Sweden, officially the Kingdom of Sweden, is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. It has been a member of the European Union since 1 January 1995. Its capital city is Stockholm.
At 449,964 km2 (173,720 square miles), Sweden is the third largest country by area in Western Europe and fifth in all of Europe. Sweden has a low population density of 20 people per square kilometre, except in its metropolitan areas; 84% of the population lives in urban areas, which comprise only 1.3% of the country's total land area. The inhabitants of Sweden enjoy a high standard of living, and the country is generally perceived as modern and liberal, with an organizational and corporate culture that is non-hierarchical and collectivist compared to its Anglo-Saxon counterparts. Nature conservation, environmental protection and energy efficiency are generally prioritized in policy making and embraced by the general public in Sweden.
Sweden has long been a major exporter of iron, copper and timber. Improved transportation and communication has allowed for the large scale utilization of remote natural assets, most notably timber and iron ore. In the 1890s, universal schooling and industrialization enabled the country to develop a successful manufacturing industry and by the twentieth century, Sweden emerged as a welfare state, consistently achieving high positions among the top-ranking countries in the UN Human Development Index (HDI). Sweden has a rich supply of water power, but lacks significant oil and coal deposits.