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What are the differences and similarities between Sweden and Norway?

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August 29, 2007 1:43PM

Wow, what a question!

Let's sum up some similarities:

* Location: the most obvious answer. Both countries are located in Northern Europe and (together with Denmark) part of Scandinavia. * Language: although Swedish and Norwegian are different languages, they are closely related, and Swedes and Norwegians often talk to each other with each of them using their own language. * Political system: both countries are democracies with a strong state, which means that things like welfare, health care, child care and education are considered to be state affairs. Swedes and Norwegians pay high taxes to make sure they can all benefit from this system whenever they need to. Notwithstanding this concept of "socialism with a human face" both are also capitalist countries with a well-developed free market economy.

And now for some differences:

* Landscape. Norway has deep fjords, plateaus, high mountains and tundra in the north, Sweden has a more diverse landscape with agricultural plains in the south, and forests, rivers and numerous lakes up north. In the most northern part there are also many high mountains. * Climate. Norway is rainy and cold due to its location at the Atlantic coast and its high mountain. Sweden has a friendlier climate with less rain, more sunshine and higher average temperatures. * Mentality. Norwegians just say what they think and can be rather blunt, while Swedes are generally rather quiet and reserved. * Economy. Norway owes a lot of its prosperity to oil and also relies heavily on fishing. Sweden has a more diverse economy with a strong industry and a strong IT branche.

Hope this helps!

Marc,

Stockholm Sweden Travel Guide.