January 21, 2022
Sweden (in Swedish: Sverige /ˈsvæ̌rjɛ/) — in long form the Kingdom of Sweden (Konungariket Sverige /ˈkôːnɵŋaˌriːkɛt ˈsvæ̌rjɛ/ ) — is a country in Northern Europe and Scandinavia. Its capital is Stockholm, its inhabitants are called Swedes and Swedes and its official and majority language is Swedish. Finnish and Sami are also spoken, mainly in the north of the country. Regional variations are common. Sweden has a border with Norway to the west-northwest and another with Finland to the north-northeast. To the south, Sweden is separated from Denmark by the Øresund, a strait of the Kattegat whose narrowest section is 4 km wide. The northern part of Sweden is occupied by Lapland, called Sápmi by its inhabitants, the Sami, who were the first inhabitants of northern Scandinavia. With a territory covering an area of 449,964 km2, Sweden is the fifth largest country in Europe after Spain, Ukraine, France and Russia. Sweden has a low population density except in urban areas (1.5% of the territory), where 87% of the population lives (1,437 people per square kilometer). The protection of the environment and the issue of renewable energies are generally the priority of political figures, as well as of a large part of the population. In 2014, the Global Green Economy Index ranked Sweden as the greenest country in the world. Sweden has long been a major exporter of iron, copper and timber. Industrialization, which began in the 1890s, allowed Sweden to grow, and to this day consistently rank high in European rankings on the Human Development Index (HDI). Sweden has large reserves of drinking water, but lacks fossil energy resources such as coal or oil. Modern Sweden emerged from the Union of Kalmar, created in 1397. The country was unified in the 16th century by King Gustav Vasa. In the 17th century, Sweden conquered new territories and formed a colonial empire. However, most of these territories will have to be abandoned in the 18th century. At the beginning of the 19th century, Finland and other territories were lost. After its last war in 1814, Sweden experienced peace, adopting a policy of non-alignment in peacetime and neutrality in wartime. Sweden has been part of the European Union since 1995, but not of the euro zone. According to the democracy index of the British press group The Economist Group, Sweden is one of the most democratic countries in the world (first in 2008, third in 2017 behind Norway and Iceland). In addition, on December 31, 2010, she received the 2010 Excellence Award (most renowned country).