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Coordinates: 64°00′N 10°00′E / 64.000°N 10.000°E / 64.000; 10.000

Nordic countriesNorden .mw-parser-output .nobold font-weight:normal (Danish, Norwegian, Swedish)Pohjoismaat  (Finnish)Norðurlöndin  (Icelandic)Norðurlond  (Faroese)Nunat Avannarliit  (Greenlandic)Davveriikkat  (Northern Sami)Location of the Nordic countriesCapitals 8 cities Copenhagen Helsinki Mariehamn Nuuk Oslo Reykjavík Stockholm Tórshavn

Languages List of languages Official languages Swedish Danish Norwegian Finnish Icelandic Faroese Greenlandic Sami Recognized minority languages Meänkieli, Karelian, Kven German Romani, Tavringer Yiddish
Yiddish

Composition 5 states and4 territories

5 sovereign countries

 Denmark Finland Iceland Norway Sweden

4 territories

  Åland
Åland
Islands Faroe Islands Greenland Svalbard

Area• Total3,425,804 km2 (1,322,710 sq mi) (7th)Population• 2017 estimate27,056,092 (49th)• 2000 census25,478.559• Density7.62/km2 (19.7/sq mi) (225th)GDP (PPP)2018 estimate• Total$1.514 trillion[1] (19th)• Per capita$55,960 (13th)GDP (nominal)2018 estimate• Total$1.638 trillion (11th)• Per capita$60,540 (10th)Currency 5 currencies Krona 1 Krone/Króna Krone Króna Euro See Faroese króna

The Nordic countries, or the Nordics,[2] are a geographical and cultural region in Northern Europe
Northern Europe
and the North Atlantic, where they are most commonly known as Norden (literally "the North").[3] The term includes Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden, as well as Greenland
Greenland
and the Faroe Islands—which are both part of the Kingdom of Denmark—and the Åland Islands
Åland Islands
and Svalbard
Svalbard
archipelagos that belong to Finland
Finland
and Norway respectively,[4] whereas the Norwegian Antarctic territories are often not considered a part of the Nordic countries, due to their geographical location. Several regions in Europe, such as the Northern Isles of Scotland, share cultural or ethnic ties with Nordic nations, but are not considered to be Nordic countries. Scandinavians, who comprise over three quarters of the region's population, are the largest group, followed by Finns, who comprise the majority in Finland; other ethnic groups are the Greenlandic Inuit, the Sami people, and recent immigrants and their descendants. The native languages Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, Icelandic, and Faroese are all North Germanic languages
North Germanic languages
rooted in Old Norse. Native non-Germanic languages are Finnish, Greenlandic and several Sami languages. The main religion is Lutheran
Lutheran
Christianity.[5][6] The Nordic countries
Nordic countries
have much in common in their way of life, history, religion and social structure. The Nordic countries
Nordic countries
have a long history of political unions and other close relations, but do not form a singular entity today. The Scandinavist movement sought to unite Denmark, Norway
Norway
and Sweden
Sweden
into one country in the 19th century. With the independence of Finland
Finland
in the early 20th century, and Iceland
Iceland
in the mid 20th century, this movement expanded into the modern organised Nordic cooperation which includes the Nordic Council and the Nordic Council
Nordic Council
of Ministers. Especially in English, Scandinavia
Scandinavia
is sometimes used as a synonym for the Nordic countries, but that term more properly refers to the three monarchies of Denmark, Norway
Norway
and Sweden. Geologically, the Scandinavian Peninsula
Scandinavian Peninsula
comprises the mainland of Norway
Norway
and Sweden
Sweden
as well as the northernmost part of Finland.[7] The combined area of the Nordic countries
Nordic countries
is 3,425,804 square kilometres (1,322,710 sq mi). Uninhabitable icecaps and glaciers comprise about half of this area, mostly in Greenland. In January 2013, the region had a population of around 26 million people. The Nordic countries
Nordic countries
cluster near the top in numerous metrics of national performance, including education, economic competitiveness, civil liberties, quality of life and human development.[8] With only four language groups, the common linguistic heterogeneous heritage is one of the factors making up the Nordic identity. The Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, Icelandic and Faroese languages are all rooted in Old Norse, and Danish, Norwegian and Swedish are considered mutually intelligible. These three dominant languages are taught in schools throughout the Nordic region. For example, Swedish is a mandatory subject in Finnish schools, since Finland
Finland
by law is a bilingual country. Danish is mandatory in Faroese and Greenlandic schools, as these insular states are a part of the Danish Realm (Rigsfællesskabet). Iceland
Iceland
also teaches Danish, since Iceland
Iceland
too was a part of the Danish Realm
Danish Realm
until 1918. Beside these and the insular Scandinavian languages
Scandinavian languages
Faroese and Icelandic, which are also North Germanic languages, there are the Finnic and Sami branches of the Uralic languages, spoken in Finland
Finland
and in northern Norway, Sweden and Finland, respectively; and Greenlandic, an Eskimo–Aleut language, spoken in Greenland. All the Nordic countries
Nordic countries
have a North Germanic official language, commonly called a Nordic language in the Nordic countries. The working languages of the Nordic region's two political bodies are Danish, Norwegian and Swedish. Each of the Nordic countries
Nordic countries
has its own economic and social models, sometimes with large differences from its neighbours, but to varying degrees the Nordic countries
Nordic countries
share the Nordic model
Nordic model
of economy and social structure: a market economy is combined with strong labour unions and a universalist welfare sector financed by heavy taxes. There is a high degree of income redistribution and little social unrest and these include support for said "universalist" welfare state aimed specifically at enhancing individual autonomy and promoting social mobility; a corporatist system involving a tripartite arrangement where representatives of labor and employers negotiate wages and labor market policy mediated by the government; and a commitment to widespread private ownership, free markets and free trade.

Contents

1 Etymology
Etymology
and concept of the Nordic countries 2 List

2.1 Sovereign states 2.2 Associated territories

3 History

3.1 Timeline 3.2 Early history and Middle Ages 3.3 Early modern period and industrialization 3.4 Late modern period and contemporary era

4 Geography

4.1 Land and water area 4.2 Denmark 4.3 Topography 4.4 Climate

5 Politics

5.1 Nordic Council
Nordic Council
and Nordic Council
Nordic Council
of Ministers 5.2 Nordic model 5.3 Elections 5.4 Nordic Passport
Passport
Union 5.5 Political dimension and divisions 5.6 Current leaders

6 Economy

6.1 Industries 6.2 Foreign investments 6.3 Foreign and intra-Nordic trade 6.4 Energy

7 Demographics

7.1 Past and future population 7.2 Subdivisions 7.3 Languages 7.4 Migration 7.5 The Sami

8 Culture

8.1 Music 8.2 Literature 8.3 Art

9 National symbols 10 See also 11 References 12 Further reading 13 External links

Etymology
Etymology
and concept of the Nordic countries[edit] Nordic flags The Nordic countries
Nordic countries
consists of historical territories of the Scandinavian countries, areas that share a common history and culture with Scandinavia. It is meant usually to refer to this larger group, since the term Scandinavia
Scandinavia
is narrower and sometimes ambiguous. The Nordic countries
Nordic countries
are generally considered to refer to Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway
Norway
and Sweden, including their associated territories (Greenland, the Faroe Islands
Faroe Islands
and the Åland
Åland
Islands). The term "Nordic countries" found mainstream use after the advent of Foreningen Norden. The term is derived indirectly from the local term Norden, used in the Scandinavian languages, which means "The North(ern lands)".[9] Unlike "the Nordic countries", the term Norden is in the singular. The demonym is nordbo, literally meaning "northern dweller".

Scandinavia
Scandinavia
refers to either the cultural and linguistic group formed by the three monarchies Denmark, Norway
Norway
and Sweden, or the Scandinavian peninsula, which is formed by mainland Norway
Norway
and Sweden as well as the northwesternmost part of Finland. Especially outside of the Nordic region the term Scandinavia
Scandinavia
is often used incorrectly as a synonym for the Nordic countries. First recorded use of the name by Pliny the Elder
Pliny the Elder
about a "large, fertile island in the North" (possibly referring to Scania).[10] Fennoscandia
Fennoscandia
refers to the area that includes the Scandinavian peninsula, Finland, Kola Peninsula
Kola Peninsula
and Karelia. This term is mostly restricted to geology, when speaking of the Fennoscandian Shield. Cap of the North
Cap of the North
consists of the provinces and counties of Lapland in Finland, Finnmark, Nordland
Nordland
and Troms
Troms
in Norway
Norway
and Lapland and Norrbotten
Norrbotten
in Sweden. This Arctic area is located around and north of the Arctic Circle in the three Nordic European countries Norway, Sweden
Sweden
and Finland
Finland
and the Kola Peninsula
Kola Peninsula
in Russia. Barents Region
Region
is formed by the Cap of the North
Cap of the North
as well as the Northern Ostrobothnia
Northern Ostrobothnia
and Kainuu
Kainuu
regions of Finland, Swedish provinces of Lapland, Västerbotten
Västerbotten
and Norrbotten, Russian Oblasts of Arkhangelsk and Murmansk, Nenets Autonomous Okrug, as well as the Republics of Karelia
Karelia
and Komi. This area co-operates through the Barents Euro-Arctic Council and Barents Regional Council.[citation needed] Northern Europe
Northern Europe
includes in addition to the Nordic countries
Nordic countries
the Baltic states, with the definition sometimes expanded to include the United Kingdom, the Republic
Republic
of Ireland, the Channel Islands
Channel Islands
and the Isle of Man.[11]

Nordic countries
Nordic countries
(orange and red) and Scandinavian monarchies (red)

The Barents Region

A satellite photograph of Northern Europe

List[edit] Main article: Comparison of the Nordic countries Sovereign states[edit]

Sovereign state

Kingdom of Denmark[12]

Republic
Republic
of Finland[13]

Iceland[14]

Kingdom of Norway[15]

Kingdom of Sweden[16]

Flag

Coat of arms

Official local name

Kongeriget Danmark[12]

Suomen tasavalta[13]Republiken Finland[13]

Ísland[14][17]

Kongeriket Norge[15]Kongeriket Noreg[15]Norgga gonagasriika[18]

Konungariket Sverige[16]

English common name

Denmark[12]

Finland[13]

Iceland[14]

Norway[15]

Sweden[16]

Population(2018 estimate)

5,809,502[12]

5,537,364[13]

343,518[14]

5,372,191[15]

10,313,447[19]

Area

43,094 km2[12]

338,145 km2[13]

103,000 km2[14]

323,802 km2[15]

450,295 km2[20]

Population
Population
density (2015 estimate)

129.5/km2[12]

16.2/km2[13]

3.2/km2[14]

16.1/km2[15]

22.9/km2[16]

Capital city

Copenhagen[12]

Helsinki[13]

Reykjavík[14]

Oslo[15]

Stockholm[16]

Largest urban areas[citation needed]

Copenhagen
Copenhagen
– 2,057,737 Aarhus
Aarhus
– 330,639 Odense
Odense
– 213,558Aalborg – 205,809 Esbjerg
Esbjerg
– 116,032

Helsinki
Helsinki
– 1,488,236 Tampere
Tampere
– 370,084 Turku
Turku
– 315,751 Oulu
Oulu
– 200,400 Jyväskylä
Jyväskylä
– 140,812

Reykjavík
Reykjavík
– 201,049 Akureyri
Akureyri
– 18,103 Reykjanesbær
Reykjanesbær
– 14,000 Akranes
Akranes
– 6,699Selfoss – 6,512

Oslo
Oslo
– 1,588,457 Bergen
Bergen
– 420,000 Stavanger
Stavanger
– 319,822 Trondheim
Trondheim
– 183,378 Drammen
Drammen
– 117,510

Stockholm
Stockholm
– 2,371,774 Gothenburg
Gothenburg
– 1,015,974 Malmö
Malmö
– 707,120 Helsingborg
Helsingborg
– 272,873 Uppsala
Uppsala
– 253,704

Form of government

Unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy[12]

Unitary parliamentary republic[13]

Unitary parliamentary republic[14]

Unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy[15]

Unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy[16]

Current head of state and government

Margrethe II[12] (Queen)Mette Frederiksen[12] (Prime Minister)

Sauli Niinistö[13] (President)Antti Rinne[21] (Prime Minister)

Guðni Th. Jóhannesson[14] (President)Katrín Jakobsdóttir[14] (Prime Minister)

