38 Facts About Nordic countries


Nordic countries have much in common in their way of life, history, religion and social structure.

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Term Nordic countries found mainstream use after the advent of Foreningen Norden.

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Nordic countries first came into more permanent contact with the rest of Europe during the Viking Age.

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Southern Finland and northern parts of Sweden and Norway were areas where the Vikings mostly only traded and had raids, whilst the permanent settlements of Vikings in the Nordic countries region were in southern Norway and Sweden, Denmark and Faroes as well as parts of Iceland, Greenland and Estonia.

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The Nordic countries states had been neutral during World War I, but during World War II they could no longer stand apart from world politics.

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Economically, the five Nordic countries were strongly dependent on foreign trade and so they positioned themselves alongside the big trading blocks.

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Notable natural features of the Nordic countries include the Norwegian fjords, the Archipelago Sea between Finland and Sweden, the extensive volcanic and geothermal activity of Iceland, and Greenland, which is the largest island in the world.

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The largest cities and capitals of the Nordic countries are situated on the southern parts of the region, with the exception of Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland.

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The climate in the Nordic countries is mainly influenced by their northern location, but remedied by the vicinity to the ocean and the Gulf Stream which brings warm ocean currents from the tip of Florida.

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Intra-Nordic countries trade is not covered by the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods, but by local law.

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The Nordic countries have cooperated closely in the administrative and consular fields since the Nordic Passport Union was established and the Helsinki Treaty concluded.

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Politically, Nordic countries do not form a separate entity, but they cooperate in the Nordic Council and the Nordic Council of Ministers.

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Central theme in the Nordic countries model is the "universalist" welfare state aimed specifically at enhancing individual autonomy, promoting social mobility and ensuring the universal provision of basic human rights, as well as for stabilizing the economy.

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Nordic countries model is distinguished from other types of welfare states by its emphasis on maximizing labour force participation, promoting gender equality, egalitarian and extensive benefit levels, the large magnitude of income redistribution and liberal use of expansionary fiscal policy.

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Model has been successful: the Nordic countries are among the wealthiest worldwide and there is little social unrest.

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Since 1996, these Nordic countries have been part of the larger EU directive Schengen Agreement area, comprising 30 Nordic countries in Europe.

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When traveling to other countries than the Nordics, public officials in the foreign services of any of the Nordic countries are to assist citizens of another Nordic country if that country is not represented in the territory concerned, according to the Helsinki Treaty.

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Political cooperation between the Nordic countries has not led to a common policy or an agreement on the countries' memberships in the EU, Eurozone and NATO.

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Iceland holds a leading position compared to the other Nordic countries regarding growth in public consumption in the years from 2000 to 2008.

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Nordic countries cooperation is characterized largely by the international community and the global challenges and opportunities.

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The Nordic countries, which are relatively small, have historically and still are benefiting greatly by obtaining common use in cooperation with other countries and institutions.

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The Nordic economies are small and open and thus the countries are export-depending.

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Trade between the Nordic countries is especially considerable as about one fifth of the countries' foreign trade is trade with other Nordic countries.

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However, the Nordic countries have considerable imports from the Netherlands, China and Russia.

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Nordic countries region is one of the richest sources of energy in the world.

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Apart from the natural occurrence of fossil fuels such as oil and gas, the Nordic countries have good infrastructure and technology to exploit renewable energy sources such as water, wind, bio-energy and geothermal heat.

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The indigenous production of energy in the Nordic countries has risen considerably over the last couple of decades – especially in Denmark and Norway due to oil deposits in the North Sea.

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The Nordic countries have one of the lowest population densities in the world.

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The low density is partly due to the fact that many parts of the Nordic countries are marginal areas, where nature puts limitations on settlement.

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The population in the Nordic countries is getting older and according to the population projection for the Nordic countries as a whole, the share of the population above the age of 80 will reach 8.

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Finnish Kale, Norwegian and Swedish Travellers and other Romani peoples of the Nordic countries have the right to maintain and develop their language and culture.

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Large proportion of the migration in the Nordic countries occurs between and among the countries themselves, largely as the result of the free labour market and liberal rules for the exchange of students in the Nordic countries.

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The Sami are the only indigenous people of the Nordic countries excluding Greenland that are recognized and protected under the international conventions of indigenous peoples.

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Nordic countries have historically been one of the most socially progressive cultures in the world and culture is one of the main components of cooperation between the Nordic countries.

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All Nordic countries have national theatres, where plays, ballets and operas are performed.

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The most prominent historical composers from Nordic countries are the Finn Jean Sibelius, the Dane Carl Nielsen and the Norwegian Edvard Grieg.

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Since 1962, the Nordic countries Council has awarded a literature prize once a year for a work of fiction written in one of the Nordic countries languages.

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Nordic countries, including the autonomous territories of the Faroe Islands and Aland, have a similar flag design, all based on the Dannebrog, the Danish flag.

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