Did somebody say they wanted to see more about the Nordic Countries? No? Oh well, too bad As a confederation, the Nordic Federation is composed of six constituent federated states, which are known collectively as the Nordic countries, that make up the majority of the nation's population and area. The six countries are the kingdoms of Sweden, Finland and Karelia, Denmark, Norway, and Scania, and the republic of Iceland, and are all located in Northern Europe where their territory spans the Fennoscandian Peninsula, the Baltic Sea and the North Atlantic. Although the term is used narrowly to refer to these six states, in a broader sense it includes Greenland, Schleswig and the Faroe Islands, which are autonomous regions of Denmark, as well as the Åland and Svalbard archipelagos of Finland and Norway respectively. The modern Finnish region of East Karelia, which also includes the Kola Peninsula, was not historically considered part of the Nordic countries, whilst Greenland is often considered part of the North American continent, but for historical, cultural and political reasons is grouped with European Denmark. Minnesota, a British territory in North America, is sometimes referred to as the seventh Nordic country due to its close relations with the European Nordics, with whom it shares a common language base and culture. The Nordic countries have much in common in their way of life, history, religion, their use of Scandinavian languages and social structure. The region also has a long history of political unions and close relations, the most recent being the Akershus Union between Sweden, Norway and Scania that dissolved in the early 20th century, but the modern Federation only came into existence in the aftermath of the Second World War, which saw increased cooperation amongst the Nordic countries. Each country has its own economic and social models, sometimes with large differences from its neighbours, but to varying degrees they all share the Nordic model of economy and social structure: where a market economy is combined with strong labour unions and a universal welfare system financed by high taxes. Under the Nordic Federal Constitution, the countries retain their own systems of government, with many domestic matters remaining under the exclusive control of the state governments whilst foreign affairs, defence and international trade are controlled at the federal level, however the federal government is empowered to set minimum standards in all areas of government responsibility, which the countries are required to adhere to.