Harald V[15] (King)Erna Solberg[15] (Prime Minister)

Carl XVI Gustaf[16] (King)Stefan Löfven[16] (Prime Minister)

Official languages

Danish[12]

Finnish[13] and Swedish[13]

Icelandic[14]

Norwegian[15] and Sami

Swedish[16]

Official or recognized minority languages

German (in South Jutland)[12]

Sami, Romani, Sign Language, Karelian

Sign Language

Kven, Tavringer, Romani

Finnish, Sami, Romani, Yiddish
Yiddish
and Meänkieli[16]

Main religions

74.8% Lutheran[12]5.3% Islam[12]19.9% other, unspecified or no religion[12]

69.8% Lutheran[22]1.1% Orthodox[22]1.7% other religion[22]27.4% unspecified or no religion[22]

67.2% Lutheran[23]11.6% other Christian[23]3.2% other religion[23]18.0% unspecified or no religion[23]

70.6% Lutheran6.7% other Christian3.2% Islam0.7% other religion18.8% no religion[24][25]

61.8% Lutheran[16]8.2% other[16]30% no religion[16]

GDP (nominal)

$306.7 billion[26][27][28][29]

$236.8 billion[26][27][28][29]

$20.0 billion[26][27][28][29]

$370.4 billion[26][27][28][29]

$511.3 billion[26][27][28][29]

GDP (nominal) per capita[30][31][32]

$53,744[30][31][32]

$43,169[30][31][32]

$59,629[30][31][32]

$70,392[30][31][32]

$51,165[30][31][32]

GDP (PPP)[33][34][35]

$273.8 billion[33][34][35]

$231.3 billion[33][34][35]

$16.5 billion[33][34][35]

$364.4 billion[33][34][35]

$498.1 billion[33][34][35]

GDP (PPP) per capita

$47,985[36][37][38]

$42,165[36][37][38]

$49,136[36][37][38]

$69,249[36][37][38]

$49,836[36][37][38]

Real GDP growth rate

2.1%[39]

3.0%[39]

3.6%[39]

1.8%[39]

2.4%[39]

Currency

Danish krone[12]

Euro[13]

Icelandic króna[14]

Norwegian krone[15]

Swedish krona[16]

Military expenditure

1.41% of GDP

1.47% of GDP

0.13% of GDP

1.4% of GDP

1.18% of GDP

Military personnel

72,135[40]

365,000[41]

130[42]

69,700[43]

221,163[44]

Labour force[45]

2,962,340

2,677,260

197,200

2,781,420

5,268,520

Human Development Index rank

11

15

6

1

7

Corruption Perceptions Index
Corruption Perceptions Index
rank

1

3

14

7

3

Press Freedom Index
Press Freedom Index
rank

9

4

13

1

2

Fragile States Index rank

175

178

174

177

170

Economic Freedom rank

12

26

11

23

15

Global Competitiveness rank

10

11

24

16

9

Environmental Performance rank

3

10

11

14

5

Good Country rank

6

1

36

8

4

Global Gender Gap Report
Global Gender Gap Report
rank

13

4

1

2

3

World's Mothers report rank

6

1

4

2

3

World Happiness Report
World Happiness Report
rank

3

1

4

2

9

The figures in this table do not include Greenland, Faroe Islands, Åland, Svalbard, Jan Mayen, Bouvet Island, Peter I Island, and Queen Maud Land.

Associated territories[edit] Main article: Comparison of the Nordic countries

Associated territory

Greenland[46]

Faroe Islands[47]

Åland
Åland
Islands

Svalbard

Flag

Coat of arms

Official local name

Kalaallit Nunaat[46]

Føroyar Færøerne[47]

Landskapet Åland

Svalbard

Population(2016 estimate)

56,483[46]

49,188[47]

29,013

2,667

Area

2,166,086 km2[46]

1,393 km2[47]

1,580 km2

61,022 km2

Population
Population
density

0.028/km2

35.5/km2

18.36/km2

0.044/km2

Capital city

Nuuk[46]

Tórshavn[47]

Mariehamn

Longyearbyen

Largest urban areas

Nuuk
Nuuk
– 16,464 Sisimiut
Sisimiut
– 5,598 Ilulissat
Ilulissat
– 4,541 Qaqortoq
Qaqortoq
– 3,229 Aasiaat
Aasiaat
– 3,142

Tórshavn
Tórshavn
– 12,648 Klaksvík
Klaksvík
– 4,681 Hoyvík
Hoyvík
– 2,951 Argir
Argir
– 1,907 Fuglafjørður
Fuglafjørður
– 1,542

Mariehamn
Mariehamn
– 11,521 Jomala
Jomala
– 4,646 Finström
Finström
– 2,529 Lemland
Lemland
– 1,991 Saltvik
Saltvik
– 1,827

Longyearbyen
Longyearbyen
– 2,144 Barentsburg
Barentsburg
– 471 Sveagruva
Sveagruva
– ~225Ny-Ålesund – ~30-130Isbjørnhamna – ~10-12

Sovereign state

 Kingdom of Denmark[46][47]

  Republic
Republic
of Finland

 Kingdom of Norway

Status

Autonomous country

Autonomous region

Unincorporated area

Form of government

Devolved parliamentary within a constitutional monarchy[46]

Devolved parliamentary within a constitutional monarchy[47]

Unitary parliamentary republic

Unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy[15]

Current head of state and government

Margrethe II[46] (Queen)Kim Kielsen[46] (Premier)

Margrethe II
Margrethe II
(Queen) Aksel V. Johannesen
Aksel V. Johannesen
(Premier)

Sauli Niinistö
Sauli Niinistö
(President) Katrin Sjögren
Katrin Sjögren
(Prime Minister)

Harald V[15] (King)Erna Solberg[15] (Prime Minister)

European Union

No, OCT

No

Yes

No

European Economic Area

No

No

Yes

No

Nordic Council

Associate member

Associate member

Associate member

No individual representation

Main languages

Greenlandic,[46] Danish[46]

Faroese,[47] Danish[47]

Swedish

Norwegian[15]

Main religions

96.08% Lutheran0.79% inuit spiritual beliefs2.48% atheist+agnostic

89.3% Lutheran6% unspecified 3.8% none[47]

73.1% Lutheran1.3% Other religion25.7% No religion[48]

GDP (nominal)

$2.22 billion[26][27][28][29]

$2.77 billion[26][27][28][29]

GDP (nominal) per capita

$43,365[30][31][32]

$50,300[30][31][32]

GDP (PPP)

$2.173 billion[33][34][35]

$1.471 billion[33][34][35]

$1.563 billion

GDP (PPP) per capita

$37,900[36][37][38]

$36,600[36][37][38]

$55,829

Real GDP growth rate

0.90 %[39][49]

2.90 %[39][49]

Currency

Danish krone[46]

Faroese króna[47]

Euro

Norwegian krone[15]

History[edit] Further information: History of Scandinavia Timeline[edit]

Century

Nordic political entities

Danes

Greenlanders

Faroese

Icelanders

Norwegians

Swedes

Finns

8th

Prehistoric Danish(East-Norse)

Prehistoric Greenlandic(Paleo-Eskimo and West-Norse)

Prehistoric Faroese(West-Norse)

Prehistoric Icelandic(West-Norse)

Prehistoric Norwegian(West-Norse)

Prehistoric Swedish(East-Norse)

Prehistoric Finnish(Finnic)

9th

Hereditary Kingdom of Norway

10th

Denmark

Icelandic Commonwealth

11th

12th

Sweden

13th

14th

15th

Kalmar
Kalmar
Union

16th

Denmark-Norway

Sweden

17th

18th

19th

Denmark

United Kingdoms of Sweden
Sweden
and Norway

Grand Duchy of Finland

20th

Denmark

Greenland

Faroe Islands

Iceland

Norway

Sweden

Finland

21st

Italics indicates a dependent territory.

Early history and Middle Ages[edit] Further information: Scandinavian prehistory Effigy of Queen Margaret, founder and ruler of the Kalmar
Kalmar
Union Kalmar
Kalmar
Union, circa 1400 Little evidence remains in the Nordic countries
Nordic countries
of the Stone Age, the Bronze Age, or the Iron Age with the exception of a limited numbers of tools created from stone, bronze and iron, some jewelry and ornaments and stone burial cairns. However, one important collection that exists is a widespread and rich collection of stone drawings known as petroglyphs. The Nordic countries
Nordic countries
first came into more permanent contact with the rest of Europe during the Viking age. Southern Finland
Finland
and northern parts of Sweden
Sweden
and Norway
Norway
were areas where the Vikings mostly only traded and had raids, whilst the permanent settlements of Vikings in the Nordic region were in southern Norway
Norway
and Sweden, Denmark
Denmark
and Faroes as well as parts of Iceland, Greenland
Greenland
and Estonia. Christian Europe responded to the raids and conquest of Vikings with intensive missionary work. The missionaries wanted the new territories to be ruled by Christian kings who would help to strengthen the church. After conversion to Christianity
Christianity
in the 11th century, three northern kingdoms emerged in the region: Denmark, Norway
Norway
and Sweden. Iceland first became a commonwealth before it came under Norwegian rule in the early 13th century. There were several secular powers who aimed to bring Finland
Finland
under their rule, but through the Second and Third Swedish Crusade in the latter part of 13th and through the colonisation of some coastal areas of Finland
Finland
with Christian Swedes, the Swedish rule was gradually established in the region.[50][51] During the Middle Ages, increased trade meant that the Nordic countries became increasingly integrated into Europe and Nordic society became more Continental. The monarchies strengthened their positions in the 12th and 13th centuries through imposing taxes on peasants and a class of nobles also emerged. By the Late Middle Ages, the whole of the Nordic Region
Region
was politically united in the loose Kalmar
Kalmar
Union. Diverging interests and especially Sweden's dissatisfaction over the Danish dominance gave rise to a conflict that hampered the union from the 1430s onward until its final dissolution in 1523. After the dissolution Denmark
Denmark
and Norway, including Iceland, formed a personal union of the two kingdoms called Denmark–Norway whilst the successful period of Vasa Kings began in Sweden
Sweden
and Finland. The Lutheran
Lutheran
Reformation played a major role in the establishment of the early-modern states in Denmark– Norway
Norway
and Sweden.

Early modern period and industrialization[edit] Sweden
Sweden
was very successful during the Thirty Years' War, while Denmark was a failure. Sweden
Sweden
saw an opportunity of a change of power in the region. Denmark– Norway
Norway
had a threatening territory surrounding Sweden
Sweden
and the Sound Dues were a continuing irritation for the Swedes. In 1643, the Swedish Privy Council determined Swedish territorial gain in an eventual war against Denmark– Norway
Norway
to have good chances. Not long after this, Sweden
Sweden
invaded Denmark–Norway. Denmark
Denmark
was poorly prepared for the war and Norway
Norway
was reluctant to attack Sweden, which left the Swedes
Swedes
in a good position. The war ended as foreseen with Swedish victory and with the Treaty of Brömsebro in 1645 Denmark– Norway
Norway
had to cede some of their territories, including Norwegian territories Jemtland, Herjedalen and Idre and Serna, as well as the Danish Baltic Sea
Baltic Sea
islands of Gotland and Ösel. The Thirty Years' War
Thirty Years' War
thus began the rise of Sweden
Sweden
as a great power, while it marked the start of decline for the Danish. To some extent in the 16th century and certainly in the 17th, the Nordic region played a major role in European politics at the highest level. The struggle for dominion over the Baltic Sea
Baltic Sea
and its trading opportunities raged between Denmark– Norway
Norway
and Sweden, which began to impact upon the neighboring nations. Sweden
Sweden
prevailed in the long term and became a major European power as it extended its reach into coastal tracts in modern-day Russia, Estonia, Latvia
Latvia
and following the Thirty Years' War
Thirty Years' War
also Pomerania
Pomerania
and other North German areas. Sweden also conquered vast areas from Denmark– Norway
Norway
during the Northern Wars in the middle of the 17th century. Sweden
Sweden
also had several conflicts with Russia
Russia
over Finland
Finland
and other eastern areas of the country and after the Great Northern War
Great Northern War
(1700–1721) Sweden
Sweden
lost most of its territories outside the old Swedish border to Russia
Russia
which then became the new major power in Northern Europe. After the Napoleonic Wars
Napoleonic Wars
(1803–1815), the political map of the Nordic countries
Nordic countries
altered again. In 1809, Finland
Finland
was conquered by Russian Empire
Russian Empire
from Sweden
Sweden
in the Finnish War, after which Finland became the autonomous Grand Duchy of Finland. In turn, Sweden
Sweden
captured Norway
Norway
from Denmark
Denmark
in 1814 in the Swedish–Norwegian War and started a Union between Sweden
Sweden
and Norway. Iceland, the Faroe Islands
Faroe Islands
and Greenland, which had been re-colonised in the 18th century, remained Danish. Population
Population
growth and industrialization brought change to the Nordic countries
Nordic countries
during the 19th century and new social classes steered political systems towards democracy. International politics and nationalism also created the preconditions for the later independence of Norway
Norway
in 1905, Finland
Finland
in 1917 and Iceland
Iceland
in 1944.

