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Northern Europe, also known as the five Nordic countries, is the collective name for Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Iceland, and their dependent territories of the Faroe Islands, Greenland, Åland and Svalbard.

The historical backgrounds of the five Nordic countries are closely linked, and their lifestyles, religions, social and political systems are similar. Although not politically a community, they all participated in the Nordic Council, a pan-Scandinavian movement that attempted to unite Denmark, Norway and Sweden into one country in the 19th century. With the independence of Finland in the early 20th century and Iceland in the mid-20th century, the movement expanded into the creation of a modern Nordic cooperation, which included the Nordic Council; linguistically there are two language families, the North Germanic branch of the Indo-Germanic family (Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, Icelandic), and the Finno-Ugric family of the Uralic family (Finnish), with the largest proportion of believers in the five countries All of the five countries have the largest proportion of believers in Christian Lutheranism, and all are highly developed countries.


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Flags of the five Nordic countries

The topography of the Nordic region in general is relatively low and flat, except for the Scandinavian mountains, which are higher in elevation. The terrain is mostly terraces and eroded mountains, with ice erosion lakes, sheep-backed rocks, serpentine mounds and drumlins interspersed as its main geomorphic features. The Scandinavian peninsula is the highest terrain in Northern Europe, the Scandinavian mountain range runs through the western part of the peninsula, between Norway and Sweden, the southern part of the mountain range is the highest, the northern part is higher, the middle part is lower, the southern part extends into the territory of Norway, the peak is more than 2000 meters; the western slope of the mountain range is steep, directly into the Norwegian Sea coast, the eastern slope is gentle, gradually lowering towards the Gulf of Bothnia.

Norway is the highest country in Northern Europe, with a predominantly mountainous terrain, with a western coast and fjord topography. The whole of Denmark is a gently undulating lowland. The Danish lowlands extend eastward to the plains of southern Sweden, then northward to the lowlands of central Sweden, and then across the Gulf of Bothnia to the low plains of Finland. The plains are spread in an arc to the southeast of the Scandinavian Mountains. Iceland is a bowl-shaped highland surrounded by coastal mountains and a plateau in the middle, with more than 100 volcanoes on the island, including at least 30 active ones. This topography is conducive to navigation and overseas trade. At the same time, the scenery is unique and conducive to the development of tourism.

The Scandinavian mountains were once the main center of Europe's Quaternary glaciers, and continental glaciers covered the entire Nordic region, so glacial erosion and accretion landscapes can be seen everywhere in Northern Europe. There are many lakes and short rivers. Finland is known as the "Land of a Thousand Lakes". Iceland is not only the center of the Quaternary ice cap, but also has modern glaciers on its plateau.


Climate Type

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Scandinavian Plants

Because Northern Europe is located at the border of the northern temperate zone to the northern boreal zone, most places have low temperatures all year round.

The vast inland areas have a predominantly temperate continental climate, with only areas heavily influenced by the North Atlantic warm current having a temperate maritime climate. The higher parts of the latitude have a tundra climate.

As the temperate continental climate zone is influenced by polar oceanic and polar continental air masses and is a source of polar continental air mass generation. It is often invaded by Arctic air masses in winter and sometimes by tropical continental air masses reaching in during the warm season.

Winters are long and severe, with average monthly temperatures below 0°C; summers are short and warm, with average monthly temperatures above 10°C. Annual precipitation is 300-600 mm, and relative humidity is high due to weak evaporation. The annual difference in temperature is large. This is because the region is the source of polar continental air masses and high latitude, long dark hours in winter, small noon solar altitude angle, and snow cover, the ground radiation cooling intense, not regulated by the ocean air masses. It extends into a wide belt from east to west, and because of the high latitude, the winter is long and severe; the warm season is short and the annual difference in temperature is particularly large. Precipitation is scarce and concentrated in summer, but the temperature is low, evaporation is weak, and relative humidity is high. The natural vegetation is coniferous forest.

