The Scandinavian term refers to the countries of Sweden, Norway and Denmark. Together, these countries form the Scandinavian peninsula. The term derives from the word Scania, a region that is now Swedish and was once Danish. The Scandinavian countries share a common history and culture, which come from the Germanic heritage of the north.
Contrary to popular belief, Finland, Greenland and Iceland are not technically part of Scandinavia. The term Scandinavia refers only to the Scandinavian peninsula region, the Danish islands and the Jutland peninsula. While Sweden, Norway and Denmark share similar and mutually understandable languages, the Finnish language is completely different. Sweden, Norway and Denmark also share a common North German ethnostoria that does not include Finland.
Greenland is not considered part of Scandinavia because it is geographically part of North America. Even Iceland is too geographically distant from Sweden, Denmark and Norway to be considered Scandinavian. However, all the above countries are grouped into another subset called Nordic countries.
The Kingdom of Sweden comprises an area of square miles 173,860, the largest area among the Scandinavian countries, and is located on the eastern side of the Scandinavian peninsula. The Scandinavian mountain range to the west separates the country from Finland. Agricultural practices are concentrated in the south and around 65% of the country, particularly in the north, is covered by forests.
Today the population of Sweden is around 9.8 million. Around 85% of people live in urban areas that are mainly found in the southern region of the country. Around 20% of the population was born abroad or was born to foreign parents. The official language is Swedish. Minority languages include Finnish, Meankieli, Sami, Romans and Yiddish. Almost 90% of Swedes can speak English.
The Kingdom of Norway consists of an area of 148,747 square miles and is mapped to the western area of the Scandinavian peninsula. It is bordered to the east by Sweden. Most of Norway is covered by granite mountain ranges, and the coast is full of fjords, inlets with deep walls filled with sea water.
Like Sweden, Norway was under the Viking rule between the 8th and 11th centuries. Christianity began to replace their traditions in the 10th and 11th centuries by newly arrived Christian kings. Haakon the Good was the first Norwegian Christian king from 934 to 960. The Hanseatic League, an association of merchants, controlled the economy here for several centuries. It was the most powerful of the 1400s and had lost power and control at the end of 1500. During this period, Norway suffered a great loss of population due to the black plague and was under the dominion of several different kings. Denmark and Norway had joined a union that had control of the Queen of Denmark in 1388. Norway remained in the Union until 1814 when Denmark was forced to hand over Norway to the Kingdom of Sweden. Norway fought to maintain some of its independence and elected its king. The two countries completely separated in 1905.
Today the Norwegian population is 5,254,694, the lowest among the Scandinavian countries. About 86% of the population has a parent born in the country. Immigration has shaped current Norway and the country is now home to people from Africa, Asia, the Middle East, etc
The Kingdom of Denmark has an area of square miles 16.573. The country consists of the Jutland peninsula and the 1,419 islands, of which 443 have names. The land is mainly flat and deforested lands.
As with other Scandinavian countries, this area was ruled by the Vikings from the 8th to the 11th centuries. The Kingdom was unified in the 10th century, and Christianity became the main religion in 965 AD. This was a political move to remain in good standing with the Roman Empire, an important trading partner. In the first 1000, Denmark was united with Norway and England for about 30 years. As mentioned above, Queen Margaret I joined Denmark with Norway and Sweden in 1397. The union of the year 125 had to guarantee equality between nations. However, Denmark has always been favored by the sovereign. The country became predominantly Lutheran in 1536, the year in which it became part of the union with Norway. That union lasted until 1905. In 1849,
The population is around 5.7 million, the second highest among the three Scandinavian countries. Around 87.7% of people here are of Danish descent. Immigration has played a key role in shaping society; most of its immigrants come from Poland, Germany, Turkey and Iraq. Danish is the national language and about 86% of people speak English.