Late modern period and contemporary era[edit] Nordic prime ministers at the Nordic Council
Nordic Council
meeting in 2014 in Stockholm During the two world wars and the Cold War, the five small Nordic states were forced into difficult balancing acts, but retained their independence and developed peaceful democracies. The Nordic states had been neutral during World War I, but during World War II
World War II
they could no longer stand apart from world politics. The Soviet Union
Soviet Union
attacked Finland
Finland
in 1939 and Finland
Finland
ceded territory following the Winter War. In 1941, Finland
Finland
launched a retaliatory strike in conjunction with the German attack on the Soviet Union. However, more territory was lost and for many years to come Finnish foreign policy was based on appeasing the Soviet Union, even though Finland
Finland
was able to retain its democratic form of government. Denmark
Denmark
and Norway
Norway
were occupied by Germany
Germany
in 1940. The Allies responded by occupying Iceland, the Faroe Islands and Greenland. Sweden
Sweden
managed to formally maintain its neutrality in the Axis/Allies conflict and avoided direct hostilities, but in practice it adapted to the wishes of the dominant power – first Germany, later the Allies. However, during the Winter War between Finland
Finland
and Russia
Russia
in 1939–1940, Sweden
Sweden
did support Finland and declared itself "non combatant" rather than neutral. Compared with large parts of Europe, the Nordic region got off lightly during the World War II, which partially explains its strong post-war economic development. The labour movement – both trade unions and political parties – was an important political presence throughout the Nordic countries
Nordic countries
in the 20th century. The big social democratic parties became dominant and after World War II
World War II
the Nordic countries began to serve as a model for the welfare state. Economically, the five Nordic countries
Nordic countries
were strongly dependent on foreign trade and so they positioned themselves alongside the big trading blocks. Denmark was the first to join European Economic Community
European Economic Community
(EEC) in 1972 and after it became European Union
European Union
(EU) in 1993 Finland
Finland
and Sweden
Sweden
also joined in 1995. Norway
Norway
and Iceland
Iceland
have remained part of European Free Trade Association (EFTA).

Geography[edit] See also: Geography of Denmark, Geography of Greenland, Geography of the Faroe Islands, Geography of Finland, Geography of Åland, Geography of Iceland, Geography of Norway, and Geography of Sweden Satellite map of the Nordic countries The Öresund Bridge
Öresund Bridge
between Malmö
Malmö
in Sweden
Sweden
and Copenhagen
Copenhagen
in Denmark The Nordic countries
Nordic countries
in alphabetic order—number of inhabitants (2018), area (km2) and population density (people/km2).

Country Inhabitants Area Pop. Density

Denmark 5,806,014 42,933 135

Faroe Islands 50,322 1,393 36

Finland 5,520,535 338,424 16

Iceland 355,620 102,775 3​1⁄2

Norway 5,323,933 385,203 16

Sweden 10,313,447 450,295 23

Total 27,271,647 1,321,023 21

Source:[52]

Denmark
Denmark
is by far the most densely populated country, whilst Sweden, Norway
Norway
and Finland
Finland
are low populated and similar to each other from this perspective. Iceland
Iceland
has both the lowest population and by far the lowest population density. But large areas in Finland, Norway
Norway
and Sweden, like most of Iceland, are unpopulated. There are no such areas in Denmark. Denmark
Denmark
has a population density around continental average, higher than for instance France
France
and Poland
Poland
but lower when compared to the United Kingdom, Italy or Germany. Finland, Norway
Norway
and Sweden
Sweden
has a population density that is a little lower than the United States, but higher than Canada. In round figures, Iceland's population density resembles Canada's.

Land and water area[edit] Main article: Exclusive economic zone Share of total area in the Nordic countries
Nordic countries
in 2012 This list includes dependent territories within their sovereign states (including uninhabited territories), but does not include claims on Antarctica. EEZ+TIA is exclusive economic zone (EEZ) plus total internal area (TIA) which includes land and internal waters.

Rank Country Area EEZ Shelf EEZ+TIA

1 Sweden 447,420 160,885 154,604 602,255

2 Norway 385,203 2,385,178 434,020 2,770,404

3 Finland 338,534 87,171 85,109 425,590

4 Iceland 103,440 751,345 108,015 854,345

5 Denmark
Denmark
(including Greenland) 2,210,579 2,551,238 495,657 4,761,811

Total (excluding Greenland) 1,318,158 3,751,563 - 5,064,065

Total 3,484,244 5,935,817 1,277,405 9,414,405

Denmark[edit] The exclusive economic zones and territorial waters of the Kingdom of Denmark The Kingdom of Denmark
Denmark
includes the constituent country (selvstyre) of Greenland
Greenland
and the constituent country (hjemmestyre) of the Faroe Islands.

Region

EEZ & TW Area
Area
(km2)[53]

Land area

Total

Denmark

105 989

42 506

149 083

Faroe Islands

260 995

1 399

262 394

Greenland

2 184 254

2 166 086

4 350 340

Total

2 551 238

2 210 579

4 761 817

The Nordic countries
Nordic countries
have a combined area of around 3.5 million square kilometres and their geography is extremely varied. The area is so vast that it covers five time zones. To the east the region borders Russia, and on the west the Canadian coastline can be seen from Greenland
Greenland
on a clear day. Even excluding Greenland
Greenland
and the Norwegian islands of Svalbard
Svalbard
and Jan Mayen, the remaining part of the Nordic countries covers around 1.3 million square kilometres. This is about the same area as France, Germany
Germany
and Italy together. To the south, the countries neighbor the Baltic states, Poland, Germany
Germany
and the United Kingdom, while to the north there is the Arctic Ocean.[54] Notable natural features of the Nordic countries
Nordic countries
include the Norwegian fjords, the Archipelago Sea
Archipelago Sea
between Finland
Finland
and Sweden, the extensive volcanic and geothermal activity of Iceland, and Greenland, which is the largest island in the world. The southernmost point of the Nordic countries is Gedser, on the island of Falster
Falster
in Denmark. The northernmost point is Kaffeklubben Island
Kaffeklubben Island
in Greenland, which is also the northernmost point of land on Earth. The largest cities and capitals of the Nordic countries
Nordic countries
are situated on the southern parts of the region, with the exception of Reykjavík, the capital of Iceland. Helsinki, Oslo
Oslo
and Stockholm
Stockholm
are all close to the same latitude as the southernmost point of Greenland, Egger Island
Egger Island
(Itilleq): about 60°N.

Topography[edit] See also: Sub-Cambrian peneplain
Sub-Cambrian peneplain
and Muddus plains All of Denmark
Denmark
and most of Finland
Finland
lie below 200 m, the topography of both is countries being relatively flat. In Denmark, moraines and tunnel valleys add some relief to the landscape while in Finland
Finland
the surroundings of lakes Pielinen
Pielinen
and Päijänne display some moderate relief. The Finnish area just east of Bothnian Bay
Bothnian Bay
stand out as the largest plain in the Nordic countries.[55] The Scandinavian Mountains dominate the landscape of Norway. The southern part of the Scandinavian Mountains
Scandinavian Mountains
is broader than the northern one and contain higher peaks. The southern part contains also a series of plateaux and gently undulating plains. The western parts of mountains are cut by fjords producing a dramatic landscape. The landscape of Sweden
Sweden
can be described as a mixture of that of Norway, Finland
Finland
and Denmark. Except at the High Coast
High Coast
the coastal areas of Sweden
Sweden
form lowlands. Sweden has three highland areas, the South Swedish Highlands, the Scandinavian Mountains
Scandinavian Mountains
and the Norrland terrain
Norrland terrain
which is the eastern continuation of the Scandinavian Mountains.[55] The South Swedish Highland and the Norrland terrain
Norrland terrain
are separated by the Central Swedish lowland. The topography of Iceland
Iceland
stands out among the Nordic countries for being a bowl-formed highland.[55]

Climate[edit] Main article: Climate of the Nordic countries Average temperatures in the capitals of the Nordic countries
Nordic countries
in 2012 Despite their northern location, the Nordic countries
Nordic countries
generally have a mild climate compared with other countries that share globally the same latitudes. The climate in the Nordic countries
Nordic countries
is mainly influenced by their northern location, but remedied by the vicinity to the ocean and the Gulf Stream
Gulf Stream
which brings warm ocean currents from the tip of Florida. Even far to the north, the winters can be quite mild, though north of the Polar Circle the climate zone is Arctic with harsh winters and short summers. The sea has a heavy influence on the weather in the western coastal zones of Iceland, Norway, Denmark
Denmark
and Sweden. The precipitation is high and snow cover during winters is rare. Summers are generally cool. The further away that one gets from the Atlantic Ocean
Atlantic Ocean
and the Gulf Stream the colder it gets during the winters. Finland, most of Sweden and the south-eastern part of Norway
Norway
are influenced by the vast continent to the east which results in warm and long summers and clear and cold winters, often with snow. For example, Bergen
Bergen
at the west coast of Norway
Norway
normally has a temperature above zero in February while Helsinki
Helsinki
in Finland
Finland
normally will have a temperature of 7–8 °C below zero during the same month.[56] Climatic conditions and quality of land have determined how land is used in the Nordic countries. In densely populated mainland Denmark there is hardly any wild nature left. Most of the scarce forests are plantations and nearly 60 per cent of Denmark's total area is cultivated or zoned as gardens or parks. On the other hand, in the other Nordic countries
Nordic countries
there is much wild nature left. Only between 0 and 9 per cent of the land in the other Nordic countries
Nordic countries
is cultivated. Around 17 per cent of the land area in Iceland
Iceland
is used for permanent meadows and pastures and both Finland, Norway
Norway
as well as Sweden
Sweden
have large forest areas.[57]

Politics[edit] See also: Politics of Denmark, Politics of Greenland, Politics of the Faroe Islands, Politics of Finland, Politics of Åland, Politics of Iceland, Politics of Norway, and Politics of Sweden Nordic Council
Nordic Council
and Nordic Council
Nordic Council
of Ministers[edit] Main article: Nordic Council Nordic Council
Nordic Council
in session at the Parliament of Norway
Norway
in 2007 Politically, Nordic countries
Nordic countries
do not form a separate entity, but they co-operate in the Nordic Council
Nordic Council
and the Nordic Council
Nordic Council
of Ministers. The council was established after World War II
World War II
and its first concrete result was the introduction of a Nordic Passport Union
Nordic Passport Union
in 1952. This resulted in a common labour market and free movement across borders without passports for the countries' citizens. In 1971, the Nordic Council of Ministers, an intergovernmental forum, was established to complement the Council. The Nordic Council
Nordic Council
and the Council of Ministers have their headquarters in Copenhagen
Copenhagen
and various installations in each separate country, as well as many offices in neighbouring countries. The headquarters are located at Ved Stranden No. 18, close to Slotsholmen. The Nordic Council
Nordic Council
consists of 87 representatives, elected from its members' parliaments and reflecting the relative representation of the political parties in those parliaments. It holds its main session in the autumn, while a so-called "theme session" is arranged in the spring. Each of the national delegations has its own secretariat in the national parliament. The autonomous territories – Greenland, the Faroe Islands
Faroe Islands
and Åland – also have Nordic secretariats.[58] The Council does not have any formal power on its own, but each government has to implement any decisions through its country's legislative assembly. With Denmark, Iceland
Iceland
and Norway
Norway
being members of NATO
NATO
and Finland
Finland
and Sweden
Sweden
being neutral, the Nordic Council
Nordic Council
has not been involved in any military cooperation. However, the Nordic foreign and security policy cooperation has become closer and over the past few years expanded its scope.[59][60] The Nordic Council
Nordic Council
of Ministers is responsible for inter-governmental cooperation. Prime Ministers have ultimate responsibility, but this is usually delegated to the Minister for Nordic Cooperation and the Nordic Committee for Co-operation, which co-ordinates the day-to-day work. The autonomous territories have the same representation as states.[61]

Nordic model[edit] Main article: Nordic model The Nordic countries
Nordic countries
share an economic and social model, which involves the combination of a market economy with a welfare state financed with heavy taxes. The welfare states were largely developed by strong social democrat parties and in Finland
Finland
with cooperation with the Agrarian League. Although the specifics differ between countries and there are ongoing political arguments, there is a strong consensus about keeping to the general concept. A central theme in the Nordic model
Nordic model
is the "universalist" welfare state aimed specifically at enhancing individual autonomy, promoting social mobility and ensuring the universal provision of basic human rights, as well as for stabilizing the economy. In this model welfare is not just aid to those who are in need of it, but a central part of the life of everybody: education is free, healthcare has zero or nominal fees in most cases, most children go to municipal day care, et cetera. The Nordic model
Nordic model
is distinguished from other types of welfare states by its emphasis on maximizing labour force participation, promoting gender equality, egalitarian and extensive benefit levels, the large magnitude of income redistribution and liberal use of expansionary fiscal policy. Trade unions are strong. The model has been successful: the countries are among the wealthiest worldwide and there is little social unrest. In 2015, Save the Children ranked[62] the Nordic countries
Nordic countries
as number 1–5 of countries where mothers and children fare the best (among 179 countries studied).

