Sweden (i/ˈswiːdən/SWEE-dən; Swedish:Sverige[ˈsvæːrjə]listen), officially the Kingdom of Sweden (Swedish: Konungariket Sverige), is a Scandinavian country in Northern Europe. It borders Norway to the west and Finland to the east, and is connected to Denmark in the southwest by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund. At 450,295 square kilometres (173,860sqmi), Sweden is the third-largest country in the European Union by area, with a total population of over 9.8 million. Sweden consequently has a low population density of 21 inhabitants per square kilometre (54/sqmi), with the highest concentration in the southern half of the country. Approximately 85% of the population lives in urban areas. Southern Sweden is predominantly agricultural, while the north is heavily forested. Sweden is part of the geographical area of Fennoscandia.
Germanic peoples have inhabited Sweden since prehistoric times, emerging into history as the Geats/Götar and Swedes/Svear and constituting the sea peoples known as the Norsemen. Sweden emerged as an independent and unified country during the Middle Ages. In the 17th century, it expanded its territories to form the Swedish Empire, which became one of the great powers of Europe until the early 18th century. Swedish territories outside the Scandinavian Peninsula were gradually lost during the 18th and 19th centuries, beginning with the annexation of present-day Finland by Russia in 1809. The last war in which Sweden was directly involved was in 1814, when Norway was militarily forced into personal union.
The name of Sweden (Swedish Sverige[ˈsvær.jə]listen) is ultimately derived from the ethnonym of the Swedes.
The English name was loaned from Dutch in the 17th century to refer to Sweden as an emerging great power. Before Sweden's imperial expansion, Early Modern English used Swedeland.
The Old English name of Sweden was Sweoland or Sweorice, land or realm of the Sweonas, The Germanic tribes of the Sviar (Old NorseSvíþjóð). The name of the Sviar itself is derived from a Proto-Norse*Swihoniz, presumably a self-designation containing the Germanic reflexive *swe- "one's own, self".
The modern English name Sweden is exceptional in being loaned from Dutch. Before the gradual introduction of Sweden in the 17th century, English used Swedeland.
It is based on Middle DutchZweden, the Dutch name of Sweden, and in origin the dative plural of Zwede "Swede".
It has been in use in English from about 1600, first recorded in Scottish Swethin, Swadne.
Country names based on a dative plural in -n became productive in German and Dutch in the 15th century; compare German Italien "Italy", Spanien "Spain", Rumänien "Romania", Ungarn "Hungary".
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