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Swedes ( sv, svenskar) are a
North Germanic The North Germanic languages make up one of the three branches of the Germanic languages—a sub-family of the Indo-European languages—along with the West Germanic languages and the extinct East Germanic languages. The language group is also r ...
ethnic group An ethnic group or ethnicity is a grouping of people A people is any plurality of person A person (plural people or persons) is a being that has certain capacities or attributes such as reason, morality, consciousness or self-consciousn ...
native to the
Nordic region The Nordic countries, or the Nordics, are a geographical and cultural region In geography, regions are areas that are broadly divided by physical characteristics ( physical geography), human impact characteristics ( human geography), and th ...

Nordic region
, primarily their nation state of Sweden, who share a common ancestry, culture, history and language. They mostly inhabit Sweden and the other
Nordic countries The Nordic countries (also known as the Nordics or ''Norden''; lit. 'the North') are a geographical and cultural region In geography, regions are areas that are broadly divided by physical characteristics (physical geography), human impac ...

Nordic countries
, in particular Finland, with a substantial
diaspora A diaspora ( ) is a scattered population whose origin Origin(s) or The Origin may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Comics and manga * , a Wolverine comic book mini-series published by Marvel Comics in 2002 * , a 1999 ''Buffy th ...
in other countries, especially the United States. Swedes are an officially recognized minority in Finland and
Estonia Estonia ( et, Eesti ), officially the Republic of Estonia ( et, Eesti Vabariik, links=no), is a country in northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by the Gulf of Finland across from Finland, to the west by the Baltic Sea across from Sweden ...

Estonia
.


Etymology

The English term "Swede" has been attested in English since the late 16th century and is of
Middle Dutch Middle Dutch is a collective name for a number of closely related West Germanic The West Germanic languages constitute the largest of the three branches of the Germanic languages, Germanic family of languages (the others being the North German ...
or Middle
Low German : : : : : , minority = (70,000) (30,000) (8,000) , familycolor = Indo-European , fam2 = Germanic Germanic may refer to: * Germanic peoples, an ethno-linguistic group identified by their use of the Germanic langua ...
origin. In Swedish, the term is ''svensk'', which is from the name of ''
svear The Swedes ( sv, svear; Old Norse Old Norse, Old Nordic, or Old Scandinavian is a stage of development of North Germanic languages, North Germanic dialects before their final divergence into separate Nordic languages. Old Norse was spoken ...
'' (or Swedes), the people who inhabited
Svealand Svealand (), Swealand or (rarely or historically) Sweden proper Sweden proper ( sv, Egentliga Sverige) is a term used to distinguish those territories that were fully integrated into the Kingdom of Sweden Sweden (; sv, Sverige ), offici ...
in eastern central Sweden, and were listed as ''Suiones'' in
Tacitus Publius Cornelius Tacitus ( , ; – ) was a Roman historian and politician. Tacitus is widely regarded as one of the greatest Roman historians by modern scholars. He lived in what has been called the Silver Age of Latin literature Classi ...

Tacitus
' history ''
Germania Germania ( , ), also called Magna Germania (English: ''Great Germania''), Germania Libera (English: ''Free Germania'') or Germanic Barbaricum Barbaricum (from the gr, Βαρβαρικόν, "foreign", "barbarian") is a geographical name used by ...
'' from the first century AD. The term is believed to have been derived from the
Proto-Indo-European Proto-Indo-European (PIE) is the theorized common ancestor of the Indo-European language family The Indo-European languages are a language family A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech ( ...
reflexive pronominal root, , as the
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republic, it became ...

Latin
''suus''. The word must have meant "one's own (tribesmen)". The same root and original meaning is found in the ethnonym of the Germanic tribe
Suebi The Suebi (or Suebians, also spelled Suevi, Suavi) were a large group of Germanic peoples The Germanic peoples were a historical group of people living in Central Europe and Scandinavia. Since the 19th century, they have traditionally been d ...
, preserved to this day in the name
Swabia upThe coat of arms of Baden-Württemberg: ''Or, three lions passant sable'', the arms of the Duchy of Swabia, in origin the coat of arms of the House of Hohenstaufen. Also used for Swabia (and for Württemberg-Baden during 1945–1952) are ...

Swabia
.


History


Origins

Like other
Scandinavians Scandinavia; Sami Places * Sápmi, a cultural region in Northern Europe * Sami, Burkina Faso, a district of the Banwa Province * Sami District, Gambia * Sami, Cephalonia, a municipality in Greece * Sami (ancient city), in Elis, Greece * Sam ...
, Swedes descend from the presumably
Indo-European The Indo-European languages are a language family A language family is a group of language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be in relation ...
Battle Axe culture The Battle Axe culture, also called Boat Axe culture, is a Chalcolithic The Chalcolithic (),The New Oxford Dictionary of English (1998) , p. 301: "Chalcolithic /,kælkəl'lɪθɪk/ adjective ''Archaeology'' of, relating to, or denoting a period ...

Battle Axe culture
and also the
Pitted Ware culture The Pitted Ware culture ( 3500 BC– 2300 BC) was a hunter-gatherer A hunter-gatherer is a human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most populous and widespread species of primates, characterized by bipedality, opposable thumbs, ...

Pitted Ware culture
. Prior to the first century AD there is no written evidence and historiography is based solely on various forms of archeology. The
Proto-Germanic language Proto-Germanic (abbreviated PGmc; also called Common Germanic) is the linguistic reconstruction, reconstructed proto-language of the Germanic languages, Germanic branch of the Indo-European languages. Proto-Germanic eventually developed from ...
is thought to have originated in the arrival of the Battle Axe culture in Scandinavia and the Germanic tribal societies of Scandinavia were thereafter surprisingly stable for thousands of years. The merger of the Battle Axe and Pitted Ware cultures eventually gave rise to the
Nordic Bronze Age The Nordic Bronze Age (also Northern Bronze Age, or Scandinavian Bronze Age) is a period of Scandinavian prehistory from c. 1700–500 BC. The Nordic Bronze Age emerged about 1700 BC as a continuation of the Battle Axe culture (the Scandinavian ...

