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This article is about the country. Sweden_sentence_0

For other uses, see Sweden (disambiguation). Sweden_sentence_1

For other uses of "Swedish" or the Swedish word "svensk(a)", see Swedish (disambiguation). Sweden_sentence_2


Kingdom of Sweden

Konungariket Sverige  (Swedish)Sweden_header_cell_0_0_0


and largest citySweden_header_cell_0_1_0

Official languagesSweden_header_cell_0_2_0 SwedishSweden_cell_0_2_1
National minority languagesSweden_header_cell_0_3_0 Sweden_cell_0_3_1
Ethnic groupsSweden_header_cell_0_4_0 No official statisticsSweden_cell_0_4_1
Religion (2017)Sweden_header_cell_0_5_0 66.8% Christianity

—60.3% Church of Sweden

—6.5% Other Christian 27.0% No religion 5.0% Islam 1.2% Other religionsSweden_cell_0_5_1

Demonym(s)Sweden_header_cell_0_6_0 Sweden_cell_0_6_1
GovernmentSweden_header_cell_0_7_0 Unitary parliamentary

constitutional monarchySweden_cell_0_7_1

MonarchSweden_header_cell_0_8_0 Carl XVI GustafSweden_cell_0_8_1
Riksdag SpeakerSweden_header_cell_0_9_0 Andreas NorlénSweden_cell_0_9_1
Prime MinisterSweden_header_cell_0_10_0 Stefan LöfvenSweden_cell_0_10_1
LegislatureSweden_header_cell_0_11_0 RiksdagSweden_cell_0_11_1
A unified Swedish kingdom establishedSweden_header_cell_0_13_0 By the early 12th centurySweden_cell_0_13_1
Part of Kalmar UnionSweden_header_cell_0_14_0 1397–1523Sweden_cell_0_14_1
Part of Swedish-Norwegian UnionSweden_header_cell_0_15_0 4 November 1814 – August 1905Sweden_cell_0_15_1
Joined the European UnionSweden_header_cell_0_16_0 1 January 1995Sweden_cell_0_16_1
Area Sweden_header_cell_0_17_0
TotalSweden_header_cell_0_18_0 450,295 km (173,860 sq mi) (55th)Sweden_cell_0_18_1
Water (%)Sweden_header_cell_0_19_0 8.37 (as of 2015)Sweden_cell_0_19_1
31 August 2020 estimateSweden_header_cell_0_21_0 10,367,232 (89th)Sweden_cell_0_21_1
DensitySweden_header_cell_0_22_0 25/km (64.7/sq mi) (198th)Sweden_cell_0_22_1
GDP (PPP)Sweden_header_cell_0_23_0 2020 estimateSweden_cell_0_23_1
TotalSweden_header_cell_0_24_0 $563.882 billion (39th)Sweden_cell_0_24_1
Per capitaSweden_header_cell_0_25_0 $52,477 (16th)Sweden_cell_0_25_1
GDP (nominal)Sweden_header_cell_0_26_0 2020 estimateSweden_cell_0_26_1
TotalSweden_header_cell_0_27_0 $528.929 billion (23rd)Sweden_cell_0_27_1
Per capitaSweden_header_cell_0_28_0 $50,339 (12th)Sweden_cell_0_28_1
Gini (2019)Sweden_header_cell_0_29_0 27.6


HDI (2018)Sweden_header_cell_0_30_0 0.937

very high · 8thSweden_cell_0_30_1

CurrencySweden_header_cell_0_31_0 Swedish krona (SEK)Sweden_cell_0_31_1
Time zoneSweden_header_cell_0_32_0 UTC+1 (CET)Sweden_cell_0_32_1
Summer (DST)Sweden_header_cell_0_33_0 UTC+2 (CEST)Sweden_cell_0_33_1
Date formatSweden_header_cell_0_34_0 YYYY-MM-DDSweden_cell_0_34_1
Driving sideSweden_header_cell_0_35_0 rightSweden_cell_0_35_1
Calling codeSweden_header_cell_0_36_0 +46Sweden_cell_0_36_1
ISO 3166 codeSweden_header_cell_0_37_0 SESweden_cell_0_37_1
Internet TLDSweden_header_cell_0_38_0 .seSweden_cell_0_38_1

Sweden (/ˈswiː.dən/; Swedish: Sverige [ˈsvæ̌rjɛ (listen)), officially the Kingdom of Sweden (Swedish: Konungariket Sverige [ˈkôːnɵŋaˌriːkɛt ˈsvæ̌rjɛ (listen)), is a Nordic country in Northern Europe. Sweden_sentence_3

It borders Norway to the west and north, Finland to the east, and is connected to Denmark in the southwest by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund Strait. Sweden_sentence_4

At 450,295 square kilometres (173,860 sq mi), Sweden is the largest country in Northern Europe, the third-largest country in the European Union and the fifth largest country in Europe by area. Sweden_sentence_5

The capital city is Stockholm. Sweden_sentence_6

Sweden has a total population of 10.3 million of which 2.6 million have a foreign background. Sweden_sentence_7

Persons with foreign backgrounds are defined as persons who are foreign born, or born in Sweden with foreign born parents. Sweden_sentence_8

It has a low population density of 25 inhabitants per square kilometre (65/sq mi), with 1 437 persons per km in localities. Sweden_sentence_9

87% of Swedes live in urban areas, which cover 1.5% of the entire land area. Sweden_sentence_10

The highest concentration is in the central and southern half of the country. Sweden_sentence_11

Sweden is part of the geographical area of Fennoscandia. Sweden_sentence_12

The climate is in general mild for its northerly latitude due to significant maritime influence. Sweden_sentence_13

In spite of the high latitude, Sweden often has warm continental summers, being located in between the North Atlantic, the Baltic Sea and the vast Eurasian Russian landmass. Sweden_sentence_14

The general climate and environment vary significantly from the south and north due to the vast latitudal difference, and much of Sweden has reliably cold and snowy winters. Sweden_sentence_15

Southern Sweden is predominantly agricultural, while the north is heavily forested and includes a portion of the Scandinavian Mountains. Sweden_sentence_16

Germanic peoples have inhabited Sweden since prehistoric times, emerging into history as the Geats (Swedish Götar) and Swedes (Svear) and constituting the sea peoples known as the Norsemen. Sweden_sentence_17

An independent Swedish state emerged during the early 12th century. Sweden_sentence_18

After the Black Death in the middle of the 14th century killed about a third of the Scandinavian population, the Hanseatic League threatened Scandinavia's culture, finances and languages. Sweden_sentence_19

This led to the forming of the Scandinavian Kalmar Union in 1397, which Sweden left in 1523. Sweden_sentence_20

When Sweden became involved in the Thirty Years War on the Reformist side, an expansion of its territories began and eventually the Swedish Empire was formed. Sweden_sentence_21

This became one of the great powers of Europe until the early 18th century. Sweden_sentence_22

Swedish territories outside the Scandinavian Peninsula were gradually lost during the 18th and 19th centuries, ending with the annexation of present-day Finland by Russia in 1809. Sweden_sentence_23

The last war in which Sweden was directly involved was in 1814, when Norway was militarily forced into a personal union, which peacefully dissolved in 1905. Sweden_sentence_24

Since then, Sweden has been at peace, maintaining an official policy of neutrality in foreign affairs. Sweden_sentence_25

In 2014, Sweden celebrated 200 years of peace, breaking even Switzerland's record for peace. Sweden_sentence_26

Sweden was formally neutral through both world wars and the Cold War, albeit Sweden has since 2009 openly moved towards cooperation with NATO. Sweden_sentence_27

Sweden is a constitutional monarchy and a parliamentary democracy, with legislative power vested in the 349-member unicameral Riksdag. Sweden_sentence_28

It is a unitary state, currently divided into 21 counties and 290 municipalities. Sweden_sentence_29

Sweden maintains a Nordic social welfare system that provides universal health care and tertiary education for its citizens. Sweden_sentence_30

It has the world's eleventh-highest per capita income and ranks very highly in quality of life, health, education, protection of civil liberties, economic competitiveness, income equality, gender equality, prosperity and human development. Sweden_sentence_31

Sweden joined the European Union on 1 January 1995, but has rejected NATO membership, as well as Eurozone membership following a referendum. Sweden_sentence_32

It is also a member of the United Nations, the Nordic Council, the Council of Europe, the World Trade Organization and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Sweden_sentence_33

Etymology Sweden_section_0

Main article: Name of Sweden Sweden_sentence_34

The word Sweden is derived from 17th century Middle Dutch and Middle Low German. Sweden_sentence_35

In Old English the country was named Swéoland and Swíoríce (Old Norse Svíaríki). Sweden_sentence_36

Anglo-Norman of the 12th and 13th centuries used Suane, Swane (with the adjective as Suaneis). Sweden_sentence_37

In Scots Swane, Swaine, appears in the 16th century. Sweden_sentence_38

Early Modern English used Swedeland. Sweden_sentence_39

The Swedish name Sverige (a compound of the words Svea and rike, with lenition of the consonant [k], first recorded in the cognate Swēorice in Beowulf) literally means "realm of the Swedes", excluding the Geats in Götaland. Sweden_sentence_40

Variations of the name Sweden are used in most languages, with the exception of Danish and Norwegian using Sverige, Faroese Svøríki, Icelandic Svíþjóð, and the more notable exception of some Finnic languages where Ruotsi (Finnish) and Rootsi (Estonian) are used, names commonly considered as referring to the people from the coastal areas of Roslagen, Uppland, who were known as the Rus', and through them etymologically related to the English name for Russia. Sweden_sentence_41

The etymology of Swedes, and thus Sweden, is generally not agreed upon but may derive from Proto-Germanic *Swihoniz meaning "one's own", referring to one's own Germanic tribe. Sweden_sentence_42

History Sweden_section_1

Main article: History of Sweden Sweden_sentence_43

Prehistory Sweden_section_2

Main article: Prehistoric Sweden Sweden_sentence_44

Sweden's prehistory begins in the Allerød oscillation, a warm period around 12,000 BC, with Late Palaeolithic reindeer-hunting camps of the Bromme culture at the edge of the ice in what is now the country's southernmost province, Scania. Sweden_sentence_45

This period was characterized by small bands of hunter-gatherer-fishers using flint technology. Sweden_sentence_46

Sweden is first described in a written source in Germania by Tacitus in 98 CE. Sweden_sentence_47

In he mentions the Swedes (Suiones) as a powerful tribe (distinguished not merely for their arms and men, but for their powerful fleets) with ships that had a prow at each end (longships). Sweden_sentence_48

Which kings (kuningaz) ruled these Suiones is unknown, but Norse mythology presents a long line of legendary and semi-legendary kings going back to the last centuries BC. Sweden_sentence_49

As for literacy in Sweden itself, the runic script was in use among the south Scandinavian elite by at least the 2nd century CE, but all that has come down to the present from the Roman Period is curt inscriptions on artefacts, mainly of male names, demonstrating that the people of south Scandinavia spoke Proto-Norse at the time, a language ancestral to Swedish and other North Germanic languages. Sweden_sentence_50

In the 6th century, Jordanes names two tribes living in Scandza, both of which are now considered to be synonymous with the Swedes: the Suetidi and Suehans. Sweden_sentence_51

Suetidi is considered to be the Latin form of Svíþjóð, the Old Norse name for the Swedes. Sweden_sentence_52

Jordanes describes the Suetidi and Dani as being of the same stock and the tallest of people. Sweden_sentence_53

He later mentions other Scandinavian tribes as being of a same stature. Sweden_sentence_54

The Suehans were known to the Roman world as suppliers of black fox skins and, according to Jordanes, had very fine horses, similar to those of the Thyringi of Germania (alia vero gens ibi moratur Suehans, quae velud Thyringi equis utuntur eximiis). Sweden_sentence_55

The Icelandic historian Snorri Sturluson also wrote that the Swedish king Adils (Eadgils) had the finest horses of his day. Sweden_sentence_56

The Vikings Sweden_section_3

See also: Early Swedish history, Foundation of Modern Sweden, and Varangians Sweden_sentence_57

The Swedish Viking Age lasted roughly from the 8th century to the 11th century. Sweden_sentence_58

It is believed that Swedish Vikings and Gutar mainly travelled east and south, going to Finland, Estonia, the Baltic countries, Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, the Black Sea and even as far as Baghdad. Sweden_sentence_59

Their routes passed through the Dnieper south to Constantinople, on which they carried out numerous raids. Sweden_sentence_60

The Byzantine Emperor Theophilos noticed their great skills in war, and invited them to serve as his personal bodyguard, known as the Varangian Guard. Sweden_sentence_61

The Swedish Vikings, called Rus are believed to be the founding fathers of Kievan Rus'. Sweden_sentence_62

The Arab traveller Ibn Fadlan described these Vikings as follows: Sweden_sentence_63

The actions of these Swedish Vikings are commemorated on many runestones in Sweden, such as the Greece runestones and the Varangian runestones. Sweden_sentence_64

There was also considerable participation in expeditions westwards, which are commemorated on stones such as the England runestones. Sweden_sentence_65

The last major Swedish Viking expedition appears to have been the ill-fated expedition of Ingvar the Far-Travelled to Serkland, the region south-east of the Caspian Sea. Sweden_sentence_66

Its members are commemorated on the Ingvar runestones, none of which mentions any survivor. Sweden_sentence_67

What happened to the crew is unknown, but it is believed that they died of sickness. Sweden_sentence_68

The Kingdom of Sweden Sweden_section_4

It is not known when and how the kingdom of Sweden was born, but the list of Swedish monarchs is drawn from the first kings known to have ruled both Svealand (Sweden) and Götaland (Gothia) as one province, beginning with Eric the Victorious. Sweden_sentence_69

Sweden and Gothia were two separate nations long before that and since antiquity. Sweden_sentence_70

It is not known how long they existed: the epic poem Beowulf describes semi-legendary Swedish-Geatish wars in the 6th century. Sweden_sentence_71

Götaland in this sense mainly includes the provinces of Östergötland (East Gothia) and Västergötland (West Gothia). Sweden_sentence_72

The island of Gotland was disputed by other than Swedes, at this time (Danish, Hanseatic, and Gotland-domestic). Sweden_sentence_73

Småland was at that time of little interest to anyone due to the deep pine forests, and only the city of Kalmar with its castle was of importance. Sweden_sentence_74

The south-west parts of the Scandinavian peninsula consisted of three Danish provinces (Scania, Blekinge and Halland). Sweden_sentence_75

North of Halland, Denmark had a direct border to Norway and its province Bohuslän. Sweden_sentence_76

But there were Swedish settlements along the southern coastline of Norrland. Sweden_sentence_77

During the early stages of the Scandinavian Viking Age, Ystad in the Danish province Scania and Paviken on Gotland were flourishing centres of trade, but they were not parts of the early Swedish Kingdom. Sweden_sentence_78

Remains of what is believed to have been a large market dating from 600 to 700 CE have been found in Ystad. Sweden_sentence_79

In Paviken, an important centre of trade in the Baltic region during the 9th and 10th century, remains have been found of a large Viking Age harbour with shipbuilding yards and handicraft industries. Sweden_sentence_80

Between 800 and 1000, trade brought an abundance of silver to Gotland, and according to some scholars, the Gotlanders of this era hoarded more silver than the rest of the population of Scandinavia combined. Sweden_sentence_81

St Ansgar is usually credited with introducing Christianity in 829, but the new religion did not begin to fully replace paganism until the 12th century. Sweden_sentence_82

During the 11th century, Christianity became the prevalent religion, and from 1050 Sweden is counted as a Christian nation. Sweden_sentence_83

The period between 1100 and 1400 was characterised by internal power struggles and competition among the Nordic kingdoms. Sweden_sentence_84

In the years 1150–1293 according to the legend of Eric IX and the Eric Chronicles Swedish kings made a first, second and third crusade to pagan Finland against Finns, Tavastians and Karelians and started conflicts with the Rus' who no longer had any connection with Sweden. Sweden_sentence_85

The Swedish colonisation of the coastal areas of Finland started also during the 12th and 13th century. Sweden_sentence_86

In the 14th century, the Swedish colonisation of coastal areas of Finland began to be more organised and in the end of the century several of the coastal areas of Finland were inhabited mostly by Swedes. Sweden_sentence_87

Except for the provinces of Scania, Blekinge and Halland in the south-west of the Scandinavian peninsula, which were parts of the Kingdom of Denmark during this time, feudalism never developed in Sweden as it did in the rest of Europe. Sweden_sentence_88

The peasantry therefore remained largely a class of free farmers throughout most of Swedish history. Sweden_sentence_89

Slavery (also called thralldom) was not common in Sweden, and what slavery there was tended to be driven out of existence thanks to the spread of Christianity as well as to the difficulty to obtain slaves from the lands east of the Baltic Sea, and by the development of cities before the 16th century. Sweden_sentence_90

Indeed, both slavery and serfdom were abolished altogether by a decree of King Magnus IV in 1335. Sweden_sentence_91

Former slaves tended to be absorbed into the peasantry, and some became labourers in the towns. Sweden_sentence_92

Still, Sweden remained a poor and economically backward country in which barter was the primary means of exchange. Sweden_sentence_93

For instance, the farmers of the province of Dalsland would transport their butter to the mining districts of Sweden and exchange it there for iron, which they would then take to the coast and trade for fish, which they consumed, while the iron would be shipped abroad. Sweden_sentence_94

In the middle of the 14th century, Sweden was struck by the Black Death. Sweden_sentence_95

The population of Sweden and most of Europe was seriously decimated. Sweden_sentence_96

The population (at same territory) did not reach the numbers of the year 1348 again until the beginning of the 19th century. Sweden_sentence_97

One third of the population died in the triennium of 1349–1351. Sweden_sentence_98

