Coat of Arms
Prime Minister Stefan Löfven
»450,295 km2 (57th)
»$464.264 billion (34th)
» Per capita -$47,229 (14th)
» Per capita -$49,582 (7th)
»Swedish krona (SEK)
At 450,295 square kilometres (173,860 sq mi), Sweden is the third-largest country in the European Union by area, with a total population of about 9.7 million.Sweden has a low population density of 21 inhabitants per square kilometre (54/sq mi), with the population mostly concentrated in the southern half of the country.
About 85% of the population lives in urban areas. Southern Sweden is predominantly agricultural, while the north is heavily forested.
Germanic peoples have inhabited Sweden since prehistoric times, emerging into history as the Goths/Geats and Swedes/Svear and contributing to the sea peoples known as the Vikings. Sweden emerged as an independent and unified country during the Middle Ages. In the 17th century, the country expanded its territories to form the Swedish Empire. The empire grew to be one of the great powers of Europe in the 17th and early 18th centuries.
Most of the conquered territories outside the Scandinavian Peninsula were lost during the 18th and 19th centuries. The eastern half of Sweden, present-dayFinland, was lost to Russia in 1809.
The last war in which Sweden was directly involved was in 1814 when Sweden by military means forced Norway into a personal union. Since then, Sweden has been at peace, remaining a largely neutralisation. The union with Norway was peacefully dissolved in 1905.
Sweden played a role in humanitarian efforts during World Wars I and II, taking in refugees from German-occupied Europe. With the ending of the Cold War, Sweden joined the European Union but declined NATO membership.
Today, Sweden is a constitutional monarchy and a parliamentary democracy, with the Monarch as the head of state.
The capital city is Stockholm, which is also the most populous city in the country. Legislative power is vested in the 349 member unicameral Riksdag. Executive power is exercised by the Government, chaired by the Prime Minister. Sweden is a unitary state, currently divided into 21 counties and 290 municipalities.
Sweden is the seventh-richest country in the world in terms of GDP (gross domestic product) per capita and a high standard of living is experienced by its citizens. Sweden is an export-oriented mixed economy.
Timber, hydropower and iron ore constitute the resource base of an economy with a heavy emphasis on foreign trade. Sweden’s engineering sector accounts for 50% of output and exports while telecommunications, the automotive industry and the pharmaceutical industries are also of great importance.
Sweden is the ninth-largest arms exporter in the world. Agriculture accounts for 2% of GDP and employment. The country ranks among the highest for telephone and Internet access penetration.
In 2010 Sweden’s income Gini coefficient was the third lowest among developed countries, at 0.25—slightly higher than Japan and Denmark—suggesting Sweden had low income inequality. However, Sweden’s wealth Gini coefficient at 0.853 was the second highest in developed countries, and above European and North American averages, suggesting high wealth inequality.
Even on a disposable income basis, the geographical distribution of Gini coefficient of income inequality varies within different regions and municipalities of Sweden.Danderyd, outside Stockholm, has Sweden’s highest Gini coefficient of income inequality, at 0.55, while Hofors near Gävle has the lowest at 0.25.
In and around Stockholm and Scania, two of the more densely populated regions of Sweden, the income Gini coefficient is between 0.35 and 0.55.
In terms of structure, the Swedish economy is characterised by a large, knowledge-intensive and export-oriented manufacturing sector; an increasing, but comparatively small, business service sector; and by international standards, a large public service sector.
Large organisations, both in manufacturing and services, dominate theSwedish economy. High and medium-high-technology manufacturing accounts for 9.9% of GDP.
The 20 largest (by turnover) registered Swedish companies in 2007 were Volvo, Ericsson, Vattenfall, Skanska, Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications AB, Svenska Cellulosa Aktiebolaget, Electrolux, Volvo Personvagnar, TeliaSonera, Sandvik, Scania, ICA, Hennes & Mauritz, IKEA, Nordea, Preem, Atlas Copco, Securitas,Nordstjernan and SKF.
The vast majority of Sweden’s industry is privately controlled, unlike many other industrialised Western countries, and, in accordance with a historical standard, publicly owned enterprises are of minor importance.
Sweden is ranked 4 with an Economic Complexity Index (ECI) of 1.78978
Top 5 Products exported by Sweden
- Refined Petroleum (8.1%),
- Packaged Medicaments (4.2%),
- Telephones (3.8%),
- Vehicle Parts (3.4%),
- Cars (3.2%)
Top 5 Export destinations of Sweden
Top 5 Export destinations of Sweden
- Germany (9.9%),
- United Kingdom (8.2%),
- Norway (7.5%),
- Denmark (6.9%),
- United States (6.3%)
Top 5 Import origins ofSweden
- Germany (17%),
- Denmark (8.4%),
- Norway (7.8%),
- Netherlands (6.6%),
- United Kingdom (6.4%)
Stockholm is stylish, cultured and beautiful. Once you’ve sampled the delights of the city, hop on a ferry to the islands in the archipelago for the best of Sweden’s great outdoors. Visit in late June, and you’ll get to experience the full delight of Midsummer, Sweden’s salute to the sun.
Royal guards, candy-coloured buildings and twisting cobbled lanes – Stockholm’s Gamla Stan (Old Town) is a beguiling fairy-tale place packed with historical sights. Explore crowd-pullers such as the Royal Palace.
There are plenty of kayaking and canal boat tours around Stockholm and the archipelago, but the most exhilarating way to take to the water is via RIB (rigid inflatable boat), for a high-speed, high-thrill cruise.
- As modern as its society is, Sweden is a country full of seemingly untouched nature and ever-present history.
- First stop for many visitors is historic and compact Stockholm, full of heritage, home to the Vasa Museum and gateway to the wonderful Stockholm Archipelago. There’s the canals and cobblestoned streets of Gothenburg, with its famous botanical garden, or the modern architecture of Malmö.
- For more history, head to the port town of Visby, a recognized Unesco World Heritage Site, or the medieval town ofYstad, famous through the Kurt Wallander novels that are set here and for Ales stenar, one of the ancient iron-age burial monuments in the country.
- Yet, you haven’t seen Sweden until you’ve admired its natural side. Its wide natural landscapes offer a multitude of splendid vistas and sights, from dense forests to crystal clear lakes, waterfalls, and rolling mountains.
- The stunning but rugged wilderness of Sarek National Park, called “Europe’s last wilderness” by some, is a challenging but highly rewarding area to explore. It was the first of a list of 29 established national parks and is part of the vast and Unesco protected terrains of Laponia, together with the national parks Padjelanta, Stora Sjöfallet (with its snowy peaks) and the taiga and ravines of Muddus National Park.
- Set out to spot elk, wolverines, and more Swedish wildlife or visit in winter for a chance to see the magical Northern Lights. Kosterhavet maritime park is the place to go for lobster or seal safaris.