Unified by Gustav I of Sweden in the 16th century
9.593 million (2013)
Sweden is a Scandinavian country. The Goths had origins in what is today Sweden. During the Viking Age, the Swedes became well-known traders of Eastern Europe, particularly in the domain of Kievan Rus. When Queen Margaret of Denmark inherited the crown of Sweden, the kingdom was integregated into the Kalmar Union. Over time, Swedish aristocrats became dissatisfied with the Danish rule, and, under Gustav I, overthrew their rule in Sweden in 1523. During the numerous wars it had with its baltic neighbors, Sweden grew to become a superpower of Europe, experiencing golden ages under kings Gustavus Adolphus II, Charles X, and XI. It only fell from prominence after its defeat to Russia in the Great Northern War under King Charles XII, who very likely would've succeeded had he not grown overconfident at the Battle of Poltava. Later on, Sweden came to challenge Napoleon a number of times in the Napoleonic Wars under Gustavus IV with limited success. In the nineteenth century, Sweden managed to form a union with Norway after it separated from Denmark. They split by the time World War II occurred, when Sweden remained neutral but still compliant with the Germans who had overrun much of the rest of Scandinavia.