What if Scandinavia United? How Powerful Would It Be?


What exactly is Scandinavia? The countries of Scandinavia are Denmark,
Norway, and Sweden. We might also refer to the Scandinavian Peninsula,
or Fennoscandia, which also comprises Finland and parts of Russia. Moreover, we talk about Nordic countries,
and these include Iceland, Greenland and Faroe Islands. But today we are talking about three countries
alone, and they are Sweden, Denmark and Norway. The countries have similar customs and cultures,
and the languages are not far apart. The EU tells us the citizens of all these
countries will likely be able to read each other’s language, although Swedes and Norwegians
can have trouble understanding spoken Danish, even though the Danish and Norwegian languages
are the most similar. Now, let’s look at what would happen if
those countries finally came together, in this episode of the Infographics Show, What
if Scandinavia United? Many people look at these countries as if
they are some kind of utopias. They generally are in the top ten of countries
based on standard of living. The economies are vibrant; there are safety
nets in place for the poor and there doesn’t seem to be too much crime. We might also add that life can be diverse
in these regions. There is a big difference from living in downtown
Stockholm to living in Jokkmokk, a remote part of Sweden home to the Sami people. The same goes for the hinterlands of Norway,
although Denmark could be said to be much less diverse in terms of geography and culture. How big would the population be? According to Worldometers, 9.9 million people
live in Sweden, 5.3 million people live in Norway, and 5.7 million people live in Denmark. Now let’s get the calculator out. The entire population of a United Scandinavia
would be nearly 21 million. That still isn’t very big; it’s about
the same amount of people that live in Sri Lanka, less than Australia, and almost equal
to the metropolitan area populations of Sao Paulo, Brazil or Mumbai in India. Now let’s add up the GDPs of these countries-
according to the International Monetary Fund: The GDP of Sweden is $538.6 billion. The GDP of Norway $396.5 billion. The GDP of Denmark $324.5 billion
Time for the calculator again. The entire GDP of our United Scandinavia according
to these numbers would be $1.3 trillion. How does figure against the GDPs of the world? It would be in 17th place, just behind Indonesia
and just in front of Turkey. To put that into perspective, Indonesia has
a population of just over 267 million. Turkey slightly over 82 million, so it looks
as though there is plenty of money to go around for our 21 million united Scandinavians. If we look at gross domestic product per capita,
which is the GDP divided by the population, used as an estimate of purchasing power, Norway
comes top of our three nations. Lists differ, depending on what source you
are reading. The CIA puts Norway in 8th place, Sweden in
18th place and Denmark in 23rd place. What we can say is that economically these
united countries would do just fine. Would this prosperous country be safe on the
world stage? We can’t go into a detailed military analysis
of all three nations, but we can have a look at military expenditures according to Global
firepower. It tells us that Sweden has the 31st most
powerful military in the world and spends $6.2 billion on defense. Norway was ranked 36th but was said to have
spent 7 billion on defense. Denmark was 54th on the list, with a defense
budget of $4.4 billion. Altogether that’s a combined defense budget
of 17.6 billion dollars. On the world stage that would put the combined
defense budget of these countries in 15th place, behind Israel and in front of Canada. But how would the people be getting along
in other matters concerning well-being? That of course is hard to say, but if you
look at the World Economic Forum’s top ten list of standard of living around the world,
it looks like our United Scandinavia would do well. It has Denmark in 3rd place, stating that
it rates very high in equality and opportunities for upward mobility. Sweden was in 6th place, with the report saying
lifestyle, nutrition, and general well-being of its people was great. Norway was behind in 7th place for many of
the same reasons. All countries fare well on lists determining
healthcare, with Business Insider saying that Norway spends more on healthcare per person
than any country in the world. Life expectancy in all these nations is also
high, with Sweden being 82.4 for both sexes, Norway 81.8 and Denmark 80.6. That makes life expectancy for our United
Scandinavia 81.8. As for how the young are educated, there are
many lists out there you can check. Countries such as Singapore and South Korea
often come high in terms of academic performance, but low in terms of student stress. One country that is often extolled for its
education system all-round is Finland, so maybe our United Scandinavia can look there
for help. Still, on most lists Norway, Denmark and Sweden
don’t do too badly. Another thing is that not only do these countries
have languages they all understand, but if you’ve visited Scandinavia you’ll know
that many, many people speak exceptional English. In fact, Denmark and Sweden often come top
in lists that judge the best speakers of English as a second language in the world. On the lists we could find all three countries
get in the top four, with only the Dutch getting in the way of Scandinavians taking gold, silver
and bronze. In terms of job opportunities and other opportunities
in life, this ability to be super-fluent in English makes our United Scandinavia a special
place. So, what if Scandinavia united? In the UK’s Independent newspaper in 2016
a Norwegian hotel tycoon and billionaire said that’s what should happen. He said a Scandinavian “super state” could
be made due to proximity, similarities in culture and language. “Think about what a fantastic country we
would have been together,” he said, talking about how each country and their innovations
would be even better if they were one. A United Scandinavia is discussed on Quora
many times, with lots of people thinking it would be a good idea. Still, some say it wouldn’t have the economic
or military strength to truly become a great global super power. Powerful or not, most agree it would be a
prosperous place. So, would a United Scandinavia really be a
better place for all its people? Let us know your thoughts in the comments! Also, be sure to check out our other video
called 20 Safest Countries In The World! Thanks for watching, and, as always, don’t
forget to like, share, and subscribe. See you next time!

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