The Åland Islands consist of more than 6,500 islands and skerries, situated in the northern Baltic Sea between Sweden and Finland. Only about 60 of them are inhabited all year round. The combined land and sea area totals 6,784 km2. The region is divided into 16 municipalities, and the only town is Mariehamn. The population amounts to 27,000, of whom 11,000 live in Mariehamn. Nine-tenths of the Ålanders live on the largest “Main Island”. About 94 per cent of the population speak Swedish as their mother tongue. The Ålanders have been Swedish-speaking since as far back as is known, and therefore are part of the Swedish cultural heritage.