Largest and smallest
Finnmark is Norway┤s most northern county and even the largest (15% of Norway┤s areal), but has the smallest population, 75.000 persons (1,8%). The coast is indented with deep fjords and mountainous islands and plateus that sharply falls into the sea.

More than 80% of the people lives along the coast and on the islands, were the major population centres is situated. The most important towns are Alta (9600 inhabitants), Hammerfest (6500), Vads° (4700) and Kirkenes (3300). Fishing, reindeer raising, farming, and mining are the main occupations.
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Arctic character
The landscape is treeless and barren with an Arctic character. The Finnmark coast, however, is next to the productive Barent Sea with its enormous fish resources and rich birdlife. The Golf Stream keeps the fjords icefree during the winter.

Finnmark has some of Europe┤s most important rivers for salmon-fishing. The wetlands on the Finnmark Mountain Plateau is important nesting grounds for many species of wading birds, ducks, geese and whooper swans. Stabbursdalens national-park has the most northern pinewood in the world.

World War II
When the Germans withdrew from Finnmark in the autumn of 1944, they burnt almost everything down. Only a few communities were left intact and provide us with examples of the building traditions in Finnmark from the period before the war.