During this period, the Swedish cities began to acquire greater rights and were strongly influenced by German merchants of the Hanseatic League, active especially at Visby. Sweden_sentence_99

In 1319, Sweden and Norway were united under King Magnus Eriksson, and in 1397 Queen Margaret I of Denmark effected the personal union of Sweden, Norway, and Denmark through the Kalmar Union. Sweden_sentence_100

However, Margaret's successors, whose rule was also centred in Denmark, were unable to control the Swedish nobility. Sweden_sentence_101

Many times the Swedish crown was inherited by children kings over the course of the kingdom's existence; consequently real power was held for long periods by regents (notably those of the Sture family) chosen by the Swedish parliament. Sweden_sentence_102

King Christian II of Denmark, who asserted his claim to Sweden by force of arms, ordered a massacre of Swedish nobles in Stockholm in 1520. Sweden_sentence_103

This came to be known as the "Stockholm blood bath" and stirred the Swedish nobility to new resistance and, on 6 June (now Sweden's national holiday) in 1523, they made Gustav Vasa their king. Sweden_sentence_104

This is sometimes considered as the foundation of modern Sweden. Sweden_sentence_105

Shortly afterwards the new king rejected Catholicism and led Sweden into the Protestant Reformation. Sweden_sentence_106

The Hanseatic League had been officially formed at Lübeck on the Baltic coast of Northern Germany in 1356. Sweden_sentence_107

The League sought civil and commercial privileges from the princes and royalty of the countries and cities along the coasts of the Baltic Sea. Sweden_sentence_108

In exchange, they offered a certain amount of protection to the joining cities. Sweden_sentence_109

Having their own navy, the Hansa were able to sweep the Baltic Sea free of pirates. Sweden_sentence_110

The privileges obtained by the Hansa included assurances that only Hansa citizens would be allowed to trade from the ports where they were located. Sweden_sentence_111

They sought agreement to be free of all customs and taxes. Sweden_sentence_112

With these concessions, Lübeck merchants flocked to Stockholm, where they soon came to dominate the city's economic life and made the port city of Stockholm into the leading commercial and industrial city of Sweden. Sweden_sentence_113

Under the Hanseatic trade, two-thirds of Stockholm's imports consisted of textiles, while the remaining third was salt. Sweden_sentence_114

The main exports from Sweden were iron and copper. Sweden_sentence_115

However, the Swedes began to resent the monopoly trading position of the Hansa (mostly consisting of German citizens), and to resent the income they felt they lost to the Hansa. Sweden_sentence_116

Consequently, when Gustav Vasa or Gustav I broke the monopoly power of the Hanseatic League he was regarded as a hero by the Swedish people. Sweden_sentence_117

History now views Gustav I as the father of the modern Swedish nation. Sweden_sentence_118

The foundations laid by Gustav would take time to develop. Sweden_sentence_119

Furthermore, when Sweden did develop, freed itself from the Hanseatic League, and entered its golden era, the fact that the peasantry had traditionally been free meant that more of the economic benefits flowed back to them rather than going to a feudal landowning class. Sweden_sentence_120

The end of the 16th century was marked by a final phase of rivalry between the remaining Catholics and the new Protestant communities. Sweden_sentence_121

In 1592, Gustav Vasa's Catholic grandson and king of Poland, Sigismund, ascended the Swedish throne. Sweden_sentence_122

He pursued to strengthen Rome's influence by initiating Counter-Reformation and created a dual monarchy, which temporarily became known as the Polish-Swedish Union. Sweden_sentence_123

His despotic rule, strongly characterized by intolerance towards the Protestants, sparked a civil war that plunged Sweden into poverty. Sweden_sentence_124

In opposition, Sigismund's uncle and successor, Charles Vasa, summoned the Uppsala Synod in 1593 which officially confirmed the modern Church of Sweden as Lutheran. Sweden_sentence_125

Following his deposition in 1599, Sigismund attempted to reclaim the throne at every expense and hostilities between Poland and Sweden continued for the next one hundred years. Sweden_sentence_126

Swedish Empire Sweden_section_5

See also: History of Sweden (1611–48), Swedish Empire, Swedish overseas colonies, Age of Liberty, Gustavian era, Sweden–Finland, and Union between Sweden and Norway Sweden_sentence_127

During the 17th century, Sweden emerged as a European great power. Sweden_sentence_128

Before the emergence of the Swedish Empire, Sweden was a poor and scarcely populated country on the fringe of European civilisation, with no significant power or reputation. Sweden_sentence_129

Sweden rose to prominence on a continental scale during the tenure of king Gustavus Adolphus, seizing territories from Russia and Poland–Lithuania in multiple conflicts, including the Thirty Years' War. Sweden_sentence_130

During the Thirty Years' War, Sweden conquered approximately half of the Holy Roman states and defeated the Imperial army at the Battle of Breitenfeld in 1631. Sweden_sentence_131

Gustav Adolphus planned to become the new Holy Roman Emperor, ruling over a united Scandinavia and the Holy Roman states, but he died at the Battle of Lützen in 1632. Sweden_sentence_132

After the Battle of Nördlingen in 1634, Sweden's only significant military defeat of the war, pro-Swedish sentiment among the German states faded. Sweden_sentence_133

These German provinces excluded themselves from Swedish power one by one, leaving Sweden with only a few northern German territories: Swedish Pomerania, Bremen-Verden and Wismar. Sweden_sentence_134

From 1643 to 1645, during the last years of the war, Sweden and Denmark-Norway fought the Torstenson War. Sweden_sentence_135

The result of that conflict and the conclusion of the Thirty Years' War helped establish postwar Sweden as a major force in Europe. Sweden_sentence_136

In the middle of the 17th century Sweden was the third-largest country in Europe by land area, surpassed by only Russia and Spain. Sweden_sentence_137

Sweden reached its largest territorial extent under the rule of Charles X after the treaty of Roskilde in 1658, following Charles X's risky but successful crossing of the Danish Belts. Sweden_sentence_138

The foundation of Sweden's success during this period is credited to Gustav I's major changes to the Swedish economy in the 16th century, and his introduction of Protestantism. Sweden_sentence_139

In the 17th century, Sweden was engaged in many wars, for example with the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, with both sides competing for territories of today's Baltic states, with the disastrous Battle of Kircholm being one of the highlights. Sweden_sentence_140

One-third of the Finnish population died in the devastating Great Famine of 1695–1697 that struck the country. Sweden_sentence_141

Famine also hit Sweden, killing roughly 10% of Sweden's population. Sweden_sentence_142

The Swedes conducted a series of invasions into the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, known as the Deluge. Sweden_sentence_143

After more than half a century of almost constant warfare, the Swedish economy had deteriorated. Sweden_sentence_144

It became the lifetime task of Charles X's son, Charles XI, to rebuild the economy and refit the army. Sweden_sentence_145

His legacy to his son, the coming ruler of Sweden, Charles XII, was one of the finest arsenals in the world, a large standing army and a great fleet. Sweden_sentence_146

Sweden's largest threat at this time, Russia, had a larger army but was far behind in both equipment and training. Sweden_sentence_147

After the Battle of Narva in 1700, one of the first battles of the Great Northern War, the Russian army was so severely devastated that Sweden had an open chance to invade Russia. Sweden_sentence_148

However, Charles XII did not pursue the Russian army, instead turning against Poland–Lithuania and defeating the Polish king, Augustus II the Strong, and his Saxon allies at the Battle of Kliszów in 1702. Sweden_sentence_149

This gave Russia time to rebuild and modernise its army. Sweden_sentence_150

After the success of invading Poland, Charles XII decided to make an attempt at invading Russia, but this ended in a decisive Russian victory at the Battle of Poltava in 1709. Sweden_sentence_151

After a long march exposed to Cossack raids, the Russian Tsar Peter the Great's scorched-earth techniques and the extremely cold winter of 1709, the Swedes stood weakened with a shattered morale and were enormously outnumbered against the Russian army at Poltava. Sweden_sentence_152

The defeat meant the beginning of the end for the Swedish Empire. Sweden_sentence_153

In addition, the plague raging in East Central Europe devastated the Swedish dominions and reached Central Sweden in 1710. Sweden_sentence_154

Charles XII attempted to invade Norway in 1716, but he was shot dead at Fredriksten fortress in 1718. Sweden_sentence_155

The Swedes were not militarily defeated at Fredriksten, but the whole structure and organisation of the campaign fell apart with the king's death, and the army withdrew. Sweden_sentence_156

Forced to cede large areas of land in the Treaty of Nystad in 1721, Sweden also lost its place as an empire and as the dominant state on the Baltic Sea. Sweden_sentence_157

With Sweden's lost influence, Russia emerged as an empire and became one of Europe's dominant nations. Sweden_sentence_158

As the war finally ended in 1721, Sweden had lost an estimated 200,000 men, 150,000 of those from the area of present-day Sweden and 50,000 from the Finnish part of Sweden. Sweden_sentence_159

In the 18th century, Sweden did not have enough resources to maintain its territories outside Scandinavia, and most of them were lost, culminating with the loss in 1809 of eastern Sweden to Russia, which became the highly autonomous Grand Principality of Finland in Imperial Russia. Sweden_sentence_160

In interest of re-establishing Swedish dominance in the Baltic Sea, Sweden allied itself against its traditional ally and benefactor, France, in the Napoleonic Wars. Sweden_sentence_161

However, in 1810, a French Marshal was chosen the heir presumptive to the decrepit Charles XIII; in 1818, he established the House of Bernadotte. Sweden_sentence_162

Sweden's role in the Battle of Leipzig gave it the authority to force Denmark–Norway, an ally of France, to cede Norway to the King of Sweden on 14 January 1814 in exchange for the northern German provinces, at the Treaty of Kiel. Sweden_sentence_163

The Norwegian attempts to keep their status as a sovereign state were rejected by the Swedish king, Charles XIII. Sweden_sentence_164

He launched a military campaign against Norway on 27 July 1814, ending in the Convention of Moss, which forced Norway into a personal union with Sweden under the Swedish crown, which lasted until 1905. Sweden_sentence_165

The 1814 campaign was the last time Sweden was at war. Sweden_sentence_166

Modern history Sweden_section_6

See also: Modernization of Sweden and Swedish emigration to the United States Sweden_sentence_167

The Swedish East India Company, Ostindiska Kompaniet, began in 1731. Sweden_sentence_168

The obvious choice of home port was Gothenburg at Sweden's west coast, the mouth of Göta älv river is very wide and has the county's largest and best harbour for high-seas journeys. Sweden_sentence_169

The trade continued into the 19th century, and caused the little town to become Sweden's second city. Sweden_sentence_170

There was a significant population increase during the 18th and 19th centuries, which the writer Esaias Tegnér in 1833 attributed to "the peace, the smallpox vaccine, and the potatoes". Sweden_sentence_171

Between 1750 and 1850, the population in Sweden doubled. Sweden_sentence_172

According to some scholars, mass emigration to America became the only way to prevent famine and rebellion; over 1% of the population emigrated annually during the 1880s. Sweden_sentence_173

Nevertheless, Sweden remained poor, retaining a nearly entirely agricultural economy even as Denmark and Western European countries began to industrialise. Sweden_sentence_174

Many looked towards America for a better life during this time. Sweden_sentence_175

It is thought that between 1850 and 1910 more than one million Swedes moved to the United States. Sweden_sentence_176

In the early 20th century, more Swedes lived in Chicago than in Gothenburg (Sweden's second largest city). Sweden_sentence_177

Most Swedish immigrants moved to the Midwestern United States, with a large population in Minnesota, with a few others moving to other parts of the United States and Canada. Sweden_sentence_178

Despite the slow rate of industrialisation into the 19th century, many important changes were taking place in the agrarian economy due to constant innovations and a rapid population growth. Sweden_sentence_179

These innovations included government-sponsored programmes of enclosure, aggressive exploitation of agricultural lands, and the introduction of new crops such as the potato. Sweden_sentence_180

Because the Swedish peasantry had never been enserfed as elsewhere in Europe, the Swedish farming culture began to take on a critical role in Swedish politics, which has continued through modern times with modern Agrarian party (now called the Centre Party). Sweden_sentence_181

Between 1870 and 1914, Sweden began developing the industrialised economy that exists today. Sweden_sentence_182

Strong grassroots movements sprang up in Sweden during the latter half of the 19th century (trade unions, temperance groups, and independent religious groups), creating a strong foundation of democratic principles. Sweden_sentence_183

In 1889 The Swedish Social Democratic Party was founded. Sweden_sentence_184

These movements precipitated Sweden's migration into a modern parliamentary democracy, achieved by the time of World War I. Sweden_sentence_185

As the Industrial Revolution progressed during the 20th century, people gradually moved into cities to work in factories and became involved in socialist unions. Sweden_sentence_186

A communist revolution was avoided in 1917, following the re-introduction of parliamentarism, and the country was democratised. Sweden_sentence_187

World War I and World War II Sweden_section_7

Main articles: Sweden during World War I and Sweden during World War II Sweden_sentence_188

Sweden was officially neutral during World War I, although, under German pressure, they did take steps which were detrimental to the Allied powers including mining the Øresund channel, thus closing it to Allied shipping, and allowing the Germans to use Swedish facilities and the Swedish cipher to transmit secret messages to their overseas embassies. Sweden_sentence_189

Sweden also allowed volunteers to fight for the White Guards alongside the Germans against the Red Guards and Russians in the Finnish Civil War, and briefly occupied the Åland Islands in co-operation with Germany. Sweden_sentence_190

As in the First World War, Sweden remained officially neutral during World War II, although its neutrality during World War II has been disputed. Sweden_sentence_191

Sweden was under German influence for much of the war, as ties to the rest of the world were cut off through blockades. Sweden_sentence_192

The Swedish government felt that it was in no position to openly contest Germany, and therefore made some concessions. Sweden_sentence_193

Sweden also supplied steel and machined parts to Germany throughout the war. Sweden_sentence_194

The Swedish government unofficially supported Finland in the Winter War and the Continuation War by allowing volunteers and materiel to be shipped to Finland. Sweden_sentence_195

However, Sweden supported Norwegian resistance against Germany, and in 1943 helped rescue Danish Jews from deportation to Nazi concentration camps. Sweden_sentence_196

During the last year of the war, Sweden began to play a role in humanitarian efforts, and many refugees, among them several thousand Jews from Nazi-occupied Europe, were rescued thanks to the Swedish rescue missions to internment camps and partly because Sweden served as a haven for refugees, primarily from the Nordic countries and the Baltic states. Sweden_sentence_197

The Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg and his colleagues ensured the safety of tens of thousands of Hungarian Jews. Sweden_sentence_198

Nevertheless, both Swedes and others have argued that Sweden could have done more to oppose the Nazis' war efforts, even if it meant increasing the risk of occupation. Sweden_sentence_199

Post-war era Sweden_section_8

Sweden was officially a neutral country and remained outside NATO and Warsaw Pact membership during the Cold War, but privately Sweden's leadership had strong ties with the United States and other western governments. Sweden_sentence_200

Following the war, Sweden took advantage of an intact industrial base, social stability and its natural resources to expand its industry to supply the rebuilding of Europe. Sweden_sentence_201

Sweden received aid under the Marshall Plan and participated in the OECD. Sweden_sentence_202

During most of the post-war era, the country was governed by the Swedish Social Democratic Party largely in co-operation with trade unions and industry. Sweden_sentence_203

The government actively pursued an internationally competitive manufacturing sector of primarily large corporations. Sweden_sentence_204

Sweden was one of the founding states of the European Free Trade Area (EFTA). Sweden_sentence_205

During the 1960s the EFTA countries were often referred to as the Outer Seven, as opposed to the Inner Six of the then-European Economic Community (EEC). Sweden_sentence_206

Sweden, like many industrialised countries, entered a period of economic decline and upheaval following the oil embargoes of 1973–74 and 1978–79. Sweden_sentence_207

In the 1980s several key Swedish industries were significantly restructured. Sweden_sentence_208

Shipbuilding was discontinued, wood pulp was integrated into modernised paper production, the steel industry was concentrated and specialised, and mechanical engineering was robotised. Sweden_sentence_209

Between 1970 and 1990, the overall tax burden rose by over 10%, and the growth was low compared with other countries in Western Europe. Sweden_sentence_210

Eventually the government began to spend over half of the country's gross domestic product. Sweden_sentence_211

Swedish GDP per capita ranking declined during this time. Sweden_sentence_212

Recent history Sweden_section_9

See also: History of Sweden (1991–present) Sweden_sentence_213

A bursting real estate bubble caused by inadequate controls on lending combined with an international recession and a policy switch from anti-unemployment policies to anti-inflationary policies resulted in a fiscal crisis in the early 1990s. Sweden_sentence_214

Sweden's GDP declined by around 5%. Sweden_sentence_215

In 1992, a run on the currency caused the central bank to briefly increase interest rates to 500%. Sweden_sentence_216

The response of the government was to cut spending and institute a multitude of reforms to improve Sweden's competitiveness, among them reducing the welfare state and privatising public services and goods. Sweden_sentence_217

Much of the political establishment promoted EU membership, and a referendum passed with 52.3% in favour of joining the EU on 13 November 1994. Sweden_sentence_218

Sweden joined the European Union on 1 January 1995. Sweden_sentence_219

In a 2003 referendum the Swedish electorate voted against the country joining the Euro currency. Sweden_sentence_220

In 2006 Sweden got its first majority government for decades as the centre-right Alliance defeated the incumbent Social Democrat government. Sweden_sentence_221

Following the rapid growth of support for the anti-immigration Sweden Democrats, and their entrance to the Riksdag in 2010, the Alliance became a minority cabinet. Sweden_sentence_222

