Sweden (i/ˈswiːdən/ swee-dən; Swedish: Sverige [ˈsværjɛ] ( listen)), officially the Kingdom of Sweden (Swedish: Konungariket Sverige (help·info)), is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden borders with Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund.
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 about 9.4 million. Sweden has a low population density of 21 inhabitants per square kilometre (54 /sq mi) with the population mostly concentrated to the southern half of the country. About 85% of the population live in urban areas. Sweden's capital 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, adopting a non-aligned foreign policy in peacetime and neutrality in wartime.
Today, Sweden is a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary democracy of government and a highly developed economy. In 2010, it ranked fourth in the world in The Economist's Democracy Index and ninth in the United Nations' Human Development Index. In 2010, the World Economic Forum ranked Sweden as the second most competitive country in the world, after Switzerland. Sweden has been a member of the European Union since 1 January 1995 and is a member of the OECD.
[The modern name Sweden is derived through back-formation from Old English Swēoþēod, which meant "people of the Swedes" (Old Norse Svíþjóð, Latin Suetidi). This word is derived from Sweon/Sweonas (Old Norse Sviar, Latin Suiones). The Swedish name Sverige (a conjunction of the words Svea and Rike, first recorded as Swēorice in Beowulf, with the consonant 'k' softened to 'g' – compare "rige" in modern Danish) literally means "Kingdom of the Swedes", excluding the Geats in Götaland.
Variations of the name Sweden are used in most languages, with the exception of Danish and Norwegian using Sverige, Icelandic Svíþjóð, and the more notable exception of some Finno-Ugric languages where Ruotsi (Finnish) and Rootsi (Estonian) are used, names commonly considered etymologically related to the English name for Russia, referring to the people, Rus', originally from the coastal areas of Roslagen, Uppland.
The etymology of Swedes, and thus Sweden, is generally not agreed upon but may derive from Proto-Germanic Swihoniz meaning "one's own", referring to one's own Germanic tribe.