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Scandinavia - Denmark, Norway, Sweden
Scandinavia is a region in northern Europe that includes Denmark, Norway and Sweden.
The list of Scandinavian countries is debated; Finland, Iceland and the Faroe Islands are sometimes also included.
According to historians, the term was adopted and introduced in the 18th century, when the concept of common heritage was a subject of debate.
All three countries are included in the similar but wider ranging term "Nordic countries".
This group consists of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and their associated territories which include the Faroe Islands, Greenland, Svalbard and Ãland.
Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, the Ãland Islands and Faroe Islands are represented by flags which bear a Nordic Cross.
photo credit: NASA
Denmark occupies over 43,000 square kilometres and has a population of about 5,500,000.
It is the southernmost of the Nordic countries and the senior member of the Kingdom of Denmark.
In addition to the nation of Denmark, the kingdom includes the Faroe Islands and Greenland.
Once the seat of Viking raiders and later a major north European power, Denmark has evolved into a modern, prosperous nation.
Norway has a total area of 385,252 square kilometres and a population of about 4.8 million.
The country is rich with natural resources including petroleum, hydropower, fish, forests, and minerals.
Norway is the world's third-largest gas exporter and an important exporter of oil. These assets have allowed Norway to achieve one of the highest standards of living in the world.
Norway is among the top nations for GDP per-capita in the world. Norwegians also rank among the top nations in the UNDP Human Development Index.
In referenda held in 1972 and 1994, Norway rejected joining the EU.
Sweden occupies 450,295 sq miles, making it the third largest country in Western Europe. The country is home to over 9 million inhabitants.
The nation's economy is largely based on industrial output, of which the engineering sector accounts for roughly half of production and exports.
Sweden joined the EU in 1995, but the public rejected the introduction of the euro in a 2003 referendum.
Iceland is an island in the North Atlantic, famous for its volcanic environment, geothermal heat, massive glaciers, lush green farmland and commercial fishing.
Iceland declared its independence on June 17, 1944 and became a republic, dissolving its union with Denmark.
Icelandic people are known for their healthy lifestyles, low death rates and longevity.
photo credit: NASA
The Faroe Islands
The Faroe Islands are an island group situated between the Norwegian Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, located between Scotland, Norway and Iceland.
The Faroe Islands are a province of the Kingdom of Denmark and are represented on the Nordic Council by the Danish delegation.