Sweden remains non-aligned militarily, although it participates in some joint military exercises with NATO and some other countries, in addition to extensive co-operation with other European countries in the area of defence technology and defence industry. Sweden_sentence_223

Among others, Swedish companies export weapons that were used by the American military in Iraq. Sweden_sentence_224

Sweden also has a long history of participating in international military operations, including Afghanistan, where Swedish troops are under NATO command, and in EU-sponsored peacekeeping operations in Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Cyprus. Sweden_sentence_225

Sweden also participated in enforcing a UN mandated no-fly zone over Libya during the Arab Spring. Sweden_sentence_226

Sweden held the chair of the European Union from 1 July to 31 December 2009. Sweden_sentence_227

In recent decades Sweden has become a more culturally diverse nation due to significant immigration; in 2013 it was estimated that 15 per cent of the population was foreign-born, and an additional 5 per cent of the population were born to two immigrant parents. Sweden_sentence_228

The influx of immigrants has brought new social challenges. Sweden_sentence_229

Violent incidents have periodically occurred including the 2013 Stockholm riots which broke out following the police shooting of an elderly Portuguese immigrant. Sweden_sentence_230

In response to these violent events, the anti-immigration opposition party, the Sweden Democrats, promoted their anti-immigration policies, while the left-wing opposition blamed growing inequality caused by the centre-right government's socioeconomic policies. Sweden_sentence_231

In 2014, Stefan Löfven (Social Democrats) won the General Election and became the new Swedish Prime Minister. Sweden_sentence_232

The Sweden Democrats held the balance of power and voted the government's budget down in the Riksdag, but due to agreements between the government and the Alliance, the government was able to hang onto power. Sweden_sentence_233

Sweden was heavily affected by the 2015 European migrant crisis, eventually forcing the government to tighten regulations of entry to the country, as Sweden received thousands of asylum seekers and migrants predominantly from Africa and the Middle East per week in autumn, overwhelming existing structures. Sweden_sentence_234

Some of the asylum restrictions were relaxed again later. Sweden_sentence_235

The 2018 general election saw the Red-greens lose seats to the right-wing Sweden Democrats and to the centre-right parties of the former Alliance. Sweden_sentence_236

Despite holding only 33% of the seats in the Riksdag, the Social Democrats and the Greens managed to form a minority government in January 2019, relying on supply and confidence from the Centre Party, Liberals and the Left Party. Sweden_sentence_237

Geography Sweden_section_10

Main article: Geography of Sweden Sweden_sentence_238

Situated in Northern Europe, Sweden lies west of the Baltic Sea and Gulf of Bothnia, providing a long coastline, and forms the eastern part of the Scandinavian Peninsula. Sweden_sentence_239

To the west is the Scandinavian mountain chain (Skanderna), a range that separates Sweden from Norway. Sweden_sentence_240

Finland is located to its north-east. Sweden_sentence_241

It has maritime borders with Denmark, Germany, Poland, Russia, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, and it is also linked to Denmark (south-west) by the Öresund Bridge. Sweden_sentence_242

Its border with Norway (1,619 km long) is the longest uninterrupted border within Europe. Sweden_sentence_243

Sweden lies between latitudes 55° and 70° N, and mostly between longitudes 11° and 25° E (part of Stora Drammen island is just west of 11°). Sweden_sentence_244

At 449,964 km (173,732 sq mi), Sweden is the 55th-largest country in the world, the 4th-largest country entirely in Europe, and the largest in Northern Europe. Sweden_sentence_245

The lowest elevation in Sweden is in the bay of Lake Hammarsjön, near Kristianstad, at −2.41 m (−7.91 ft) below sea level. Sweden_sentence_246

The highest point is Kebnekaise at 2,111 m (6,926 ft) above sea level. Sweden_sentence_247

Sweden has 25 provinces or landskap, based on culture, geography and history. Sweden_sentence_248

While these provinces serve no political or administrative purpose, they play an important role in people's self-identity. Sweden_sentence_249

The provinces are usually grouped together in three large lands, parts, the northern Norrland, the central Svealand and southern Götaland. Sweden_sentence_250

The sparsely populated Norrland encompasses almost 60% of the country. Sweden_sentence_251

Sweden also has the Vindelfjällen Nature Reserve, one of the largest protected areas in Europe, totaling 562,772 ha (approx. Sweden_sentence_252

5,628 km). Sweden_sentence_253

About 15% of Sweden lies north of the Arctic Circle. Sweden_sentence_254

Southern Sweden is predominantly agricultural, with increasing forest coverage northward. Sweden_sentence_255

Around 65% of Sweden's total land area is covered with forests. Sweden_sentence_256

The highest population density is in the Öresund Region in southern Sweden, along the western coast up to central Bohuslän, and in the valley of lake Mälaren and Stockholm. Sweden_sentence_257

Gotland and Öland are Sweden's largest islands; Vänern and Vättern are its largest lakes. Sweden_sentence_258

Vänern is the third largest in Europe, after Lake Ladoga and Lake Onega in Russia. Sweden_sentence_259

Combined with the third- and fourth-largest lakes Mälaren and Hjälmaren, these lakes take up a significant part of the southern Sweden's area. Sweden_sentence_260

Sweden's extensive waterway availability throughout the south was exploited with the building of the Göta Canal in the 19th century, shortening the potential distance between the Baltic Sea south of Norrköping and Gothenburg by using the lake and river network to facilitate the canal. Sweden_sentence_261

Climate Sweden_section_11

Most of Sweden has a temperate climate, despite its northern latitude, with largely four distinct seasons and mild temperatures throughout the year. Sweden_sentence_262

The winter in the far south is usually weak and is manifested only through some shorter periods with snow and sub-zero temperatures, autumn may well turn into spring there, without a distinct period of winter. Sweden_sentence_263

The country can be divided into three types of climate: the southernmost part has an oceanic climate, the central part has a humid continental climate and the northernmost part has a subarctic climate. Sweden_sentence_264

However, Sweden is much warmer and drier than other places at a similar latitude, and even somewhat farther south, mainly because of the combination of the Gulf Stream and the general west wind drift, caused by the direction of planet Earth's rotation. Sweden_sentence_265

Continental west-coasts (to which all of Scandinavia belongs, as the westernmost part of the Eurasian continent), are notably warmer than continental east-coasts; this can also be seen by comparing e.g. the Canadian cities of Vancouver and Halifax, Nova Scotia with each other, the winter in west coast Vancouver is much milder; also, for example, central and southern Sweden has much milder winters than many parts of Russia, Canada, and the northern United States. Sweden_sentence_266

Because of Sweden's high latitude, the length of daylight varies greatly. Sweden_sentence_267

North of the Arctic Circle, the sun never sets for part of each summer, and it never rises for part of each winter. Sweden_sentence_268

In the capital, Stockholm, daylight lasts for more than 18 hours in late June but only around 6 hours in late December. Sweden_sentence_269

Sweden receives between 1,100 and 1,900 hours of sunshine annually. Sweden_sentence_270

During July there is not much difference in temperature between the north and south of the country. Sweden_sentence_271

With the exception of in the mountains, the whole country has a July-average temperature within the range of 15 °C (59 °F) to 17.5 °C (63.5 °F) (a difference of 2.5 degrees Celsius), while the January-average temperatures vary from freezing point down to below −15 °C (5 °F) along the border with Finland (a difference of 15 degrees Celsius). Sweden_sentence_272

The highest temperature ever recorded in Sweden was 38 °C (100 °F) in Målilla in 1947, while the coldest temperature ever recorded was −52.6 °C (−62.7 °F) in Vuoggatjålme on 2 February 1966. Sweden_sentence_273

Temperatures expected in Sweden are heavily influenced by the large Fennoscandian landmass, as well as continental Europe and western Russia, which allows hot or cool inland air to be easily transported to Sweden. Sweden_sentence_274

That, in turn, renders most of Sweden's southern areas having warmer summers than almost everywhere in the nearby British Isles, even matching temperatures found along the continental Atlantic coast as far south as in northern Spain. Sweden_sentence_275

In winter, however, the same high-pressure systems sometimes put the entire country far below freezing temperatures. Sweden_sentence_276

There is some maritime moderation from the Atlantic which renders the Swedish continental climate less severe than that of nearby Russia. Sweden_sentence_277

Even though temperature patterns differ between north and south, the summer climate is surprisingly similar all through the entire country in spite of the large latitudinal differences. Sweden_sentence_278

This is due to the south's being surrounded by a greater mass of water, with the wider Baltic Sea and the Atlantic air passing over lowland areas from the south-west. Sweden_sentence_279

Apart from the ice-free Atlantic bringing marine air into Sweden tempering winters, the mildness is further explained by prevailing low-pressure systems postponing winter, with the long nights often staying above freezing in the south of the country due to the abundant cloud cover. Sweden_sentence_280

By the time winter finally breaks through, daylight hours rise quickly, ensuring that daytime temperatures soar quickly in spring. Sweden_sentence_281

With the greater number of clear nights, frosts remain commonplace quite far south as late as April. Sweden_sentence_282

The cold winters occur when low-pressure systems are weaker. Sweden_sentence_283

An example is that the coldest ever month (January 1987) in Stockholm was also the sunniest January month on record. Sweden_sentence_284

The relative strength of low and high-pressure systems of marine and continental air also define the highly variable summers. Sweden_sentence_285

When hot continental air hits the country, the long days and short nights frequently bring temperatures up to 30 °C (86 °F) or above even in coastal areas. Sweden_sentence_286

Nights normally remain cool, especially in inland areas. Sweden_sentence_287

Coastal areas can see so-called tropical nights above 20 °C (68 °F) occur due to the moderating sea influence during warmer summers. Sweden_sentence_288

Summers can be cool, especially in the north of the country. Sweden_sentence_289

Transitional seasons are normally quite extensive and the four-season climate applies to most of Sweden's territory, except in Scania where some years do not record a meteorological winter (see table below) or in the high Lapland mountains where polar microclimates exist. Sweden_sentence_290

On average, most of Sweden receives between 500 and 800 mm (20 and 31 in) of precipitation each year, making it considerably drier than the global average. Sweden_sentence_291

The south-western part of the country receives more precipitation, between 1,000 and 1,200 mm (39 and 47 in), and some mountain areas in the north are estimated to receive up to 2,000 mm (79 in). Sweden_sentence_292

Despite northerly locations, southern and central Sweden may have almost no snow in some winters. Sweden_sentence_293

Most of Sweden is located in the rain shadow of the Scandinavian Mountains through Norway and north-west Sweden. Sweden_sentence_294

The blocking of cool and wet air in summer, as well as the greater landmass, leads to warm and dry summers far north in the country, with quite warm summers at the Bothnia Bay coast at 65 degrees latitude, which is unheard of elsewhere in the world at such northerly coastlines. Sweden_sentence_295

Swedish Meteorological Institute, SMHI's monthly average temperatures of some of their weather stations – for the latest scientific full prefixed thirty-year period 1961–1990 Next will be presented in year 2020. Sweden_sentence_296

The weather stations are sorted from south towards north by their numbers. Sweden_sentence_297


stn.nr.Sweden_header_cell_1_0_0 stationSweden_header_cell_1_0_1 JanSweden_header_cell_1_0_2 FebSweden_header_cell_1_0_3 MarSweden_header_cell_1_0_4 AprSweden_header_cell_1_0_5 MaySweden_header_cell_1_0_6 JunSweden_header_cell_1_0_7 JulSweden_header_cell_1_0_8 AugSweden_header_cell_1_0_9 SepSweden_header_cell_1_0_10 OctSweden_header_cell_1_0_11 NovSweden_header_cell_1_0_12 DecSweden_header_cell_1_0_13 AnnualSweden_header_cell_1_0_14
5337Sweden_cell_1_1_0 MalmöSweden_cell_1_1_1 0.1Sweden_cell_1_1_2 0.0Sweden_cell_1_1_3 2.2Sweden_cell_1_1_4 6.4Sweden_cell_1_1_5 11.6Sweden_cell_1_1_6 15.8Sweden_cell_1_1_7 17.1Sweden_cell_1_1_8 16.8Sweden_cell_1_1_9 13.6Sweden_cell_1_1_10 9.8Sweden_cell_1_1_11 5.3Sweden_cell_1_1_12 1.9Sweden_cell_1_1_13 8.4Sweden_cell_1_1_14
6203Sweden_cell_1_2_0 HelsingborgSweden_cell_1_2_1 0.6Sweden_cell_1_2_2 −0.1Sweden_cell_1_2_3 2.0Sweden_cell_1_2_4 6.0Sweden_cell_1_2_5 11.2Sweden_cell_1_2_6 15.3Sweden_cell_1_2_7 16.7Sweden_cell_1_2_8 16.6Sweden_cell_1_2_9 13.6Sweden_cell_1_2_10 9.9Sweden_cell_1_2_11 5.2Sweden_cell_1_2_12 1.8Sweden_cell_1_2_13 8.3Sweden_cell_1_2_14
6451Sweden_cell_1_3_0 VäxjöSweden_cell_1_3_1 −2.8Sweden_cell_1_3_2 −2.8Sweden_cell_1_3_3 0.0Sweden_cell_1_3_4 4.7Sweden_cell_1_3_5 10.2Sweden_cell_1_3_6 14.3Sweden_cell_1_3_7 15.3Sweden_cell_1_3_8 14.9Sweden_cell_1_3_9 11.2Sweden_cell_1_3_10 7.0Sweden_cell_1_3_11 2.3Sweden_cell_1_3_12 −1.2Sweden_cell_1_3_13 6.1Sweden_cell_1_3_14
7839Sweden_cell_1_4_0 VisbySweden_cell_1_4_1 −0.5Sweden_cell_1_4_2 −1.2Sweden_cell_1_4_3 0.7Sweden_cell_1_4_4 4.1Sweden_cell_1_4_5 9.5Sweden_cell_1_4_6 14.0Sweden_cell_1_4_7 16.4Sweden_cell_1_4_8 16.0Sweden_cell_1_4_9 12.5Sweden_cell_1_4_10 8.6Sweden_cell_1_4_11 4.3Sweden_cell_1_4_12 1.2Sweden_cell_1_4_13 7.1Sweden_cell_1_4_14
7447Sweden_cell_1_5_0 JönköpingSweden_cell_1_5_1 −2.6Sweden_cell_1_5_2 −2.7Sweden_cell_1_5_3 0.3Sweden_cell_1_5_4 4.7Sweden_cell_1_5_5 10.0Sweden_cell_1_5_6 14.5Sweden_cell_1_5_7 15.9Sweden_cell_1_5_8 15.0Sweden_cell_1_5_9 11.3Sweden_cell_1_5_10 7.5Sweden_cell_1_5_11 2.8Sweden_cell_1_5_12 −0.7Sweden_cell_1_5_13 6.3Sweden_cell_1_5_14
7263Sweden_cell_1_6_0 GöteborgSweden_cell_1_6_1 −0.9Sweden_cell_1_6_2 −0.9Sweden_cell_1_6_3 2.0Sweden_cell_1_6_4 6.0Sweden_cell_1_6_5 11.6Sweden_cell_1_6_6 15.5Sweden_cell_1_6_7 16.6Sweden_cell_1_6_8 16.2Sweden_cell_1_6_9 12.8Sweden_cell_1_6_10 9.1Sweden_cell_1_6_11 4.4Sweden_cell_1_6_12 1.0Sweden_cell_1_6_13 7.8Sweden_cell_1_6_14
8323Sweden_cell_1_7_0 SkövdeSweden_cell_1_7_1 −2.8Sweden_cell_1_7_2 −2.9Sweden_cell_1_7_3 0.0Sweden_cell_1_7_4 4.6Sweden_cell_1_7_5 10.6Sweden_cell_1_7_6 15.0Sweden_cell_1_7_7 16.2Sweden_cell_1_7_8 15.2Sweden_cell_1_7_9 11.1Sweden_cell_1_7_10 7.1Sweden_cell_1_7_11 2.2Sweden_cell_1_7_12 −1.1Sweden_cell_1_7_13 6.3Sweden_cell_1_7_14
8634Sweden_cell_1_8_0 NorrköpingSweden_cell_1_8_1 −3.0Sweden_cell_1_8_2 −3.2Sweden_cell_1_8_3 0.0Sweden_cell_1_8_4 4.5Sweden_cell_1_8_5 10.4Sweden_cell_1_8_6 15.1Sweden_cell_1_8_7 16.6Sweden_cell_1_8_8 15.5Sweden_cell_1_8_9 11.3Sweden_cell_1_8_10 7.2Sweden_cell_1_8_11 2.2Sweden_cell_1_8_12 −1.4Sweden_cell_1_8_13 6.3Sweden_cell_1_8_14
9516Sweden_cell_1_9_0 ÖrebroSweden_cell_1_9_1 −4.0Sweden_cell_1_9_2 −4.0Sweden_cell_1_9_3 −0.5Sweden_cell_1_9_4 4.3Sweden_cell_1_9_5 10.7Sweden_cell_1_9_6 15.3Sweden_cell_1_9_7 16.5Sweden_cell_1_9_8 15.3Sweden_cell_1_9_9 10.9Sweden_cell_1_9_10 6.6Sweden_cell_1_9_11 1.3Sweden_cell_1_9_12 −2.4Sweden_cell_1_9_13 5.8Sweden_cell_1_9_14
9720Sweden_cell_1_10_0 Stockholm BrommaSweden_cell_1_10_1 −3.5Sweden_cell_1_10_2 −3.7Sweden_cell_1_10_3 −0.5Sweden_cell_1_10_4 4.3Sweden_cell_1_10_5 10.4Sweden_cell_1_10_6 15.2Sweden_cell_1_10_7 16.8Sweden_cell_1_10_8 15.8Sweden_cell_1_10_9 11.4Sweden_cell_1_10_10 7.0Sweden_cell_1_10_11 2.0Sweden_cell_1_10_12 −1.8Sweden_cell_1_10_13 6.1Sweden_cell_1_10_14
9739Sweden_cell_1_11_0 Stockholm ArlandaSweden_cell_1_11_1 −4.3Sweden_cell_1_11_2 −4.6Sweden_cell_1_11_3 −1.0Sweden_cell_1_11_4 3.9Sweden_cell_1_11_5 9.9Sweden_cell_1_11_6 14.8Sweden_cell_1_11_7 16.5Sweden_cell_1_11_8 15.2Sweden_cell_1_11_9 10.7Sweden_cell_1_11_10 6.4Sweden_cell_1_11_11 1.2Sweden_cell_1_11_12 −2.6Sweden_cell_1_11_13 5.5Sweden_cell_1_11_14
10458Sweden_cell_1_12_0 MoraSweden_cell_1_12_1 −7.4Sweden_cell_1_12_2 −7.2Sweden_cell_1_12_3 −2.4Sweden_cell_1_12_4 2.5Sweden_cell_1_12_5 9.1Sweden_cell_1_12_6 14.1Sweden_cell_1_12_7 15.4Sweden_cell_1_12_8 13.5Sweden_cell_1_12_9 9.3Sweden_cell_1_12_10 4.9Sweden_cell_1_12_11 −1.6Sweden_cell_1_12_12 −6.1Sweden_cell_1_12_13 3.7Sweden_cell_1_12_14
10740Sweden_cell_1_13_0 GävleSweden_cell_1_13_1 −4.8Sweden_cell_1_13_2 −4.5Sweden_cell_1_13_3 −1.0Sweden_cell_1_13_4 3.4Sweden_cell_1_13_5 9.3Sweden_cell_1_13_6 14.6Sweden_cell_1_13_7 16.3Sweden_cell_1_13_8 14.9Sweden_cell_1_13_9 10.6Sweden_cell_1_13_10 6.0Sweden_cell_1_13_11 0.6Sweden_cell_1_13_12 −3.3Sweden_cell_1_13_13 5.2Sweden_cell_1_13_14
12724Sweden_cell_1_14_0 SundsvallSweden_cell_1_14_1 −7.5Sweden_cell_1_14_2 −6.3Sweden_cell_1_14_3 −2.3Sweden_cell_1_14_4 2.5Sweden_cell_1_14_5 8.2Sweden_cell_1_14_6 13.8Sweden_cell_1_14_7 15.2Sweden_cell_1_14_8 13.8Sweden_cell_1_14_9 9.4Sweden_cell_1_14_10 4.8Sweden_cell_1_14_11 −1.5Sweden_cell_1_14_12 −5.7Sweden_cell_1_14_13 3.6Sweden_cell_1_14_14
13410Sweden_cell_1_15_0 ÖstersundSweden_cell_1_15_1 −8.9Sweden_cell_1_15_2 −7.6Sweden_cell_1_15_3 −3.5Sweden_cell_1_15_4 1.3Sweden_cell_1_15_5 7.6Sweden_cell_1_15_6 12.5Sweden_cell_1_15_7 13.9Sweden_cell_1_15_8 12.7Sweden_cell_1_15_9 8.2Sweden_cell_1_15_10 3.8Sweden_cell_1_15_11 −2.4Sweden_cell_1_15_12 −6.3Sweden_cell_1_15_13 2.6Sweden_cell_1_15_14
14050Sweden_cell_1_16_0 UmeåSweden_cell_1_16_1 −8.7Sweden_cell_1_16_2 −8.3Sweden_cell_1_16_3 −4.0Sweden_cell_1_16_4 1.4Sweden_cell_1_16_5 7.6Sweden_cell_1_16_6 13.3Sweden_cell_1_16_7 15.6Sweden_cell_1_16_8 13.8Sweden_cell_1_16_9 9.0Sweden_cell_1_16_10 4.0Sweden_cell_1_16_11 −2.3Sweden_cell_1_16_12 −6.4Sweden_cell_1_16_13 2.9Sweden_cell_1_16_14
15045Sweden_cell_1_17_0 SkellefteåSweden_cell_1_17_1 −10.2Sweden_cell_1_17_2 −8.7Sweden_cell_1_17_3 −4.2Sweden_cell_1_17_4 1.2Sweden_cell_1_17_5 7.6Sweden_cell_1_17_6 13.6Sweden_cell_1_17_7 15.7Sweden_cell_1_17_8 13.5Sweden_cell_1_17_9 8.5Sweden_cell_1_17_10 3.2Sweden_cell_1_17_11 −3.4Sweden_cell_1_17_12 −7.5Sweden_cell_1_17_13 2.5Sweden_cell_1_17_14
16288Sweden_cell_1_18_0 LuleåSweden_cell_1_18_1 −12.2Sweden_cell_1_18_2 −11.0Sweden_cell_1_18_3 −6.0Sweden_cell_1_18_4 0.3Sweden_cell_1_18_5 6.6Sweden_cell_1_18_6 13.0Sweden_cell_1_18_7 15.4Sweden_cell_1_18_8 13.3Sweden_cell_1_18_9 8.0Sweden_cell_1_18_10 2.6Sweden_cell_1_18_11 −4.5Sweden_cell_1_18_12 −9.7Sweden_cell_1_18_13 1.3Sweden_cell_1_18_14
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18076Sweden_cell_1_22_0 GällivareSweden_cell_1_22_1 −14.3Sweden_cell_1_22_2 −12.5Sweden_cell_1_22_3 −8.4Sweden_cell_1_22_4 −1.9Sweden_cell_1_22_5 5.0Sweden_cell_1_22_6 11.0Sweden_cell_1_22_7 13.0Sweden_cell_1_22_8 10.7Sweden_cell_1_22_9 5.6Sweden_cell_1_22_10 −0.6Sweden_cell_1_22_11 −8.1Sweden_cell_1_22_12 −12.2Sweden_cell_1_22_13 -1.1Sweden_cell_1_22_14
18094Sweden_cell_1_23_0 KirunaSweden_cell_1_23_1 −13.9Sweden_cell_1_23_2 −12.5Sweden_cell_1_23_3 −8.7Sweden_cell_1_23_4 −3.2Sweden_cell_1_23_5 3.4Sweden_cell_1_23_6 9.6Sweden_cell_1_23_7 12.0Sweden_cell_1_23_8 9.8Sweden_cell_1_23_9 4.6Sweden_cell_1_23_10 −1.4Sweden_cell_1_23_11 −8.1Sweden_cell_1_23_12 −11.9Sweden_cell_1_23_13 -1.7Sweden_cell_1_23_14

