Sweden, officially the Kingdom of Sweden, is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden has land borders with Norway to the west and Finland to the northeast. Sweden is also connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund.
Sweden is the third largest country in the European Union in terms of area, with a total population of about 9.4 million. About 85% of the population live in urban areas. Sweden’s capital is Stockholm, which is also the largest city in the country.
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. 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 which lasted until 1905. Since then, Sweden has been at peace, adopting a non-aligned foreign policy in peacetime and neutrality in wartime. Today, Sweden is a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system of government and a highly developed economy. It is home to one of the longest life expectancies in the world and the highest representation of women in government. In many respects Sweden is a country of relatively small class differences. On the downside, unemployment, housing shortages and other social problems are more common today than they used to be.