Elections[edit] See also: Elections in Denmark, Elections in Greenland, Elections in the Faroe Islands, Elections in Finland, Elections in Åland, Elections in Iceland, Elections in Norway, and Elections in Sweden Vigdís Finnbogadóttir
Vigdís Finnbogadóttir
served as the fourth President of Iceland from 1980 to 1996 and was the world's first democratically elected female head of state Nordic parliaments are all based on a one-chamber system. The Norwegian parliament, the Storting, did actually function as two separate chambers until 2009 when dealing with certain issues. The Icelandic Althing, founded in 930 AD, is reputed to be the oldest working parliament in the world. In Denmark, Iceland
Iceland
and Sweden elections are held at least once every four years. Finland, Åland
Åland
and Norway
Norway
have fixed four-year election periods. Elections in the Faroe Islands and Greenland
Greenland
follow the Danish system of elections. The Danish Folketing
Folketing
has 179 seats, including two seats each for the Faroe Islands and Greenland. The Finnish Eduskunta
Eduskunta
has 200 seats, including one seat for Åland. The Icelandic Althing
Althing
has 63 seats, the Norwegian Storting
Storting
169 seats and the Swedish Riksdag
Riksdag
349 seats. The Faroese Løgting
Løgting
has 32 seats, Greenland's Inatsisartut 31 seats and Åland's Lagtinget 30 seats.[63] Nordic citizens – and in the three member countries of the EU also EU citizens – living in another Nordic country are normally entitled to vote in local government elections after three months of residence, while other foreign citizens have to reside in the Nordic countries for three to four years before they are eligible to vote. In Denmark and the Faroe Islands, the percentage turn-out at elections is close to 90% per cent, but it is only about 67% in Åland
Åland
and Finland. Men are more often elected to the national assembly compared to women. The biggest bias between the two sexes is seen in the Faroe Islands
Faroe Islands
and Åland, while in Sweden
Sweden
men and women are close to being equally represented in the national assembly.[64]

Nordic Passport
Passport
Union[edit] Main article: Nordic Passport
Passport
Union The Nordic Passport
Passport
Union, created in 1954 and implemented on 1 May 1958, allows citizens of the Nordic countries: Denmark
Denmark
(Faroe Islands included since 1 January 1966, Greenland
Greenland
not included), Sweden, Norway (Svalbard, Bouvet Island
Bouvet Island
and Queen Maud Land
Queen Maud Land
not included), Finland and Iceland
Iceland
(since 24 September 1965) to cross approved border districts without carrying and having their passport checked. Other citizens can also travel between the Nordic countries' borders without having their passport checked, but still have to carry some sort of approved travel identification documents. As of November 2015, there are temporary border controls set up between Denmark
Denmark
and Sweden. These border controls were set up to tackle the issue with immigrants coming to Sweden
Sweden
in relation to the ongoing European migrant crisis Since 1996, these countries have been part of the larger EU directive Schengen Agreement
Schengen Agreement
area, comprising 30 countries in Europe. Border checkpoints have been removed within the Schengen zone and only a national ID card
ID card
is required. Within the Nordic area any means of proving one's identity, e.g. a driving licence, is valid for Nordic citizens because of the Nordic Passport
Passport
Union. Since 25 March 2001, the Schengen acquis has fully applied to the five countries of the Nordic Passport Union
Nordic Passport Union
(except for the Faroe Islands). There are some areas in the Nordic Passport Union
Nordic Passport Union
that give extra rights for Nordic citizens, not covered by Schengen, such as less paperwork if moving to a different Nordic country and fewer requirements for naturalisation.

Political dimension and divisions[edit]

Organisation

Denmark

Finland

Iceland

Norway

Sweden

CoE

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

EEA

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

EU

Yes

Yes

No

No

Yes

Eurozone

No

Yes

No

No

No

NATO

Yes

No

Yes

Yes

No

OECD

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

UN

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

WTO

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

The Nordic region has a political dimension in the joint official bodies called the Nordic Council
Nordic Council
and the Nordic Council
Nordic Council
of Ministers. In this context, several aspects of the common market as in the EU have been implemented decades before the EU implemented them. Intra-Nordic trade is not covered by the CISG, but by local law. In the EU, the Northern Dimension refers to external and cross-border policies covering the Nordic countries, the Baltic countries and Russia. The political cooperation between the Nordic Countries has not led to a common policy or an agreement on the countries' memberships in the EU, Eurozone
Eurozone
and NATO. Norway
Norway
and Iceland
Iceland
are the only Nordic countries not members of the EU, while Finland
Finland
and Sweden
Sweden
are the only Nordic countries
Nordic countries
not members of NATO. Denmark
Denmark
alone participates in both organizations. Only Finland
Finland
is a member of the Eurozone. The tasks and policies of the EU overlap with the Nordic council significantly, e.g. the Schengen Agreement
Schengen Agreement
partially supersedes the Nordic passport free zone and a common labor market. Additionally, certain areas of Nordic countries
Nordic countries
have special relationships with the EU. For example, Finland's autonomous island province Åland
Åland
is not a part of the EU VAT zone.

Current leaders[edit] All the Nordic countries
Nordic countries
are long-established parliamentary democracies. Denmark, Norway
Norway
and Sweden
Sweden
have a political system of constitutional monarchy, in which a nonpolitical monarch acts as head of state and the de facto executive power is exercised by a cabinet led by a prime minister. Margrethe II
Margrethe II
has reigned in Denmark
Denmark
as Queen Regnant and head of state since 14 January 1972, Carl XVI Gustaf became King of Sweden
Sweden
on 15 September 1973 and King Harald V
King Harald V
of Norway has reigned since 17 January 1991. Finland
Finland
and Iceland
Iceland
have been parliamentary republics since their independence. Both countries are led by prime ministers, whilst the directly elected president acts mostly as a ceremonial head of state with some legislative power. Finland
Finland
had a long tradition of having a strong presidential system, since in the beginning of its independence Prince Frederick Charles of Hesse
Prince Frederick Charles of Hesse
was elected to the throne of Finland and Finland
Finland
was to become a monarchy. This failed due to World War I and the fall of the German Empire
German Empire
and so it was a compromise that Finland
Finland
became a republic with a strong head of state. The President's powers were once so broad that it was said Finland
Finland
was the only real monarchy in northern Europe. However, amendments passed in 1999 reduced his powers somewhat and the President now shares executive authority with the Prime Minister.[65]

Heads of state

DenmarkMargrethe IIQueen of Denmarksince 1972

FinlandSauli NiinistöPresident of Finlandsince 2012 election

IcelandGuðni Th. JóhannessonPresident of Icelandsince 2016 election

NorwayHarald VKing of Norwaysince 1991

SwedenCarl XVI GustafKing of Swedensince 1973

Prime ministers

DenmarkMette FrederiksenPrime Minister of Denmark
Denmark
since 2019 electionFrederiksen Cabinet

FinlandAntti RinnePrime Minister of Finlandsince 2019 electionRinne Cabinet

IcelandKatrín JakobsdóttirPrime Minister of Icelandsince 2017 electionCabinet of Katrín Jakobsdóttir

NorwayErna SolbergPrime Minister of Norwaysince 2013 electionSolberg's Cabinet

SwedenStefan LöfvenPrime Minister of Swedensince 2014 electionLöfven II Cabinet

Speakers of Parliament

DenmarkPia KjærsgaardSpeaker of the Folketingsince 2015 election

FinlandMatti VanhanenSpeaker of the Eduskunta/Riksdagsince 2019 election

IcelandSteingrímur J. SigfússonSpeaker of the Althingsince 2017 election

NorwayTone W. TrøenPresident of the Stortingsince 2018

SwedenAndreas NorlénSpeaker of the Riksdagsince 2018 election

Leaders of the largest party in opposition

DenmarkLars Løkke RasmussenChair of the Venstre

FinlandJussi Halla-ahoChair of the Finns
Finns
Party

IcelandSigmundur Davíð GunnlaugssonChair of the Centre Party

NorwayJonas Gahr StøreChair of the Labour Party

SwedenUlf KristerssonChair of the Moderate Party

Economy[edit] See also: Economy of Denmark, Economy of Faroe Islands, Economy of Greenland, Economy of Finland, Economy of the Åland
Åland
Islands, Economy of Iceland, Economy of Norway, and Economy of Sweden Copenhagen
Copenhagen
Central Station with S-Trains Aleksanterinkatu
Aleksanterinkatu
is the main shopping street in Helsinki
Helsinki
for tourists and locals alike The Nordic economies are among the countries in the Western world
Western world
with the best macroeconomic performance in the recent ten years. Denmark, Finland, Norway
Norway
and Sweden
Sweden
have for example experienced constant and large excess exports in recent years. Iceland
Iceland
is the only country which has balance of payments deficits as of 2011. At the same time, unemployment is low in most of the Nordic countries
Nordic countries
compared with the rest of Europe. As a result of the cyclical down-turn, the public balance is now in deficit, except for Norway. Over the past ten years, the Nordic countries
Nordic countries
had a noticeably larger increase in their gross domestic product (GDP) than the Eurozone. The only exceptions were Denmark
Denmark
and Åland
Åland
which had a lower growth. Measured by GDP per capita, the Nordic countries
Nordic countries
have a higher income than the Eurozone countries. Norway's GDP per capita is as high as 80 per cent above the EA17 average and Norway
Norway
is actually one of the countries with the highest standard of living in the world.[66] However, after the financial crisis of 2007–2008 and the following recession all the Nordic countries
Nordic countries
have been affected by the global crisis though to varying degrees. Iceland
Iceland
was most affected and had an economic crisis from 2008 to 2011, but GDP growth was also negative in all the other Nordic countries
Nordic countries
in 2008 and 2009. From 2009 most of the Nordic countries
Nordic countries
experienced growth again. The Nordic Council
Nordic Council
has set an objective for Nordic co-operation to achieve stable and sustainable economic growth, development of the Nordic welfare model, economic integration in the Nordic region and the promotion of joint Nordic interests at international level.[67] Private consumption
Private consumption
has fallen during the crisis, but it gained pace again from 2010 onward. The decline was most profound in Denmark, Finland
Finland
and Iceland. On the other hand, public consumption has experienced positive growth rates – except for Iceland
Iceland
since 2008 and Denmark
Denmark
since 2010. The general rise is due to the many fiscal initiatives made by the Nordic governments to support economic growth and the financial and business sectors. From 2006 Iceland
Iceland
has experienced a fall in gross capital formation. This is after many years with an Icelandic growth particularly driven by investments, which had more than tripled in the recent ten years. Iceland
Iceland
also holds a leading position compared to the other Nordic countries regarding growth in public consumption in the years from 2000 to 2008.[68] Recent years’ large balance-of-payments surplus in Denmark, Finland, Norway
Norway
and Sweden
Sweden
has reduced the countries’ foreign debt. In addition to a balance-of-payments surplus or deficit, the size of a country's foreign debt and foreign assets is affected by the exchange rate and the price of securities. Consequently, Finland's foreign debt increased noticeably when the price of technology shares increased drastically in the late 1990s due to a large proportion of these shares being owned by households, funds and companies abroad. In this way, these foreign owners held a greater claim on Finland. When share prices decreased drastically in 1999–2001 in the dot-com bubble, it also led to a marked decrease in Finland's net foreign debt. Iceland's foreign net debt accounts for close to five times of its GDP. This means that Iceland
Iceland
owes the surrounding world values corresponding to five times the country's total production. Sweden
Sweden
also had foreign debts by the end of 2010, but at a much smaller scale. In 2012, all Nordic countries
Nordic countries
had a surplus on the total balance of payments. Norway
Norway
accounts for a substantial foreign exchange surplus, which is due to revenue from exports of oil and gas.[69]

