Sweden is a Nordic country in Northern Europe. It borders Norway to the west and north, Finland to the east, and is connected to Denmark in the southwest by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund Strait. The word Sweden is derived from 17th century Middle Dutch and Middle Low English. In 2014, Sweden celebrated 200 years of peace, breaking even Switzerland’s record for peace.
About Sweden in brief
Sweden is a Nordic country in Northern Europe. It borders Norway to the west and north, Finland to the east, and is connected to Denmark in the southwest by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund Strait. At 450,295 square kilometres, Sweden is the third-largest country in the European Union and the fifth largest country in Europe by area. The word Sweden is derived from 17th century Middle Dutch and Middle Low English. In the 12th and 13th centuries, the country was named Swéoland and Swíoríce. In Scots Swane, Swaine, and Swaineeland appear in the 16th century. The Swedish name Sverige (Beowulf) literally means’real of the Swedes’, excluding the Geats in Götaland. The last war in which Sweden was directly involved was in 1814, when Norway was militarily forced into a personal union, which peacefully dissolved in 1905. Sweden has the world’s eleventh-highest per capita income and ranks very highly in quality of life, health, education, protection of civil liberties, economic competitiveness, income equality, gender equality, prosperity and human development. In 2014, Sweden celebrated 200 years of peace, breaking even Switzerland’s record for peace. Sweden was formally neutral through both world wars and the Cold War, albeit Sweden has since 2009 openly moved towards cooperation with NATO. Sweden is a constitutional monarchy and a parliamentary democracy, with legislative power vested in the 349-member unicameral Riksdag. It is a unitary state, currently divided into 21 counties and 290 municipalities.
It has a low population density of 25 inhabitants per square kilometre, with 1 437 persons per km2 in localities. 87% of Swedes live in urban areas, which cover 1. 5% of the entire land area. The highest concentration is in the central and southern half of the country. Southern Sweden is predominantly agricultural, while the north is heavily forested and includes a portion of the Scandinavian Mountains. The climate is in general mild for its northerly latitude due to significant maritime influence. In spite of the high latitude, Sweden often has warm continental summers, being located in between the North Atlantic, the Baltic Sea and the vast Eurasian Russian landmass. The general climate and environment vary significantly from the south and north due to the vast latitudal difference, and much of Sweden has reliably cold and snowy winters. Swedish territories outside the Scandinavian Peninsula were gradually lost during the 18th and 19th century, ending with the annexation of present-day Finland by Russia in 1809. Sweden joined the European EU on 1 January 1995, but has rejected NATO membership, as well as Eurozone membership following a referendum. It is also a member of the United Nations, the Nordic Council, the Council of Europe, the World Trade Organization and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. It is used in most languages, with the exception of some Finnic languages.