Scandinavia is a part of northern Europe that is predominantly made up of the Scandinavian Peninsula that covers the three kingdoms; Denmark, Norway, and Sweden and these countries are called Scandinavian Countries. The majority national languages of these three belong to the Scandinavian dialect continuum, and are mutually intelligible North Germanic languages. Finland and Iceland are sometimes included in a broader definition by some, but the correct term for all five countries is the ‘Nordic Countries’. The words Scandinavia, Nordic and northern Europe are used interchangeably by many. But they are in actual fact three distinct regions of Europe. All countries share history and boundaries to a varying degree.
The name Scandinavia originally referred to the former Danish, now Swedish, region of Scania. The use of “Scandinavia” as a convenient general term for Denmark, Norway and Sweden is fairly recent. According to some historians, it was adopted and introduced in the eighteenth century, at a time when the ideas about a common heritage started to appear and develop into early literary and linguistic Scandinavism.
Geographically, the Scandinavian Peninsula is the largest peninsula in Europe, extending from above the Arctic Circle to the shores of the Baltic Sea. It covers about 289,500 square miles. All the countries share history and boundaries to a varying degree. Let’s take a closer look of all the Scandinavian countries:
Norway is the most beautiful Scandinavian Country; located on the Scandinavian Peninsula between the North Sea and the northern Atlantic Ocean; its capital city is Oslo. It is famous for deep fjords, steep mountains, and wooden churches. Norway has an area of 125,020 square miles (323,802 sq km) and 15,626 miles (25,148 km) of coastline. It has a population of about 5,372,191 (2018). Norway’s topography is varied, with high plateaus and rugged, glaciated mountain ranges. The climate is temperate along the coast due to the North Atlantic Current, while cold and wet inland. GDP of this country is $370.4 billion and the currency is Norwegian krone. Norway’s economy is driven by its massive petroleum, gas and energy industries. Norway has the number one rank in the Human Development Index and in Press Freedom Index globally. Norway is the eighth number in good countries rank.
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Sweden is bordered by Norway in the west and Finland on the east. It is Scandinavia’s largest country by area and population with mountains in the north. The nation, which sits along the Baltic Sea and the Gulf of Bothnia, covers an area of 173,860 square miles (450,295 sq km) and has 1,999 miles (3,218 km) of coastline. This country’s climate is temperate in the south and subarctic in the north and this country is known for its huge number of lakes. The population is 10,313,447 as of 2018 and the total area of this country is 450,295 sq km. Stockholm is the capital of Sweden. Sweden’s GDP is $511.3 billion. Sweden is perceived as the least corrupt country in the world and it has the third rank in the Corruption Perception Index; number second in Press Freedom Index, number 4 in Good Country rank and ranked number 9 in the World Happiness Report.
Denmark borders Germany to the north and occupies the Jutland Peninsula. Its coastlines cover 4,545 miles (7,314 km) of land along the Baltic and North seas. Denmark is famous for having the best beaches in Northern Europe. The total land area of Denmark is 16,638 square miles (43,094 sq km)—this area includes the mainland of Denmark as well as two large islands, Sjaelland and Fyn. It is the smallest Scandinavian’s country. Capital of Denmark is Copenhagen and the country’s population is 5,809,502 as of 2018. GDP of Denmark is $306.7 billion. Denmark’s economy is modern with a high-tech agricultural sector and advanced manufacturing operations. It is home to world-leading companies in pharma, maritime and renewable energy, and is a net exporter of food, oil, and gas. Denmark is perceived as the least corrupt countries, having the number one ranking in the world; ranked 3 in Environmental Performance Rank & the World Happiness Report rank and ranked number 6 in Good Country rank.
Finland lies between Sweden and Russia with Norway to its north. This country covers a total land area of 130,558 square miles (338,145 sq km) and has 776 miles (1,250 km) of coastline along the Baltic Sea, the Gulf of Bothnia, and the Gulf of Finland. The population of Finland is 5,537,364 as of 2018 and its capital is Helsinki. The country specializes in manufacturing for the engineering, telecommunications, and electronics industries. Finland has one of the lowest immigration rates in the world. It also has the highest per capita consumption of coffee in the world (consuming an average of 26 pounds of coffee each year). GDP of Finland is $236.8 billion. Finland is ranked 1 in Good Country rank as well as in the World Happiness Report, ranked 3 in the least corruption and ranked 4 in Press Freedom rank.
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Iceland is Europe’s westernmost country and the second-largest island in the North Atlantic ocean (Greenland is the largest). It is an island nation located just south of the Arctic Circle in the northern Atlantic Ocean, southeast of Greenland and west of Ireland. It has a total land area of 39,768 square miles (103,000 sq km) and a coastline that stretches 3,088 miles (4,970 km). Iceland is one of the most volcanic in the world. The capital city of Iceland is Reykjavik and the nation’s population of 337,780 makes it the least populous of the Scandinavian countries by a wide margin. Iceland’s economy is anchored in the fishing industry as well as tourism and geothermal and hydropower energy. GDP of this country is $20.0 billion. Iceland has a strong economy, low unemployment, low inflation, and it’s per capita income is among the highest in the world.