Sweden maintains a Nordic social welfare system that provides universal health care and tertiary education for its citizens.
It has the world's eighth-highest per capita income and ranks highly in numerous metrics of national performance, including quality of life, health, education, protection of civil liberties, economic competitiveness, equality, prosperity and human development.).
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The etymology of Swedes, and thus Sweden, is generally not agreed upon but may derive from Proto-Germanic Swihoniz meaning "one's own", a warm period around 12,000 BC, with Late Palaeolithic reindeer-hunting camps of the Bromme culture at the edge of the ice in what is now the country's southernmost province, Scania.
This period was characterised by small bands of hunter-gatherer-fishers using flint technology.
The climate is in general very mild for its northerly latitude due to significant maritime influence, that in spite of this still retains warm continental summers.
Today, Sweden is a constitutional monarchy and parliamentary democracy, with a monarch as head of state, like its neighbour Norway.
The name Sweden was loaned from Dutch in the 17th century to refer to Sweden as an emerging great power.
Before Sweden's imperial expansion, Early Modern English used Swedeland.Southern Sweden is predominantly agricultural, while the north is heavily forested.Sweden is part of the geographical area of Fennoscandia.With the Swedish involvement in the Thirty Years War, on the Reformist side, began an expansion of its territories. This became one of the great powers of Europe until the early 18th century.Swedish territories outside the Scandinavian Peninsula were gradually lost during the 18th and 19th centuries, ending with the annexation of present-day Finland by Russia in 1809.A Swedish independent state emerged during the 12th and 13th Century.