Nebraska is a state that lies in both the Great Plains and the Midwestern United States. It is bordered by South Dakota to the north, it is the only triply landlocked U. S. state. Nebraska's area is just over 77,220 square miles with a population of 1.9 million people. Its state capital is Lincoln, its largest city is Omaha, on the Missouri River. Indigenous peoples, including Omaha, Ponca, Pawnee and various branches of the Lakota tribes, lived in the region for thousands of years before European exploration; the state is crossed including that of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Nebraska was admitted as the 37th state of the United States in 1867, it is the only state in the United States whose legislature is unicameral and nonpartisan. Nebraska is composed of two major land regions: the Great Plains; the Dissected Till Plains region consist of rolling hills and contains the state's largest cities and Lincoln. The Great Plains region, occupying most of western Nebraska, is characterized by treeless prairie, suitable for cattle-grazing.
Nebraska has two major climatic zones. The eastern half of the state has a humid continental climate; the western half of the state has a semi-arid climate. The state has wide variations between winter and summer temperatures, variations that decrease moving south in the state. Violent thunderstorms and tornadoes occur during spring and summer and sometimes in autumn. Chinook winds tend to warm the state in the winter and early spring. Nebraska's name is derived from transliteration of the archaic Otoe words Ñí Brásge, pronounced, or the Omaha Ní Btháska, meaning "flat water", after the Platte River that flows through the state. Indigenous peoples lived in the region of present-day Nebraska for thousands of years before European exploration; the historic tribes in the state included the Omaha, Ponca, Pawnee and various branches of the Lakota, some of which migrated from eastern areas into this region. When European exploration and settlement began, both Spain and France sought to control the region.
In the 1690s, Spain established trade connections with the Apaches, whose territory included western Nebraska. By 1703, France had developed a regular trade with the native peoples along the Missouri River in Nebraska, by 1719 had signed treaties with several of these peoples. After war broke out between the two countries, Spain dispatched an armed expedition to Nebraska under Lieutenant General Pedro de Villasur in 1720; the party was attacked and destroyed near present-day Columbus by a large force of Pawnees and Otoes, both allied to the French. The massacre ended Spanish exploration of the area for the remainder of the 18th century. In 1762, during the Seven Years' War, France ceded the Louisiana territory to Spain; this left Spain competing for dominance along the Mississippi. In response, Spain dispatched two trading expeditions up the Missouri in 1794 and 1795; that year, Mackay's party built a trading post, dubbed Fort Carlos IV, near present-day Homer. In 1819, the United States established Fort Atkinson as the first U.
S. Army post west of the Missouri River, just east of present-day Fort Calhoun; the army abandoned the fort in 1827. European-American settlement was scarce until the California Gold Rush. On May 30, 1854, the US Congress created the Kansas and the Nebraska territories, divided by the Parallel 40° North, under the Kansas–Nebraska Act; the Nebraska Territory included parts of the current states of Colorado, North Dakota, South Dakota and Montana. The territorial capital of Nebraska was Omaha. In the 1860s, after the U. S. government forced many of the Native American tribes to cede their lands and settle on reservations, it opened large tracts of land to agricultural development by Europeans and Americans. Under the Homestead Act, thousands of settlers migrated into Nebraska to claim free land granted by the federal government; because so few trees grew on the prairies, many of the first farming settlers built their homes of sod, as had Native Americans such as the Omaha. The first wave of settlement gave the territory a sufficient population to apply for statehood.
Nebraska became the 37th state on March 1, 1867, the capital was moved from Omaha to the center at Lancaster renamed Lincoln after the assassinated President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln. The battle of Massacre Canyon on August 5, 1873, was the last major battle between the Pawnee and the Sioux. During the 1870s to the 1880s, Nebraska experienced a large growth in population. Several factors contributed to attracting new residents; the first was. This helped settlers to learn the unfamiliar geography of the area; the second factor was the invention of several farming technologies. Agricultural inventions such as barbed wire, wind mills, the steel plow, combined with good weather, enabled settlers to use of Nebraska as prime farming land. By the 1880s, Nebraska's population
Iowa is a state in the Midwestern United States, bordered by the Mississippi River to the east and the Missouri River and Big Sioux River to the west. It is bordered by six states. In colonial times, Iowa was a part of Spanish Louisiana. After the Louisiana Purchase, people laid the foundation for an agriculture-based economy in the heart of the Corn Belt. In the latter half of the 20th century, Iowa's agricultural economy made the transition to a diversified economy of advanced manufacturing, financial services, information technology and green energy production. Iowa is the 26th most extensive in land area and the 30th most populous of the 50 U. S states, its capital and largest city by population is Des Moines. Iowa has been listed as one of the safest states in, its nickname is the Hawkeye State. Iowa derives its name from the Ioway people, one of the many Native American tribes that occupied the state at the time of European exploration. Iowa is bordered by the Mississippi River on the east.
