The lands of Sweden (Swedish: Sveriges landsdelar) are three traditional parts, each consisting of several provinces, in Sweden. The division into lands goes back to the foundation of modern Sweden, when Götaland, the land of the Geats, merged with Svealand, the land of the Swedes, to form the country, while Norrland and Österland (the latter now Finland) were added later. The lands have no administrative function but are still seen by many Swedes as an important part of their identity.
The lands have no administrative functions[a] or coats of arms, but are in common use when referring to different parts of the country, including in all nationwide weather reports in Swedish media.
Areas and populations of the lands:
|Götaland||4,776,001||97,841||50||10||Scania, Blekinge, Halland, Småland, Öland, Gotland, Östergötland, Västergötland, Dalsland and Bohuslän|
|Svealand||4,044,083||91,098||44||6||Södermanland, Uppland, Västmanland, Närke, Värmland and Dalarna|
|Norrland||1,175,039||261,292||4.5||9||Gästrikland, Hälsingland, Härjedalen, Jämtland, Medelpad, Ångermanland, Västerbotten, Norrbotten and Lappland|
Sweden was historically divided into the four lands: Götaland (with exception of Scania, Blekinge, Halland and Bohuslän until the 17th Century), Svealand, Norrland and Österland. Large parts of Norrland was only inhabited by the Sami people and the border towards Norway was unclear in the far north.
In the Second Treaty of Brömsebro (1645) Denmark-Norway ceded the Norwegian provinces of Jämtland and Härjedalen to Sweden. These provinces are part of Norrland. In the Treaty of Roskilde (1658), Denmark-Norway ceded Scania, Blekinge and Halland (Skåneland) and Bohuslän to Sweden. These provinces are since then part of Götaland.
After the Finnish War (1808-1809), the eastern part of Sweden was ceded to Russia, thus becoming the Imperial Russian Grand Duchy of Finland, with Norrland divided between these two states. The Swedish portion of Norrland still represents more than half of Sweden's territory; it remains, however, sparsely populated compared to the south and middle.
Media related to Category:Lands of Sweden at Wikimedia Commons