Sweden

Sweden
Stockholm
Swedish
Swedish krona (SEK)
+46

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Sweden is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden shares borders with Norway to the west and Finland to the east, and is connected to Denmark by the ěresund Bridge.

At 450,295 square kilometres (173,860 sq mi), Sweden is the third largest country in the European Union by area, with a total population of approximately 9.4 million. Compared to continental Europe, Sweden has a relatively low population density of 21 inhabitants per square kilometre (54 /sq mi) with the population concentrated to the southern half of the country. Over 85% of the population live in urban areas. Sweden's capital city is Stockholm, and with a metropolitan population of over 2 million, it is also Sweden's largest city.

A region inhabited by a Germanic tribe called Swedes was documented before AD 100. Sweden emerged as an independent and unified country with the consolidation of the Geatish and the Swedish Kingdom during the Middle Ages. In the 17th century, the country expanded its territories to form the Swedish Empire. The empire grew to be one of the great powers of Europe in the 17th and early 18th century. Most of the conquered territories outside the Scandinavian Peninsula were lost during the 18th and 19th centuries. The eastern half of Sweden, present-day Finland, was lost to Russia in 1809. The last war in which Sweden was directly involved was in 1814, when Sweden by military means forced Norway into a personal union. Since then, Sweden has been at peace, adopting a non-aligned foreign policy in peacetime and neutrality in wartime. Sweden has been a member of the European Union since 1 January 1995 and is a member of the OECD.

Today, Sweden is a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary democracy of government and a highly developed economy, having long been one of the most affluent countries in the world. An industrial and technological leader in several fields, Sweden had the fastest economic growth the highest innovation, and the most competitive economy in the European Union in 2010.