Scania ( in Swedish) is the southernmost of the 25 traditional non-administrative provinces (landskap) of Sweden, constituting a peninsula on the southern tip of the Scandinavian peninsula, and some adjacent islands. The modern administrative subdivision (län) Skåne County is almost, but not quite, coextensive with the province. The largest city is Malmö, which is also the third largest city in Sweden and the administrative centre of Skåne County.
To the north, Scania borders the provinces of Halland and Småland, to the northeast Blekinge, to the east and south the Baltic Sea and the Island of Bornholm, and to the west the Øresund. Since 2000 a road and railway bridge, the Øresund Bridge constitutes a fixed link to the Danish island of Zealand. Scania is part of the transnational Øresund Region.
The province formed part of the kingdom of Denmark up until the Treaty of Roskilde in 1658. The transition to Sweden was later confirmed by the Treaty of Copenhagen 1660, the Peace of Lund 1679, the Peace of Travendal 1700, though greatly resented by the local population. The last serious Danish attempt to invade the province failed in 1710, after the Battle of Helsingborg. The period 1658–1720 saw widespread violence by the Danish and Swedish militaries against the local population. The region did not form part of Sweden proper until 1719, but had the status of conquered "foreign land" until that year. It was then divided in two counties and has since then been regarded as integrated by Sweden. Until the early 19th century, a policy of forced assimilation was employed by the Swedish government in what until then had been a linguistically Danish region. Controversy relating to whether the Scanian dialects should be classified as a regional language or as Danish or Swedish dialects remains to this day.
Around long from north to south, Scania covers less than 3% of Sweden's total area, but the population of approximately 1,260,000 represents 13% of Sweden's total population. About 16% of the total population of the province are foreign-born. With 111 inh/km² Scania is the second most densely populated province of Sweden, next only to Södermanland. The western part, along the coast of the Øresund is by far the most populated part of the province.
Scania was first mentioned in written texts in the 9th century. It came under Danish king Harald Bluetooth in the middle of the 10th century. It was, together with Blekinge and Halland, situated on the Scandinavian peninsula, but forming the eastern part of the kingdom of Denmark. This geographical position made it the of the frequent Dano-Swedish wars for many hundred years. By the Treaty of Roskilde in 1658, all Danish lands east of Øresund were ceded to the Swedish Crown. First placed under a Governor-General the province was eventually integrated into the kingdom of Sweden. The last Danish attempt to regain its lost provinces failed after the Battle of Helsingborg (1710) (plans for a new Danish attack in 1808, during the Finnish War, were never set in action). In 1719 the province was subdivided in two counties and administered in the same way as the rest of the country. Scania has since then been fully integrated in the Swedish state.