Industries[edit] Statfjord oil platform in Norway
Norway
is owned and operated by Equinor, which is the largest company in the Nordic countries Since the late 1990s, the Nordic manufacturing industry has accounted for a slightly declining proportion of the gross domestic product, with Norway
Norway
being a distinct exception. In Norway, the manufacturing industry's proportion of GDP is still at a high level of around 35 per cent due to the large oil and natural gas sector. In the rest of the Nordic countries, the proportion lies between 15 and 20 per cent. Despite growing production, the manufacturing industry accounts for a decreasing proportion of total employment in the Nordic countries. Among the Nordic countries, Finland
Finland
is today the number one Nordic industrial country, as the manufacturing industry in Finland
Finland
accounts for the greatest proportion of the country's jobs, around 16 per cent. By way of comparison, in Denmark, Norway
Norway
and Iceland
Iceland
it only accounts for less than 13 per cent of total employment.[70] The service sector has increased drastically in all Nordic countries in the last 15 years and today accounts for about three fourths of all employed persons. Denmark, Norway, Iceland, Sweden
Sweden
and Åland
Åland
have the largest proportion of employed in the service sector, between 75 and more than 90 per cent of those employed, while the corresponding figure is 72 per cent in Finland
Finland
and 70 per cent in Iceland. The service sector is a little smaller if its proportion of total gross domestic product is measured compared to the share of employment. In Norway, the service sector accounts for 57 per cent of GDP, in Iceland for 66 per cent, in Finland
Finland
for 69 per cent, in Sweden
Sweden
for 72 per cent and in Denmark
Denmark
for 78 per cent. The service sector includes retail and wholesale trade, hotels, restaurants, transportation, communication, financial services, real estate sale, renting, business services and other services such as teaching and care of children, sick persons and the elderly – services which are typically rendered by the public sector in the Nordic countries.[71]

Foreign investments[edit] Iceland
Iceland
and Sweden
Sweden
have the highest rate of foreign direct investment, both with regards to foreign companies investing in Iceland
Iceland
and Sweden and Icelandic and Swedish companies investing abroad. However, in 2011 Denmark
Denmark
superseded Sweden
Sweden
regarding outward investments. Looking at a larger time span of ten years, most of the Nordic countries
Nordic countries
have experienced growth in both inward and outward investments. However, Iceland
Iceland
has been in a league of its own in this area. Foreign investment from Iceland
Iceland
increased significantly and sharply especially from 2003 to 2007 from 16 to 123 per cent of GDP. The expansion of Icelandic companies into foreign markets was a rapid process. Strong pension funds provided capital for investments, and the privatization of the banking system made new sources of financing available for companies wishing to expand their operations. Also inward investment to Iceland
Iceland
increased sharply from 2003, but at a more moderate level compared with other Nordic countries. This pattern changed in 2007 with dramatic decreases in both outward and inward foreign direct investment.[72]

Foreign and intra-Nordic trade[edit] The Port of Gothenburg
Gothenburg
is the largest port in the Nordic countries Nordic co-operation is characterized largely by the international community and the global challenges and opportunities. The Nordic countries, which are relatively small, have historically and still are benefiting greatly by obtaining common use in cooperation with other countries and institutions. The Nordic economies are small and open and thus the countries are export-depending. Foreign trade constitutes an important part of the economic activity. Nordic foreign trade in goods, measured as the average of imports and exports, amounts to more than one fourth of GDP in the Nordic countries. All the Nordic countries except Finland
Finland
had a surplus in their balance of trade in 2012 and every year since 1995 Denmark, Norway
Norway
and Sweden
Sweden
have all had greater exports than imports.[73] The trade between the Nordic countries
Nordic countries
is especially considerable as about one fifth of the countries’ foreign trade is trade with other Nordic countries. The total population of the Nordic countries
Nordic countries
of around 26 million people makes them to a far greater extent dependent on each other with respect to exports and imports, compared to for example Germany
Germany
with a population of 82 million people. Swedish exports to the other Nordic countries
Nordic countries
account for a considerably higher share than combined Swedish exports to Germany
Germany
and France
France
– despite the fact that the total population of Germany
Germany
and France
France
is 147 million people, while Denmark, Finland, Iceland
Iceland
and Norway
Norway
only have a total population of 16 million. In 2012, around 23 per cent of the total exports from both Denmark
Denmark
and Sweden
Sweden
went to other Nordic countries. Other Nordic countries
Nordic countries
account for 16 per cent of Finnish exports, 13 per cent of Norwegian exports and 10 per cent of the total exports in Iceland.[74] In addition to the other Nordic countries, The EU is the largest trading partner for the Nordic countries. Especially important is trade with Germany, Belgium
Belgium
and the Netherlands. Outside of Europe, the United States
United States
is also a major trading partner. A common characteristic in the exports of the Nordic countries
Nordic countries
is a concentration on a few products. The exports of Greenland
Greenland
and the Faroe Islands
Faroe Islands
are entirely dominated by fish and fish products, to a lesser extent in Iceland
Iceland
where aluminium exports also contribute significantly. Oil and gas are the predominant products exported by Norway
Norway
and Finnish exports are dominated by wood, paper and paper products and telecommunication equipment. Danish and Swedish exports are more equally distributed on different products, with processed food, pharmaceuticals and chemical products as the major Danish export products and cars, wood, paper products and telecommunication equipment as predominant in Swedish exports. Germany
Germany
is completely dominant when it comes to Nordic imports. However, the Nordic countries also have considerable imports from the Netherlands, China and Russia.[75]

Energy[edit] See also: Energy in Denmark, Energy in Finland, Energy in Iceland, Energy in Norway, and Energy in Sweden During the recent years, Denmark
Denmark
has invested heavily in windfarms The Nordic region is one of the richest sources of energy in the world. Apart from the natural occurrence of fossil fuels such as oil and gas, the Nordic countries
Nordic countries
also have good infrastructure and technology to exploit renewable energy sources such as water, wind, bio-energy and geothermal heat. Especially Iceland
Iceland
and Sweden, but also Finland
Finland
and Norway, have a significant production of electricity based on hydro power. Geothermal energy
Geothermal energy
production is the most important source of energy in Iceland, whilst nuclear power is produced in both Finland
Finland
and in Sweden. The indigenous production of energy in the Nordic countries
Nordic countries
has risen considerably over the last couple of decades – especially in Denmark
Denmark
and Norway
Norway
due to oil deposits in the North Sea.[76] The most important energy sources in the Nordic countries
Nordic countries
measured in terms of energy supply in million toe (tonnes oil equivalent) are in order of importance: oil, solid fuels (e.g. coal and wood), nuclear power, hydro and geothermal power and solar energy and gas. In the EU, the most important source of energy is also oil, but gas comes in second. Hydro and geothermal power and other renewable sources of energy are major sources in the Nordic countries
Nordic countries
as compared to the EU countries. Particularly in Iceland
Iceland
and Norway, hydro and geothermal power constitute a major share of the overall energy supply. Denmark depends almost entirely on thermal power generated from coal, oil and gas. Iceland
Iceland
obtains a substantial part of its energy for heating from geothermal energy and depends almost entirely upon hydro-power resources for its production of electricity.[77]

Demographics[edit]

Country

Capital

Population

Area
Area
(km²)

Denmark

Copenhagen

5,748,769[78]

43,561

Greenland

Nuuk

55,877[79]

2,166,086

Faroe Islands

Tórshavn

50,778[80]

1,396

Finland

Helsinki

5,509,717[81]

338,534

Åland
Åland
Islands

Mariehamn

29,489[82]

1,580

Iceland

Reykjavík

350,710[83]

103,440

Norway

Oslo

5,295,619[84]

323,787

Sweden

Stockholm

10,313,447[85]

447,420

Population
Population
density map of the Nordic countries
Nordic countries
(1996) At the beginning of the 20th century, almost 12 million people lived in the Nordic countries. Today, the population has increased to 27 million people. The Nordic countries
Nordic countries
have one of the lowest population densities in the world. The low density is partly due to the fact that many parts of the Nordic countries
Nordic countries
are marginal areas, where nature puts limitations on settlement. In four out of five Nordic countries,[which?] around 20 per cent of the population is to be found in the vicinity of the respective capitals. In Iceland, this percentage is even higher, with more than 60 per cent of Icelanders residing at or nearby the capital city of Reykjavík.[54] During the past 100 years, the population growth has been strongest in Greenland, where the population has multiplied by almost five, from 12,000 to 56,000 people. In Iceland, the increase has gone from 78,000 to 322,000 people. The population on the Faroe Islands
Faroe Islands
has more than tripled, from 15,000 to 48,000 people. The Swedish and Ålandic populations are the only ones that have not at least doubled.[citation needed] Since 1990, the total population in the Nordic countries
Nordic countries
has increased by more than 2.8 million people (12 per cent) – the most in Iceland
Iceland
(27 per cent) and in Norway
Norway
and Åland
Åland
by 19 and close to 18 per cent. Certain regions in Finland, Norway
Norway
and Sweden
Sweden
have experienced a decline in the population due to urbanization, but at the national level all the Nordic countries
Nordic countries
have experienced growth. Compared to 2005, both the Faroe Islands
Faroe Islands
and Greenland
Greenland
have experienced a minor decline in the population. Iceland has also experienced shorter periods with a declining population. The Danish population is expected to increase by 8 per cent until 2035, while Finland
Finland
and Sweden
Sweden
expect an increase in the population of about 10 and almost 16 per cent respectively.[86] Life expectancy
Life expectancy
is rising in all the Nordic countries, though the levels vary greatly. Life expectancy
Life expectancy
for men in Greenland
Greenland
is 68.3 years (2011), compared to 80.8 years for men in Iceland. Women in the Faroe Islands
Faroe Islands
and in Åland
Åland
are expected to live the longest – more than 84 years. The population in the Nordic countries
Nordic countries
is getting older and according to the population projection for the Nordic countries
Nordic countries
as a whole, the share of the population above the age of 80 will reach 8.4 per cent in 2040, as compared to the 2013 level of 4.7 per cent. The share of population 80 years or older has increased from 1990 to 2013. The increase in the share of people above the age of 80 over the last 10 years is partly due to the fact that the death rate has fallen for almost all age groups and partly that the number of births has been low during the same period. In the next 25 years, the demographic dependency ratio is expected to have the strongest growth in Finland and Åland. According to the most recent population forecasts in Finland
Finland
and Åland, in 2030 it is expected that people over 65 will make up 50 per cent of the adult population. Sweden
Sweden
and Denmark
Denmark
can look forward to a relatively modest increase in the next decades. Iceland
Iceland
and Norway
Norway
seem to maintain their positions with the lowest proportions of elderly people in the Nordic countries.[87]

Past and future population[edit] Main article: List of countries by past and future population List of countries by past and future population provides 1950, 2000, and 2050 populations while year 2100 data is provided by the United Nations[citation needed].