Nordic Bronze Age
which was followed by the
Pre-Roman Iron Age The archaeology of Northern Europe Northern Europe is a loosely defined Geography, geographical and cultural region in Europe. Narrower definitions may describe Northern Europe as being roughly north of the southern coast of the Baltic Sea, whi ...
. Like other
North Germanic peoples North Germanic peoples, commonly called Scandinavians, Nordic peoples and in a medieval In the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and collection, the study, organization and presentation and th ...
,
Swedes Swedes ( sv, svenskar) are a North Germanic The North Germanic languages make up one of the three branches of the Germanic languages The Germanic languages are a branch of the Indo-European The Indo-European languages are a lang ...
likely emerged as a distinct ethnic group during this time. Swedes enters written proto-history with the ''
Germania Germania ( , ), also called Magna Germania (English: ''Great Germania''), Germania Libera (English: ''Free Germania'') or Germanic Barbaricum Barbaricum (from the gr, Βαρβαρικόν, "foreign", "barbarian") is a geographical name used by ...
'' of
Tacitus Publius Cornelius Tacitus ( , ; – ) was a Roman historian and politician. Tacitus is widely regarded as one of the greatest Roman historians by modern scholars. He lived in what has been called the Silver Age of Latin literature Classi ...

Tacitus
in 98 AD. In Germania 44, 45 he mentions the Swedes (''
Suiones The Swedes ( sv, svear; Old Norse: ''svíar'' (probably from the PIE reflexive pronoun, reflexive pronominal root *wikt:Reconstruction:Proto-Indo-European/swé, s(w)e, "one's own ribesmen/kinsmen;Bandle, Oskar. 2002. The Nordic languages: an i ...
'') as a powerful tribe (''distinguished not merely for their arms and men, but for their powerful fleets'') with ships that had a
prow The bow () is the forward part of the hull (watercraft), hull of a ship or boat, the point that is usually most forward when the vessel is underway. The aft end of the boat is the stern. Function Image:PénicheRecyclageFerrailles2008Deûle2.jp ...
in both ends (
longship Longships were a type of specialised Scandinavian warships that have a long history in Scandinavia, with their existence being archaeologically proven and documented from at least the fourth century BC. Originally invented and used by the Norsem ...
s). Which kings (''kuningaz'') ruled these Suiones is unknown, but
Norse mythology Norse or Scandinavian mythology is the body of myths Myth is a folklore genre Folklore is the expressive body of culture shared by a particular group of people; it encompasses the traditions common to that culture, subculture or group. ...
presents a long line of legendary and semi-legendary kings going back to the last centuries BC. As for literacy in Sweden itself, the
runic script Runes are the letter (alphabet), letters in a set of related alphabets known as runic alphabets, which were used to write various Germanic languages before the adoption of the Latin alphabet and for specialised purposes thereafter. The Scandinav ...
was in use among the south Scandinavian elite by at least the second century AD, but all that has survived from the Roman Period is curt inscriptions on artefacts, mainly of male names, demonstrating that the people of south Scandinavia spoke
Proto-Norse Proto-Norse (also called Ancient Nordic, Ancient Scandinavian, Ancient Norse, Primitive Norse, Proto-Nordic, Proto-Scandinavian and Proto-North Germanic) was an Indo-European languages, Indo-European language spoken in Scandinavia that is tho ...
at the time, a language ancestral to Swedish and other
North Germanic languages The North Germanic languages make up one of the three branches of the Germanic languages—a sub-family of the Indo-European languages—along with the West Germanic languages and the extinct East Germanic languages. The language group is also r ...

North Germanic languages
.


Migration Age and Vendel Period

The migration age in Sweden is marked by the
extreme weather events of 535–536 The volcanic winter of 536 was the most severe and protracted episode of climatic cooling in the Northern Hemisphere in the last 2,000 years.The volcanic winter was caused by an eruption, possibly in Iceland. Most contemporary accounts of the volca ...
which is believed to have shaken Scandinavian society to its core. As much as 50% of the population of Scandinavia is thought to have died as a result and the emerging Vendel Period shows an increased militarization of society. Several areas with rich burial gifts have been found, including well-preserved boat inhumation graves at
Vendel Vendel is a village at Tierp Municipality Tierp Municipality (''Tierps kommun'') is a municipality A municipality is usually a single administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdiv ...
and Valsgärde, and tumuli at
Gamla Uppsala Gamla, alt. sp. Gamala ( he, גַּמְלָא, The Camel) was an ancient Jewish city on the Golan Heights. It is believed to have been founded as a Seleucid fort during the Syrian Wars which was turned into a city under Hasmonean dynasty, Hasmo ...

Gamla Uppsala
. These were used for several generations. Some of the riches were probably acquired through the control of mining districts and the production of iron. The rulers had troops of mounted elite warriors with costly armour. Graves of mounted warriors have been found with stirrups and saddle ornaments of birds of prey in gilded bronze with encrusted garnets. The
Sutton Hoo helmet The Sutton Hoo helmet is an ornately decorated Anglo-Saxon helmet found during a 1939 excavation of the Sutton Hoo Ship burial, ship-burial. It was buried around 625 and is widely associated with King Rædwald of East Anglia; its elaborate dec ...
very similar to helmets in Gamla Uppsala, Vendel and Valsgärde shows that the
Anglo-Saxon The Anglo-Saxons were a cultural group Cultural identity is a part of a person's identity Identity may refer to: Social sciences * Identity (social science), personhood or group affiliation in psychology and sociology Group expression ...
elite had extensive contacts with Swedish elite. In the sixth century
Jordanes Jordanes (), also written as Jordanis or Jornandes, was a 6th-century bureaucrat widely believed to be of who became a historian later in life. Late in life he wrote two works, one on Roman history and the other on the Goths. The latter, alon ...
named two tribes, which he calls the ''Suehans'' and the ''Suetidi'', who lived in
Scandza Scandza was described as a "great island" by the Gothic-Byzantine historian Jordanes 200px, The Mediterranean area 550 AD as Jordanes wrote his ''Getica''. The Eastern Roman Empire, capital Constantinople, is shown in pink. Conquests of Justinia ...

