The Åland Islands form an archipelago in the Baltic Sea. They are situated at the entrance to the Gulf of Bothnia and form an autonomous, demilitarized, monolinguals Swedish-speaking region of Finland. The islands collectively constitute the smallest region of Finland, with only 0.49% of its land area, and 0.50% of its population.
Åland comprises Fasta Åland (the "Main Island," with 90% of the population); together with an archipelago to the east that comprises over 6,500 skerries and islands. Fasta Åland is separated from the coast of Sweden by 38 kilometers (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.
Because of the autonomous status of the Åland Islands, 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