Rank Country Area 1950 2000

1 Sweden 447,420 7,015,000 8,925,000

2 Norway 385,203 3,266,000 4,493,000

3 Finland 338,534 4,009,000 5,169,000

4 Iceland 103,440 143,000 282,000

5 Denmark 43,561 4,272,000 5,338,000

none Greenland 2,166,086 23,000 57,000

Total (excluding Greenland) 1,318,158 18,705,000 24,207,000

Total 3,484,244 18,728,000 24,264,000

Subdivisions[edit] Sweden:

ISO 3166-2 code

NUTS code

Flag

Coat of arms

County (Län)

Administrative centre

Governor

Area
Area
(km2)

Population
Population
(2016)[88]

SE-AB SE110

Stockholm Stockholm Chris Heister 6,519.3 2,269,060

SE-AC SE331

Västerbotten Umeå Gunnar Holmgren 55,186.2 265,881

SE-BD SE332

Norrbotten Luleå Sven-Erik Österberg 98,244.8 250,570

SE-C SE121

Uppsala Uppsala Göran Enander 8,207.2 361,373

SE-D SE122

Södermanland Nyköping Liselott Hagberg 6,102.3 288,097

SE-E SE123

Östergötland Linköping Elisabeth Nilsson 10,602.0 452,105

SE-F SE211

Jönköping Jönköping Anneli Wirtén (acting) 10,495.1 352,735

SE-G SE212

Kronoberg Växjö Ingrid Burman 8,466.0 194,628

SE-H SE213

Kalmar Kalmar Malin Almqvist (interim) 11,217.8 242,301

SE-I SE214

Gotland Visby Cecilia Schelin Seidegård 3,151.4 58,003

SE-K SE221

Blekinge Karlskrona Berit Andnor 2,946.4 158,453

SE-M SE224

Skåne Malmö, Kristianstad Anneli Hulthén 11,034.5 1,324,565

SE-N SE231

Halland Halmstad Lena Sommestad 5,460.7 320,333

SE-O SE232

Västra Götaland Gothenburg, Vänersborg Lars Bäckström 23,948.8 1,671,783

SE-S SE311

Värmland Karlstad Kenneth Johansson 17,591.0 279,334

SE-T SE214

Örebro Örebro Maria Larsson 8,545.6 294,941

SE-U SE215

Västmanland Västerås Minoo Akhtarzand 5,145.8 267,629

SE-W SE312

Dalarna Falun Ylva Thörn 28,188.8 284,531

SE-X SE313

Gävleborg Gävle Per Bill 18,198.9 284,586

SE-Y SE321

Västernorrland Härnösand Bo Källstrand 21,683.8 245,572

SE-Z SE322

Jämtland Östersund Jöran Hägglund 49,341.2 128,673

Norway:

ISO-code

County (Fylke)

Administrative centre

Governor

Area
Area
(km2)

Population
Population
(2016)

01

 Østfold

Sarpsborg

Anne Enger

4,180.69

290,412

02

 Akershus

Oslo

Nils Aage Jegstad

4,917.94

596,704

03

 Oslo

City of Oslo

Marianne Borgen
Marianne Borgen
(Mayor)

454.07

660,987

04

 Hedmark

Hamar

Sigbjørn Johnsen

27,397.76

195,443

05

 Oppland

Lillehammer

Kristin Hille Valla

25,192.10

188,945

06

 Buskerud

Drammen

Kirsti Kolle Grøndahl

14,910.94

278,028

07

 Vestfold

Tønsberg

Erling Lae

2,225.08

245,160

08

 Telemark

Skien

Kari Nordheim-Larsen

15,296.34

172,527

09

 Aust-Agder

Arendal

Øystein Djupedal

9,157.77

115,873

10

 Vest-Agder

Kristiansand

Ann-Kristin Olsen

7,276.91

182,922

11

 Rogaland

Stavanger

Magnhild Meltveit Kleppa

9,375.97

470,907

12

 Hordaland

Bergen

Lars Sponheim

15,438.06

517,601

14

 Sogn og Fjordane

Hermansverk

Anne Karin Hamre

18,623.41

109,623

15

 Møre og Romsdal

Molde

Lodve Solholm

15,101.39

265,181

18

 Nordland

Bodø

Odd Eriksen

38,482.39

241,948

19

 Troms

Tromsø

Bård Magne Pedersen

25,862.91

164,613

20

 Finnmark

Vadsø

Gunnar Kjønnøy

48,631.04

75,886

50

 Trøndelag

Steinkjer[a]

Frank Jenssen

41,254.29

450,496

^ Steinkjer is the administrative centre, but the county mayor is seated in Trondheim. Steinkjer and Trondheim
Trondheim
are sometimes named as co-capitals

Denmark:

Danish name English name Seat of administration Largest city Chairman Population(2018-01-01) Total Area(km²) Pop. density(per km²) Corresponding counties (1970–2006)

Region
Region
Hovedstaden Capital Region
Region
of Denmark Hillerød Copenhagen Sophie Hæstorp Andersen 1,822,659 2,546.3 715.8 Counties:Copenhagen, Frederiksborg; municipalities: Copenhagen, Frederiksberg, Bornholm

Region
Region
Midtjylland Central Denmark
Denmark
Region Viborg Aarhus Anders Kühnau 1,313,596 13,000.2 101.04 Ringkjøbing, nearly all of Århus, the southern part of Viborg and the northern part of Vejle

Region
Region
Nordjylland North Denmark
Denmark
Region Aalborg Aalborg Ulla Astman 589,148 7,874 74.82 North Jutland, the northern part of Viborg County and a small part of Århus County

Region
Region
Sjælland Region
Region
Zealand Sorø Roskilde Heino Knudsen 835,024 7,217.8 115.68 Roskilde, Storstrøm, and West Zealand

Region
Region
Syddanmark Region
Region
of Southern Denmark Vejle Odense Stephanie Lose 1,220,763 12,191 100.13 Funen, Ribe, South Jutland and the southern half of Vejle
Vejle
County

Danmark Denmark Copenhagen Copenhagen

5,781,190 42,894.8 134.77

Finland:

Number

Coat of Arms

English name

Finnish name

Swedish name

Capital

Area
Area
(km2)

Population(31 Dec 2017)[89]

1.

Lapland

Lappi

Lappland

Rovaniemi

92,674

180,207

2.

Northern Ostrobothnia

Pohjois-Pohjanmaa

Norra Österbotten

Oulu

36,815

411,150

3.

Kainuu

Kainuu

Kajanaland

Kajaani

20,197

74,803

4.

North Karelia

Pohjois-Karjala

Norra Karelen

Joensuu

17,761

164,085

5.

Northern Savonia

Pohjois-Savo

Norra Savolax

Kuopio

16,768

247,776

6.

Southern Savonia

Etelä-Savo

Södra Savolax

Mikkeli

14,257

148,975

7.

Southern Ostrobothnia

Etelä-Pohjanmaa

Södra Österbotten

Seinäjoki

13,444

191,860

8.

Central Ostrobothnia

Keski-Pohjanmaa

Mellersta Österbotten

Kokkola

5,020

69,027

9.

Ostrobothnia

Pohjanmaa

Österbotten

Vaasa

7,753

181,441

10.

Pirkanmaa

Pirkanmaa

Birkaland

Tampere

12,585

509,356

11.

Central Finland

Keski-Suomi

Mellersta Finland

Jyväskylä

16,703

276,196

12.

Satakunta

Satakunta

Satakunta

Pori

7,820

221,740

13.

Southwest Finland

Varsinais-Suomi

Egentliga Finland

Turku

10,663

475,543

14.

South Karelia

Etelä-Karjala

Södra Karelen

Lappeenranta

5,327

130,506

15.

Päijänne Tavastia

Päijät-Häme

Päijänne-Tavastland

Lahti

5,125

201,685

16.

Tavastia Proper

Kanta-Häme

Egentliga Tavastland

Hämeenlinna

5,199

173,781

17.

Uusimaa

Uusimaa

Nyland

Helsinki

9,097

1,638,293

18.

Kymenlaakso

Kymenlaakso

Kymmenedalen

Kotka, Kouvola

5,149

177,659

19.

Åland
Åland
Islands[90]

Ahvenanmaa

Åland

Mariehamn

1,553

29,214

Iceland:

#

Name

Native name

Population
Population
(2016)[91]

Area
Area
(km²)

Pop./Area

ISO 3166-2

Administrative centre

The regions of Iceland

1

Capital Region

Höfuðborgarsvæði

213,619

1,062

201.14

IS-1

Reykjavík

2

Southern Peninsula

Suðurnes

22,509

829

27.15

IS-2

Keflavík

3

Western Region

Vesturland

15,766

9,554

1.65

IS-3

Borgarnes

4

Westfjords

Vestfirðir

6,883

9,409

0.73

IS-4

Ísafjörður

5

Northwestern Region

Norðurland vestra

7,128

12,737

0.56

IS-5

Sauðárkrókur

6

Northeastern Region

Norðurland eystra

29,361

21,968

1.33

IS-6

Akureyri

7

Eastern Region

Austurland

12,452

22,721

0.55

IS-7

Egilsstaðir

8

Southern Region

Suðurland

24,811

24,526

1.01

IS-8

Selfoss

Iceland

Ísland

332,529

102,806

3.23

IS

Greenland:

Name Kalaallisut Municipality center

Coat of Arms

ISO[92]

Population

Area
Area
(km²)

Avannaata

Avannaata
Avannaata
Kommunia

Ilulissat

10,651[93]

522,700

Kujalleq

Kommune Kujalleq

Qaqortoq

GL-KU

7,589

32,000

Qeqertalik

Kommune Qeqertalik

Aasiaat

6,504[94]

62,400

Qeqqata

Qeqqata
Qeqqata
Kommunia

Sisimiut

GL-QE

9,677

115,500

Sermersooq

Kommuneqarfik Sermersooq

Nuuk

GL-SM

21,232

531,900

Faroe Islands:

This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (August 2018) Languages[edit] Historical reenactment of a farmer wedding in Jomala, Åland The Germanic languages
Germanic languages
in the Nordic countries The Finnic languages
Finnic languages
in Northern Europe Most of the Nordic languages belong to one of three linguistic families: North Germanic languages, Finno-Ugric languages
Finno-Ugric languages
and Eskimo–Aleut languages. Although the area is linguistically heterogeneous, with three unrelated language groups, the common linguistic heritage is one of the factors making up the Nordic identity.[95] Danish, Faroese, Icelandic, Norwegian and Swedish belong to the North Germanic branch of the Indo-European languages. The languages have developed from a common Nordic language, but have moved away from each other during the past 1000 years. However, it is still possible for Danish, Norwegian and Swedish speakers to understand each other. These languages are taught in school throughout the Nordic countries: for example, Swedish is a mandatory subject in Finnish schools, whereas Danish is mandatory in Icelandic and Faroese schools. Approximately 5,3 per cent of population of Finland
Finland
speak Swedish as their mother tongue.[96]

The Sami languages
Sami languages
in Northern Europe In the Finnish-Sami group of the Finno-Ugric languages, Finnish is the most widely spoken language in the Nordic countries. However, other languages in this family are also spoken in the region. Various Sami languages are spoken in northern Finland, Norway
Norway
and Sweden. Karelian is spoken a little in Finland, the Kven language in Norway
Norway
and Meänkieli or "Torne Valley Finnish" in Sweden. Finns
Finns
are also the largest immigrant group in Sweden, around 4.46 per cent of the total population; and Finnish is an official minority language of Sweden.[97][98] Greenlandic or Kalaallisut belongs to the Inuit branch of the Eskimo-Aleut languages and is spoken in Greenland. The language is related to a number of languages spoken in northern Canada
Canada
and Alaska. As of 2009, the Greenland
Greenland
Home rule does not require Danish to be taught or the use of Danish for official purposes.[99] A number of other minority languages also exist in the region. German is spoken by a minority in Southern Jutland
Southern Jutland
and their cultural and language rights are protected by the government. Finnish Kale, Norwegian and Swedish Travellers and other Romani peoples of the Nordic countries
Nordic countries
have the right to maintain and develop their language and culture. Yiddish
Yiddish
is also an official minority language in Sweden. Besides the so-called "natural" languages national variants of sign languages are used. The Icelandic Sign Language
Language
is derived from the Danish, while the Finnish Sign Language
Language
is developed on the basis of the Swedish variant. The right to use sign language is set in the Finnish Language
Language
Act and in Sweden
Sweden
the Swedish sign language is an official minority language.[100]

