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Sweden (i /ˈswiːdən/ SWEE-dən; Swedish: Sverige pronounced [ˈsværjɛ] ( listen)), officially the Kingdom of Sweden (Swedish: Konungariket Sverige (help·info)), is a Nordic country on theScandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden shares borders with Norway to the west and Finland to the east, and is connected to Denmark by Øresund 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.[5] Compared to continental Europe, Sweden has a relatively low population densityof 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.[12] Sweden's capital city isStockholm, and with a metropolitan population of over 2 million, it is also Sweden's largest city.[13]
Sweden emerged as an independent and unified country 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 outsidethe 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 involvedwas 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.[14]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 highlydeveloped economy. In 2010, it ranked fourth in the world in The Economist's Democracy Index and ninth in the United Nations' Human Development Index. In 2010, Sweden had the fastest economic...
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