason behind that is the Overall Population & Country Size

Israel is one of the smallest countries in the world with 22,072 km2, while the size of Finland is 338,424 km2.

Finland is 20 times bigger than Israel! and there is a lake in Finland which is the same size of whole Israel.

But don’t let those numbers fool you. Comparing the overall population is another story. In Israel (09.2019) there are 9 million inhabitants (Israel Central Bureau of Statistics), though in Finland (10.2019) the population rate stand on 5.5 million people (Statistics Finland).

A street in Center Israel


The Entrance to Ma'Chane Yehuda Market in Jerusalem


Main Senate Square in Helsinki, Finland


Birth-rate & Children

Another central distinction between the countries related to the previous one is the birth rate.

The extreme decline in birth rate in Finland has been in the news for quite some time now as the lowest rate of all times of 47,577 babies born in 2018 (Statistics Finland, 2019). While in Israel the Israeli news stated recently on a new record of birth rate of 196,000 babies born in 2018 (Israel Central Bureau of Statistics).

I cannot state the main reason for that, but if I compare the fertility rate between the countries, as in Finland a woman will give birth to an average of 1.41 children (Statistics Finland, 2019), and in Israel a woman give birth to an average of 3.09 children (Israel Central Bureau of Statistics).

Kids in Israel


Kids in Finland



Israel is the only Jewish state in the whole world, compare to Finland, which is Christian nation.

Looking at statistics, 69.8% of Finns are members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church but weekly church attendance in the capital city region are very low at 1.8%.

In Israel, there are around 55% who consider themselves as religious and 23% of Jewish men going to pray in the synagogue every day, 25% of the total population going to the synagogue every week on a Shabbat and on Holidays.

In Israel, there are signs of “God Loves You” in many places, stands of religious people ask for donations or to perform prayers. In addition, Jews must have the permission of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel in order to get married or to divorce. In Finland, religion is a private matter.

In Israel


Synagogue in Israel


Finnish Army Event in Helsinki's Cathedral 


Soldiers & Weapons

I’m not going to compare between the armies but the number of soldiers that you see in Israel daily, surly top the amount in Finland. Israel is under constantly conflict with its neighbours, so the present of soldiers is visible. Moreover, most of the soldiers in Israel carry their weapon with them, an impossible sight in Finland. 

Soldiers in Jerusalem


Weather & Seasons

It’s pretty obvious the difference here, Israel is hot country and Finland is a cold one. But did you know that the Israeli winter is similar to the Finnish summer? In the Finnish summer there are many sunny days but also rainy days, just like the Israeli winter. The same goes with the blossom of the nature, in Israel it’s mainly in the winter (the summer it’s too hot and dry) and in Finland it’s in the summer (the winter it’s too cold). 

Finnish Winter & Israeli Winter


If you read till here, you deserve one more interesting difference, the number of cats in Israel. In every corner in every city there are street cats in Israel. In Finland the cats are fattened and big, live comfortably in people’s home.

Cats in Israel


Written by: Dana

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