Migration[edit] In 2012, net migration had the greatest impact on the population increase in Sweden. That was also the case with Denmark, Finland, Åland
Åland
and Norway. In the Faroe Islands, Greenland
Greenland
and Iceland, natural population increase had the greatest impact on the population change, but both Greenland
Greenland
and the Faroe Islands
Faroe Islands
still had a slight decrease in the population due to a negative net migration in 2012. A large proportion of the migration in the Nordic countries
Nordic countries
occurs between and among the countries themselves, largely as the result of the free labour market and liberal rules for the exchange of students in the Nordic countries. The trend has led to an increasing number of foreign citizens in the Nordic countries
Nordic countries
during the past few decades. In all the countries, the major part of the foreign citizens is non-Nordic. That is not the case for Greenland
Greenland
and the Faroe Islands, which have a high proportion of other Nordic citizens. Non-nationals range from 47 per cent of the total immigration in Iceland, to 89 per cent in Norway. In 2013 the largest proportions of non-nationals were in Norway
Norway
and Denmark, where they account for 8.9 and 8.8 per cent of the population. The proportion of non-nationals in the Finnish population is small compared to the other Nordic countries
Nordic countries
– 3.6 per cent in 2013 – but the proportion has risen significantly during and after the 1990s.[101]

The Sami[edit] Sami man at Honningsvåg, Norway, wearing the traditional Gákti The Sami people, also spelled Sámi or Saami, are a Finno-Ugric people who have their traditional settlement areas in northern Finland, Norway
Norway
and Sweden
Sweden
and Western Russia. Most Sami live in Norway, followed by Sweden
Sweden
and Finland, while the fewest Sami live in Russia. Because the countries do not make an official record of who has the Sami identity or background,[clarification needed] no one knows the exact number of the Sami people. The Sami are the only indigenous people of the Nordic countries
Nordic countries
excluding Greenland
Greenland
that are recognized and protected under the international conventions of indigenous peoples. They are hence the northernmost indigenous people of Europe. There are several Sami languages. Traditionally, the Sami have plied a variety of livelihoods, including coastal fishing, fur trapping and sheep herding. However, the best known Sami livelihood is semi-nomadic reindeer herding. For traditional, environmental, cultural and political reasons, reindeer herding is legally reserved only for Sami people
Sami people
in certain regions of the Nordic countries. Nowadays, the Sami work in all sectors, in line with the non-Sami population, though the primary industries are still important culture bearers for the Sami people.

Share of total population of the Nordic countries
Nordic countries
by country in January 2013

Life expectancy
Life expectancy
at birth in the Nordic countries
Nordic countries
in 2012

Marriages and divorces in the Nordic countries
Nordic countries
in 2012

Immigrants in the Nordic countries
Nordic countries
in 2012

Culture[edit] Faroese folk dancers in national costumes Nordic countries
Nordic countries
have historically been one of the most socially progressive cultures in the world and culture is one of the main components of co-operation between the Nordic countries. The policies of the Nordic countries
Nordic countries
with respect to cultural life, mass media and religion have many shared values and features in common. However, some differences may be pointed out and for instance cultural institutions arising from historical circumstances. In both Denmark
Denmark
and Sweden, there are cultural institutions with roots in the traditions of the royal courts. In these countries, national institutions formed the foundation of cultural life at an early stage while in Norway
Norway
cultural institutions began to form later.[102] Iceland
Iceland
has the highest government expenditure on culture, a total of 3.3 per cent of its GDP in 2011. Denmark
Denmark
comes second with a total of 1.6 per cent of GDP in 2011. Sweden
Sweden
spend the least in 2011 with 1.1 per cent. Looking at per capita expenditure, Iceland
Iceland
again has the highest expenditure with Norway
Norway
coming second. Greenland
Greenland
spends the third highest amount on culture and leisure per capita. In Iceland
Iceland
and Norway, expenditures have more than doubled since 2000. In the other Nordic countries, expenditures have gone up between 40 and 50 per cent in the same period.[103] Denmark
Denmark
has the most museums, a total of 274, but museums in Åland and Iceland
Iceland
have the most visitors, an average of 4 and 5 visits per inhabitant. Many theatres in the Nordic countries
Nordic countries
receive public funding. Theatre funding constitutes a major share of allocations within the cultural area in all the countries. All countries have national theatres, where plays, ballets and operas are performed. In addition to the national theatres, there are professional regional theatres, which are also supported by the state, counties or municipalities. Most countries also have a few private theatres and many amateur ensembles, which may be supported at least partially by municipalities, primarily.[104] Nordic Culture Fund, established in 1966, aims to support a broad spectrum of cultural cooperations between the Nordic countries. The Fund's ambition is to enable talented artists, both professionals and amateurs, to enrich each other via the cultural diversity that exists among the 26 million or more people of the Region. Its activities are based on an agreement between the Nordic countries, which came into force in 1967. The Fund receives its money in the form of an annual grant from the Nordic Council
Nordic Council
of Ministers.[105]

Music[edit] See also: Nordic folk music and Nordic popular music ABBA
ABBA
is one of the best-selling music artists of all time Nordic countries
Nordic countries
share certain traditions in music, many of which have diverged significantly. In folk music, Denmark, Iceland, Norway, Sweden
Sweden
and the Faroe Islands
Faroe Islands
share many common aspects. Greenland's Inuit culture
Inuit culture
has its own musical traditions, influenced by Scandinavian culture. Finland
Finland
shares many cultural similarities with both the other Nordic countries
Nordic countries
as well as Estonia. The Sami have their own unique culture, with ties to the neighboring cultures. Art music has a strong position in Nordic countries. Apart from state-owned opera houses, there are symphony orchestras in most major cities. The most prominent historical composers from Nordic countries are the Finn Jean Sibelius, the Dane Carl Nielsen
Carl Nielsen
and the Norwegian Edvard Grieg. Of contemporary composers, the Finns
Finns
Magnus Lindberg, Kaija Saariaho
Kaija Saariaho
and Esa-Pekka Salonen
Esa-Pekka Salonen
are among the most often performed in the world. Rock ‘n roll influences that came from the United States
United States
and United Kingdom were the start of the Nordic pop scene, but influences from the Nordic folk music can still be found today in popular music. Common characteristic in Nordic pop music is that it can often be either very lighthearted pop music or very dark metal. Some of the most well-known Nordic music groups include ABBA, Ace of Base, a-ha, Aqua, Björk, The Cardigans, Europe, Hanoi Rocks, Roxette, The Rasmus, Kaizers Orchestra
Kaizers Orchestra
and The Spotnicks. Sweden
Sweden
and Finland
Finland
have possibly the largest music industries in the area, especially Sweden
Sweden
which is the largest exporter of pop music per capita and the third largest overall after the United States
United States
and the United Kingdom. Norway, Iceland
Iceland
and Denmark
Denmark
have all had successful domestic record industries for many years.[106][107] The Nordic metal scene is highly visible compared to other genres from the region. Many big names such as Amon Amarth, Children of Bodom, In Flames, Meshuggah
Meshuggah
and Opeth
Opeth
originate from the Nordic countries. Nordic metal bands have had a long and lasting influence on the metal subculture alongside their counterparts in the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
and the United States. The black metal genre was developed in Norway
Norway
by bands such as Mayhem, Darkthrone, Burzum, Immortal and Emperor and the related genre of Viking metal
Viking metal
was developed throughout the Nordic region by bands such as Bathory, Enslaved, Burzum, Emperor, Einherjer, Moonsorrow
Moonsorrow
and Amon Amarth. Since 2000, the total sale of music has declined by almost 50 per cent in all the Nordic countries
Nordic countries
and at the same time the digital sale has increased (digital sales cover both downloads and streaming of music). In Denmark, Norway
Norway
and Finland, the sale of digital music has increased by 400 per cent since 2006 and now amounts to 39, 27 and 25 per cent of the total sale in 2010/2011. In Denmark
Denmark
and Sweden, sales of digital music rose almost eight-fold in the same period and now represent 51 per cent of the total sale. In Iceland, digital sale still only represents 3 per cent of the total sale.[108]

Literature[edit] See also: Nordic literature Søren Kierkegaard
Søren Kierkegaard
is considered to be the first existentialist philosopher Swedish author Astrid Lindgren
Astrid Lindgren
together with Finnish author Tove Jansson in Stockholm
Stockholm
in 1958 The earliest written records from Scandinavia
Scandinavia
are runic inscriptions on memorial stones and other objects. Some of those contain allusions to Norse mythology
Norse mythology
and even short poems in alliterative verse. The best known example is the elaborate Rök runestone
Rök runestone
(circa 800) which alludes to legends from the migration age. The oldest of the Eddic poems are believed to have been composed in the 9th century, though they are only preserved in 13th-century manuscripts. They tell of the myths and heroic legends of Scandinavia. Skaldic poetry
Skaldic poetry
is mostly preserved in late manuscripts but was preserved orally from the 9th century onwards and also appears on runestones, such as the Karlevi Runestone. In Iceland
Iceland
the Sagas of Icelanders
Icelanders
are the best-known specimens of Icelandic literature. In Finland
Finland
the most famous collection of folk poetry is by far the Kalevala, which is the national epic of the country. Nordic countries
Nordic countries
have produced important and influential literature. Henrik Ibsen, a Norwegian playwright, was largely responsible for the popularity of modern realistic drama in Europe, with plays like The Wild Duck and A Doll's House. His contemporary, Swedish novelist and playwright August Strindberg, was a forerunner of experimental forms such as expressionism, symbolism and surrealism. Nobel prizes for literature have been awarded to Selma Lagerlöf, Verner von Heidenstam, Karl Adolph Gjellerup, Henrik Pontoppidan, Knut Hamsun, Sigrid Undset, Erik Axel Karlfeldt, Frans Eemil Sillanpää, Johannes Vilhelm Jensen, Pär Lagerkvist, Halldór Laxness, Nelly Sachs, Eyvind Johnson, Harry Martinson
Harry Martinson
and Tomas Tranströmer. World-famous Nordic children's book writers include Hans Christian Andersen, Tove Jansson and Astrid Lindgren. Since 1962, the Nordic council has awarded a literature prize once a year for a work of fiction written in one of the Nordic languages. Since its establishment, the prize has been won by 15 Swedish, 10 Danish, 10 Norwegian, 8 Finnish, 7 Icelandic, 2 Faroe and 1 Sami writers.[109] Nordic libraries function as information centres with a wide variety of services and access to all kinds of printed and electronic media. In the last twenty years, there has been an overall decline in stock and lending of books in public libraries. Despite the general decline in stock and loans, most of the Nordic countries
Nordic countries
have had an increase in the lending of other media than books. Since 2000, the stock of other media has increased between 30 and 85 percent in the Nordic countries. The lending of books has at the same time decreased in all Nordic countries, a decline between 10 and 20 percent.[110]

Art[edit] See also: Nordic art

Examples of nordic art from the 19th century

Vilhelm Hammershøi
Vilhelm Hammershøi
(1864–1916) Interior with Young Man Reading, 1898

Helene Schjerfbeck
Helene Schjerfbeck
(1862–1946)Dancing Shoes, 1882

Þórarinn B. Þorláksson
Þórarinn B. Þorláksson
(1867–1924)Þingvellir, 1900

Edvard Munch
Edvard Munch
(1863–1944)The Scream, 1893

August Strindberg
August Strindberg
(1849–1912) Marine with rocks, 1894

Díðrikur á Skarvanesi
Díðrikur á Skarvanesi
(1802–1865) Birds, 1800s

This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (July 2016) National symbols[edit] All Nordic countries, including the autonomous territories of Faroe and Åland
Åland
Islands, have a similar flag design, all based on the Dannebrog, the Danish flag. They display an off-centre cross with the intersection closer to the hoist, the "Nordic cross". Greenland
Greenland
and Sápmi
Sápmi
have adopted flags without the Nordic cross, but they both feature a circle which is placed off-centre, similar to the cross.

