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Finnmark (fĭnˈmärk) [key], county (1995 pop. 76,668), 18,783 sq mi (46,648 sq km), N Norway, bordering on the Arctic Ocean in the north, on the Barents Sea in the east, on Russia in the southeast, and on Finland in the south. It forms the northernmost part of the Scandinavian peninsula and is the largest—but least populated—county of Norway. The main towns are Vadsø (the capital) and Hammerfest. Its coast is deeply indented by large fjords, notably the Tanafjord and the Varangerfjord. There are numerous islands off the coast; on one of them is North Cape. The population consists largely of Sami (Lapps) and Finns. Fishing, reindeer raising, farming, and mining are the chief occupations. There are large iron mines near Kirkenes and rich mineral deposits in the Kautokeino region. Finnmark was severely damaged (1944) by the Germans in World War II.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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