Temperate maritime climate is generally distributed in the coastal zone of the west coast of the continent between 40° and 60° north latitude of the region. For example, Denmark, Norway and other places in the capital. Its climate is characterized by mild winters, cool summers, small annual temperature differences, moderate annual precipitation, rain throughout the year, more autumn and winter, mainly cyclonic rain, more clouds and fog, less sunshine, more rainy days. The temperature in winter is generally above 0℃, the temperature in the hottest month in summer is generally between 10℃ and 20℃, and the annual precipitation is generally between 600 and 800mm.

Natural Resources

Find out which five Nordic countries are the five Nordic countries?

Scandinavia is rich in natural resources, mainly in the following categories.

1、Mineral resources

It is dominated by iron ore, mainly in northern and central Sweden. The North Sea continental shelf also contains

It is rich in oil and natural gas.

2、Water and hydro energy resources

Scandinavian rivers are short and abundant, and numerous lakes are connected, forming natural reservoirs of water. Scandinavian rivers in the mountains have large drop-offs and are rich in water energy .

3、Marine resources

There is one of the four major fishing grounds in the world ---- North Sea Fishing Ground is a famous fishing ground. The average annual catch of the North Sea fishery is about 3 million tons, accounting for about 5% of the world's catch, with herring and mackerel accounting for several half of the total catch, and others such as cod, slate and flounder. Lobsters, oysters and shellfish are also abundant.

4、Forest resources

The warm and humid climate of northern Europe is conducive to the growth of coniferous forests and pastures. Between 61 and 68°N latitude is the concentration area of coniferous forests. South of 61°N is a mixed coniferous forest area. The forest resources are very rich.

5、Geothermal resources

The region is rich in geothermal resources, especially Iceland with many hot springs. These resources provide power and raw materials for the development of the Nordic economy, while Europe is short of resources, especially energy. The Nordic export market for resources is vast.


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The Kingdom of Denmark (Danish: Kongeriget Danmark), or Denmark for short, is a constitutional monarchy with two autonomous territories, one in the Faroe Islands and the other in Greenland. The capital and largest city of Denmark is Copenhagen.

The Kingdom of Denmark is located at the northwest end of the European continent, on the Jutland Peninsula. It is separated from Russia by the Baltic Sea to the east, the North Sea to the west, Norway and Sweden by the Skagerrak, Kattegat and the Øresund to the north, and Germany to the south. It consists of the Jutland Peninsula and 406 small and large islands such as Fynbos, Zealand and Bornholm.AreaIt is 43,096 square kilometers. In addition there is Greenland, which has been officially its territory since 1953 (Area2.175 million square kilometers) and the Faroe Islands, which enjoy autonomy (Area(It is 1,399 square kilometers and consists of 21 islands). The coastline is 7314 km long.

Natural resources are relatively poor. Apart from oil and natural gas, there are few other deposits, and all the coal needed is imported. The oil reserves of the North Sea continental shelf are estimated to be 290 million tons, and the natural gas reserves are about 200 billion cubic meters; oil has been exploited since 1972, and in 2010 it produced 12.32 million tons of oil, making it the third largest oil exporter in Europe. It has 8.09 billion cubic meters of natural gas and 90 million cubic meters of proven lignite reserves. Forest CoverArea486,000 hectares, covering about 10%. The North Sea and the Baltic Sea are important offshore fishing grounds.

The Danish system of government is a parliamentary democracy under a constitutional monarchy, with the Parliament located in Copenhagen. Denmark is a unitary state with a central government that has considerable powers and is responsible for parts of the Faroe Islands and Greenland.

Denmark is a highly developed economy and is recognized as a developed country by the United Nations. Denmark is a typical welfare state with minimal disparity between rich and poor and its citizens enjoy a very high standard of living. Denmark is a member of the European Union and a founding member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.


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Beautiful Norway

Norway (Kongeriket Norge), the Kingdom of Norway, means "the road to the North". It is located in the western part of Scandinavia, bordering Sweden to the east and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. The coastline is extremely winding, forming a unique Norwegian fjord landscape. In addition, Norway shares borders with Finland and Russia. On June 7, 1905, Norway was declared a sovereign and independent country from Sweden and the Norwegian Confederation, and in October 2009, Norway was ranked as the most liveable country by the United Nations Development Programme's United Nations Development Index.

