50 Awesome Facts about Nordic Countries

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1 Books


If you publish a book in Norway, the government will buy 1000 copies (1,500 if it is a children’s book) and distribute them to libraries throughout the country.

2. In Sweden, you have a constitutional right to allemansrätten, which is the right to peacefully hike, camp, bike and enjoy nature anywhere in the country unimpeded, with the only restriction being very close to someone’s house or if you mess up a garden.

3. On October 24, 1975, 90% of Iceland’s female population went on strike, demanding equal rights. They did not work, do housework, or look after their kids for an entire day. In 1980, Iceland elected its first female president (Vigdis Finnbogadottir), who credits her win to this specific day.

4. Blood donors in Sweden are sent a text message every time their blood is used to save a life.

5. A woman changed clothes while on a tour of Iceland in 2012 and people thought she went missing because they didn’t recognize her. The woman then joined a search party looking for herself.

6 Internet


100% of Iceland’s population has the internet, the only country in the world.

7. In Finland, some children read to dogs and cows to improve their self-confidence in reading and because these animals actually like listening and are extremely attentive.

8. Stockholm, Sweden tested a “Speed Camera Lottery” where speed limit-abiding drivers were automatically entered into a drawing to win a prize pool funded out of fines paid by speeders.

9. A man named Göran Kropp from Sweden rode his bicycle to Nepal, climbed Mount Everest alone without Sherpas or bottled oxygen, then cycled back to Sweden again.

10. Iceland is the only country without mosquitoes.

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11 Speeding tickets

Speeding tickets

In Finland, speeding tickets are calculated on a percentage of a person’s income. This causes some Finnish millionaires to face fines of over $100,000.

12. Sweden has instituted a country-wide program where citizens can enroll to receive an SMS when there is a heart attack victim nearby, allowing them to reach them faster than an ambulance and provide CPR. In 40% of the cases, SMS lifesavers arrived before ambulances and started providing CPR.

13. In Finland, the word ‘kalsarikännit’ means to get drunk at home, alone, in your underwear.

14. In Sweden, voters often voted for Donald Duck or the Donald Duck Party as a nonexistent candidate until a 2006 change in voting laws, which prohibited voting for nonexistent candidates.

15. In 2004, a tax auditor in Finland died at his desk, and despite there being 100 staff on the same floor in the same department, no-one realized he was dead for 2 days.

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16 Digital Audio Broadcasting

Digital Audio Broadcasting

In 2017, Norway became the first country in the world to shut down FM radio and go digital instead. Norway switched to DAB (which stands for ‘Digital Audio Broadcasting’) since FM is eight times more expensive.

17. Sweden is so good at recycling that it does not have enough rubbish to recycle and therefore imports 80,000 tons of trash a year from Norway.

18. Due to high-tech automation at the Lego factory in Denmark, when you open a set of LEGO, you are the first human to look at the bricks.

19. Iceland has such a small population that they have an anti-incest app so you don’t end up hooking up with a family member on a night out.

20. It takes 3 years of higher education to become a police officer in Norway. The training takes place at a university college and each graduate gets a bachelor’s degree in “Police Studies”.

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21 Public universities

Public universities

Norway will allow any student from anywhere in the world for free to study at their public universities.

22. In a remote valley in Sweden, people still speak an ancient dialect of Old Norse, the language of the Vikings. It’s called Elfdalian and they still used runes (ancient writing system) up until the 1900s.

23. Only one person has been killed by armed police in Iceland since it became an independent republic in 1944.

24. There are about two million saunas in Finland, enough for the entire Finnish population to take a sauna at the same time.

25. On Oct 28, 2013, wind power not only provided 100% of Denmark’s power, but on that day at 2:00 AM, wind power produced 122% of the country’s energy needs.

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