The southern border is the Des Moines River and a not-quite-straight line along 40 degrees 35 minutes north, as decided by the U. S. Supreme Court in Missouri v. Iowa after a standoff between Missouri and Iowa known as the Honey War. Iowa is the only state whose east and west borders are formed by rivers. Iowa has 99 counties; the state capital, Des Moines, is in Polk County. Iowa's bedrock geology increases in age from west to east. In northwest Iowa, Cretaceous bedrock can be 74 million years old. Iowa is not flat. Iowa can be divided into eight landforms based on glaciation, soils and river drainage. Loess hills lie along the western border of the state. Northeast Iowa along the Upper Mississippi River is part of the Driftless Area, consisting of steep hills and valleys which appear mountainous. Several natural lakes exist, most notably Spirit Lake, West Okoboji Lake, East Okoboji Lake in northwest Iowa. To the east lies Clear Lake. Man-made lakes include Lake Odessa, Saylorville Lake, Lake Red Rock, Coralville Lake, Lake MacBride, Rathbun Lake.
The state's northwest area has many remnants such as Barringer Slough. Iowa's natural vegetation is tallgrass prairie and savanna in upland areas, with dense forest and wetlands in flood plains and protected river valleys, pothole wetlands in northern prairie areas. Most of Iowa is used for agriculture; the Southern part of Iowa is categorised as the Central forest-grasslands transition ecoregion. The Northern, drier part of Iowa is categorised as the Central tall grasslands and is thus considered to be part of the Great Plains. There is a dearth of natural areas in Iowa; as of 2005 Iowa ranked 49th of U. S. states in public land holdings. Threatened or endangered animals in Iowa include the interior least tern, piping plover, Indiana bat, pallid sturgeon, the Iowa Pleistocene land snail, Higgins' eye pearly mussel, the Topeka shiner. Endangered or threatened plants include western prairie fringed orchid, eastern prairie fringed orchid, Mead's milkweed, prairie bush clover, northern wild monkshood.
There is little proof to suggest that the explosion in the number of high-density livestock facilities in Iowa has led to increased rural water contamination and a decline in air quality. In fact, covered manure storage in modern barns prevent that manure from washing away into surface water, as it does in open lots as snow melts and thunderstorms occur. Other factors negatively affecting Iowa's environment include the extensive use of older coal-fired power plants and pesticide runoff from crop production, diminishment of the Jordan Aquifer. Iowa has a humid continental climate throughout the state with extremes of both cold; the average annual temperature at Des Moines is 50 °F. Winters are harsh and snowfall is common. Spring ushers in the beginning of the severe weather season. Iowa averages about 50 days of thunderstorm activity per year; the 30 year annual average Tornadoes in Iowa is 47. In 2008, twelve people were killed by tornadoes in Iowa, making it the deadliest year since 1968 and the second most tornadoes in a year with 105, matching the total from 2001.
Iowa summers are known for heat and humidity, with daytime temperatures sometimes near 90 °F and exceeding 100 °F. Average winters in the state have been known to drop well below freezing dropping below −18 °F. Iowa's all-time hottest temperature of 118 °F was recorded at Keokuk on July 20, 1934. Iowa has a smooth gradient of var
Colorado is a state of the Western United States encompassing most of the southern Rocky Mountains as well as the northeastern portion of the Colorado Plateau and the western edge of the Great Plains. It is the 8th most extensive and 21st most populous U. S. state. The estimated population of Colorado was 5,695,564 on July 1, 2018, an increase of 13.25% since the 2010 United States Census. The state was named for the Colorado River, which early Spanish explorers named the Río Colorado for the ruddy silt the river carried from the mountains; the Territory of Colorado was organized on February 28, 1861, on August 1, 1876, U. S. President Ulysses S. Grant signed Proclamation 230 admitting Colorado to the Union as the 38th state. Colorado is nicknamed the "Centennial State" because it became a state one century after the signing of the United States Declaration of Independence. Colorado is bordered by Wyoming to the north, Nebraska to the northeast, Kansas to the east, Oklahoma to the southeast, New Mexico to the south, Utah to the west, touches Arizona to the southwest at the Four Corners.