Vegetation Sweden_section_12

See also: Wildlife of Sweden Sweden_sentence_298

Sweden has a considerable south to north distance (stretching between the latitudes N 55:20:13 and N 69:03:36) which causes large climatic difference, especially during the winter. Sweden_sentence_299

The related matter of the length and strength of the four seasons plays a role in which plants that naturally can grow at various places. Sweden_sentence_300

Sweden is divided in five major vegetation zones. Sweden_sentence_301

These are: Sweden_sentence_302


  • The southern deciduous forest zoneSweden_item_0_0
  • The southern coniferous forest zoneSweden_item_0_1
  • The northern coniferous forest zone, or the TaigaSweden_item_0_2
  • The alpine-birch zoneSweden_item_0_3
  • The bare mountain zoneSweden_item_0_4

Please see the map to the right, Vegetation Zones in Sweden. Sweden_sentence_303


Also known as the nemoral region, the southern deciduous forest zone is a part of a larger vegetation zone which also includes Denmark and large parts of Central Europe. Sweden_sentence_304

It has to a rather large degree become agricultural areas, but larger and smaller forests still exist. Sweden_sentence_305

The region is characterised by a large wealth of trees and shrubs. Sweden_sentence_306

The beech are the most dominant tree, but oak can also form smaller forests. Sweden_sentence_307

elm at one time formed forests, but have been heavily reduced due to Dutch Elm disease. Sweden_sentence_308

Other important trees and shrubs in this zone include hornbeam, elder, hazel, fly honeysuckle, linden (lime), spindle, yew, alder buckthorn, blackthorn, aspen, European rowan, Swedish whitebeam, juniper, European holly, ivy, dogwood, goat willow, larch, bird cherry, wild cherry, maple, ash, alder along creeks, and in sandy soil birch compete with pine. Sweden_sentence_309

Spruce is not native but between approximately 1870 and 1980, large areas were planted with it. Sweden_sentence_310

They tend to grow too quickly due to being outside of their native range and large distances between the tree rings cause poor board quality. Sweden_sentence_311

Later some spruce trees began to die before reaching optimal height, and many more of the coniferous trees were uprooted during cyclones. Sweden_sentence_312

During the last 40–50 years large areas of former spruce plantings have been replanted with deciduous forest. Sweden_sentence_313


Also known as the boreo-nemoral region, the southern coniferous forest zone is delimited by the oak's northern natural limit (limes norrlandicus) and the Spruce's southern natural limit, between the southern deciduous zone and the Taiga farther north. Sweden_sentence_314

In the southern parts of this zone the coniferous species are found, mainly spruce and pine, mixed with various deciduous trees. Sweden_sentence_315

Birch grows largely everywhere. Sweden_sentence_316

The beech's northern boundary crosses this zone. Sweden_sentence_317

This is however not the case with oak and ash. Sweden_sentence_318

Although in its natural area, also planted Spruce are common, and such woods are very dense, as the spruces can grow very tight, especially in this vegetation zone's southern areas. Sweden_sentence_319


The northern coniferous forest zone begins north of the natural boundary of the oak. Sweden_sentence_320

Of deciduous species the birch is the only one of significance. Sweden_sentence_321

Pine and spruce are dominant, but the forests are slowly but surely more sparsely grown the farther towards the north it gets. Sweden_sentence_322

In the extreme north is it difficult to state the trees forms true forests at all, due to the large distances between the trees. Sweden_sentence_323


The alpine-birch zone, in the Scandinavian mountains, depending on both latitude and altitude, is an area where only a smaller kind of birch (Betula pubescens or B.tortuosa) can grow. Sweden_sentence_324

Where this vegetation zone ends, no trees grow at all: the bare mountain zone. Sweden_sentence_325

Politics Sweden_section_13

Constitutional framework Sweden_section_14

Main article: Politics of Sweden Sweden_sentence_326

Sweden has four fundamental laws (Swedish: grundlagar) which together form the Constitution: the Instrument of Government (Swedish: Regeringsformen), the Act of Succession (Swedish: Successionsordningen), the Freedom of the Press Act (Swedish: Tryckfrihetsförordningen), and the Fundamental Law on Freedom of Expression (Swedish: Yttrandefrihetsgrundlagen). Sweden_sentence_327

The public sector in Sweden is divided into two parts: the legal person known as the State (Swedish: staten) and local authorities: the latter include regional County Councils (Swedish: landsting) and local Municipalities (Swedish: kommuner). Sweden_sentence_328

The local authorities, rather than the State, make up the larger part of the public sector in Sweden. Sweden_sentence_329

County Councils and Municipalities are independent of one another, the former merely covers a larger geographical area than the latter. Sweden_sentence_330

The local authorities have self-rule, as mandated by the Constitution, and their own tax base. Sweden_sentence_331

Notwithstanding their self-rule, local authorities are nevertheless in practice interdependent upon the State, as the parameters of their responsibilities and the extent of their jurisdiction are specified in the Local Government Act (Swedish: Kommunallagen) passed by the Riksdag. Sweden_sentence_332

Sweden is a constitutional monarchy, and King Carl XVI Gustaf is the head of state, but the role of the monarch is limited to ceremonial and representative functions. Sweden_sentence_333

Under the provisions of the 1974 Instrument of Government, the King lacks any formal political power. Sweden_sentence_334

The King opens the annual Riksdag session, chairs the Special Council held during a change of Government, holds regular Information Councils with the Prime Minister and the Government, chairs the meetings of the Advisory Council on Foreign Affairs (Swedish: Utrikesnämnden), and receives Letters of Credence of foreign ambassadors to Sweden and signs those of Swedish ambassadors sent abroad. Sweden_sentence_335

In addition, the King pays State Visits abroad and receives those incoming as host. Sweden_sentence_336

Apart from strictly official duties, the King and the other members of Royal Family undertake a variety of unofficial and other representative duties within Sweden and abroad. Sweden_sentence_337

Legislative power is vested in the unicameral Riksdag with 349 members. Sweden_sentence_338

General elections are held every four years, on the second Sunday of September. Sweden_sentence_339

Legislation may be initiated by the Government or by members of the Riksdag. Sweden_sentence_340

Members are elected on the basis of proportional representation to a four-year term. Sweden_sentence_341

The internal workings of the Riksdag are, in addition to the Instrument of Government, regulated by the Riksdag Act (Swedish: Riksdagsordningen). Sweden_sentence_342

The fundamental laws can be altered by the Riksdag alone; only an absolute majority with two separate votes, separated by a general election in between, is required. Sweden_sentence_343

The Government (Swedish: Regeringen) operates as a collegial body with collective responsibility and consists of the Prime Minister — appointed and dismissed by the Speaker of the Riksdag (following an actual vote in the Riksdag before an appointment can be made) — and other cabinet ministers (Swedish: Statsråd), appointed and dismissed at the sole discretion of the Prime Minister. Sweden_sentence_344

The Government is the supreme executive authority and is responsible for its actions to the Riksdag. Sweden_sentence_345

Most of the State administrative authorities (Swedish: statliga förvaltningsmyndigheter) report to the Government, including (but not limited to) the Armed Forces, the Enforcement Authority, the National Library, the Swedish police and the Tax Agency. Sweden_sentence_346

A unique feature of Swedish State administration is that individual cabinet ministers do not bear any individual ministerial responsibility for the performance of the agencies within their portfolio; as the director-generals and other heads of government agencies reports directly to the Government as a whole; and individual ministers are prohibited to interfere; thus the origin of the pejorative in Swedish political parlance term ministerstyre (English: "ministerial rule") in matters that are to be handled by the individual agencies, unless otherwise specifically provided for in law. Sweden_sentence_347

The Judiciary is independent from the Riksdag, Government and other State administrative authorities. Sweden_sentence_348

The role of judicial review of legislation is not practised by the courts; instead, the Council on Legislation gives non-binding opinions on legality. Sweden_sentence_349

There is no stare decisis in that courts are not bound by precedent, although it is influential. Sweden_sentence_350

Political parties and elections Sweden_section_15

Main articles: List of political parties in Sweden and Elections in Sweden Sweden_sentence_351

The Swedish Social Democratic Party has played a leading role in Swedish politics since 1917, after the Reformists had confirmed their strength and the left-wing revolutionaries formed their own party. Sweden_sentence_352

After 1932, most governments have been dominated by the Social Democrats. Sweden_sentence_353

Only five general elections since World War II—1976, 1979, 1991, 2006 and 2010—have given the assembled bloc of centre-right parties enough seats in the Riksdag to form a government. Sweden_sentence_354

For over 50 years, Sweden had had five parties who continually received enough votes to gain seats in the Riksdag—the Social Democrats, the Moderate Party, the Centre Party, the Liberal People's Party and the Left Party—before the Green Party became the sixth party in the 1988 election. Sweden_sentence_355

In the 1991 election, while the Greens lost their seats, two new parties gained seats for the first time: the Christian Democrats and New Democracy. Sweden_sentence_356

The 1994 election saw the return of the Greens and the demise of New Democracy. Sweden_sentence_357

It was not until elections in 2010 that an eighth party, the Sweden Democrats, gained Riksdag seats. Sweden_sentence_358

In the elections to the European Parliament, parties who have failed to pass the Riksdag threshold have managed to gain representation at that venue: the June List (2004–2009), the Pirate Party (2009–2014), and Feminist Initiative (2014–2019). Sweden_sentence_359

In the 2006 general election the Moderate Party formed the centre-right Alliance for Sweden bloc and won a majority of the Riksdag seats. Sweden_sentence_360

In the 2010 general election the Alliance contended against a unified left block consisting of the Social Democrats, the Greens and the Left Party. Sweden_sentence_361

The Alliance won a plurality of 173 seats, but remained two seats short of a 175-seat majority. Sweden_sentence_362

Nevertheless, neither the Alliance, nor the left block, chose to form a coalition with the Sweden Democrats. Sweden_sentence_363

The outcome of the 2014 general election resulted in the attainment of more seats by the three centre-left parties in comparison to the centre-right Alliance for Sweden, with the two blocs receiving 159 and 141 seats respectively. Sweden_sentence_364

The non-aligned Sweden Democrats more than doubled their support and won the remaining 49 seats. Sweden_sentence_365

On 3 October 2014, Stefan Löfven formed a minority government consisting of the Social Democrats and the Greens. Sweden_sentence_366

Election turnout in Sweden has always been high by international comparison. Sweden_sentence_367

Although it declined in recent decades, the latest elections saw an increase in voter turnout (80.11% in 2002, 81.99% in 2006, 84.63% in 2010, 85.81 in 2014) and 87.18% in 2018. Sweden_sentence_368

Swedish politicians enjoyed a high degree of confidence from the citizens in the 1960s, However, that level of confidence has since declined steadily, and is now at a markedly lower level than in its Scandinavian neighbours. Sweden_sentence_369

Administrative divisions Sweden_section_16

Main articles: Counties of Sweden and Municipalities of Sweden Sweden_sentence_370

Sweden is a unitary state divided into 21 county councils (landsting) and 290 municipalities (kommuner). Sweden_sentence_371

Every county council corresponds to a county (län) with a number of municipalities per county. Sweden_sentence_372

County councils and municipalities have different roles and separate responsibilities relating to local government. Sweden_sentence_373

