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Sweden is a country in northern Europe on the eastern part of the Scandinavian Peninsula. The first inhabitants were hunters who crossed a land bridge from Europe about 12,000 BC. During the Viking era (9th-10th centuries AD), the Swedes controlled river trade in eastern Europe between the Baltic Sea and the Black Sea; they also raided western European lands. Sweden was loosely united and Christianized in the 11th-12th centuries. It conquered the Finns in the 12th century, and in the 14th century it united with Norway and Denmark under a single monarchy. Sweden broke away in 1523 under Gustav I Vasa. In the 17th century it emerged as a great European power in the Baltic region, but its dominance declined after its defeat in the Second Northern War (1700-21). It became a constitutional monarchy in 1809 and united with Norway in 1815; it acknowledged Norwegian independence in 1905. Sweden maintained its neutrality during both World Wars. It was a charter member of the UN but abstained from membership in NATO and the European Union until the 1990s. A new constitution drafted in 1975 reduced the monarch's powers to those of a ceremonial head of state. In 1997 Sweden began the controversial shutdown of its nuclear power industry. By the early 21st century it had emerged as a European centre of telecommunications and information. (Wikipedia) - Sweden, officially the Kingdom of Sweden, is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden shares borders with Norway to the west and Finland to the east, and is connected to Denmark by the u00D8resund Bridge. At 450,295 square kilometres (173,860 sq mi), Sweden is the third largest country in the European Union by area, with a total population of approximately 9.4 million. Compared to continental Europe, Sweden has a relatively low population density of 21 inhabitants per square kilometre (54 /sq mi) with the population concentrated to the southern half of the country. Over 85% of the population live in urban areas. Sweden's capital city is Stockholm, and with a metropolitan population of over 2 million, it is also Sweden's largest city. Sweden emerged as an independent and unified country with the consolidation of the Geatish and the Swedish Kingdom 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, adopting a non-aligned foreign policy in peacetime and neutrality in 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 of government and a highly developed economy, having long been one of the most affluent countries in the world. An industrial and technological leader in several fields, Sweden had the fastest economic growth the highest innovation, and the most competitive economy in the European Union in 2010. Sweden This article is about the country. For other uses, see Sweden (disambiguation). Kingdom of Sweden Konungariket Sverige Flag Coat of arms Tags:Denmark, European Union, Finland, NATO, Norway, Norwegian, Russia, Sweden, Wikipedia

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