Colorado is noted for its vivid landscape of mountains, high plains, canyons, plateaus and desert lands. Colorado is part of the western and southwestern United States, is one of the Mountain States. Denver is most populous city of Colorado. Residents of the state are known as Coloradans, although the antiquated term "Coloradoan" is used. Colorado is notable for its diverse geography, which includes alpine mountains, high plains, deserts with huge sand dunes, deep canyons. In 1861, the United States Congress defined the boundaries of the new Territory of Colorado by lines of latitude and longitude, stretching from 37°N to 41°N latitude, from 102°02'48"W to 109°02'48"W longitude. After 158 years of government surveys, the borders of Colorado are now defined by 697 boundary markers and 697 straight boundary lines. Colorado and Utah are the only states that have their borders defined by straight boundary lines with no natural features; the southwest corner of Colorado is the Four Corners Monument at 36°59'56"N, 109°2'43"W.
This is the only place in the United States where four states meet: Colorado, New Mexico and Utah. The summit of Mount Elbert at 14,440 feet elevation in Lake County is the highest point in Colorado and the Rocky Mountains of North America. Colorado is the only U. S. state that lies above 1,000 meters elevation. The point where the Arikaree River flows out of Yuma County and into Cheyenne County, Kansas, is the lowest point in Colorado at 3,317 feet elevation; this point, which holds the distinction of being the highest low elevation point of any state, is higher than the high elevation points of 18 states and the District of Columbia. A little less than half of Colorado is flat and rolling land. East of the Rocky Mountains are the Colorado Eastern Plains of the High Plains, the section of the Great Plains within Nebraska at elevations ranging from 3,350 to 7,500 feet; the Colorado plains are prairies but include deciduous forests and canyons. Precipitation averages 15 to 25 inches annually. Eastern Colorado is presently farmland and rangeland, along with small farming villages and towns.
Corn, hay and oats are all typical crops. Most villages and towns in this region boast both a grain elevator. Irrigation water is available from subterranean sources. Surface water sources include the South Platte, the Arkansas River, a few other streams. Subterranean water is accessed through artesian wells. Heavy use of wells for irrigation caused underground water reserves to decline. Eastern Colorado hosts considerable livestock, such as hog farms. 70% of Colorado's population resides along the eastern edge of the Rocky Mountains in the Front Range Urban Corridor between Cheyenne and Pueblo, Colorado. This region is protected from prevailing storms that blow in from the Pacific Ocean region by the high Rockies in the middle of Colorado; the "Front Range" includes Denver, Fort Collins, Castle Rock, Colorado Springs, Pueblo and other townships and municipalities in between. On the other side of the Rockies, the significant population centers in Western Colorado are the cities of Grand Junction and Montrose.
The Continental Divide of the Americas extends along the crest of the Rocky Mountains. The area of Colorado to the west of the Continental Divide is called the Western Slope of Colorado. West of the Continental Divide, water flows to the southwest via the Colorado River and the Green River into the Gulf of California. Within the interior of the Rocky Mountains are several large parks which are high broad basins. In the north, on the east side of the Continental Divide is the North Park of Colorado; the North Park is drained by the North Platte River, which flows north into Nebraska. Just to the south of North Park, but on the western side of the Continental Divide, is the Middle Park of Colorado, drained by the Colorado River; the South Park of Colorado is the region of the headwaters of the South Platte River. In southmost Colorado is the large San Luis Valley, where the headwaters of the Rio Grande are located; the valley sits between the Sangre De Cristo Mountains and San Juan Mountains, consists of large desert lands that run into the mountains.