Scandza
. The Suehans, he says, have very fine horses just as the Thyringi tribe (''alia vero gens ibi moratur Suehans, quae velud Thyringi equis utuntur eximiis''). The Icelander
Snorri Sturluson Snorri Sturluson (Old Norse: ; ; 1179 – 23 September 1241) was an Icelandic historian, poet, and politician. He was elected twice as lawspeaker of the Icelandic parliament, the Althing. He is commonly thought to have authored or compiled port ...
(1179–1241) wrote of the sixth-century Swedish king
Adils Eadgils, ''Adils'', ''Aðils'', ''Adillus'', ''Aðísl at Uppsölum'', ''Athisl'', ''Athislus'' or ''Adhel'' was a semi-legendary king of Sweden, who is estimated to have lived during the 6th century. ''Beowulf ''Beowulf'' (; ang, Bēo ...
(Eadgils) that he had the finest horses of his days. The Suehans supplied black fox-skins for the Roman market. Then Jordanes names the ''Suetidi'' which is considered to be the Latin form of ''
Svitjod The Swedes ( sv, svear; Old Norse: ''svíar'' (probably from the PIE reflexive pronoun, reflexive pronominal root *wikt:Reconstruction:Proto-Indo-European/swé, s(w)e, "one's own ribesmen/kinsmen;Bandle, Oskar. 2002. The Nordic languages: an i ...
''. He writes that the Suetidi are the tallest of men—together with the Dani, who were of the same stock. Later he mentions other Scandinavian tribes as being of the same height. Originating in semi-legendary Scandza (believed to be somewhere in modern
Götaland Götaland (; also '' Geatland'', '' Gothia'', ''Gothland'', ''Gothenland'' or ''Gautland'') is one of three lands of Sweden and comprises ten provinces of Sweden, provinces. Geographically it is located in the south of Sweden, bounded to the no ...
, Sweden), a
Gothic Gothic or Gothics may refer to: People and languages *Goths or Gothic people, the ethnonym of a group of East Germanic tribes **Gothic language, an extinct East Germanic language spoken by the Goths **Crimean Gothic, the Gothic language spoken by ...
population had crossed the
Baltic Sea The Baltic Sea is an arm of the Atlantic Ocean, enclosed by Denmark Denmark ( da, Danmark, ) is a Nordic country The Nordic countries, or the Nordics, are a geographical and cultural region In geography, regions are areas that a ...

Baltic Sea
before the second century AD. They reaching
Scythia Scythia (, ; from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is appro ...
on the coast of the
Black Sea , with the skyline of Batumi Batumi (; ka, ბათუმი ) is the second largest city of Georgia Georgia usually refers to: * Georgia (country) Georgia ( ka, საქართველო; ''Sakartvelo''; ) is a country locat ...

Black Sea
in modern Ukraine, where Goths left their archaeological traces in the
Chernyakhov culture The Chernyakhov culture or Sântana de Mureș—Chernyakhov culture was an archaeological culture An archaeological culture is a recurring Assemblage (archaeology), assemblage of types of Artifact (archaeology), artifacts, buildings and monuments ...
. In the fifth and sixth centuries, they became divided as the
Visigoths The Visigoths (; la, Visigothi, Wisigothi, Vesi, Visi, Wesi, Wisi) were an early Germanic people The Germanic peoples were a historical group of people living in Central Europe Central Europe is an area of Europe between Western Europe a ...
and the
Ostrogoths The Ostrogoths ( la, Ostrogothi, Austrogothi) were a Roman-era The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn Rhōmaíōn) was the post-Republican Republican can refer to: P ...
, and established powerful successor-states of the
Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn Rhōmaíōn) was the post-Republican Republican can refer to: Political ideology * An advocate of a republic, a type of governme ...

Roman Empire
in the
Iberian peninsula The Iberian Peninsula , ** * Aragonese Aragonese or Aragones may refer to: * Something related to Aragon, an autonomous community and former kingdom in Spain * the Aragonese people, those originating from or living in the historical region ...

Iberian peninsula
and Italy respectively.
Crimean Gothic Crimean Gothic was an East Germanic language spoken by the Crimean Goths in some isolated locations in Crimea Crimea (; ; uk, Крим, Krym; crh, Къырым, translit=Kirim/Qırım; grc, Κιμμερία/Ταυρική, translit=K ...
communities appear to have survived intact in the
Crimea Crimea; crh, Къырым, translit=Kirim/Qırım; grc, Κιμμερία/Ταυρική, translit=Kimmería/Taurikḗ is a peninsula A peninsula ( la, paeninsula from 'almost' and 'island') is a landform A landform is a natural ...

Crimea
until the late-18th century.


Viking and Middle Ages

The Swedish
Viking Age The Viking Age (793–1066 AD) was the period during the Middle Ages In the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and collection, the study, organization and presentation and the interpretation o ...
lasted roughly between the eighth and 11th centuries. During this period, it is believed that the Swedes expanded from eastern Sweden and incorporated the
Geats The Geats ( ; ang, gēatas ; non, gautar ; sv, götar ), sometimes called ''Goths The Goths ( got, 𐌲𐌿𐍄𐌸𐌹𐌿𐌳𐌰, translit=''Gutþiuda''; la, Gothi) were a Germanic people Germanic may refer to: * Germanic peoples ...
to the south. It is believed that Swedish Vikings and
Gutar The Gutes (old west norse ''Gotar'', old gutnish ''Gutar'') were a North Germanic peoples, North Germanic tribe inhabiting the island of Gotland. The ethnonym is related to that of the ''Goths'' (''Gutans''), and both names were originally Proto ...
mainly travelled east and south, going to Finland, the Baltic countries, Russia,
Belarus , image_map = , map_caption = , capital = Minsk Minsk ( be, Мінск , russian: link=no, Минск) is the capital and the largest city of Belarus, located on the Svislach (Berezina), Svislach and the now subterranean Nyamiha, Niam ...

Belarus
, Ukraine the
Black Sea , with the skyline of Batumi Batumi (; ka, ბათუმი ) is the second largest city of Georgia Georgia usually refers to: * Georgia (country) Georgia ( ka, საქართველო; ''Sakartvelo''; ) is a country locat ...

Black Sea
and further as far as
Baghdad Baghdad (; ar, بَغْدَاد ) is the capital of Iraq Iraq ( ar, الْعِرَاق, translit=al-ʿIrāq; ku, عێراق, translit=Êraq), officially the Republic of Iraq ( ar, جُمْهُورِيَّة ٱلْعِرَاق '; ku, ...

Baghdad
. Their routes passed through the Dnieper down south to
Constantinople la, Constantinopolis ota, قسطنطينيه , alternate_name = Byzantion (earlier Greek name), Nova Roma ("New Rome"), Miklagard/Miklagarth (Old Norse Old Norse, Old Nordic, or Old Scandinavian is a stage of development of North Germa ...

