Nordic countries are a group of countries in Northern Europe. These countries include Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Sweden, Norway, and the territories of Svalbard, the Åland Islands and the Faroe Islands. Though often confused as such, Scandinavia is not equivalent to the Nordic countries. Scandinavia is a peninsula while the Nordic countries are recognized states. Sweden and Norway (and a small part of Finland) rest on the Scandinavian peninsula. Scandinavia and Finland together belong to a larger peninsula, Fennoscandia. Finns speak a non-Germanic language.
Nordic countries have similar state, law and culture. Historically, Nordic countries have maintained close connections. Nordic countries are primarily socialist democracies. Nordic countries have some political co-operation, such as the Nordic council. Cooperation with a larger group, the European Union, makes the Nordic cooperation even smaller.
Nordic countries have long, cold winters with warm days in the summer, but only a small part of Northern Norway and approximately half of Iceland is arctic, although Iceland lies below the Arctic Circle except for one small island.
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