Health care, public transport and certain cultural institutions are administered by county councils. Sweden_sentence_374

Preschools, primary and secondary schooling, public water utilities, garbage disposal, elderly care and rescue services are administered by the municipalities. Sweden_sentence_375

Gotland is a special case of being a county council with only one municipality and the functions of county council and municipality are performed by the same organisation. Sweden_sentence_376

Municipal and county council government in Sweden is similar to city commission and cabinet-style council government. Sweden_sentence_377

Both levels have legislative assemblies (municipal councils and county council assemblies of between 31 and 101 members (always an uneven number) that are elected from party-list proportional representation at the general election which are held every four years in conjunction with the national parliamentary elections. Sweden_sentence_378

Municipalities are also divided into a total of 2,512 parishes (församlingar). Sweden_sentence_379

These have no official political responsibilities but are traditional subdivisions of the Church of Sweden and still have some importance as census districts for census-taking and elections. Sweden_sentence_380

The Swedish government has 21 County Administrative Boards (Swedish: länsstyrelser), which are responsible for regional state administration not assigned to other government agencies or local government. Sweden_sentence_381

Each county administrative boards is led by a County Governor (Swedish: landshövding) appointed for a term of six years. Sweden_sentence_382

The list of previous officeholders for the counties stretches back, in most cases, to 1634 when the counties were created by Lord High Chancellor Count Axel Oxenstierna. Sweden_sentence_383

The main responsibility of the County Administrative Board is to co-ordinate the development of the county in line with goals set by the Riksdag and Government. Sweden_sentence_384

There are older historical divisions, primarily the twenty-five provinces and three lands, which still retain cultural significance. Sweden_sentence_385

Further information: Subdivisions of Sweden and National Areas of Sweden Sweden_sentence_386

Political history Sweden_section_17

The actual age of the kingdom of Sweden is unknown. Sweden_sentence_387

Establishing the age depends mostly on whether Sweden should be considered a nation when the Svear (Sweonas) ruled Svealand or if the emergence of the nation started with the Svear and the Götar (Geats) of Götaland being united under one ruler. Sweden_sentence_388

In the first case, Svealand was first mentioned as having one single ruler in the year 98 by Tacitus, but it is almost impossible to know for how long it had been this way. Sweden_sentence_389

However, historians usually start the line of Swedish monarchs from when Svealand and Götaland were ruled under the same king, namely Eric the Victorious (Geat) and his son Olof Skötkonung in the 10th century. Sweden_sentence_390

These events are often described as the consolidation of Sweden, although substantial areas were conquered and incorporated later. Sweden_sentence_391

Earlier kings, for which no reliable historical sources exist, can be read about in mythical kings of Sweden and semi-legendary kings of Sweden. Sweden_sentence_392

Many of these kings are only mentioned in various saga and blend with Norse mythology. Sweden_sentence_393

The title Sveriges och Götes Konung was last used for Gustaf I of Sweden, after which the title became "King of Sweden, of the Goths and of the Wends" (Sveriges, Götes och Vendes Konung) in official documentation. Sweden_sentence_394

Up until the beginning of the 1920s, all laws in Sweden were introduced with the words, "We, the king of Sweden, of the Goths and Wends". Sweden_sentence_395

This title was used up until 1973. Sweden_sentence_396

The present King of Sweden, Carl XVI Gustaf, was the first monarch officially proclaimed "King of Sweden" (Sveriges Konung) with no additional peoples mentioned in his title. Sweden_sentence_397

The term riksdag was used for the first time in the 1540s, although the first meeting where representatives of different social groups were called to discuss and determine affairs affecting the country as a whole took place as early as 1435, in the town of Arboga. Sweden_sentence_398

During the Riksdag assemblies of 1527 and 1544, under King Gustav Vasa, representatives of all four estates of the realm (clergy, nobility, townsmen and peasants) were called on to participate for the first time. Sweden_sentence_399

The monarchy became hereditary in 1544. Sweden_sentence_400

Executive power was historically shared between the King and an aristocratic Privy council until 1680, followed by the King's autocratic rule initiated by the commoner estates of the Riksdag. Sweden_sentence_401

As a reaction to the failed Great Northern War, a parliamentary system was introduced in 1719, followed by three different flavours of constitutional monarchy in 1772, 1789 and 1809, the latter granting several civil liberties. Sweden_sentence_402

Already during the first of those three periods, the 'Era of Liberty' (1719–72) the Swedish Rikstag had developed into a very active Parliament, and this tradition continued into the nineteenth century, laying the basis for the transition towards modern democracy at the end of that century. Sweden_sentence_403

In 1866 Sweden became a constitutional monarchy with a bicameral parliament, with the First Chamber indirectly elected by local governments, and the Second Chamber directly elected in national elections every four years. Sweden_sentence_404

In 1971 the parliament became unicameral. Sweden_sentence_405

Legislative power was (symbolically) shared between the King and the Riksdag until 1975. Sweden_sentence_406

Swedish taxation is controlled by the Riksdag. Sweden_sentence_407

Sweden has a history of strong political involvement by ordinary people through its "popular movements" (Folkrörelser), the most notable being trade unions, the independent Christian movement, the temperance movement, the women's movement, and the intellectual property pirate movements. Sweden_sentence_408

Sweden was the first country in the world to outlaw corporal punishment of children by their parents (parents' right to spank their own children was first removed in 1966, and it was explicitly prohibited by law from July 1979). Sweden_sentence_409

Sweden is currently leading the EU in statistics measuring equality in the political system and equality in the education system. Sweden_sentence_410

The Global Gender Gap Report 2006 ranked Sweden as the number one country in terms of gender equality. Sweden_sentence_411

Some Swedish political figures have become known worldwide, among these are: Raoul Wallenberg, Folke Bernadotte, the former Secretary-General of the United Nations Dag Hammarskjöld, the former Prime Minister Olof Palme, the former Prime Minister and later Foreign minister Carl Bildt, the former President of the General Assembly of the United Nations Jan Eliasson, and the former International Atomic Energy Agency Iraq inspector Hans Blix. Sweden_sentence_412

Judicial system Sweden_section_18

Main article: Judiciary of Sweden Sweden_sentence_413

The courts are divided into two parallel and separate systems: The general courts (allmänna domstolar) for criminal and civil cases, and general administrative courts (allmänna förvaltningsdomstolar) for cases relating to disputes between private persons and the authorities. Sweden_sentence_414

Each of these systems has three tiers, where the top tier court of the respective system typically only will hear cases that may become precedent. Sweden_sentence_415

There are also a number of special courts, which will hear a narrower set of cases, as set down by legislation. Sweden_sentence_416

While independent in their rulings, some of these courts are operated as divisions within courts of the general or general administrative courts. Sweden_sentence_417

The Supreme Court of Sweden (Swedish: Högsta domstolen) is the third and final instance in all civil and criminal cases in Sweden. Sweden_sentence_418

Before a case can be decided by the Supreme Court, leave to appeal must be obtained, and with few exceptions, leave to appeal can be granted only when the case is of interest as a precedent. Sweden_sentence_419

The Supreme Court consists of 16 Justices (Swedish: justitieråd), appointed by the Government, but the court as an institution is independent of the Riksdag, and the Government is not able to interfere with the decisions of the court. Sweden_sentence_420

According to a victimisation survey of 1,201 residents in 2005, Sweden has above-average crime rates compared to other EU countries. Sweden_sentence_421

Sweden has high or above-average levels of assaults, sexual assaults, hate crimes, and consumer fraud. Sweden_sentence_422

Sweden has low levels of burglary, car theft and drug problems. Sweden_sentence_423

Bribe seeking is rare. Sweden_sentence_424

A mid-November 2013 news report announced that four prisons in Sweden were closed during the year due to a significant drop in the number of inmates. Sweden_sentence_425

The decrease in the number of Swedish prisoners was considered "out-of-the-ordinary" by the head of Sweden's prison and probation services, with prison numbers in Sweden falling by around 1% a year since 2004. Sweden_sentence_426

Prisons were closed in the towns of Åby, Håja, Båtshagen, and Kristianstad. Sweden_sentence_427

Foreign relations Sweden_section_19

Main article: Foreign relations of Sweden Sweden_sentence_428

Throughout the 20th century, Swedish foreign policy was based on the principle of non-alignment in peacetime and neutrality in wartime. Sweden_sentence_429

Sweden's government pursued an independent course of nonalignment in times of peace so that neutrality would be possible in the event of war. Sweden_sentence_430

Sweden's doctrine of neutrality is often traced back to the 19th century as the country has not been in a state of war since the end of the Swedish campaign against Norway in 1814. Sweden_sentence_431

During World War II Sweden joined neither the allied nor axis powers. Sweden_sentence_432

This has sometimes been disputed since in effect Sweden allowed in select cases the Nazi regime to use its railroad system to transport troops and goods, especially iron ore from mines in northern Sweden, which was vital to the German war machine. Sweden_sentence_433

However, Sweden also indirectly contributed to the defence of Finland in the Winter War, and permitted the training of Norwegian and Danish troops in Sweden after 1943. Sweden_sentence_434

During the early Cold War era, Sweden combined its policy of non-alignment and a low profile in international affairs with a security policy based on strong national defence. Sweden_sentence_435

The function of the Swedish military was to deter attack. Sweden_sentence_436

At the same time, the country maintained relatively close informal connections with the Western bloc, especially in the realm of intelligence exchange. Sweden_sentence_437

In 1952, a Swedish DC-3 was shot down over the Baltic Sea by a Soviet MiG-15 jet fighter. Sweden_sentence_438

Later investigations revealed that the plane was actually gathering information for NATO. Sweden_sentence_439

Another plane, a Catalina search and rescue plane, was sent out a few days later and shot down by the Soviets as well. Sweden_sentence_440

Prime Minister Olof Palme made an official visit to Cuba during the 1970s, during which he denounced Fulgencio Batista's government and praised contemporary Cuban and Cambodian revolutionaries in a speech. Sweden_sentence_441

Beginning in the late 1960s, Sweden attempted to play a more significant and independent role in international relations. Sweden_sentence_442

It involved itself significantly in international peace efforts, especially through the United Nations, and in support to the Third World. Sweden_sentence_443

On 27 October 1981, a Whiskey-class submarine (U 137) from the Soviet Union ran aground close to the naval base at Karlskrona in the southern part of the country. Sweden_sentence_444

Research has never clearly established whether the submarine ended up on the shoals through a navigational mistake or if an enemy committed espionage against Swedish military potential. Sweden_sentence_445

The incident triggered a diplomatic crisis between Sweden and the Soviet Union. Sweden_sentence_446

Following the 1986 assassination of Olof Palme and with the end of the Cold War, Sweden has adopted a more traditional foreign policy approach. Sweden_sentence_447

Nevertheless, the country remains active in peace keeping missions and maintains a considerable foreign aid budget. Sweden_sentence_448

Since 1995 Sweden has been a member of the European Union, and as a consequence of a new world security situation the country's foreign policy doctrine has been partly modified, with Sweden playing a more active role in European security co-operation. Sweden_sentence_449

Military Sweden_section_20

Main articles: Swedish Armed Forces and Law enforcement in Sweden Sweden_sentence_450

The law is enforced in Sweden by several government entities. Sweden_sentence_451

The Swedish police is a Government agency concerned with police matters. Sweden_sentence_452

The National Task Force is a national SWAT unit within the police force. Sweden_sentence_453

The Swedish Security Service's responsibilities are counter-espionage, anti-terrorist activities, protection of the constitution and protection of sensitive objects and people. Sweden_sentence_454

The Försvarsmakten (Swedish Armed Forces) are a government agency reporting to the Swedish Ministry of Defence and responsible for the peacetime operation of the armed forces of Sweden. Sweden_sentence_455

The primary task of the agency is to train and deploy peacekeeping forces abroad, while maintaining the long-term ability to refocus on the defence of Sweden in the event of war. Sweden_sentence_456

The armed forces are divided into Army, Air Force and Navy. Sweden_sentence_457

The head of the armed forces is the Supreme Commander (Överbefälhavaren, ÖB), the most senior commissioned officer in the country. Sweden_sentence_458

Up to 1974, the King was pro forma Commander-in-Chief, but in reality it was clearly understood through the 20th century that the monarch would have no active role as a military leader. Sweden_sentence_459

Until the end of the Cold War, nearly all males reaching the age of military service were conscripted. Sweden_sentence_460

In recent years, the number of conscripted males has shrunk dramatically, while the number of female volunteers has increased slightly. Sweden_sentence_461

Recruitment has generally shifted towards finding the most motivated recruits, rather than solely focusing on those otherwise most fit for service. Sweden_sentence_462

By law, all soldiers serving abroad must be volunteers. Sweden_sentence_463

In 1975, the total number of conscripts was 45,000. Sweden_sentence_464

By 2003, it was down to 15,000. Sweden_sentence_465

On 1 July 2010, Sweden ended routine conscription, switching to an all-volunteer force unless otherwise required for defence readiness. Sweden_sentence_466

Emphasis was to be placed on only recruiting those later prepared to volunteer for international service. Sweden_sentence_467

The total forces gathered would consist of about 60,000 personnel. Sweden_sentence_468

This in comparison with the 1980s, before the fall of the Soviet Union, when Sweden could gather up to 1,000,000 servicemembers. Sweden_sentence_469

However, on 11 December 2014, due to tensions in the Baltic area, the Swedish Government reintroduced one part of the Swedish conscription system, refresher training. Sweden_sentence_470

On 2 March 2017, the government decided to reintroduce the remaining part of the Swedish conscription system, basic military training. Sweden_sentence_471

The first recruits began their training in 2018. Sweden_sentence_472

As the law is now gender neutral, both men and women may have to serve. Sweden_sentence_473

Sweden decided not to sign the UN treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. Sweden_sentence_474

Swedish units have taken part in peacekeeping operations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Cyprus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Liberia, Lebanon, Afghanistan and Chad. Sweden_sentence_475

Economy Sweden_section_21

Main article: Economy of Sweden Sweden_sentence_476

Sweden is the sixteenth-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_sentence_477

Sweden is an export-oriented mixed economy. Sweden_sentence_478

Timber, hydropower and iron ore constitute the resource base of an economy with a heavy emphasis on foreign trade. Sweden_sentence_479

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_sentence_480

Sweden is the ninth-largest arms exporter in the world. Sweden_sentence_481

Agriculture accounts for 2% of GDP and employment. Sweden_sentence_482

The country ranks among the highest for telephone and Internet access penetration. Sweden_sentence_483

Trade unions, employers' associations and collective agreements cover a large share of the employees in Sweden. Sweden_sentence_484

The high coverage of collective agreements is achieved despite the absence of state mechanisms extending collective agreements to whole industries or sectors. Sweden_sentence_485

Both the prominent role of collective bargaining and the way in which the high rate of coverage is achieved reflect the dominance of self-regulation (regulation by the labour market parties themselves) over state regulation in Swedish industrial relations. Sweden_sentence_486

When the Swedish Ghent system was changed in 2007, resulting in considerably raised fees to unemployment funds, a substantial decline in union density and density of unemployment funds occurred. Sweden_sentence_487

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. Sweden_sentence_488

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. Sweden_sentence_489

Even on a disposable income basis, the geographical distribution of Gini coefficient of income inequality varies within different regions and municipalities of Sweden. Sweden_sentence_490

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. Sweden_sentence_491

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. Sweden_sentence_492

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. Sweden_sentence_493

Large organisations, both in manufacturing and services, dominate the Swedish economy. Sweden_sentence_494

High and medium-high technology manufacturing accounts for 9.9% of GDP. Sweden_sentence_495

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. Sweden_sentence_496

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_sentence_497

An estimated 4.5 million Swedish residents are employed and around a third of the workforce completed tertiary education. Sweden_sentence_498

In terms of GDP per-hour-worked, Sweden was the world's ninth highest in 2006 at US$31, compared to US$22 in Spain and US$35 in the United States. Sweden_sentence_499

GDP per-hour-worked is growing 2.5% per year for the economy as a whole and the trade-terms-balanced productivity growth is 2%. Sweden_sentence_500

According to the OECD, deregulation, globalisation, and technology sector growth have been key productivity drivers. Sweden_sentence_501

Sweden is a world leader in privatised pensions and pension funding problems are relatively small compared to many other Western European countries. Sweden_sentence_502

A pilot program to test the feasibility of a six-hour workday, without loss of pay, will commence in 2014, involving the participation of Gothenburg municipal staff. Sweden_sentence_503

The Swedish government is seeking to reduce its costs through decreased sick leave hours and increased efficiency. Sweden_sentence_504

The typical worker receives 40% of his or her labour costs after the tax wedge. Sweden_sentence_505

Total tax collected by Sweden as a percentage of its GDP peaked at 52.3% in 1990. Sweden_sentence_506

The country faced a real estate and banking crisis in 1990–1991, and consequently passed tax reforms in 1991 to implement tax rate cuts and tax base broadening over time. Sweden_sentence_507

Since 1990, taxes as a percentage of GDP collected by Sweden have been dropping, with total tax rates for the highest income earners dropping the most. Sweden_sentence_508

In 2010 45.8% of the country's GDP was collected as taxes, the second highest among OECD countries, and nearly double the percentage in the US or South Korea. Sweden_sentence_509

Tax income-financed employment represents a third of the Swedish workforce, a substantially higher proportion than in most other countries. Sweden_sentence_510

Overall, GDP growth has been fast since reforms—especially those in manufacturing—were enacted in the early 1990s. Sweden_sentence_511

Sweden is the fourth-most competitive economy in the world, according to the World Economic Forum in its Global Competitiveness Report 2012–2013. Sweden_sentence_512

Sweden is the top performing country in the 2014 Global Green Economy Index (GGEI). Sweden_sentence_513