Norway covers an area of 385,252 square kilometers (including the dependencies of Svalbard, Jan Mayen and other islands). It is located in the western part of Scandinavia, bordered by Sweden to the east, Finland and Russia to the northeast, Denmark to the south and the Norwegian Sea to the west. The coastline is 21,000 kilometers long (including fjords), with many natural harbors. The Scandinavian mountain range runs through the entire territory, and the plateau, mountains and glaciers account for more than 2/3 of the territory. In the south, small hills, lakes and swamps are widespread. Most of the area has a temperate maritime climate.

Norway has a sub-boreal coniferous forest climate on the mainland and a tundra climate on Svalbard and Jan Mayen. The capital city has an average annual temperature of 7°C and an annual precipitation of about 740 mm. In Bergen, located on its west coast, you can enjoy the view of the fjords formed by the topographic changes of the millions of years of glaciers, and the beautiful scenery on both sides of the mountains in the distance.

The Norwegian economy is an example of a successful combination of market liberalization and government macro-regulation. The government controls major sectors of the economy, such as the oil industry. Norway is rich in natural resources, mainly in oil, water, fisheries, forests and minerals. The Norwegian economy is heavily dependent on the oil industry and international oil prices, e.g. in 1999, Norway's oil and gas accounted for 35% of its total exports, and as a non-Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries member, Norway's oil output is second only to Saudi Arabia and Russia.


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Finland is located in northern Europe. It is bordered by Sweden, Norway and Russia, the Gulf of Finland to the south and the Gulf of Bothnia to the west. The coastline is 1,100 kilometers long. The topography is high in the north and low in the south. Inland water area accounts for 10% of the country's area, there are about 179,000 islands and 188,000 lakes, known as the "Land of a Thousand Lakes". One third of the country is located within the Arctic Circle. The climate is temperate continental. The average temperature is -14℃-3℃ in winter and 13℃-17℃ in summer, with an average annual rainfall of 600 mm. The earliest inhabitants of Finland were Lapps, so Finland was also called Lapland. Later, Finns moved in and established the Grand Duchy of Finland. In the second half of the twelfth century, Finland was ruled by Sweden, and after the Russo-Swedish War in 1809, it was incorporated into Imperial Russia and became a grand duchy. Winters are cold and mild only in the south. From south to north, the average temperature in January is about -4 - 16°C; in July it is 16 - 13°C. Annual precipitation is about 400-600 mm.

The forest covers 71% of the total area, dominated by pine and spruce. Hydraulic resources are abundant. There are deposits of copper, zinc, gold, chromium, cobalt, titanium and vanadium.

In 2003, there were 4.33 million foreign visitors to Finland, and tourism revenues amounted to 1.655 billion Euros, or 1.15% of GDP. Tourists mainly come from Sweden, Russia, Germany, the UK and the USA. The main tourist destinations are Helsinki, Turku, the Eastern Lakes, the northern Labi region and the island of Oran.

Polar night and day: Since most of Finland's Lapland province lies within the Arctic Circle, it is possible to see both polar night and polar day. In polar day, the sky is not grey at midnight, and even on the southern coast, there are 19-20 hours of daylight.

Finland is a highly industrialized, liberalized market economy with per capita output roughly on par with the UK, France, Germany or Italy. The main pillar of the economy is manufacturing - mainly in the wood, metal, engineering, telecommunications and electronics industries. Finland's communications industry is very well developed, represented by Nokia, and Finland is claimed to have the highest percentage of Internet access and cell phone ownership per capita. Trade is very important to Finland, with about a third of GDP coming from exports. Apart from timber and a few minerals, Finland relies on imports for raw materials, energy and some industrial components.


Sweden's beauty

Sweden, located in the southeast of Scandinavia in Northern Europe. The area is about 450,000 square kilometers. The coastline is 7,624 kilometers long. The population is 9.68 million, with 90% living in the south and central part of the country. About 90% of the population is Swedish, with Finns and Sami. 96% of the population is Christian Lutheran. The Swedish language is commonly spoken. It was a member of the Kalmar Union under Danish control from 1397 and regained independence in 1523. It declared neutrality in both world wars and established diplomatic relations with China on May 9, 1950.