Constantinople
, on which they did numerous raids. The
Byzantine Emperor This is a list of the Byzantine emperors from the foundation of Constantinople la, Constantinopolis ota, قسطنطينيه , alternate_name = Byzantion (earlier Greek name), Nova Roma ("New Rome"), Miklagard/Miklagarth (Old Norse ...
Theophilos noticed their great skills in war and invited them to serve as his personal bodyguard, known as the
varangian guard The Varangian Guard ( el, Τάγμα τῶν Βαράγγων, ''Tágma tōn Varángōn'') was an elite unit of the Byzantine Army The Byzantine army was the primary military body of the Byzantine The Byzantine Empire, also referred to ...
. The Swedish Vikings, called "
Rus Rus or RUS may refer to: People and places * Rus (surname)Rus is a Romanian language, Romanian and Slovene language, Slovene surname that may refer to: Romanians *Daniela L. Rus, roboticist, Romanian-born, working in US *Ioan Rus Romanian polit ...
" are also believed to be the founding fathers of
Kievan Rus Kievan Rus' ( orv, , Rusĭ, or , , "Rus' land") or Kyivan Rus', was a loose federation A federation (also known as a federal state) is a political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a ...
. The Arabic traveller
Ibn Fadlan Aḥmad ibn Faḍlān ibn al-ʿAbbās ibn Rāšid ibn Ḥammād ( ar, أحمد بن فضلان بن العباس بن راشد بن حماد, 921–22), commonly known as Ahmad ibn Fadlan, was a 10th-century Arab The Arabs (singular Arab ; s ...
described these Vikings as following: The adventures of these Swedish Vikings are commemorated on many
runestone A runestone is typically a raised stone with a runic alphabet, runic inscription, but the term can also be applied to inscriptions on boulders and on bedrock. The tradition began in the 4th century and lasted into the 12th century, but most of th ...

runestone
s in Sweden, such as the
Greece Runestones The Greece runestones ( sv, Greklandsstenarna) are about 30 runestones containing information related to voyages made by Norsemen The Norsemen (or Norse people) were a North Germanic ethnolinguistic group of the Early Middle Ages, during w ...
and the
Varangian Runestones The Varangian Runestones are runestones in Scandinavia Scandinavia, Sami languages, Sami: ''Skadesi-suolu''/''Skađsuâl'' ( ) is a Subregion#Europe, subregion in Northern Europe, with strong historical, cultural, and linguistic ties. In ...

Varangian Runestones
. There was also considerable participation in expeditions westwards, which are commemorated on stones such as the
England Runestones
England Runestones
. The last major Swedish Viking expedition appears to have been the ill-fated expedition of
Ingvar the Far-Travelled Ingvar the Far-Travelled (Old Norse Old Norse, Old Nordic, or Old Scandinavian is a stage of development of North Germanic dialects before their final divergence into separate Nordic languages. Old Norse was spoken by inhabitants of Scand ...
to
Serkland srklant on the Tillinge Runestone raised in memory of a Varangians, Varangian who did not return from Serkland, at the church of Tillinge in Uppland, Sweden. In Old Norse sources, such as sagas and runestones, Serkland (also ''Særkland'', ''Srklan ...

Serkland
, the region south-east of the
Caspian Sea The Caspian Sea (also known as Mazandaran Sea, Hyrcanian Ocean, or Khazar Sea), tk, Hazar deňzi, az, Xəzər Dənizi, russian: Каспийское море, script=Latn, fa, دریای مازندران، دریای خزر, script=Latn, tly, ...

Caspian Sea
. Its members are commemorated on the
Ingvar Runestones The Ingvar Runestones ( sv, Ingvarstenarna) is the name of around 26 Varangian Runestones The Varangian Runestones are runestones in Scandinavia Scandinavia, Sami languages, Sami: ''Skadesi-suolu''/''Skađsuâl'' ( ) is a Subregion#Europe, ...
, none of which mentions any survivor. What happened to the crew is unknown, but it is believed that they died of sickness.


Kingdom of Sweden

It is not known when and how the 'kingdom of Sweden' was born, but the
list of Swedish monarchs This is a list of Swedish kings, queens, regent A regent (from the Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, kno ...
is drawn from the first kings who ruled both
Svealand Svealand (), Swealand or (rarely or historically) Sweden proper Sweden proper ( sv, Egentliga Sverige) is a term used to distinguish those territories that were fully integrated into the Kingdom of Sweden Sweden (; sv, Sverige ), offici ...
(Sweden) and
Götaland Götaland (; also '' Geatland'', '' Gothia'', ''Gothland'', ''Gothenland'' or ''Gautland'') is one of three lands of Sweden and comprises ten provinces of Sweden, provinces. Geographically it is located in the south of Sweden, bounded to the no ...
(Gothia) as one province with Erik the Victorious. Sweden and Gothia were two separate nations long before that into antiquity. It is not known how long they existed, but ''
Beowulf ''Beowulf'' (; ang, Bēowulf ) is an Old English epic poem An epic poem is a lengthy narrative poem Narrative poetry is a form of poetry Poetry (derived from the Greek language, Greek ''poiesis'', "making") is a form of literat ...

Beowulf
'' described semi-legendary Swedish-Geatish wars in the sixth century.


Cultural advances

During the early stages of the Scandinavian Viking Age,
Ystad Ystad (; older da, Ysted) is a Urban areas in Sweden, town and the seat of Ystad Municipality, in Scania County, Sweden. Ystad had 18,350 inhabitants in 2010. The settlement dates from the 11th century and has become a busy ferryport, local admin ...

Ystad
in
Scania Scania, also known by its native name of Skåne (, ), is the southernmost of the historical (''landskap'') of . The former province is roughly conterminous with , created in 1997. Like the other former provinces of Sweden, Scania still feature ...

Scania
and Paviken on
Gotland Gotland (, ; ''Gutland'' in the local dialect), also historically spelled Gottland or Gothland (), is Sweden's largest island An island (or isle) is an isolated piece of habitat that is surrounded by a dramatically different habita ...
, in present-day Sweden, were flourishing trade centres. Remains of what is believed to have been a large market have been found in Ystad dating from 600 to 700 AD. In Paviken, an important centre of trade in the Baltic region during the ninth and tenth centuries, remains have been found of a large Viking Age harbour with shipbuilding yards and handicraft industries. Between 800 and 1000, trade brought an abundance of silver to Gotland, and according to some scholars, the Gotlanders of this era hoarded more silver than the rest of the population of Scandinavia combined.Sawyer, Birgit and Peter Sawyer (1993). ''Medieval Scandinavia: from Conversion to Reformation, Circa 800–1500''. University of Minnesota Press, 1993. , pp. 150–153. is usually credited for introducing
Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic The Abrahamic religions, also referred to collectively as the world of Abrahamism and Semitic religions, are a group of Semitic-originated religion Religion is a social system, social-cultural system of ...

Christianity
in 829, but the new religion did not begin to fully replace
paganism Paganism (from classical Latin Classical Latin is the form of Latin language Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, includ ...
until the 12th century. During the 11th century, Christianity became the most prevalent religion, and from 1050 Sweden is counted as a Christian nation. The period between 1100 and 1400 was characterized by internal power struggles and competition among the Nordic kingdoms. Swedish kings also began to expand the Swedish-controlled territory in Finland, creating conflicts with the Rus who no longer had any connection with Sweden.