The Rio Grande drains due south into New Mexico and Texas. Across the Sangre de Cristo Range to the east of the S
California is a state in the Pacific Region of the United States. With 39.6 million residents, California is the most populous U. S. the third-largest by area. The state capital is Sacramento; the Greater Los Angeles Area and the San Francisco Bay Area are the nation's second and fifth most populous urban regions, with 18.7 million and 9.7 million residents respectively. Los Angeles is California's most populous city, the country's second most populous, after New York City. California has the nation's most populous county, Los Angeles County, its largest county by area, San Bernardino County; the City and County of San Francisco is both the country's second-most densely populated major city after New York City and the fifth-most densely populated county, behind only four of the five New York City boroughs. California's $3.0 trillion economy is larger than that of any other state, larger than those of Texas and Florida combined, the largest sub-national economy in the world. If it were a country, California would be the 5th largest economy in the world, the 36th most populous as of 2017.
The Greater Los Angeles Area and the San Francisco Bay Area are the nation's second- and third-largest urban economies, after the New York metropolitan area. The San Francisco Bay Area PSA had the nation's highest GDP per capita in 2017 among large PSAs, is home to three of the world's ten largest companies by market capitalization and four of the world's ten richest people. California is considered a global trendsetter in popular culture, innovation and politics, it is considered the origin of the American film industry, the hippie counterculture, fast food, the Internet, the personal computer, among others. The San Francisco Bay Area and the Greater Los Angeles Area are seen as global centers of the technology and entertainment industries, respectively. California has a diverse economy: 58% of the state's economy is centered on finance, real estate services and professional, scientific and technical business services. Although it accounts for only 1.5% of the state's economy, California's agriculture industry has the highest output of any U.
S. state. California is bordered by Oregon to the north and Arizona to the east, the Mexican state of Baja California to the south; the state's diverse geography ranges from the Pacific Coast in the west to the Sierra Nevada mountain range in the east, from the redwood–Douglas fir forests in the northwest to the Mojave Desert in the southeast. The Central Valley, a major agricultural area, dominates the state's center. Although California is well-known for its warm Mediterranean climate, the large size of the state results in climates that vary from moist temperate rainforest in the north to arid desert in the interior, as well as snowy alpine in the mountains. Over time and wildfires have become more pervasive features. What is now California was first settled by various Native Californian tribes before being explored by a number of European expeditions during the 16th and 17th centuries; the Spanish Empire claimed it as part of Alta California in their New Spain colony. The area became a part of Mexico in 1821 following its successful war for independence but was ceded to the United States in 1848 after the Mexican–American War.
The western portion of Alta California was organized and admitted as the 31st state on September 9, 1850. The California Gold Rush starting in 1848 led to dramatic social and demographic changes, with large-scale emigration from the east and abroad with an accompanying economic boom; the word California referred to the Baja California Peninsula of Mexico. The name derived from the mythical island California in the fictional story of Queen Calafia, as recorded in a 1510 work The Adventures of Esplandián by Garci Rodríguez de Montalvo; this work was the fifth in a popular Spanish chivalric romance series that began with Amadis de Gaula. Queen Calafia's kingdom was said to be a remote land rich in gold and pearls, inhabited by beautiful black women who wore gold armor and lived like Amazons, as well as griffins and other strange beasts. In the fictional paradise, the ruler Queen Calafia fought alongside Muslims and her name may have been chosen to echo the title of a Muslim leader, the Caliph. It's possible.
Know ye that at the right hand of the Indies there is an island called California close to that part of the Terrestrial Paradise, inhabited by black women without a single man among them, they lived in the manner of Amazons. They were robust of body with great virtue; the island itself is one of the wildest in the world on account of the craggy rocks. Shortened forms of the state's name include CA, Cal. Calif. and US-CA. Settled by successive waves of arrivals during the last 10,000 years, California was one of the most culturally and linguistically diverse areas in pre-Columbian North America. Various estimates of the native population range from 100,000 to 300,000; the Indigenous peoples of California included more than 70 distinct groups of Native Americans, ranging from large, settled populations living on the coast to groups in the interior. California groups were diverse in their political organization with bands, villages, on the resource-rich coasts, large chiefdoms, such as the Chumash and Salinan.
