Scandinavian region: geography, people, culture, and places

Scandinavia corresponds to a region to the north of the European continent that encompasses the two countries of the Scandinavian Peninsula — Norway and Sweden. Linguistic, historical and cultural factors led to the addition of Denmark. Some authorities and scholars advocate the inclusion of Finland, the Faroe Islands, and Iceland, given the linguistic, economic, and geological similarity between the countries.

Is Scandinavia a country?

No, Scandinavia is not a country, but a historical and geographical region made up of countries that, besides having high Human Development Indexes, share similar historical processes, culture and languages. Many refer to Scandinavia as synonymous with Nordic countries. This is a misconception. The Nordic Countries are a region, located in the North of the European continent, constituted by Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Iceland and the regions of Greenland, Faroe Islands and Aland Islands. It is therefore a region made up of five nations and three autonomous regions. Scandinavia is made up of just three nations. Scandinavian countries have breathtaking landscapes. 

Features of Scandinavian countries


Norway is the country with the highest HDI in the world. It is very efficient in the health and education sectors, as well as having a high economy, considered very stable. According to the United Nations, Norway has a life expectancy of over 80 years. Its capital is Oslo.


Sweden is known as one of the most innovative countries in the world and as one of the leaders in the ranking of competitiveness among countries. It has a high HDI, excellent indices in the education sector, excellent quality, and an efficient health sector. It is the most populous among the Nordic Countries and has one of the most beautiful landscapes in the world, which attracts many tourists. 


Denmark is known for honesty, trust, and security. The country has a high HDI, as is the case of life expectancy, which exceeds 80 years. Its culture is considered one of the most progressive in the world. In the country, prostitution is allowed unlike most cultures in the world. The country defends sexual freedom and condemns religious taboos. The country is considered one of the safest for women.


The Vikings inhabited the northern region of the European continent, specifically the region of Scandinavia, throughout the period known as the Viking Age. They were warriors, explorers and merchants. The Vikings moved to other regions, and this displacement is sometimes justified by the population increase that caused food shortages and intensified disputes over land.


The languages ​​spoken by the Scandinavian people in the Scandinavia region are Danish, Norwegian and Swedish. These languages ​​were influenced by German and Dutch in the middle ages period. The long political relationship between Denmark and Norway has made the languages ​​of these two countries very similar.


The Scandinavian model proposed the union between Denmark, Norway and Sweden, with a view to becoming a single kingdom in the midst of the conflicts between the French empire and other nations. The term Scandinavian was replaced by Nordic Countries and later by Nordic Council. The so-called Nordic model represents the socio-economic policies of the Nordic countries.