Feudal institutions in Sweden

Except for the province of
Skane Scania, also known by its native name of Skåne (, ), is the southernmost of the historical provinces of Sweden, provinces (''landskap'') of Sweden. The former province is roughly conterminous with Skåne County, created in 1997. Like the other ...
, on the southernmost tip of Sweden which was under Danish control during this time,
feudalism Feudalism, also known as the feudal system, was the combination of the legal, economic, military, and cultural customs that flourished in Medieval Europe In the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the disc ...
never developed in Sweden as it did in the rest of Europe. Therefore, the peasantry remained largely a class of free farmers throughout most of Swedish history.
Slavery Slavery and enslavement are both the state and the condition of being a slave, who is someone forbidden to quit their service for an enslaver, and who is treated by the enslaver as their property Property is a system of rights that give ...
(also called
thrall A thrall ( non, þræll, is, þræll, fo, trælur, no, trell, træl, da, træl, sv, träl) was a slave Slavery and enslavement are both the state and the condition of being a slave, who is someone forbidden to quit their service for ...
dom) was not common in Sweden, and what slavery there was tended to be driven out of existence by the spread of Christianity, the difficulty in obtaining slaves from the lands east of the Baltic Sea, and by the development of cities before the 16th century Indeed, both slavery and
serfdom Serfdom was the status of many peasants under feudalism, specifically relating to manorialism, and similar systems. It was a condition of debt bondage and indentured servitude with similarities to and differences from slavery, which developed ...
were abolished altogether by a decree of King Magnus Erickson in 1335. Former slaves tended to be absorbed into the peasantry and some became laborers in the towns. Still, Sweden remained a poor and economically backward country in which barter was the means of exchange. For instance, the farmers of the province of
Dalsland Dalsland is a Swedish traditional province, or ''landskap'', situated in Götaland in southern Sweden Sweden (; sv, Sverige ), officially the Kingdom of Sweden ( sv, links=no, Konungariket Sverige ), is a Nordic countries, Nordic country ...

Dalsland
would transport their butter to the mining districts of Sweden and exchange it there for iron, which they would then take down to the coast and trade the iron for fish they needed for food while the iron would be shipped abroad. ;The Plague in Sweden In the 14th century, Sweden was struck by the
Black Death The Black Death (also known as the Pestilence, the Great Mortality or the Plague) was a bubonic plague Bubonic plague is one of three types of plague caused by the plague bacterium Bacteria (; common noun bacteria, singular bact ...

Black Death
. The population of Sweden was decimated. During this period the Swedish cities also began to acquire greater rights and were strongly influenced by German merchants of the
Hanseatic League The Hanseatic League (; gml, Hanse, , ; german: label=Modern German New High German (NHG) is the term used for the most recent period in the history of the German language German (: , ) is a mainly spoken in . It is the most widely ...
, active especially at
Visby Visby () is an urban area in Sweden and the seat of Gotland Municipality in Gotland County on the island of Gotland with 24,330 inhabitants . Visby is also the episcopal see for the Diocese of Visby. The Hanseatic League, Hanseatic city of ...

Visby
. In 1319, Sweden and Norway were united under King Magnus Eriksson, and in 1397 Queen
Margaret I of Denmark Margaret I ( da, Margrete Valdemarsdatter; March 1353 – 28 October 1412) was Monarchy of Denmark, ruler of Denmark, List of Norwegian monarchs, Norway, and List of Swedish monarchs, Sweden (which included Finland) from the late 1380s until her ...
effected the personal union of Sweden, Norway, and Denmark through the
Kalmar Union The Kalmar Union (Danish Danish may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to the country of Denmark * A national or citizen of Denmark, also called a "Dane", see Demographics of Denmark * Danish people or Danes, people with a Danish ancest ...
. However, Margaret's successors, whose rule was also centred in Denmark, were unable to control the
Swedish nobility, where the first known ordinance of Swedish nobility was given in 1280 by Magnus III of Sweden, King Magnus III The Swedish nobility ( sv, Adeln or Ridderskapet och Adeln) has historically been a legally and/or socially privileged Social class, cl ...
. ;Minors and Regents A large number of children inherited the Swedish crown over the course of the kingdom's existence, consequentlyreal power was held for long periods by regents (notably those of the
Sture Sture () was the name of three influential families in Sweden Sweden ( sv, Sverige ), officially the Kingdom of Sweden ( sv, links=no, Konungariket Sverige ), is a Nordic countries, Nordic country in Northern Europe.The United Nations Grou ...
family) chosen by the Swedish parliament. King
Christian II of Denmark Christian II (1 July 1481 – 25 January 1559) was a Scandinavia Scandinavia; Sami Places * Sápmi, a cultural region in Northern Europe * Sami, Burkina Faso, a district of the Banwa Province * Sami District, Gambia * Sami, Cephal ...

Christian II of Denmark
, who asserted his claim to Sweden by force of arms, ordered a massacre in 1520 of Swedish nobles at Stockholm. This came to be known as the " Stockholm blood bath" and stirred the Swedish nobility to new resistance and, on 6 June (now Sweden's national holiday) in 1523, they made Gustav Vasa their king. This is sometimes considered as the foundation of modern Sweden. Shortly afterwards he rejected Catholicism and led Sweden into the Protestant Reformation. Economically, Gustav Vasa broke the monopoly of the Hanseatic League over Swedish Baltic Sea trade. The Hanseatic League had been officially formed at Lübeck on Baltic Sea, the sea coast of Holy Roman Empire, Northern Germany in 1356. The Hanseatic League sought civil and commerce, commercial privileges from the princes and royalty of the countries and cities along the coasts of the Baltic Sea. In exchange they offered a certain amount of protection. Having their own navy the Hansa were able to sweep the Baltic Sea free of pirates. The privileges obtained by the Hansa included assurances that only Hansa citizens would be allowed to trade from the ports where they were located. They also sought agreement to be free of all customs and taxes. With these concessions, Lübeck merchants flocked to Stockholm, Sweden and soon came to dominate the economic life of that city and made the port city of Stockholm into the leading commercial and industrial city of Sweden. Under the Hanseatic trade two-thirds of Stockholm's imports consisted of textiles and one third of salt. Exports from Sweden consisted of iron and copper. However, the Swedes began to resent the monopoly trading position of the Hansa (mostly German citizens) and to resent the income they felt they lost to the Hansa. Consequently, when Gustav Vasa or Gustav I broke the monopoly power of the Hanseatic League he was regarded as a hero to the Swedish people. History now views Gustav I as the father of the modern Swedish nation. The foundations laid by Gustav would take time to develop. Furthermore, when Sweden did develop and freed itself from the Hanseatic League and entered its golden era, the fact that the peasantry had traditionally been free meant that more of the economic benefits flowed back to them rather than going to a feudal landowning class. This was not the case in other countries of Europe like Poland where the peasantry was still bound by serfdom and a strong feudalistic land owning system.


