Worldwide Travel Information (area) World Countries > Europe > Sweden
SwedenSweden is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden borders Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Øresund.
Sweden has a low population density of 21 inhabitants per square kilometre with the population mostly concentrated to the southern half of the country. About 85% of the population live in urban areas. Sweden's capital city is Stockholm, which is also the largest city.
Sweden emerged as an independent and unified country during the Middle Ages. In the 17th century, the country expanded its territories to form the Swedish Empire. The empire grew to be one of the great powers of Europe in the 17th and early 18th century. Most of the conquered territories outside the Scandinavian Peninsula were lost during the 18th and 19th centuries. The eastern half of Sweden, present-day Finland was lost to Russia in 1809 The last war in which Sweden was directly involved was in 1814 when Sweden by military means forced Norway into a personal union. Since then, Sweden has been at peace, practicing "non-participation in military alliances during peacetime and neutrality during wartime".
Sweden has been a member of the European Union since 1 January 1995 and is a member of the OECD
Today, Sweden is a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary democracy form of government and a highly developed economy. Sweden has the world's eighth highest per capita income In 2011, it ranked fourth in the world in The Economist's Democracy Index and tenth in the United Nations' Human Development Index (third on the inequality-adjusted HDI). In 2010, the World Economic Forum ranked Sweden as the second most competitive country in the world, after Switzerland.
According to the UN, it has the third lowest infant mortality rate in the world. In 2010, Sweden also had one of the lowest Gini coefficients of all developed countries (0.25), making Sweden one of the world's most equal countries in terms of income Sweden's wealth, however, is distributed much less equally than its income The top 10% has about 72% of the nation's wealth, and at a wealth Gini coefficient of 0.85, Swedish wealth inequality is higher than the European average of 0.8.