Geography of Sweden

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Sweden is a country in Northern Europe on the Scandinavian Peninsula. Its borders are Norway to the west; Finland to the northeast; and the Baltic Sea and Gulf of Bothnia to the east and south.

Sweden has a long coastline on the eastern side and the Scandinavian mountain chain (Skanderna) on the western border, a range that separates Sweden from Norway. It has maritime borders with Denmark, Germany, Poland, Russia, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, and it is also linked to Denmark (southwest) by the Öresund Bridge. At 450,295 km2 (173,860 sq mi), Sweden is the 55th largest country in the world. It is the 5th largest in Europe, and the largest in Northern Europe.

Contents

Terrain

Much of Sweden is heavily forested, with 78% of the country being forest and woodland, while farmland constitutes only 1% of land use. Southern Sweden is predominantly agricultural, with increasing forest coverage northward. Mountains and hills are dominant in the west. About 15% of Sweden lies north of the Arctic Circle.

The lowest elevation in Sweden is in the bay of Lake Hammarsjön, near Kristianstad at
-2.41 m (−7.91 ft) below sea level. The highest point is Kebnekaise at 2,111 m (6,926 ft) above sea level.

The highest population density is in the Öresund region in southern Sweden and in the valley of lake Mälaren near to Stockholm. Gotland and Öland are Sweden's largest islands; Vänern and Vättern are its largest lakes. Vänern is the third largest in Europe, after Lake Ladoga and Lake Onega in Russia.

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