Swedish Empire

During the 17th century Sweden emerged as a European Great Power, great power. Before the emergence of the Swedish Empire, Sweden was a very poor and scarcely populated country on the fringe of European civilization, with no significant power or reputation. Sweden rose to prominence on a continental scale during the tenure of king Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden, Gustavus Adolphus, seizing territories from Russia and Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, Poland–Lithuania in multiple conflicts, including the Thirty Years' War. During the Thirty Years' War, Sweden conquered approximately half of the Holy Roman states. Gustav Adolphus planned to become the new Holy Roman Emperor, ruling over a united Scandinavia and the Holy Roman states, but he died at the Battle of Lützen (1632), Battle of Lützen in 1632. After the Battle of Nördlingen (1634), Battle of Nördlingen, Sweden's only significant military defeat of the war, pro-Swedish sentiment among the German states faded. These German provinces excluded themselves from Swedish power one by one, leaving Sweden with only a few northern German territories: Swedish Pomerania, Bremen-Verden and Wismar. The Swedish armies may have destroyed up to 2,000 castles, 18,000 villages and 1,500 towns in Early Modern history of Germany, Germany, one-third of all German towns. In the middle of the 17th century Sweden was the third largest country in Europe by land area, only surpassed by Russia and Spain. Sweden reached its largest territorial extent under the rule of Charles X of Sweden, Charles X after the treaty of Roskilde in 1658. "A Political and Social History of Modern Europe V.1./Hayes..." Hayes, Carlton J. H. (1882–1964), ''Title: A Political and Social History of Modern Europe V.1.'', 2002-12-08, Project Gutenberg, webpage:
Infomot-7hsr110
.
The foundation of Sweden's success during this period is credited to Gustav I's major changes on the Swedish economy in the 16th century, and his introduction of Protestantism. "Gustav I Vasa – Britannica Concise" (biography), ''Britannica Concise'', 2007, webpage:
EBConcise-Gustav-I-Vasa
.
In the 17th century, Sweden was engaged in many wars, for example with the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth with both sides competing for territories of today's Baltic states, with the disastrous Battle of Kircholm being one of the highlights. One-third of the Finnish population died in the devastating famine that struck the country in 1696. Famine also hit Sweden, killing roughly 10% of Sweden's population. The Swedes conducted a series of invasions into the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, known as the Deluge (history), Deluge. After more than half a century of almost constant warfare, the Swedish economy had deteriorated. It became the lifetime task of Charles' son, Charles XI of Sweden, Charles XI, to rebuild the economy and refit the army. His legacy to his son, the coming ruler of Sweden Charles XII of Sweden, Charles XII, was one of the finest arsenals in the world, a large standing army and a great fleet. Sweden's largest threat at this time, Russia, had a larger army but was far behind in both equipment and training. After the Battle of Narva (1700), Battle of Narva in 1700, one of the first battles of the Great Northern War, the Russian army was so severely decimated that Sweden had an open chance to invade Russia. However, Charles did not pursue the Russian army, instead turning against Poland–Lithuania and defeating the Polish king Augustus II and his Saxon allies at the Battle of Kliszow in 1702. This gave Russia time to rebuild and modernize its army. After the success of invading Poland, Charles decided to make an invasion attempt of Russia which ended in a decisive Russian victory at the Battle of Poltava in 1709. After a long march exposed to cossack raids, Russian Tsar Peter the Great's scorched-earth techniques and Great Frost of 1709, the extremely cold winter of 1709, the Swedes stood weakened with a shattered morale and enormously outnumbered against the Russian army at Poltava. The defeat meant the beginning of the end for the Swedish Empire. Charles XII attempted to invade Norway 1716; however, he was shot dead at Fredriksten, Fredriksten fortress in 1718. The Swedes were not militarily defeated at Fredriksten, but the whole structure and organization of the Norwegian campaign fell apart with the king's death, and the army withdrew. Forced to cede large areas of land in the Treaty of Nystad in 1721, Sweden also lost its place as an empire and as the dominant state on the Baltic Sea. With Sweden's lost influence, Russia emerged as an empire and became one of Europe's dominant nations. As the war finally ended in 1721, Sweden had lost an estimated 200,000 men, 150,000 of those from the area of present-day Sweden and 50,000 from the History of Finland#17th century – the Swedish Empire, Finnish part of Sweden. In the 18th century, Sweden did not have enough resources to maintain its territories outside Scandinavia, and most of them were lost, culminating with the 1809 loss of eastern Sweden to Russia which became the highly autonomous Grand Duchy of Finland, Grand Principality of Finland in Imperial Russia. In interest of reestablishing Swedish dominance in the Baltic Sea, Sweden allied itself against its traditional ally and benefactor, France, in the Napoleonic Wars. Sweden's role in the Battle of Leipzig gave it the authority to force Denmark-Norway, an ally of France, to cede Norway to the King of Sweden on 14 January 1814 in exchange for northern German provinces, at the Treaty of Kiel. The Norwegian attempts to keep their status as a sovereign state were rejected by the Swedish king, Charles XIII. He launched a military campaign against Norway on 27 July 1814, ending in the Convention of Moss, which forced Norway into a Union between Sweden and Norway, personal union with Sweden under the Swedish crown, which lasted until 1905. The 1814 campaign was the last war in which Sweden participated as a combatant.