Trade, intermarriage a
Indiana is a U. S. state located in the Midwestern and Great Lakes regions of North America. Indiana is the 17th most populous of the 50 United States, its capital and largest city is Indianapolis. Indiana was admitted to the United States as the 19th U. S. state on December 11, 1816. Indiana borders Lake Michigan to the northwest, Michigan to the north, Ohio to the east, Kentucky to the south and southeast, Illinois to the west. Before becoming a territory, various indigenous peoples and Native Americans inhabited Indiana for thousands of years. Since its founding as a territory, settlement patterns in Indiana have reflected regional cultural segmentation present in the Eastern United States. Indiana has a diverse economy with a gross state product of $359.12 billion in 2017. Indiana has several metropolitan areas with populations greater than 100,000 and a number of smaller industrial cities and towns. Indiana is home to professional sports teams, including the NFL's Indianapolis Colts and the NBA's Indiana Pacers, hosts several notable athletic events, such as the Indianapolis 500 and Brickyard 400 motorsports races.
The state's name means "Land of the Indians", or "Indian Land". It stems from Indiana's territorial history. On May 7, 1800, the United States Congress passed legislation to divide the Northwest Territory into two areas and named the western section the Indiana Territory. In 1816, when Congress passed an Enabling Act to begin the process of establishing statehood for Indiana, a part of this territorial land became the geographic area for the new state. A resident of Indiana is known as a Hoosier; the etymology of this word is disputed, but the leading theory, as advanced by the Indiana Historical Bureau and the Indiana Historical Society, has "Hoosier" originating from Virginia, the Carolinas, Tennessee as a term for a backwoodsman, a rough countryman, or a country bumpkin. The first inhabitants in what is now Indiana were the Paleo-Indians, who arrived about 8000 BC after the melting of the glaciers at the end of the Ice Age. Divided into small groups, the Paleo-Indians were nomads, they created stone tools made out of chert by chipping and flaking.
The Archaic period, which began between 5000 and 4000 BC, covered the next phase of indigenous culture. The people developed new tools as well as techniques to cook food, an important step in civilization; such new tools included different types of spear knives, with various forms of notches. They made ground-stone tools such as woodworking tools and grinding stones. During the latter part of the period, they built earthwork mounds and middens, which showed that settlements were becoming more permanent; the Archaic period ended at about 1500 BC, although some Archaic people lived until 700 BC. The Woodland period commenced around 1500 BC. During this period, the people created ceramics and pottery, extended their cultivation of plants. An early Woodland period group named the Adena people had elegant burial rituals, featuring log tombs beneath earth mounds. In the middle portion of the Woodland period, the Hopewell people began developing long-range trade of goods. Nearing the end of the stage, the people developed productive cultivation and adaptation of agriculture, growing such crops as corn and squash.
The Woodland period ended around 1000 AD. The Mississippian culture emerged, lasting from 1000 AD until the 15th century, shortly before the arrival of Europeans. During this stage, the people created large urban settlements designed according to their cosmology, with large mounds and plazas defining ceremonial and public spaces; the concentrated settlements depended on the agricultural surpluses. One such complex was the Angel Mounds, they had large public areas such as plazas and platform mounds, where leaders lived or conducted rituals. Mississippian civilization collapsed in Indiana during the mid-15th century for reasons that remain unclear; the historic Native American tribes in the area at the time of European encounter spoke different languages of the Algonquian family. They included the Shawnee and Illini, they were joined by refugee tribes from eastern regions including the Delaware who settled in the White and Whitewater River Valleys. In 1679, French explorer René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle was the first European to cross into Indiana after reaching present-day South Bend at the Saint Joseph River.