Sweden is ranked fourth in the IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook 2013. Sweden_sentence_514

According to the book The Flight of the Creative Class by the US economist Professor Richard Florida of the University of Toronto, Sweden is ranked as having the best creativity in Europe for business and is predicted to become a talent magnet for the world's most purposeful workers. Sweden_sentence_515

The book compiled an index to measure the kind of creativity it claims is most useful to business—talent, technology and tolerance. Sweden_sentence_516

Sweden maintains its own currency, the Swedish krona (SEK), a result of the Swedes having rejected the euro in a referendum. Sweden_sentence_517

The Swedish Riksbank—founded in 1668 and thus the oldest central bank in the world—is currently focusing on price stability with an inflation target of 2%. Sweden_sentence_518

According to the Economic Survey of Sweden 2007 by the OECD, the average inflation in Sweden has been one of the lowest among European countries since the mid-1990s, largely because of deregulation and quick utilisation of globalisation. Sweden_sentence_519

The largest trade flows are with Germany, the United States, Norway, the United Kingdom, Denmark and Finland. Sweden_sentence_520

Financial deregulation in the 1980s impacted adversely on the property market, leading to a bubble and eventually a crash in the early 1990s. Sweden_sentence_521

Commercial property prices fell by up to two thirds, resulting in two Swedish banks having to be taken over by the government. Sweden_sentence_522

In the following two decades the property sector strengthened. Sweden_sentence_523

By 2014, legislators, economists and the IMF were again warning of a bubble with residential property prices soaring and the level of personal mortgage debt expanding. Sweden_sentence_524

Household debt-to-income rose above 170% as the IMF was calling on legislators to consider zoning reform and other means of generating a greater supply of housing as demand was outstripping what was available, pushing prices higher. Sweden_sentence_525

By August 2014, 40% of home borrowers had interest-only loans while those that didn't were repaying principal at a rate that would take 100 years to fully repay. Sweden_sentence_526

Energy Sweden_section_22

See also: Nordic energy market, Nuclear power in Sweden, and Making Sweden an Oil-Free Society Sweden_sentence_527

Sweden's energy market is largely privatised. Sweden_sentence_528

The Nordic energy market is one of the first liberalised energy markets in Europe and it is traded in NASDAQ OMX Commodities Europe and Nord Pool Spot. Sweden_sentence_529

In 2006, out of a total electricity production of 139 TWh, electricity from hydropower accounted for 61 TWh (44%), and nuclear power delivered 65 TWh (47%). Sweden_sentence_530

At the same time, the use of biofuels, peat etc. produced 13 TWh (9%) of electricity, while wind power produced 1 TWh (1%). Sweden_sentence_531

Sweden was a net importer of electricity by a margin of 6 TWh. Sweden_sentence_532

Biomass is mainly used to produce heat for district heating and central heating and industry processes. Sweden_sentence_533

The 1973 oil crisis strengthened Sweden's commitment to decrease dependence on imported fossil fuels. Sweden_sentence_534

Since then, electricity has been generated mostly from hydropower and nuclear power. Sweden_sentence_535

The use of nuclear power has been limited, however. Sweden_sentence_536

Among other things, the accident of Three Mile Island Nuclear Generating Station (United States) prompted the Riksdag to ban new nuclear plants. Sweden_sentence_537

In March 2005, an opinion poll showed that 83% supported maintaining or increasing nuclear power. Sweden_sentence_538

Politicians have made announcements about oil phase-out in Sweden, decrease of nuclear power, and multibillion-dollar investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency. Sweden_sentence_539

The country has for many years pursued a strategy of indirect taxation as an instrument of environmental policy, including energy taxes in general and carbon dioxide taxes in particular. Sweden_sentence_540

Sweden was in 2014 a net exporter of electricity by a margin of 16 TWh; the production from windpower mills had increased to 11.5 TWh. Sweden_sentence_541

Transport Sweden_section_23

Main article: Transport in Sweden Sweden_sentence_542

Sweden has 162,707 km (101,101 mi) of paved road and 1,428 km (887 mi) of expressways. Sweden_sentence_543

Motorways run through Sweden and over the Øresund Bridge to Denmark. Sweden_sentence_544

New motorways are still under construction and a new motorway from Uppsala to Gävle was finished on 17 October 2007. Sweden_sentence_545

Sweden had left-hand traffic (Vänstertrafik in Swedish) from approximately 1736 and continued to do so well into the 20th century. Sweden_sentence_546

Voters rejected right-hand traffic in 1955, but after the Riksdag passed legislation in 1963 changeover took place on 3 September 1967, known in Swedish as Dagen H. Sweden_sentence_547

The Stockholm metro is the only underground system in Sweden and serves the city of Stockholm via 100 stations. Sweden_sentence_548

The rail transport market is privatised, but while there are many privately owned enterprises, the largest operators are still owned by state. Sweden_sentence_549

The counties have financing, ticket and marketing responsibility for local trains. Sweden_sentence_550

For other trains the operators handle tickets and marketing themselves. Sweden_sentence_551

Operators include SJ, Veolia Transport, DSB, Green Cargo, Tågkompaniet and Inlandsbanan. Sweden_sentence_552

Most of the railways are owned and operated by Trafikverket. Sweden_sentence_553

Most tram nets were closed in 1967, as Sweden changed from left-side to right-side driving. Sweden_sentence_554

But they survived in Norrköping, Stockholm and Gothenburg, with Gothenburg tram network being the largest. Sweden_sentence_555

A new tram line is set to open in Lund in 2019. Sweden_sentence_556

The largest airports include Stockholm–Arlanda Airport (16.1 million passengers in 2009) 40 km (25 mi) north of Stockholm, Göteborg Landvetter Airport (4.3 million passengers in 2008), and Stockholm–Skavsta Airport (2.0 million passengers). Sweden_sentence_557

Sweden hosts the two largest port companies in Scandinavia, Port of Göteborg AB (Gothenburg) and the transnational company Copenhagen Malmö Port AB. Sweden_sentence_558

The most used airport for a large part of Southern Sweden is Kastrup or Copenhagen Airport which is located only 12 minutes by train from the closest Swedish railway station, Hyllie. Sweden_sentence_559

Copenhagen Airport also is the largest international airport in Scandinavia and Finland. Sweden_sentence_560

Sweden also has a number of car ferry connections to several neighbouring countries. Sweden_sentence_561

This includes a route from Umeå across the Gulf of Bothnia to Vaasa in Finland. Sweden_sentence_562

There are several connections from the Stockholm area across the Sea of Åland to Mariehamn in the Åland Islands as well as Turku and Helsinki on the Finnish mainland and beyond to Estonia and St Petersburg in Russia. Sweden_sentence_563

Ferry routes from the Stockholm area also connect with Ventspils and Riga in Latvia as well as Gdańsk in Poland across the Baltic Sea. Sweden_sentence_564

The ferry ports of Karlskrona and Karlshamn in southeastern Sweden serve Gdynia, Poland, and Klaipeda, Lithuania. Sweden_sentence_565

Ystad and Trelleborg near the southern tip of Sweden have ferry links with the Danish island of Bornholm and the German ports of Sassnitz, Rostock and Travemünde, respectively, and ferries run to Świnoujście, Poland, from both of them. Sweden_sentence_566

Trelleborg is the busiest ferry port in Sweden in terms of weight transported by lorry. Sweden_sentence_567

Its route to Sassnitz started as a steam-operated railway ferry in the 19th century, and today's ferry still carries trains to Berlin during the summer months. Sweden_sentence_568

Another ferry route to Travemünde originates from Malmö. Sweden_sentence_569

Despite the opening of the fixed link to Denmark, the Øresund Bridge, the busiest ferry route remains the short link across the narrowest section of the Øresund between Helsingborg and the Danish port of Helsingør, known as the HH Ferry route. Sweden_sentence_570

There are over seventy departures a day each way; during peak times, a ferry departs every fifteen minutes. Sweden_sentence_571

Ports higher up the Swedish west coast include Varberg, with a ferry connection across the Kattegat to Grenaa in Denmark, and Göteborg, serving Frederikshavn at the northern tip of Denmark and Kiel in Germany. Sweden_sentence_572

Finally, there are ferries from Strömstad near the Norwegian border to destinations around the Oslofjord in Norway. Sweden_sentence_573

There used to be ferry services to the United Kingdom from Göteborg to destinations such as Immingham, Harwich and Newcastle, but these have been discontinued. Sweden_sentence_574

Sweden has two domestic ferry lines with large vessels, both connecting Gotland with the mainland. Sweden_sentence_575

The lines leave from Visby harbour on the island, and the ferries sail to either Oskarshamn or Nynäshamn. Sweden_sentence_576

A smaller car ferry connects the island of Ven in Øresund with Landskrona. Sweden_sentence_577

Public policy Sweden_section_24

See also: Nordic model and Social welfare in Sweden Sweden_sentence_578

Sweden has one of the most highly developed welfare states in the world. Sweden_sentence_579

According to a 2012 OECD report, the country had the second-highest public social spending as a percentage of its GDP after France (27.3% and 28.4%, respectively), and the third-highest total (public and private) social spending at 30.2% of its GDP, after France and Belgium (31.3% and 31.0%, respectively). Sweden_sentence_580

Sweden spent 6.3% of its GDP, the 9th-highest among 34 OECD countries, to provide equal access to education. Sweden_sentence_581

On health care, the country spent 10.0% of its total GDP, the 12th highest. Sweden_sentence_582

Historically, Sweden provided solid support for free trade (except agriculture) and mostly relatively strong and stable property rights (both private and public), though some economists have pointed out that Sweden promoted industries with tariffs and used publicly subsidised R&D during the country's early critical years of industrialisation. Sweden_sentence_583

After World War II a succession of governments expanded the welfare state by raising the taxes. Sweden_sentence_584

During this period Sweden's economic growth was also one of the highest in the industrial world. Sweden_sentence_585

A series of successive social reforms transformed the country into one of the most equal and developed on earth. Sweden_sentence_586

The consistent growth of the welfare state led to Swedes achieving unprecedented levels of social mobility and quality of life—to this day Sweden consistently ranks at the top of league tables for health, literacy and Human Development—far ahead of some wealthier countries (for example the United States). Sweden_sentence_587

However, from the 1970s and onwards Sweden's GDP growth fell behind other industrialised countries and the country's per capita ranking fell from 4th to 14th place in a few decades. Sweden_sentence_588

From the mid-1990s until today Sweden's economic growth has once again accelerated and has been higher than in most other industrialised countries (including the US) during the last 15 years. Sweden_sentence_589

A report from the United Nations Development Program predicted that Sweden's rating on the Human Development Index will fall from 0.949 in 2010 to 0.906 in 2030. Sweden_sentence_590

Sweden began slowing the expansion of the welfare state in the 1980s, and even trimming it back. Sweden_sentence_591

Sweden has been relatively quick to adopt neoliberal policies, such as privatization, financialization and deregulation, compared to countries such as France. Sweden_sentence_592

The current Swedish government is continuing the trend of moderate rollbacks of previous social reforms. Sweden_sentence_593

Growth has been higher than in many other EU-15 countries. Sweden_sentence_594

Also since the mid-1980s, Sweden has had the fastest growth in inequality of any developed nation, according to the OECD. Sweden_sentence_595

This has largely been attributed to the reduction in state benefits and a shift toward the privatisation of public services. Sweden_sentence_596

According to Barbro Sorman, an activist of the opposition Left Party, "The rich are getting richer, and the poor are getting poorer. Sweden_sentence_597

Sweden is starting to look like the USA." Sweden_sentence_598

Nevertheless, it remains far more egalitarian than most nations. Sweden_sentence_599

Partly as a result of these privatisations and widening economic disparity, the Swedes in the 2014 elections put the Social Democrats back in power. Sweden_sentence_600

Sweden adopted free market agricultural policies in 1990. Sweden_sentence_601

Since the 1930s, the agricultural sector had been subject to price controls. Sweden_sentence_602

In June 1990, the Riksdag voted for a new agricultural policy marking a significant shift away from price controls. Sweden_sentence_603

As a result, food prices fell somewhat. Sweden_sentence_604

However, the liberalisations soon became moot because EU agricultural controls supervened. Sweden_sentence_605

Since the late 1960s, Sweden has had the highest tax quota (as percentage of GDP) in the industrialised world, although today the gap has narrowed and Denmark has surpassed Sweden as the most heavily taxed country among developed countries. Sweden_sentence_606

Sweden has a two-step progressive tax scale with a municipal income tax of about 30% and an additional high-income state tax of 20–25% when a salary exceeds roughly 320,000 SEK per year. Sweden_sentence_607

Payroll taxes amount to 32%. Sweden_sentence_608

In addition, a national VAT of 25% is added to many things bought by private citizens, with the exception of food (12% VAT), transportation, and books (6% VAT). Sweden_sentence_609

Certain items are subject to additional taxes, e.g. electricity, petrol/diesel and alcoholic beverages. Sweden_sentence_610

In 2007, total tax revenue was 47.8% of GDP, the second-highest tax burden among developed countries, down from 49.1% 2006. Sweden_sentence_611

Sweden's inverted tax wedge – the amount going to the service worker's wallet – is approximately 15%, compared to 10% in Belgium, 30% in Ireland, and 50% in the United States. Sweden_sentence_612

Public sector spending amounts to 53% of the GDP. Sweden_sentence_613

State and municipal employees total around a third of the workforce, much more than in most Western countries. Sweden_sentence_614

Only Denmark has a larger public sector (38% of Danish workforce). Sweden_sentence_615

Spending on transfers is also high. Sweden_sentence_616

In 2015 and 2016, 69 per cent of the employed workers is organised in trade unions. Sweden_sentence_617

Union density in 2016 was 62% among blue-collar-workers (most of them in the Swedish Trade Union Confederation, LO) and 75% among white-collar workers (most of them in the Swedish Confederation of Professional Employees, TCO, and the Swedish Confederation of Professional Associations, SACO). Sweden_sentence_618

Sweden has state-supported union unemployment funds (Ghent system). Sweden_sentence_619

Trade unions have the right to elect two representatives to the board in all Swedish companies with more than 25 employees. Sweden_sentence_620

Sweden has a relatively high amount of sick leave per worker in OECD: the average worker loses 24 days due to sickness. Sweden_sentence_621

The unemployment rate was 7.2% in May 2017 while the employment rate was 67.4%, with the workforce consisting of 4,983,000 people while 387,000 are unemployed. Sweden_sentence_622

Unemployment among youth (aged 24 or younger) in 2012 was 24.2%, making Sweden the OECD country with the highest ratio of youth unemployment versus unemployment in general. Sweden_sentence_623

Science and technology Sweden_section_25

Main article: Swedish inventions Sweden_sentence_624

In the 18th century Sweden's scientific revolution took off. Sweden_sentence_625

Previously, technical progress had mainly come from mainland Europe. Sweden_sentence_626

In 1739, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences was founded, with people such as Carl Linnaeus and Anders Celsius as early members. Sweden_sentence_627

Many of the companies founded by early pioneers still remain major international brands. Sweden_sentence_628

Gustaf Dalén founded AGA, and received the Nobel Prize for his sun valve. Sweden_sentence_629

Alfred Nobel invented dynamite and instituted the Nobel Prizes. Sweden_sentence_630

Lars Magnus Ericsson started the company bearing his name, Ericsson, still one of the largest telecom companies in the world. Sweden_sentence_631

Jonas Wenström was an early pioneer in alternating current and is along with Serbian inventor Nikola Tesla credited as one of the inventors of the three-phase electrical system. Sweden_sentence_632

The traditional engineering industry is still a major source of Swedish inventions, but pharmaceuticals, electronics and other high-tech industries are gaining ground. Sweden_sentence_633

Tetra Pak was an invention for storing liquid foods, invented by Erik Wallenberg. Sweden_sentence_634

Losec, an ulcer medicine, was the world's best-selling drug in the 1990s and was developed by AstraZeneca. Sweden_sentence_635

More recently Håkan Lans invented the Automatic Identification System, a worldwide standard for shipping and civil aviation navigation. Sweden_sentence_636

A large portion of the Swedish economy is to this day based on the export of technical inventions, and many large multinational corporations from Sweden have their origins in the ingenuity of Swedish inventors. Sweden_sentence_637

Swedish inventors held 47,112 patents in the United States in 2014, according to the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Sweden_sentence_638

As a nation, only ten other countries hold more patents than Sweden. Sweden_sentence_639

Combined, the public and the private sector in Sweden allocate over 3.5% of GDP to research & development (R&D) per year, making Sweden's investment in R&D as a percentage of GDP the second-highest in the world. Sweden_sentence_640

For several decades the Swedish government has prioritised scientific and R&D activities. Sweden_sentence_641

As a percentage of GDP, the Swedish government spends the most of any nation on research and development. Sweden_sentence_642

Sweden tops other European countries in the number of published scientific works per capita. Sweden_sentence_643

In 2009, the decisions to construct Sweden's two largest scientific installations, the synchrotron radiation facility MAX IV Laboratory and the European Spallation Source (ESS), were taken. Sweden_sentence_644

Both installations will be built in Lund. Sweden_sentence_645

The European Spallation Source, costing some SEK 14 billion to construct, will begin initial operations in 2019 with construction completion scheduled for 2025. Sweden_sentence_646

The ESS will give an approximately 30 times stronger neutron beam than any of today's existing neutron source installations. Sweden_sentence_647

The MAX IV, costing some SEK 3 billion, was inaugurated on 21 June 2016. Sweden_sentence_648

Both facilities have strong implications on material research. Sweden_sentence_649

Taxes Sweden_section_26

Main article: Taxation in Sweden Sweden_sentence_650

On average, 27% of taxpayer's money in Sweden goes to education and healthcare, whereas 5% goes to the police and military, and 42% to social security. Sweden_sentence_651