See also[edit]

Denmark
Denmark
portal Finland
Finland
portal Faroe Islands
Faroe Islands
portal Iceland
Iceland
portal Norway
Norway
portal Sweden
Sweden
portal Associated Climate of the Nordic countries Comparison of the Nordic countries Nordic Council Nordic Cross Scandinavia Subdivisions of the Nordic countries Other Baltic region Baltic states Baltoscandia Fennoscandia Nordic-Baltic Eight Nordic identity in Estonia Northern Dimension Northern Europe References[edit]

^ https://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/weo/2019/01/weodata/weorept.aspx?pr.x=73&pr.y=18&sy=2018&ey=2018&scsm=1&ssd=1&sort=subject&ds=.&br=1&c=128%2C142%2C172%2C176%2C144&s=NGDPD%2CPPPGDP&grp=0&a=

^ "The next supermodel". The Economist. 2 February 2013. ISSN 0013-0613. Retrieved 15 October 2016..mw-parser-output cite.citation font-style:inherit .mw-parser-output .citation q quotes:"""""""'""'" .mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-free a background:url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/6/65/Lock-green.svg/9px-Lock-green.svg.png")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center .mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-limited a,.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-registration a background:url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/d/d6/Lock-gray-alt-2.svg/9px-Lock-gray-alt-2.svg.png")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center .mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-subscription a background:url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/a/aa/Lock-red-alt-2.svg/9px-Lock-red-alt-2.svg.png")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center .mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration color:#555 .mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription span,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration span border-bottom:1px dotted;cursor:help .mw-parser-output .cs1-ws-icon a background:url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/4/4c/Wikisource-logo.svg/12px-Wikisource-logo.svg.png")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center .mw-parser-output code.cs1-code color:inherit;background:inherit;border:inherit;padding:inherit .mw-parser-output .cs1-hidden-error display:none;font-size:100% .mw-parser-output .cs1-visible-error font-size:100% .mw-parser-output .cs1-maint display:none;color:#33aa33;margin-left:0.3em .mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration,.mw-parser-output .cs1-format font-size:95% .mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-left,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-left padding-left:0.2em .mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-right,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-right padding-right:0.2em

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^ a b c d e f g "GDP per capita, PPP (current international $)", World Development Indicators database, World Bank. Database updated on 11 April 2016. Accessed on 14 April 2016.

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^ a b c d e f g "The World Factbook". Central Intelligence Agency.

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^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Europe :: Faroe Islands". CIA The World Factbook.

^ Key figures on population by region, 1990-2018 Statistics Finland

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^ V.-P. Suhonen and Janne Heinonen (2011). "Helsingin keskiaikaiset ja uuden ajan alun kylänpaikat 2011, Inventointiraportti 2011. Museovirasto" (PDF).

^ Tarkiainen, Kari (2010). Ruotsin itämaa. Porvoo: Svenska litteratussällskapet i Finland. pp. 122–125. ISBN 9789515832122.

^ Inhabitants and area taken from our articles Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway
Norway
and Sweden, where these numbers have sources. Population
Population
density is calculated based on those figures. Faroe Islands and Greenland
Greenland
are not included in Denmark. Svalbard
Svalbard
also excluded. Population
Population
density rounded to closest integer, with exception of Iceland
Iceland
where the number is rounded to closes "half people per square kilometre" (as that is very low)

^ Danish foreign ministry Archived 2008-11-23 at the Wayback Machine

^ a b Haagensen, Klaus Munch (2013). Nordic Statistical Yearbook. Nordic Council. p. 24. ISBN 978-92-893-2481-6.

^ a b c Rudberg, Sten (1960). " Geology
Geology
and Morphology". In Somme, Axel (ed.). Geography of Norden. pp. 27–40.

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^ Haagensen, Klaus Munch (2013). Nordic Statistical Yearbook. Nordic Council. p. 25. ISBN 978-92-893-2481-6.

^ "The Nordic Council
Nordic Council
– Nordic cooperation".

^ "Nordic Countries strengthen their cooperation in foreign and security policy". valtioneuvosto.fi. Finnish Government. Retrieved 27 March 2014.

^ "Joint statement by the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway
Norway
and Sweden
Sweden
on Nordic foreign and security policy cooperation – building security in a comprehensive manner". Nordic council. Retrieved 27 March 2014.

^ "About the Nordic Council
Nordic Council
of Ministers – Nordic cooperation". Archived from the original on 30 September 2017. Retrieved 26 March 2014.

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^ Haagensen, Klaus Munch (2013). Nordic Statistical Yearbook. Nordic Council. p. 91. ISBN 978-92-893-2481-6.

^ Haagensen, Klaus Munch (2013). Nordic Statistical Yearbook. Nordic Council. p. 92. ISBN 978-92-893-2481-6.

^ Thompson, Wayne C. (2008). The World Today Series: Nordic, Central and Southeastern Europe 2008. Harpers Ferry, West Virginia: Stryker-Post Publications. ISBN 978-1-887985-95-6.

^ Haagensen, Klaus Munch (2013). Nordic Statistical Yearbook. Nordic Council. p. 99. ISBN 978-92-893-2481-6.

^ Haagensen, Klaus Munch (2013). Nordic Statistical Yearbook. Nordic Council. p. 100. ISBN 978-92-893-2481-6.

^ Haagensen, Klaus Munch (2013). Nordic Statistical Yearbook. Nordic Council. p. 101. ISBN 978-92-893-2481-6.

^ Haagensen, Klaus Munch (2013). Nordic Statistical Yearbook. Nordic Council. pp. 103–04. ISBN 978-92-893-2481-6.

^ Haagensen, Klaus Munch (2013). Nordic Statistical Yearbook. Nordic Council. p. 106. ISBN 978-92-893-2481-6.

^ Haagensen, Klaus Munch (2013). Nordic Statistical Yearbook. Nordic Council. p. 107. ISBN 978-92-893-2481-6.

^ Haagensen, Klaus Munch (2013). Nordic Statistical Yearbook. Nordic Council. p. 105. ISBN 978-92-893-2481-6.

^ Haagensen, Klaus Munch (2013). Nordic Statistical Yearbook. Nordic Council. p. 108. ISBN 978-92-893-2481-6.

^ Haagensen, Klaus Munch (2013). Nordic Statistical Yearbook. Nordic Council. p. 111. ISBN 978-92-893-2481-6.

^ Haagensen, Klaus Munch (2013). Nordic Statistical Yearbook. Nordic Council. pp. 114–15. ISBN 978-92-893-2481-6.

^ Haagensen, Klaus Munch (2013). Nordic Statistical Yearbook. Nordic Council. p. 35. ISBN 978-92-893-2481-6.

^ Haagensen, Klaus Munch (2013). Nordic Statistical Yearbook. Nordic Council. p. 36. ISBN 978-92-893-2481-6.

^ " Population
Population
at the first day of the quarter by municipality, sex, age, marital status, ancestry, country of origin and citizenship". Statistics Denmark. Retrieved 13 February 2017. January 2017

^ "Grønlands Statistik". stat.gl.

^ " Faroe Islands
Faroe Islands
Statistical Office". Hagstova Føroya. Statistics Faroe Islands. Archived from the original on 23 November 2017. Retrieved 5 June 2018.

^ "Finland's preliminary population figure 5,509,717 at the end of August". Tilastokeskus.fi. Statistics Finland. Retrieved 24 October 2017.

^ "Ålands officiella statistikmyndighet". asub.ax.

^ [2]. Statistics Iceland. Retrieved 5 June 2018.

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^ Key figures for Sweden. Statistics Sweden. Retrieved 10 May 2018.

^ Haagensen, Klaus Munch (2013). Nordic Statistical Yearbook. Nordic Council. pp. 37–38. ISBN 978-92-893-2481-6.

^ Haagensen, Klaus Munch (2013). Nordic Statistical Yearbook. Nordic Council. pp. 39–43. ISBN 978-92-893-2481-6.

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^ Tilastokeskus. "Population". www.stat.fi.

^ The role that the regional councils serve on Mainland Finland
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are, in Åland, handled by the autonomous Government
Government
of Åland.

^ Population

^ ISO 3166-2:GL ( ISO 3166-2 codes for the subdivision of Greenland)

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in Sweden]. minoritet.se (in Swedish). Sametinget. Retrieved 27 March 2014.

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^ "Top 10 Best selling Scandinavian artists of all time". allscandinavian.com. Peter Krogholm and Thomas Brundstom. Retrieved 28 March 2014.

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Further reading[edit] Clerc, Louis; Glover, Nikolas; Jordan, Paul, eds. Histories of Public Diplomacy and Nation Branding in the Nordic and Baltic Countries: Representing the Periphery (Leiden: Brill Nijhoff, 2015). 348 pp. ISBN 978-90-04-30548-9. online review Elmgren, Ainur and Norbert Götz (eds.). Theme issue "Power Investigation: The Political Culture of Nordic Self-Understanding". Journal of Contemporary European Studies 21 (2013) 3: 338–412. Götz, Norbert and Heidi Haggrén (eds.). Regional Cooperation and International Organizations: The Nordic Model in Transnational Alignment. London: Routledge, 2009. Götz, Norbert and Carl Marklund (eds.). The Paradox of Openness: Transparency and Participation in Nordic Cultures of Consensus. Leiden: Brill, 2015. Strang, Johan (ed.). Nordic Cooperation: A European Region
Region
in Transition. London: Routledge, 2016. External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to The Nordic region.

Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Nordic countries.

Norden, website of the Nordic Council
Nordic Council
and Nordic Council
Nordic Council
of Ministers Nordic Countries, Railway map of the Nordic countries Nordregio, European centre for research, education and documentation on spatial development, established by the Nordic Council
Nordic Council
of Ministers. Includes maps and graphs Go Scandinavia, official website of the Scandinavian Tourist Boards in North America Scandinavia
Scandinavia
House, the Nordic Center in New York, run by the American-Scandinavian Foundation vifanord, a digital library that provides scientific information on the Nordic and Baltic countries as well as the Baltic region
Baltic region
as a whole Mid Nordic Committee, Nordic organization to promote sustainable development and growth in the region The Helsinki
Helsinki
Treaty of 1962—Nicknamed the constitution of the Nordic Countries vte Nordic countriesStates  Denmark  Finland  Iceland  Norway  Sweden Autonomous countries   Åland
Åland
Islands  Faroe Islands  Greenland Special
Special
status/Cultural area  Svalbard  Sápmi Related Climate of the Nordic countries Comparison of the Nordic countries Nordic Council Nordic Cross
Nordic Cross
flag Subdivisions of the Nordic countries LGBT in the Nordic countries See also Norsemen Old Norse Nordic identity in Estonia Scandinavia

Category

vteNordic CouncilFull members  Denmark  Finland  Iceland  Norway  Sweden Associate members   Åland
Åland
Islands  Faroe Islands  Greenland Observer / offices  Sápmi   Estonia
Estonia
(identity)  Latvia  Lithuania  Schleswig-Holstein

vte50 most populous urban areas in the Nordic countries  Denmark  Finland  Iceland  Norway  Sweden

1. Stockholm
Stockholm
1,372,565 2. Copenhagen
Copenhagen
1,263,698 3. Helsinki
Helsinki
1,214,210 4. Oslo
Oslo
1,000,467 5. Gothenburg
Gothenburg
549,839 6. Malmö
Malmö
341,457 7. Tampere
Tampere
325,025 8. Aarhus
Aarhus
261,570 9. Turku
Turku
260,367 10. Bergen
Bergen
255,464

11. Stavanger/ Sandnes
Sandnes
222,697 12. Reykjavík
Reykjavík
209,510 13. Oulu
Oulu
193,817 14. Trondheim
Trondheim
183,378 15. Odense
Odense
173,814 16. Uppsala
Uppsala
140,454 17. Aalborg
Aalborg
132,578 18. Jyväskylä
Jyväskylä
120,306 19. Drammen
Drammen
117,510 20. Lahti
Lahti
117,424

21. Fredrikstad/ Sarpsborg
Sarpsborg
111,267 22. Västerås
Västerås
110,877 23. Örebro
Örebro
107,038 24. Linköping
Linköping
104,232 25. Helsingborg
Helsingborg
97,122 26. Porsgrunn/ Skien
Skien
92,753 27. Jönköping
Jönköping
89,396 28. Norrköping
Norrköping
87,247 29. Kuopio
Kuopio
86,034 30. Pori
Pori
84,509

31. Lund
Lund
82,800 32. Umeå
Umeå
79,594 33. Esbjerg
Esbjerg
72,060 34. Gävle 71,033 35. Vaasa
Vaasa
66,911 36. Borås
Borås
66,273 37. Joensuu
Joensuu
65,686 38. Eskilstuna
Eskilstuna
64,679 39. Södertälje
Södertälje
64,619 40. Karlstad
Karlstad
61,685

41. Randers
Randers
61,664 42. Täby
Täby
61,272 43. Växjö
Växjö
60,887 44. Kristiansand
Kristiansand
61,536 45. Kolding
Kolding
58,757 46. Halmstad
Halmstad
58,577 47. Horsens
Horsens
56,536 48. Lappeenranta
Lappeenranta
55,429 49. Vejle
Vejle
53,975 50

.