He returned the following year to learn about the region. French-Canadian fur traders soon arrived, bringing blankets, tools and weapons to trade for skins with the Native Americans. By 1702, Sieur Juchereau established the first trading post near Vincennes. In 1715, Sieur de Vincennes built Fort Miami at Kekionga, now Fort Wayne. In 1717, another Canadian, Picote de Beletre, built Fort Ouiatenon on the Wabash River, to try to control Native American trade routes from Lake Erie to the Mississippi River. In 1732, Sieur de Vincennes built a second fur trading post at Vincennes. French Canadian settlers, who had left the earlier post because of hostilities, returned in larger numbers. In a period of a few years, British colonists arrived from the East and contended against the Canadians for control of the lucrative fur trade. Fighting between the French and British colonists occurred throughout the 1750s as a result; the Native American tribes of Indiana sided with th
Swedish Americans are an American ethnic group of people who have ancestral roots from Sweden. They include the 1.2 million Swedish immigrants during 1885–1915 and their descendants. They formed tight-knit communities in the American Midwest, intermarried with other Swedish-Americans. Most were Lutheran Christians with origins in the state Church of Sweden who were affiliated with predecessor bodies of what are now the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America from the mergers of 1988 or the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod, or the recent North American Lutheran Church of 2010. Today, Swedish Americans are found throughout the United States, with Minnesota and Illinois being the top three states with the highest number of Swedish Americans. Newly arrived Swedish immigrants settled in the Midwest, namely Minnesota, the Dakotas and Wisconsin, just as other Scandinavian Americans. Populations grew in the Pacific Northwest in the states of Oregon and Washington at the turn of the twentieth century; the first Swedish Americans were the settlers of New Sweden.
A colony established by Queen Christina of Sweden in 1638, it centered around the Delaware Valley including parts of the present-day states of Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania. New Sweden was incorporated into New Netherland in 1655, ceased to be an official territory of the Realm of Sweden. However, many Swedish and Finnish colonists remained and were allowed some political and cultural autonomy. A victim of one of the earliest recorded murders in North America was an immigrant from Sweden. In 1665 in Brooklyn, New York, Barent Jansen Blom, progenitor of the Blom/Bloom family of Brooklyn and the lower Hudson Valley, was stabbed to death by Albert Cornelis Wantenaer. Present day reminders of the history of New Sweden are reflected in the presence of the American Swedish Historical Museum in Philadelphia, Fort Christina State Park in Wilmington, Governor Printz Park, The Printzhof in Essington, Pennsylvania. Swedish emigration to the United States had reached new heights in 1896, it was in this year that the Vasa Order of America, a Swedish American fraternal organization, was founded to help immigrants, who lacked an adequate network of social services.
Swedish Americans came through New York City and subsequently settled in the upper Midwest. Most were Lutheran and belonged to synods now associated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, including the Augustana Evangelical Lutheran Church. Theologically, they were pietistic. In the year 1900, Chicago was the city with the second highest number of Swedes after Stockholm, the capital of Sweden. By Swedes in Chicago had founded the Evangelical Covenant Church and established such enduring institutions as Swedish Covenant Hospital and North Park University. Many others settled in Minnesota followed by Wisconsin. Like their Norwegian American and Danish American brethren, many Swedes sought out the agrarian lifestyle they had left behind in Sweden, as many immigrants settled on farms throughout the Midwest. There are towns scattered throughout the Midwest, such as Lindsborg, that to this day continue to celebrate their Swedish heritage. In the east, New England became a destination for many skilled industrial workers and Swedish centers developed in areas such as Jamestown, New York.
A small Swedish settlement was begun in New Sweden, Maine. 51 Swedish settlers came to the wooded area, led by W. W. Thomas, who called them "mina barn i skogen". Upon arrival, they knelt in thanksgiving to God; this area soon expanded and other settlements were named Stockholm and Westmanland, in honor of their Swedish heritage. The town of New Sweden, Maine celebrates St. Lucia and Founders Day, it is a Swedish-American community. Gustaf Adolph Lutheran Church was served by a native of Sweden as as 1979-1985, known to conduct special worship services in Swedish; the largest settlement in New England was Massachusetts. Here, Swedes were drawn to abrasive industries. By the early 20th century numerous churches, organizations and benevolent associations had been organized. Among them, the Swedish Cemetery Corporation, the Swedish Lutheran Old People's Home, Fairlawn Hospital, the Scandinavian Athletic Club; these institutions survive today. Numerous local lodges of national Swedish American organizations flourished and a few remain solvent as of 2008.