The typical worker receives 40% of his or her labour costs after the tax wedge. Sweden_sentence_652

Total tax collected by Sweden as a percentage of its GDP peaked at 52.3% in 1990. Sweden_sentence_653

The country faced a real estate and banking crisis in 1990–1991, and consequently passed tax reforms in 1991 to implement tax rate cuts and tax base broadening over time. Sweden_sentence_654

Since 1990, taxes as a percentage of GDP collected by Sweden have been dropping, with total tax rates for the highest income earners dropping the most. Sweden_sentence_655

In 2010 45.8% of the country's GDP was collected as taxes, the second highest among OECD countries, and nearly double the percentage in the US or South Korea. Sweden_sentence_656

Pensions Sweden_section_27

Main article: Social security in Sweden Sweden_sentence_657

Every Swedish resident receives a state pension. Sweden_sentence_658

Swedish Pensions Agency is responsible for pensions. Sweden_sentence_659

People who have worked in Sweden, but relocated to another country, can also receive the Swedish pension. Sweden_sentence_660

There are several types of pensions in Sweden: national retirement, occupational and private pensions. Sweden_sentence_661

A person can receive a combination of the various types of pensions. Sweden_sentence_662

Demographics Sweden_section_28

Main articles: Demographics of Sweden and Swedes Sweden_sentence_663

The total resident population of Sweden was 10,343,403 in March 2020. Sweden_sentence_664

The population exceeded 10 million for the first time on Friday 20 January 2017. Sweden_sentence_665

Every fourth (24.9%) resident in the country has immigrant background and every third (32.3%) has at least one parent born abroad. Sweden_sentence_666

The average population density is just over 25 people per km (65 per square mile), with 1 437 persons per km in localities (continuous settlement with at least 200 inhabitants). Sweden_sentence_667

87% of the population live in urban areas, which cover 1.5% of the entire land area. Sweden_sentence_668

63% of Swedes are in large urban areas. Sweden_sentence_669

It is substantially higher in the south than in the north. Sweden_sentence_670

The capital city Stockholm has a municipal population of about 950,000 (with 1.5 million in the urban area and 2.3 million in the metropolitan area). Sweden_sentence_671

The second- and third-largest cities are Gothenburg and Malmö. Sweden_sentence_672

Greater Gothenburg counts just over a million inhabitants and the same goes for the western part of Scania, along the Öresund. Sweden_sentence_673

The Öresund Region, the Danish-Swedish cross-border region around the Öresund that Malmö is part of, has a population of 4 million. Sweden_sentence_674

Outside of major cities, areas with notably higher population density include the agricultural part of Östergötland, the western coast, the area around Lake Mälaren and the agricultural area around Uppsala. Sweden_sentence_675

Norrland, which covers approximately 60% of the Swedish territory, has a very low population density (below 5 people per square kilometre). Sweden_sentence_676

The mountains and most of the remote coastal areas are almost unpopulated. Sweden_sentence_677

Low population density exists also in large parts of western Svealand, as well as southern and central Småland. Sweden_sentence_678

An area known as Finnveden, which is located in the south-west of Småland, and mainly below the 57th parallel, can also be considered as almost empty of people. Sweden_sentence_679

Between 1820 and 1930, approximately 1.3 million Swedes, a third of the country's population at the time, emigrated to North America, and most of them to the United States. Sweden_sentence_680

There are more than 4.4 million Swedish Americans according to a 2006 US Census Bureau estimate. Sweden_sentence_681

In Canada, the community of Swedish ancestry is 330,000 strong. Sweden_sentence_682

There are no official statistics on ethnicity, but according to Statistics Sweden, around 3,311,312 (32.3%) inhabitants of Sweden were of a foreign background in 2018, defined as being born abroad or born in Sweden with at least one parent born abroad. Sweden_sentence_683

The most common countries of origin were Syria (1.82%), Finland (1.45%), Iraq (1.41%), Poland (0.91%), Iran (0.76%) and Somalia (0.67%). Sweden_sentence_684

Sweden subsequently has one of the oldest populations in the world, with the average age of 41.1 years. Sweden_sentence_685

Language Sweden_section_29

Main articles: Swedish language and Languages of Sweden Sweden_sentence_686

See also: Swedish dialects Sweden_sentence_687

The official language of Sweden is Swedish, a North Germanic language, related and very similar to Danish and Norwegian, but differing in pronunciation and orthography. Sweden_sentence_688

Norwegians have little difficulty understanding Swedish, and Danes can also understand it, with slightly more difficulty than Norwegians. Sweden_sentence_689

The same goes for standard Swedish speakers, who find it far easier to understand Norwegian than Danish. Sweden_sentence_690

The dialects spoken in Scania, the southernmost part of the country, are influenced by Danish because the region traditionally was a part of Denmark and is nowadays situated closely to it. Sweden_sentence_691

Sweden Finns are Sweden's largest linguistic minority, comprising about 5% of Sweden's population, and Finnish is recognised as a minority language. Sweden_sentence_692

Owing to a 21st-century influx of native speakers of Arabic, the use of Arabic is likely more widespread in the country than that of Finnish. Sweden_sentence_693

However, no official statistics are kept on language use. Sweden_sentence_694

Along with Finnish, four other minority languages are also recognised: Meänkieli, Sami, Romani, and Yiddish. Sweden_sentence_695

Swedish became Sweden's official language on 1 July 2009, when a new language law was implemented. Sweden_sentence_696

The issue of whether Swedish should be declared the official language had been raised in the past, and the Riksdag voted on the matter in 2005, but the proposal narrowly failed. Sweden_sentence_697

In varying degrees, depending largely on frequency of interaction with English, a majority of Swedes, especially those born after World War II, understand and speak English, owing to trade links, the popularity of overseas travel, a strong Anglo-American influence and the tradition of subtitling rather than dubbing foreign television shows and films, and the relative similarity of the two languages which makes learning English easier. Sweden_sentence_698

In a 2005 survey by Eurobarometer, 89% of Swedes reported the ability to speak English. Sweden_sentence_699

English became a compulsory subject for secondary school students studying natural sciences as early as 1849, and has been a compulsory subject for all Swedish students since the late 1940s. Sweden_sentence_700

Depending on the local school authorities, English is currently a compulsory subject between first grade and ninth grade, with all students continuing in secondary school studying English for at least another year. Sweden_sentence_701

Most students also study one and sometimes two additional languages. Sweden_sentence_702

These include (but are not limited to) German, French and Spanish. Sweden_sentence_703

Some Danish and Norwegian is at times also taught as part of Swedish courses for native speakers. Sweden_sentence_704

Because of the extensive mutual intelligibility between the three continental Scandinavian languages Swedish speakers often use their native language when visiting or living in Norway or Denmark. Sweden_sentence_705

Religion Sweden_section_30

Main article: Religion in Sweden Sweden_sentence_706

Before the 11th century, Swedes adhered to Norse paganism, worshiping Æsir gods, with its centre at the Temple in Uppsala. Sweden_sentence_707

With Christianisation in the 11th century, the laws of the country changed, forbidding worship of other deities until the late 19th century. Sweden_sentence_708

After the Protestant Reformation in the 1530s, a change led by Martin Luther's Swedish associate Olaus Petri, the authority of the Roman Catholic Church was abolished and Lutheranism became widespread. Sweden_sentence_709

Adoption of Lutheranism was completed by the Uppsala Synod of 1593, and it became the official religion. Sweden_sentence_710

During the era following the Reformation, usually known as the period of Lutheran orthodoxy, small groups of non-Lutherans, especially Calvinist Dutchmen, the Moravian Church and French Huguenots played a significant role in trade and industry, and were quietly tolerated as long as they kept a low religious profile. Sweden_sentence_711

The Sami originally had their own shamanistic religion, but they were converted to Lutheranism by Swedish missionaries in the 17th and 18th centuries. Sweden_sentence_712

With religious liberalisations in the late 18th century believers of other faiths, including Judaism and Roman Catholicism, were allowed to live and work freely in the country. Sweden_sentence_713

However, until 1860 it remained illegal for Lutherans to convert to another religion. Sweden_sentence_714

The 19th century saw the arrival of various evangelical free churches, and, towards the end of the century, secularism, leading many to distance themselves from church rituals. Sweden_sentence_715

Leaving the Church of Sweden became legal with the so-called dissenter law of 1860, but only under the provision of entering another Christian denomination. Sweden_sentence_716

The right to stand outside any religious denomination was formally established in the law on freedom of religion in 1951. Sweden_sentence_717

In 2000, the Church of Sweden was disestablished. Sweden_sentence_718

Sweden was the second Nordic country to disestablish its state church (after Finland did so in the Church Act of 1869). Sweden_sentence_719

At the end of 2018, 57.7% of Swedes belonged to the Church of Sweden; this number had been decreasing by about 1.5 percentage points a year for the previous 7 years and one percentage point a year on average for the previous two decades. Sweden_sentence_720

Approximately 2% of the church's members regularly attend Sunday services. Sweden_sentence_721

The reason for the large number of inactive members is partly that, until 1996, children automatically became members at birth if at least one of the parents was a member. Sweden_sentence_722

Since 1996, only children and adults who are christened become members. Sweden_sentence_723

Some 275,000 Swedes are today members of various Evangelical Protestant free churches (where congregation attendance is much higher), and due to recent immigration, there are now some 100,000 Eastern Orthodox Christians and 92,000 Roman Catholics living in Sweden. Sweden_sentence_724

The first Muslim congregation was established in 1949, when a small contingent of Tatars migrated from Finland. Sweden_sentence_725

Islam's presence in Sweden remained marginal until the 1960s, when Sweden started to receive migrants from the Balkans and Turkey. Sweden_sentence_726

Further immigration from North Africa and the Middle East have brought the estimated Muslim population to 600,000. Sweden_sentence_727

However, only about 110,000 were members of a congregation around 2010. Sweden_sentence_728

According to the Eurobarometer Poll 2010, Sweden_sentence_729


  • 18% of Swedish citizens responded that "they believe there is a god".Sweden_item_5_5
  • 45% answered that "they believe there is some sort of spirit or life force".Sweden_item_5_6
  • 34% answered that "they do not believe there is any sort of spirit, god, or life force".Sweden_item_5_7

According to a Demoskop study in 2015 about the beliefs of the Swedish showed that Sweden_sentence_730


  • 21% believed in a god (down from 35 percent in 2008).Sweden_item_6_8
  • 16% believed in ghosts.Sweden_item_6_9
  • 14% believed in creationism or intelligent design.Sweden_item_6_10

Sociology professor Phil Zuckerman claims that Swedes, despite a lack of belief in God, commonly question the term atheist, preferring to call themselves Christians while being content with remaining in the Church of Sweden. Sweden_sentence_731

Religion continues to play a role in Swedish cultural identity. Sweden_sentence_732

This is evidenced by the fact that the majority of Swedish adults continue to remain members of the Lutheran Church despite having to pay a church tax; moreover, rates of baptism remain high and church weddings are increasing in Sweden. Sweden_sentence_733

Health Sweden_section_31

See also: Healthcare in Sweden and Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare Sweden_sentence_734

Healthcare in Sweden is similar in quality to other developed nations. Sweden_sentence_735

Sweden ranks in the top five countries with respect to low infant mortality. Sweden_sentence_736

It also ranks high in life expectancy and in safe drinking water. Sweden_sentence_737

A person seeking care first contacts a clinic for a doctor's appointment, and may then be referred to a specialist by the clinic physician, who may in turn recommend either in-patient or out-patient treatment, or an elective care option. Sweden_sentence_738

The health care is governed by the 21 landsting of Sweden and is mainly funded by taxes, with nominal fees for patients. Sweden_sentence_739

Education Sweden_section_32

Main article: Education in Sweden Sweden_sentence_740

Children aged 1–5 years old are guaranteed a place in a public kindergarten (Swedish: förskola or, colloquially, dagis). Sweden_sentence_741

Between the ages of 6 and 16, children attend compulsory comprehensive school. Sweden_sentence_742

In the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), Swedish 15-year-old pupils score close to the OECD average. Sweden_sentence_743

After completing the 9th grade, about 90% of the students continue with a three-year upper secondary school (gymnasium), which can lead to both a job qualification or entrance eligibility to university. Sweden_sentence_744

The school system is largely financed by taxes. Sweden_sentence_745

The Swedish government treats public and independent schools equally by introducing education vouchers in 1992 as one of the first countries in the world after the Netherlands. Sweden_sentence_746

Anyone can establish a for-profit school and the municipality must pay new schools the same amount as municipal schools get. Sweden_sentence_747

School lunch is free for all students in Sweden, and providing breakfast is also encouraged. Sweden_sentence_748

There are a number of different universities and colleges in Sweden, the oldest and largest of which are situated in Uppsala, Lund, Gothenburg and Stockholm. Sweden_sentence_749

In 2000, 32% of Swedish people held a tertiary degree, making the country 5th in the OECD in that category. Sweden_sentence_750

Along with several other European countries, the government also subsidises tuition of international students pursuing a degree at Swedish institutions, although a recent bill passed in the Riksdag will limit this subsidy to students from EEA countries and Switzerland. Sweden_sentence_751

The large influx of immigrants to Swedish schools has been cited as a significant part of the reason why Sweden has dropped more than any other European country in the international PISA rankings. Sweden_sentence_752

Immigration Sweden_section_33

Main article: Immigration to Sweden Sweden_sentence_753

Immigration has been a major source of population growth and cultural change throughout much of the history of Sweden, and in recent centuries the country has been transformed from a nation of net emigration, ending after World War I, to a nation of net immigration, from World War II onwards. Sweden_sentence_754

The economic, social, and political aspects of immigration have caused controversy regarding ethnicity, economic benefits, jobs for non-immigrants, settlement patterns, impact on upward social mobility, crime, and voting behaviour. Sweden_sentence_755

There are no exact numbers on the ethnic background of migrants and their descendants in Sweden because the Swedish government does not base any statistics on ethnicity. Sweden_sentence_756

This is, however, not to be confused with the migrants' national backgrounds, which are recorded. Sweden_sentence_757

In 2019, there were 2,634,967 inhabitants of a foreign background (foreign-born and children of international migrants), comprising around 25% of the Swedish population. Sweden_sentence_758

The number of people with at least one foreign parent was 3,415,166 which counts for 33% of the population. Sweden_sentence_759

Of these inhabitants, 2,019,733 persons living in Sweden were born abroad. Sweden_sentence_760

In addition, 615,234 persons were born in Sweden to two parents born abroad and 780,199 persons had one parent born abroad with the other parent born in Sweden. Sweden_sentence_761

Immigrants in Sweden are mostly concentrated in the urban areas of Svealand and Götaland. Sweden_sentence_762

Since the early 1970s, immigration to Sweden has been mostly due to refugee migration and family reunification from countries in the Middle East and Latin America. Sweden_sentence_763

In 2019, Sweden granted 21,958 people asylum, and 21,502 in 2018. Sweden_sentence_764

The ten largest groups of foreign-born persons in the Swedish civil registry in 2019 were from: Sweden_sentence_765


  1. Syria (191,530)Sweden_item_7_11
  2. Iraq (146,048)Sweden_item_7_12
  3. Finland (144,561)Sweden_item_7_13
  4. Poland (93,722)Sweden_item_7_14
  5. Iran (80,136)Sweden_item_7_15
  6. Somalia (70,173)Sweden_item_7_16
  7. Former Yugoslavia (64,349)Sweden_item_7_17
  8. Bosnia and Herzegovina (60,012)Sweden_item_7_18
  9. Afghanistan (58,780)Sweden_item_7_19
  10. Turkey (51,689)Sweden_item_7_20

According to an official investigation by The Swedish Pensions Agency on order from the government, the immigration to Sweden will double the state's expenses for pensions to the population. Sweden_sentence_766

The total immigration to Sweden for 2017 will be roughly 180 000 people, and after that 110 000 individuals every year. Sweden_sentence_767

Crime Sweden_section_34

Main article: Crime in Sweden Sweden_sentence_768

Further information: Bombings in Sweden and Rape in Sweden Sweden_sentence_769

Figures from the 2013 Swedish Crime Survey (SCS) show that exposure to crime decreased from 2005 to 2013. Sweden_sentence_770

Since 2014 there has been an increase in exposure to some categories of crimes, including fraud, some property crime and especially sexual offences (with a 70% increase since 2013, which was partly caused by laws broadening the definition of rape) according to the 2016 SCS. Sweden_sentence_771

Violence (both lethal and non-lethal) has been on a downward trend the last 25 years. Sweden_sentence_772

The figures for fraud and property damage (excluding car theft) are in contrast with the numbers of reported crimes under such categories which have remained roughly constant over the period 2014–16. Sweden_sentence_773

The number of reported sexual offences clearly reflect the figures in the 2016 SCS, and car related damages/theft are also somewhat reflected. Sweden_sentence_774

The number of convictions up to 2013 has remained between 110,000 and 130,000 in the 2000s — a decrease since the 1970s, when they numbered around 300,000 — despite the population growth. Sweden_sentence_775

Consistent with other Western countries in the postwar era, the number of reported crimes has increased when measured from the 1950s; which can be explained by a number of factors, such as immigration, statistical and legislative changes and increased public willingness to report crime. Sweden_sentence_776

Culture Sweden_section_35

Main article: Culture of Sweden Sweden_sentence_777

Sweden has many authors of worldwide recognition including August Strindberg, Astrid Lindgren, and Nobel Prize winners Selma Lagerlöf and Harry Martinson. Sweden_sentence_778

In total seven Nobel Prizes in Literature have been awarded to Swedes. Sweden_sentence_779

