Sweden (/ˈswiː.dən/; Swedish: Sverige [ˈsvæ̌rjɛ] (About this soundlisten)), officially the Kingdom of Sweden (Swedish: Konungariket Sverige [ˈkôːnɵŋaˌriːkɛt ˈsvæ̌rjɛ] (About this soundlisten)), is a Nordic country in Northern Europe. It borders Norway to the west and north, Finland to the east, and is connected to Denmark in the southwest by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund Strait. At 450,295 square kilometres (173,860 sq mi), Sweden is the largest country in Northern Europe, the third-largest country in the European Union and the fifth largest country in Europe by area. The capital city is Stockholm. Sweden has a total population of 10.3 million of which 2.6 million have a foreign background. Persons with foreign backgrounds are defined as persons who are foreign born, or born in Sweden with foreign born parents. It has a low population density of 25 inhabitants per square kilometre (65/sq mi), with 1 437 persons per km2 in localities. 87% of Swedes live in urban areas, which cover 1.5% of the entire land area. The highest concentration is in the central and southern half of the country.
Stockholm is the capital and most populous urban area of Sweden as well as in Scandinavia. 1 million people live in the municipality, approximately 1.6 million in the urban area, and 2.4 million in the metropolitan area. The city stretches across fourteen islands where Lake Mälaren flows into the Baltic Sea. Outside the city to the east, and along the coast, is the island chain of the Stockholm archipelago. The area has been settled since the Stone Age, in the 6th millennium BC, and was founded as a city in 1252 by Swedish statesman Birger Jarl. It is also the county seat of Stockholm County.