Modern history

There was a significant population increase during the 18th and 19th centuries, which the writer Esaias Tegnér in 1833 attributed to "peace, vaccine, and potatoes". Between 1750 and 1850, the population in Sweden doubled. Sweden was hit by the last natural caused famine in Europe, the Swedish famine of 1867-1869, Famine of 1867-69 killed thousands in Sweden. According to some scholars, mass emigration to America became the only way to prevent famine and rebellion; over 1% of the population emigrated annually during the 1880s. Einhorn, Eric and John Logue (1989). ''Modern Welfare States: Politics and Policies in Social'' ''Democratic Scandinavia''. Praeger Publishers, p. 9: "Though Denmark, where industrialization had begun in the 1850s, was reasonably prosperous by the end of the nineteenth century, both Sweden and Norway were terribly poor. Only the safety valve of mass emigration to America prevented famine and rebellion. At the peak of emigration in the 1880s, over 1% of the total population of both countries emigrated annually." Nevertheless, Sweden remained poor, retaining a nearly entirely agricultural economy even as Denmark and Western European countries began to industrialize. Many looked towards America for a better life during this time. It is believed that between 1850 and 1910 more than one million Swedes moved to the United States. In the early 20th century, more Swedes lived in Chicago than in Gothenburg (Sweden's second largest city). Most Swedish immigrants moved to the Midwestern United States, with a large population in Minnesota, with a few others moving to other parts of the United States and Canada. Despite the slow rate of industrialization into the 19th century, many important changes were taking place in the agrarian economy because of innovations and the large population growth.Koblik, pp. 9–10. These innovations included government-sponsored programs of enclosure, aggressive exploitation of agricultural lands, and the introduction of new crops such as the potato. Because the Swedish peasantry had never been enserfed as elsewhere in Europe, the Swedish farming culture began to take on a critical role in the Swedish political process, which has continued through modern times with modern Agrarian party (now called the Centre Party). Between 1870 and 1914, Sweden began developing the industrialized economy that exists today. Strong grassroots movements sprung up in Sweden during the latter half of the 19th century (trade unions, temperance movement, temperance groups, and independent religious groups), creating a strong foundation of democratic principles. In 1889 The Swedish Social Democratic Party was founded. These movements precipitated Sweden's migration into a modern parliamentary democracy, achieved by the time of World War I. As the Industrial Revolution progressed during the 20th century, people gradually began moving into cities to work in factories and became involved in socialism, socialist unions. A communist revolution was avoided in 1917, following the re-introduction of parliamentarism, and the country saw comprehensive democratization, democratic reforms under the joint Liberal-Social Democrat cabinet of Nils Edén and Hjalmar Branting, with universal and equal suffrage to both houses of parliament enacted for men in 1918 and for women in 1919. The reforms were widely accepted by King Gustaf V of Sweden, Gustaf V, who had previously ousted Karl Staaff's elected Liberal government in the Courtyard Crisis because of differences in defence policy. It is possible that the Monarchy of Sweden survived because of the breakout of World War I, which saw a major shift in public sentiment towards the king's more pro-military views.


World Wars

Sweden remained officially neutral during World War I and World War II, although its neutrality during World War II has been disputed.Koblik, pp. 303–313. Sweden was under German influence for much of the war, as ties to the rest of the world were cut off through blockades. The Swedish government felt that it was in no position to openly contest Germany, and therefore made some concessions. Sweden also supplied steel and machined parts to Germany throughout the war. However, Sweden supported Norwegian resistance, and in 1943 helped rescue Danish Jews from deportation to Nazi concentration camps. Sweden also supported Finland in the Winter War and the Continuation War with volunteers and materiel. Toward the end of the war, Sweden began to play a role in humanitarian efforts and many refugees, among them many Jews from Nazi-occupied Europe, were saved partly because of the Swedish involvement in rescue missions at the internment camps and partly because Sweden served as a haven for refugees, primarily from the
Nordic countries The Nordic countries (also known as the Nordics or ''Norden''; lit. 'the North') are a geographical and cultural region In geography, regions are areas that are broadly divided by physical characteristics (physical geography), human impac ...

Nordic countries
and the Baltic states. Nevertheless, internal and external critics have argued that Sweden could have done more to resist the Nazi war effort, even if risking occupation although doing so would likely have resulted in even greater number of casualties and prevented many humanitarian efforts.Nordstrom, pp. 313–319.


Post-war era

Sweden was officially a neutral country and remained outside NATO or Warsaw pact membership during the Cold War, but privately Sweden's leadership had strong ties with the United States and other western governments. Following the war, Sweden took advantage of an intact industrial base, social stability and its natural resources to expand its industry to supply the rebuilding of Europe.Nordstrom, pp. 335–339. Sweden was part of the Marshall Plan and participated in the Organization of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). During most of the post-war era, the country was governed by the Swedish Social Democratic Party largely in cooperation with Swedish Trade Union Confederation, trade unions and industry. The government actively pursued an internationally competitive manufacturing sector of primarily large corporations. Sweden, like countries around the globe, entered a period of economic decline and upheaval, following the oil embargoes of 1973–74 and 1978–79. In the 1980s pillars of Swedish industry were massively restructured. Shipbuilding was discontinued, wood pulp was integrated into modernized paper production, the steel industry was concentrated and specialized, and mechanical engineering was robotized. Between 1970 and 1990 the overall tax burden rose by over 10%, and the growth was low compared to other countries in Western Europe. The marginal income tax for workers reached over 80%. Eventually government spent over half of the country's gross domestic product. Sweden GDP per capita ranking declined during this time.''Globalization and Taxation: Challenges to the Swedish Welfare State''. By Sven Steinmo.


Recent history

A bursting real estate bubble caused by inadequate controls on lending combined with an international recession and a policy switch from anti-unemployment policies to anti-inflationary policies resulted in a fiscal crisis in the early 1990s. Sweden's GDP declined by around 5%. In 1992, there was a run on the currency, with the central bank briefly increasing interest to 500%. The response of the government was to cut spending and institute a multitude of reforms to improve Sweden's competitiveness, among them reducing the welfare state and Privatization, privatising public services and goods. Much of the political establishment promoted EU membership, and the Swedish referendum passed with 52% in favour of joining the EU on 13 November 1994. Sweden joined the European Union on 1 January 1995. Sweden remains non-aligned militarily, although it participates in some joint military exercises with NATO and some other countries, in addition to extensive cooperation with other European countries in the area of defence technology and defence industry. Among others, Swedish companies export weapons that are used by the American military in Iraq. Sweden also has a long history of participating in international military operations, including most recently, Afghanistan, where Swedish troops are under NATO command, and in EU sponsored peacekeeping operations in Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Cyprus. Sweden held the chair of the European Union from 1 July to 31 December 2009.


Influence by immigration to Sweden

The growth of immigration to Sweden in the post-war era has triggered a debate in Sweden about the nature of "Swedishness" and how immigrants can be integrated in Swedish society. In a report by the Swedish government it has been claimed that Swedishness usually is classified by researchers in five different ways: country of birth (i.e. Sweden), citizenship, consanguinity (i.e. perceived kinship), culture or language; and appearance. It also claims that a mix of these ideas is found in more mundane uses of the word Swedish, in media and ordinary speech and that it should be understood in the light of how national stories of Sweden have been formed over a long period of time. Sweden's main statistics bureau Statistics Sweden (SCB) does not keep any record of ethnicity, but about 20% of Sweden's population is of foreign background. Some immigrants in Sweden feel that they experience "betweenship" which arises when others ascribe them an identity that they do not hold themselves. The growing numbers of immigrants has coincided with the rise of the anti-immigration political party Sweden Democrats which expresses concern of a demographic threat, especially the rise of Islam in Sweden. Since the 1990s, polls show that people in Sweden have gradually become more positive to asylum refugees. However, in a poll made in 2019, a majority of Swedes expressed negative sentiments towards asylum seeking refugees. Recently, the Sweden Democrats have become one of the most popular parties in Sweden which has sparked widespread debate about a possible increase of perceived xenophobia and racism in Sweden.