The nation's most well-known artists are painters such as Carl Larsson and Anders Zorn, and the sculptors Tobias Sergel and Carl Milles. Sweden_sentence_780

Swedish 20th-century culture is noted by pioneering works in the early days of cinema, with Mauritz Stiller and Victor Sjöström. Sweden_sentence_781

In the 1920s–1980s, the filmmaker Ingmar Bergman and actors Greta Garbo and Ingrid Bergman became internationally noted people within cinema. Sweden_sentence_782

More recently, the films of Lukas Moodysson, Lasse Hallström, and Ruben Östlund have received international recognition. Sweden_sentence_783

Throughout the 1960s and 1970s Sweden was seen as an international leader in what is now referred to as the "sexual revolution", with gender equality having particularly been promoted. Sweden_sentence_784

The early Swedish film I Am Curious (Yellow) (1967) reflected a liberal view of sexuality, including scenes of love making that caught international attention, and introduced the concept of the "Swedish sin" that had been introduced earlier in the US with Ingmar Bergman's Summer with Monika. Sweden_sentence_785

The image of "hot love and cold people" emerged. Sweden_sentence_786

Sexual liberalism was seen as part of modernisation process that by breaking down traditional borders would lead to the emancipation of natural forces and desires. Sweden_sentence_787

Sweden has also become very liberal towards homosexuality, as is reflected in the popular acceptance of films such as Show Me Love, which is about two young lesbians in the small Swedish town of Åmål. Sweden_sentence_788

Since 1 May 2009, Sweden repealed its "registered partnership" laws and fully replaced them with gender-neutral marriage, Sweden also offers domestic partnerships for both same-sex and opposite-sex couples. Sweden_sentence_789

Cohabitation (sammanboende) by couples of all ages, including teenagers as well as elderly couples, is widespread. Sweden_sentence_790

As of 2009, Sweden is experiencing a baby boom. Sweden_sentence_791

Music Sweden_section_36

Main article: Music of Sweden Sweden_sentence_792

Historical re-creations of Norse music have been attempted based on instruments found in Viking sites. Sweden_sentence_793

The instruments used were the lur (a sort of trumpet), simple string instruments, wooden flutes and drums. Sweden_sentence_794

Sweden has a significant folk-music scene. Sweden_sentence_795

There is Sami music, called the joik, which is a type of chant which is part of the traditional Sami animistic spirituality. Sweden_sentence_796

Notable composers include Carl Michael Bellman and Franz Berwald. Sweden_sentence_797

Sweden also has a prominent choral music tradition. Sweden_sentence_798

Out of a population of 9.5 million, it is estimated that five to six hundred thousand people sing in choirs. Sweden_sentence_799

In 2007, with over 800 million dollars in revenue, Sweden was the third-largest music exporter in the world and surpassed only by the US and the UK. Sweden_sentence_800

According to one source 2013, Sweden produces the most chart hits per capita in the world, followed by the UK and the USA. Sweden_sentence_801

Sweden has a rather lively jazz scene. Sweden_sentence_802

During the last sixty years or so it has attained a remarkably high artistic standard, stimulated by domestic as well as external influences and experiences. Sweden_sentence_803

The Centre for Swedish Folk Music and Jazz Research has published an overview of jazz in Sweden by Lars Westin. Sweden_sentence_804

Architecture Sweden_section_37

Main article: Architecture of Sweden Sweden_sentence_805

Before the 13th century almost all buildings were made of timber, but a shift began towards stone. Sweden_sentence_806

Early Swedish stone buildings are the Romanesque churches on the country side. Sweden_sentence_807

As so happens, many of them were built in Scania and are in effect Danish churches. Sweden_sentence_808

This would include the Lund Cathedral from the 11th century and the somewhat younger church in Dalby, but also many early Gothic churches built through influences of the Hanseatic League, such as in Ystad, Malmö and Helsingborg. Sweden_sentence_809

Cathedrals in other parts of Sweden were also built as seats of Sweden's bishops. Sweden_sentence_810

The Skara Cathedral is of bricks from the 14th century, and the Uppsala Cathedral in the 15th. Sweden_sentence_811

In 1230 the foundations of the Linköping Cathedral were made, the material was there limestone, but the building took some 250 years to finish. Sweden_sentence_812

Among older structures are also some significant fortresses and other historical buildings such as at Borgholm Castle, Halltorps Manor and Eketorp fortress on the island Öland, the Nyköping fortress and the Visby city wall. Sweden_sentence_813

Around 1520 Sweden was out of the Middle Ages and united under King Gustav Vasa, who immediately initiated grand mansions, castles and fortresses to be built. Sweden_sentence_814

Some of the more magnificent include Kalmar Castle, Gripsholm Castle and the one at Vadstena. Sweden_sentence_815

In the next two centuries, Sweden was designated by Baroque architecture and later the rococo. Sweden_sentence_816

Notable projects from that time include the city Karlskrona, which has now also been declared a World Heritage Site and the Drottningholm Palace. Sweden_sentence_817

1930 was the year of the great Stockholm exhibition, which marked the breakthrough of Functionalism, or "funkis" as it became known. Sweden_sentence_818

The style came to dominate in the following decades. Sweden_sentence_819

Some notable projects of this kind were the Million Programme, offering affordable living in large apartment complexes. Sweden_sentence_820

The Ericsson Globe is the largest hemispherical building on Earth, Shaped like a large white ball, and took two and a half years to build. Sweden_sentence_821

It's located in Stockholm. Sweden_sentence_822

Media Sweden_section_38

Main article: Media in Sweden Sweden_sentence_823

Swedes are among the greatest consumers of newspapers in the world, and nearly every town is served by a local paper. Sweden_sentence_824

The country's main quality morning papers are Dagens Nyheter (liberal), Göteborgs-Posten (liberal), Svenska Dagbladet (liberal conservative) and Sydsvenska Dagbladet (liberal). Sweden_sentence_825

The two largest evening tabloids are Aftonbladet (social democratic) and Expressen (liberal). Sweden_sentence_826

The ad-financed, free international morning paper, Metro International, was founded in Stockholm, Sweden. Sweden_sentence_827

The country's news is reported in English by, among others, The Local (liberal). Sweden_sentence_828

The public broadcasting companies held a monopoly on radio and television for a long time in Sweden. Sweden_sentence_829

Licence funded radio broadcasts started in 1925. Sweden_sentence_830

A second radio network was started in 1954 and a third opened 1962 in response to pirate radio stations. Sweden_sentence_831

Non-profit community radio was allowed in 1979 and in 1993 commercial local radio started. Sweden_sentence_832

The licence-funded television service was officially launched in 1956. Sweden_sentence_833

A second channel, TV2, was launched in 1969. Sweden_sentence_834

These two channels (operated by Sveriges Television since the late 1970s) held a monopoly until the 1980s when cable and satellite television became available. Sweden_sentence_835

The first Swedish language satellite service was TV3 which started broadcasting from London in 1987. Sweden_sentence_836

It was followed by Kanal 5 in 1989 (then known as Nordic Channel) and TV4 in 1990. Sweden_sentence_837

In 1991 the government announced it would begin taking applications from private television companies wishing to broadcast on the terrestrial network. Sweden_sentence_838

TV4, which had previously been broadcasting via satellite, was granted a permit and began its terrestrial broadcasts in 1992, becoming the first private channel to broadcast television content from within the country. Sweden_sentence_839

Around half the population are connected to cable television. Sweden_sentence_840

Digital terrestrial television in Sweden started in 1999 and the last analogue terrestrial broadcasts were terminated in 2007. Sweden_sentence_841

Literature Sweden_section_39

Main article: Swedish literature Sweden_sentence_842

The first literary text from Sweden is the Rök runestone, carved during the Viking Age c. 800 AD. Sweden_sentence_843

With the conversion of the land to Christianity around 1100 AD, Sweden entered the Middle Ages, during which monastic writers preferred to use Latin. Sweden_sentence_844

Therefore, there are only a few texts in the Old Swedish from that period. Sweden_sentence_845

Swedish literature only flourished when the Swedish language was standardised in the 16th century, a standardisation largely due to the full translation of the Bible into Swedish in 1541. Sweden_sentence_846

This translation is the so-called Gustav Vasa Bible. Sweden_sentence_847

With improved education and the freedom brought by secularisation, the 17th century saw several notable authors develop the Swedish language further. Sweden_sentence_848

Some key figures include Georg Stiernhielm (17th century), who was the first to write classical poetry in Swedish; Johan Henric Kellgren (18th century), the first to write fluent Swedish prose; Carl Michael Bellman (late 18th century), the first writer of burlesque ballads; and August Strindberg (late 19th century), a socio-realistic writer and playwright who won worldwide fame. Sweden_sentence_849

The early 20th century continued to produce notable authors, such as Selma Lagerlöf, (Nobel laureate 1909), Verner von Heidenstam (Nobel laureate 1916) and Pär Lagerkvist (Nobel laureate 1951). Sweden_sentence_850

In recent decades, a handful of Swedish writers have established themselves internationally, including the detective novelist Henning Mankell and the writer of spy fiction Jan Guillou. Sweden_sentence_851

The Swedish writer to have made the most lasting impression on world literature is the children's book writer Astrid Lindgren, and her books about Pippi Longstocking, Emil, and others. Sweden_sentence_852

In 2008, the second best-selling fiction author in the world was Stieg Larsson, whose Millennium series of crime novels is being published posthumously to critical acclaim. Sweden_sentence_853

Larsson drew heavily on the work of Lindgren by basing his central character, Lisbeth Salander, on Longstocking. Sweden_sentence_854

Holidays Sweden_section_40

Main article: Public holidays in Sweden Sweden_sentence_855

Apart from traditional Protestant Christian holidays, Sweden also celebrates some unique holidays, some of a pre-Christian tradition. Sweden_sentence_856

They include Midsummer celebrating the summer solstice; Walpurgis Night (Valborgsmässoafton) on 30 April lighting bonfires; and Labour Day or Mayday on 1 May is dedicated to socialist demonstrations. Sweden_sentence_857

The day of giver-of-light Saint Lucia, 13 December, is widely acknowledged in elaborate celebrations which betoken its Italian origin and commence the month-long Christmas season. Sweden_sentence_858

6 June is the National Day of Sweden and has since 2005 been a public holiday. Sweden_sentence_859

Furthermore, there are official flag day observances and a Namesdays in Sweden calendar. Sweden_sentence_860

In August many Swedes have kräftskivor (crayfish dinner parties). Sweden_sentence_861

Martin of Tours Eve is celebrated in Scania in November with Mårten Gås parties, where roast goose and svartsoppa ('black soup', made of goose stock, fruit, spices, spirits and goose blood) are served. Sweden_sentence_862

The Sami, one of Sweden's indigenous minorities, have their holiday on 6 February and Scania celebrate their Scanian Flag day on the third Sunday in July. Sweden_sentence_863

Cuisine Sweden_section_41

Main article: Swedish cuisine Sweden_sentence_864

Swedish cuisine, like that of the other Scandinavian countries (Denmark, Norway and Finland), was traditionally simple. Sweden_sentence_865

Fish (particularly herring), meat, potatoes and dairy products played prominent roles. Sweden_sentence_866

Spices were sparse. Sweden_sentence_867

Preparations include Swedish meatballs, traditionally served with gravy, boiled potatoes and lingonberry jam; pancakes; lutfisk; and the smörgåsbord, or lavish buffet. Sweden_sentence_868

Akvavit is a popular alcoholic distilled beverage, and the drinking of snaps is of cultural importance. Sweden_sentence_869

The traditional flat and dry crisp bread has developed into several contemporary variants. Sweden_sentence_870

Regionally important foods are the surströmming (a fermented fish) in northern Sweden and eel in southern Sweden. Sweden_sentence_871

Swedish traditional dishes, some of which are many hundreds of years old, are still an important part of Swedish everyday meals, in spite of the fact that modern-day Swedish cuisine adopts many international dishes. Sweden_sentence_872

In August, at the traditional feast known as crayfish party, kräftskiva, Swedes eat large amounts of crayfish boiled with dill. Sweden_sentence_873

Cinema Sweden_section_42

Main article: Cinema of Sweden Sweden_sentence_874

Swedes have been fairly prominent in the film area through the years. Sweden_sentence_875

A number of Swedish people have found success in Hollywood, including Ingrid Bergman, Greta Garbo and Max von Sydow. Sweden_sentence_876

Amongst several directors who have made internationally successful films can be mentioned Ingmar Bergman, Lukas Moodysson and Lasse Hallström. Sweden_sentence_877

Fashion Sweden_section_43

Interest in fashion is big in Sweden and the country is headquartering famous brands like Hennes & Mauritz (operating as H&M), J. Sweden_sentence_878 Lindeberg (operating as JL), Acne, Lindex, Odd Molly, Cheap Monday, Gant, WESC, Filippa K, and Nakkna within its borders. Sweden_sentence_879

These companies, however, are composed largely of buyers who import fashionable goods from throughout Europe and America, continuing the trend of Swedish business toward multinational economic dependency like many of its neighbours. Sweden_sentence_880

Sports Sweden_section_44

Main article: Sport in Sweden Sweden_sentence_881

Sport activities are a national movement with half of the population actively participating in organised sporting activities. Sweden_sentence_882

The two main spectator sports are football and ice hockey. Sweden_sentence_883

Second to football, horse sports (of which most of the participants are women) have the highest number of practitioners. Sweden_sentence_884

Thereafter, golf, orienteering, gymnastics, track and field, and the team sports of ice hockey, handball, floorball, basketball and bandy are the most popular in terms of practitioners. Sweden_sentence_885

The Swedish national men's ice hockey team, affectionately known as Tre Kronor (English: Three Crowns; the national symbol of Sweden), is regarded as one of the best in the world. Sweden_sentence_886

The team has won the World Championships nine times, placing them third in the all-time medal count. Sweden_sentence_887

Tre Kronor also won Olympic gold medals in 1994 and 2006. Sweden_sentence_888

In 2006, Tre Kronor became the first national hockey team to win both the Olympic and world championships in the same year. Sweden_sentence_889

The Swedish national football team has seen some success at the World Cup in the past, finishing second when they hosted the tournament in 1958, and third twice, in 1950 and 1994. Sweden_sentence_890

Athletics has enjoyed a surge in popularity due to several successful athletes in recent years, such as Carolina Klüft and Stefan Holm. Sweden_sentence_891

Sweden hosted the 1912 Summer Olympics, Equestrian at the 1956 Summer Olympics and the FIFA World Cup in 1958. Sweden_sentence_892

Other big sports events include the UEFA Euro 1992, 1995 FIFA Women's World Cup, 1995 World Championships in Athletics, UEFA Women's Euro 2013, and several championships of ice hockey, curling, athletics, skiing, bandy, figure skating and swimming. Sweden_sentence_893

Successful football players include Gunnar Nordahl, Gunnar Gren, Nils Liedholm, Henrik Larsson, Freddie Ljungberg, Caroline Seger, Lotta Schelin, Hedvig Lindahl, and Zlatan Ibrahimović. Sweden_sentence_894

Successful tennis players include former world number 1 players Björn Borg, Mats Wilander and Stefan Edberg. Sweden_sentence_895

Other famous Swedish athletes include the heavyweight boxing champion and International Boxing Hall of Famer Ingemar Johansson, World Golf Hall of Famer Annika Sörenstam, and multiple World Championships and Olympics medalist in table tennis Jan-Ove Waldner. Sweden_sentence_896

Due to its northerly latitude numerous world class winter sports athletes have come from Sweden. Sweden_sentence_897

This includes alpine skiers Ingemar Stenmark, Anja Pärson and Pernilla Wiberg as well as cross country-skiers Gunde Svan, Thomas Wassberg, Charlotte Kalla and Marcus Hellner, all Olympic gold medalists. Sweden_sentence_898

In 2016, The Swedish Poker Federation (Svepof) has joined The International Federation of Poker (IFP). Sweden_sentence_899

International rankings Sweden_section_45

The following are links to international rankings of Sweden from selected research institutes and foundations including economic output and various composite indices. Sweden_sentence_900


IndexSweden_header_cell_2_0_0 RankSweden_header_cell_2_0_1 Countries reviewedSweden_header_cell_2_0_2
WIN/GIA 2015 End of Year Report, Economic PessimismSweden_cell_2_1_0 4thSweden_cell_2_1_1 68Sweden_cell_2_1_2
Climate Change Performance Index 2018Sweden_cell_2_2_0 4thSweden_cell_2_2_1 60Sweden_cell_2_2_2
Index of Economic Freedom 2018Sweden_cell_2_3_0 15thSweden_cell_2_3_1 180Sweden_cell_2_3_2
Ease of Doing Business Index 2017Sweden_cell_2_4_0 10thSweden_cell_2_4_1 190Sweden_cell_2_4_2
EF English Proficiency Index 2017Sweden_cell_2_5_0 2ndSweden_cell_2_5_1 80Sweden_cell_2_5_2
Logistics Performance Index 2016Sweden_cell_2_6_0 3rdSweden_cell_2_6_1 160Sweden_cell_2_6_2
Inequality adjusted Human Development Index 2019Sweden_cell_2_7_0 8thSweden_cell_2_7_1 189Sweden_cell_2_7_2
Corruption Perceptions Index 2017Sweden_cell_2_8_0 6thSweden_cell_2_8_1 180Sweden_cell_2_8_2
Globalization Index 2015Sweden_cell_2_9_0 4thSweden_cell_2_9_1 207Sweden_cell_2_9_2
Human Development Index 2019Sweden_cell_2_10_0 8thSweden_cell_2_10_1 189Sweden_cell_2_10_2
United Nations World Happiness Report 2018Sweden_cell_2_11_0 9thSweden_cell_2_11_1 156Sweden_cell_2_11_2

See also Sweden_section_46


Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sweden.