Within the city's largest historic "Swedish" neighborhood—Quinsigamond Village—street signs read like a map of Sweden: Stockholm Street, Halmstad Street, Malmo Street among others. Worcester's Swedes were staunch Republicans and this political loyalty is behind why Worcester remained a Republican stronghold in an otherwise Democratic state well into the 1950s. Many Swedes came to the Pacific Northwest during the turn of the twentieth century, along with Norwegians and Finns, settling in Washington and Oregon. According to research by the Oregon Historical Society, Swedish immigrants "felt a kinship with the natural surroundings and economic opportunities in the Pacific Northwest," and the region experienced a signi
The Nordic countries or the Nordics are a geographical and cultural region in Northern Europe and the North Atlantic, where they are most known as Norden. The term includes Denmark, Iceland and Sweden, as well as Greenland and the Faroe Islands—which are both part of the Kingdom of Denmark—and the Åland Islands and Svalbard and Jan Mayen archipelagos that belong to Finland and Norway whereas the Norwegian Antarctic territories are not considered a part of the Nordic countries, due to their geographical location. Scandinavians, who comprise over three quarters of the region's population, are the largest group, followed by Finns, who comprise the majority in Finland; the native languages Swedish, Norwegian and Faroese are all North Germanic languages rooted in Old Norse. Native non-Germanic languages are Finnish and several Sami languages; the main religion is Lutheran Christianity. The Nordic countries have much in common in their way of life, religion, their use of Scandinavian languages and social structure.
The Nordic countries have a long history of political unions and other close relations, but do not form a separate entity today. The Scandinavist movement sought to unite Denmark and Sweden into one country in the 19th century, with the indepedence of Finland in the early 20th century, Iceland in the mid 20th century, this movement expanded into the modern organised Nordic cooperation which includes the Nordic Council and the Nordic Council of Ministers. In English, Scandinavia is sometimes used as a synonym for the Nordic countries, but that term more properly refers to the three monarchies of Denmark and Sweden. Geologically, the Scandinavian Peninsula comprises the mainland of Norway and Sweden as well as the northernmost part of Finland; the combined area of the Nordic countries is 3,425,804 square kilometres. Uninhabitable icecaps and glaciers comprise about half of this area in Greenland. In January 2013, the region had a population of around 26 million people; the Nordic countries cluster near the top in numerous metrics of national performance, including education, economic competitiveness, civil liberties, quality of life and human development.
With only four language groups, the common linguistic heterogeneous heritage is one of the factors making up the Nordic identity. The languages of Danish, Swedish and Faroese are all rooted in Old Norse and Danish and Swedish are considered mutually intelligible; these three dominating languages are taught in schools throughout the Nordic region. For example, Swedish is a mandatory subject in Finnish schools, since Finland by law is a bilingual country. Danish is mandatory in Faroese and Greenlandic schools, as these insular states are a part of the Danish Realm. Iceland teaches Danish, since Iceland too was a part of the Danish Realm until 1918. Beside these and the insular Scandinavian languages Faroese and Icelandic, which are North Germanic languages, there are the Finnic and Sami branches of the Uralic languages, spoken in Finland and in northern Norway and Finland, respectively. All the Nordic countries have a North Germanic official language called a Nordic language in the Nordic countries.
The working languages of the Nordic region's two political bodies are Danish and Swedish. Each of the Nordic countries has its own economic and social models, sometimes with large differences from its neighbours, but to varying degrees the Nordic countries share the Nordic model of economy and social structure: a market economy is combined with strong labour unions and a universalist welfare sector financed by heavy taxes. There is a high degree of income redistribution and little social unrest and these include support for said "universalist" welfare state aimed at enhancing individual autonomy and promoting social mobility; the Nordic countries consists of historical territories of the Scandinavian countries, areas that share a common history and culture with Scandinavia. It is meant to refer to this larger group, since the term Scandinavia is narrower and sometimes ambiguous; the Nordic countries are considered to refer to Denmark, Iceland and Sweden, including their associated territories.
The term "Nordic countries" found mainstream use after the advent of Foreningen Norden. The term is derived indirectly from the local term Norden, used in the Scandinavian languages, which means "The North". Unlike "the Nordic countries", the term Norden is in the singular; the demonym is nordbo meaning "northern dweller". Scandinavia refers to either the cultural and linguistic group formed by the three monarchies Denmark and Sweden, or the Scandinavian peninsula, formed by mainland Norway and Sweden as well as the northwesternmost part of Finland. Outside of the Nordic region the term Scandinavia is used incorrectly as a synonym for the Nordic countries. First recorded use of the name by Pliny the Elder about a "large, fertile island in the North". Fennoscandia refers to the area that includes the Scandinavian peninsula, Kola Peninsula and Karelia; this term is