Language

The native language of nearly all Swedes is Swedish language, Swedish (''svenska'' ) a North Germanic languages, North Germanic language, spoken by approximately 10 million people, gives the number of 8,789,835, but is based on data from 1986. Sweden has currently a population of 9.2 Mio (2008 census), and there are about 290,000 native speakers of Swedish in Finland (based on data from 2007), leading to an estimate of about 9 to 10 Mio. predominantly in Sweden and parts of Finland, especially along its coast and on the Åland islands. It is, to a considerable extent, Mutually intelligible languages, mutually intelligible with Norwegian language, Norwegian and to a lesser extent with spoken Danish language, Danish (see especially "Danish language#Classification, Classification"). Along with the other North Germanic languages, Swedish is a descendant of Old Norse, the common language of the Germanic peoples living in Scandinavia during the Viking Age, Viking Era. It is the largest of the North Germanic languages by numbers of speakers. Standard Swedish, used by most Swedish people, is the national language that evolved from the Central Swedish dialects in the 19th century and was well established by the beginning of the 20th century. While distinct regional Variety (linguistics), varieties descended from the older rural dialects still exist, the spoken and written language is uniform and standardized. Some dialects differ considerably from the standard language in grammar and vocabulary and are not always mutually intelligible with Standard Swedish. These dialects are confined to rural areas and are spoken primarily by small numbers of people with low social mobility. Though not facing imminent Extinct language, extinction, such dialects have been in decline during the past century, despite the fact that they are well researched and their use is often encouraged by local authorities.


Genetics

According to recent genetic analysis, both mtDNA and Y chromosome polymorphisms showed a noticeable genetic affinity between Swedes and other Germanic peoples, Germanic ethnic groups. For the global genetic make-up of the Swedish people and other peoples, see and. Patrilineage, Paternally, through their Human Y-chromosome DNA haplogroups, Y-DNA haplogroups, the Swedes are quite diverse and show strongly of Haplogroup I1 (Y-DNA), Haplogroup I1d1 at over 40% of the population tested in different studies, followed by haplogroup R1a, R1a1a and haplogroup R1b, R1b1a2a1a1 with over 20% each and Haplogroup N (Y-DNA), haplogroup N1c1 with over 5% at different regional variance. The rest are within haplogroups Haplogroup J (Y-DNA), J and haplogroup E3b, E1b1b1 and other less common ones. Matrilineage, Maternally, through their Human mitochondrial DNA haplogroup, mtDNA haplogroups, the Swedes show very strongly of Haplogroup H (mtDNA), haplogroup H at 25–30%, followed by Haplogroup U (mtDNA), haplogroup U at a 10% or more, with Haplogroup J (mtDNA), haplogroup J and Haplogroup T (mtDNA), T, Haplogroup K (mtDNA), K at around 5% each.


Geographic distribution

The largest area inhabited by Swedes, as well as the earliest known original area inhabited by their linguistic ancestors, is in the country of Sweden, situated on the eastern side of the Scandinavian Peninsula and the islands adjacent to it, situated west of the
Baltic Sea The Baltic Sea is an arm of the Atlantic Ocean, enclosed by Denmark Denmark ( da, Danmark, ) is a Nordic country The Nordic countries, or the Nordics, are a geographical and cultural region In geography, regions are areas that a ...

Baltic Sea
in northern Europe. The Swedish-speaking people living in near-coastal areas on the north-eastern and eastern side of the Baltic Sea also have a long history of continuous settlement, which in some of these areas possibly started about a millennium ago. These people include the Swedish-speakers in mainland Finland – speaking a Swedish dialect commonly referred to as Finland Swedish (finlandssvenska which is part of the East-Swedish dialect group) and the almost exclusively Swedish-speaking population of the Åland Islands speaking in a manner closer to the adjacent dialects in Sweden than to adjacent dialects of Finland Swedish.
Estonia Estonia ( et, Eesti ), officially the Republic of Estonia ( et, Eesti Vabariik, links=no), is a country in northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by the Gulf of Finland across from Finland, to the west by the Baltic Sea across from Sweden ...

Estonia
also had an important Swedish Estonians, Swedish minority which persisted for about 650 years on Aiboland, the coast and isles. Smaller groups of historical descendants of 18th–20th-century Swedish emigrants who still retain varying aspects of Swedish identity to this day can be found in the Americas (especially Minnesota and Wisconsin; see Swedish Americans) and in Ukraine. Currently, Swedes tend to emigrate mostly to the Nordic neighbour countries (Norway, Denmark, Finland), English speaking countries (United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand), Spain, France and Germany. Historically, the Kingdom of Sweden has been much larger than nowadays, especially during "The Era of Great Power" (Swedish Empire) in 1611–1718. Finland belonged to Sweden until 1809. Since there was no separate Finnish nationality at those times, it is not unusual that sources predating 1809 refer both to Swedes and Finns as "Swedes". This is particularly the case with New Sweden, where some of the Swedish settlers were of Finnish origin. According to a questionnaire survey conducted by Swedes Worldwide, a non-profit organization, Swedish embassies around the world reported figures for a total of 546,000 Swedish citizens living outside of Sweden. *United States: 100,000 *Spain: 90,000 *United Kingdom: 90,000 *Norway: 80,000 *France: 30,000 *Germany: 17,099 *Switzerland: 17,000 *Finland: 13,009 *Denmark: 12,933 *Belgium: 10,000 *Italy: 10,000 *Thailand: 10,000 *Australia: 8,000 *Canada: 7,000 *Netherlands: 5,500 *Ireland: 3,500 *Greece: 3,000 *China: 3,000 *New Zealand: 3,000 *other countries combined: 21,504


See also

*Demographics of Sweden * Sweden * List of Swedes * List of Swedish actors * List of Swedish film directors * List of Swedes in music, List of Swedish musicians * List of Swedish scientists * List of Swedish sportspeople * Swedish diaspora * List of Germanic peoples * Swedish Americans


Further reading

*


References


External links


VisitSweden
Sweden's official website for tourism and travel information {{DEFAULTSORT:Swedish People Germanic ethnic groups Ethnic groups in Sweden Swedish people, North Germanic peoples