The Kingdom of Sweden is located in the eastern half of the European Scandinavian Peninsula, bordered by Norway to the west and northwest, Finland to the northeast, the Gulf of Bothnia and the Baltic Sea to the east, and the North Sea to the southwest. The country covers an area of 449,965 square kilometers, almost twice the size of the United Kingdom, and is the third largest country in Europe. It stretches 1600 km from Skåne in the south to the Swedish Lapp region in the north. Nearly half of the country lies south of 60°N latitude, and the topography slopes from northwest to southeast.

Sweden is not too cold in winter due to the influence of the North Atlantic warm current and the Baltic Sea. The average temperature in February is -12.9℃ in the north and -0.7℃ in the south, while in July it is 12.8℃ in the north and 17.2℃ in the south. The average annual precipitation is 555 mm.

The whole of Sweden can be divided into three regions depending on the natural environment: the north, the center and the south.

North of 60°N is the northern region, which the Swedes call Norrland. It covers 244,1461 square kilometers, or 60% of the country's area, and has only 15% of the country's total population. It is Sweden's main forest area, with 57% of the country's forests; it has Sweden's important iron ore deposits, which have high iron content ranging from 35% to 63%. Most of the ore is shipped to Ruhr, Germany. Northern Sweden is the main source of ore for Ruhr.

This area is home to the world's largest underground iron ore mine. It is rich in hydroelectric resources and has 77% of the country's hydroelectric capacity. This region includes the provinces of Gävleborg, West Norrland, West Botten, North Botten, and Jämtland. The entire northern region has a low population density of 4 people per square kilometer, mostly concentrated in coastal and river valley areas. The region is also inhabited by the Swedish Lapps, who make their living from agriculture and reindeer herding.

Sweden's major cities, Stockholm (the capital) and Gothenburg, are located in this area. The region has developed industries such as steel, machine building, chemicals, paper, printing, textiles, shipbuilding, automobiles, oil refining, and food. Gothenburg is also the main port of Sweden. The central region can be divided into three areas: west, east and north. It covers an area of 109,539 square kilometers, or 27% of Sweden, and has 56% of the country's population.


The Republic of Iceland (Icelandic: Ísland), or Iceland for short, is an island nation in the North Atlantic Ocean, located at the confluence of the North Atlantic and the Arctic Ocean, one of the five Nordic countries, with a land area of 103,000 square kilometers and a population of about 320,000, making it the least densely populated country in Europe. The capital is Reykjavik, the largest city in Iceland, and the southwestern region near the capital accounts for two-thirds of the country's population. Located on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, Iceland is a volcanic and geologically active country. The interior is mainly a plain landscape, with sandy, cooled lava plains and glaciers scattered throughout the country. Although Iceland is located at the edge of the Arctic Circle, it has a warm Gulf Stream so the temperature is moderate.

Iceland is rich in geothermal resources and hot springs are widespread. Fisheries, hydro and geothermal resources are abundant, while other natural resources are scarce and products such as petroleum need to be imported. The exploitable annual hydroelectric power generation capacity is 64 billion kWh, and the annual power generation capacity of geothermal energy is up to 7.2 billion kWh.

According to the Book of Colonization, European settlers date back as far as 874 A.D. The Viking Yinger Arnason and his party were the earliest permanent settlers in Iceland, while other earlier settlers only wintered in Iceland. Iceland became part of Norway from 1262 to 1918, and then under the Danish Crown, which declared independence in 1918 and established a republic in 1944.

Iceland is a highly developed capitalist country with a state-provided Nordic welfare system of health insurance and higher education. in 2014 Iceland was ranked 13th on the UN Human Development Index and has the smallest population of any NATO member country and is the only country without a standing military force, with only a coast guard for defense duties.

Foreign Affairs

Denmark EU member state, NATO member state, non-euro country.

Sweden EU member state, NATO member state, non-euro country.

Finland A member of the European Union, not a member of NATO, and a Euro country.

Norway Non-EU member state, NATO member state, non-euro country.

Iceland Non-EU member state, NATO member state, non-euro country.

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