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The Nordic countries

Map of the Nordic countriesAll the five Nordic countries - Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden - and their three autonomous territories - Åland, Greenland and the Faroe Islands - participate in the Nordic cooperation. The Nordic countries share a common earlyhistory and have similar cultural characteristics and like social systems. However, each Nordic country has a language of its own. Danish, Islandic, Swedish, Norwegian and Faeroese belong to the group of Nordic languages, while Finnish belongs to the Finno-Ugric languages and Greenlandic is an Eskimo-Aleut language.

In terms of geography, the Nordic countries and Scandinavia are usually considered to be different regions. The term Nordic countries refers to all the five Nordic countries together with their autonomous territories while, in a purely geographical sense, Scandinavia comprises only Norway, Sweden and the north-western parts of Finland. However, in a cultural sense, Scandinavia is often used to mean an area consisting of Denmark, Sweden and Norway only. The term Fennoscandia, on the other hand, refers to the Scandinavian Peninsula, Denmark, Finland, the Kola Peninsula and the Republic of Karelia in Russia.

This page provides a general overview of the Nordic countries and their autonomous territories together with the basic facts and illustration of the flags.

 

This document

Updated 8/11/2009

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