Sweden (Sverige in Swedish) is the largest of the Nordic countries, with a population of about 9.3 million. It borders Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark via the bridge of Öresund (Öresundsbron). The Baltic Sea lies to the east of Sweden, as well as the Gulf of Bothnia, which separates Sweden from most of Finland. The northernmost part of Sweden belongs to the Arctic.
Although having been a military power and spanning about three times its current size during the 17th century, Sweden has not participated in any war in almost two hundred years. Having long remained outside military alliances (including both World Wars), the country has a high peace profile, with internationally renowned names such as Raoul Wallenberg, Dag Hammarskjöld, Olof Palme and Hans Blix.
Sweden is a monarchy by constitution, but king Carl XVI Gustaf has no executive power. The Swedish people were Pagans until around the year 1000, then Christened and obedient to the Roman Pope until the 16th century, when the church was reformed to Lutheran-Protestant. Today's Sweden is a secular state with very few church-goers.
Sweden is a developed post-industrial society with an advanced welfare state. The standard of living and life expectancy rank among the highest in the world.
Sweden has a strong tradition of being an open, yet discreet country. Citizens sometimes appear to be quite reserved at first, but once they get to know who they are dealing with, they'll be as warm and friendly as you'd wish.
Sweden houses the Nobel Prize committee for all the prizes except the peace prize which is hosted in Oslo, a memento of the Swedish-Norwegian union that was dissolved in 1905.