Introduction    Sweden Top of Page
A military power during the 17th century, Sweden has not participated in any war in almost two centuries. An armed neutrality was preserved in both World Wars. Sweden's long-successful economic formula of a capitalist system interlarded with substantial welfare elements was challenged in the 1990s by high unemployment and in 2000-02 by the global economic downturn, but fiscal discipline over the past several years has allowed the country to weather economic vagaries. Sweden joined the EU in 1995, but the public rejected the introduction of the euro in a 2003 referendum.
   Geography    Sweden Top of Page
Northern Europe, bordering the Baltic Sea, Gulf of Bothnia, Kattegat, and Skagerrak, between Finland and Norway
Geographic coordinates:
62 00 N, 15 00 E
Map references:
total: 449,964 sq km
land: 410,934 sq km
water: 39,030 sq km
Area - comparative:
slightly larger than California
Land boundaries:
total: 2,233 km
border countries: Finland 614 km, Norway 1,619 km
3,218 km
Maritime claims:
territorial sea: 12 nm (adjustments made to return a portion of straits to high seas)
exclusive economic zone: agreed boundaries or midlines
continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation
temperate in south with cold, cloudy winters and cool, partly cloudy summers; subarctic in north
mostly flat or gently rolling lowlands; mountains in west
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: reclaimed bay of Lake Hammarsjon, near Kristianstad -2.41 m
highest point: Kebnekaise 2,111 m
Natural resources:
iron ore, copper, lead, zinc, gold, silver, tungsten, uranium, arsenic, feldspar, timber, hydropower
Land use:
arable land: 5.93%
permanent crops: 0.01%
other: 94.06% (2005)
Irrigated land:
1,150 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources:
179 cu km (2005)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):
total: 2.68 cu km/yr (37%/54%/9%)
per capita: 296 cu m/yr (2002)
Natural hazards:
ice floes in the surrounding waters, especially in the Gulf of Bothnia, can interfere with maritime traffic
Environment - current issues:
acid rain damage to soils and lakes; pollution of the North Sea and the Baltic Sea
Environment - international agreements:
party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Sulfur 85, Air Pollution-Sulfur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note:
strategic location along Danish Straits linking Baltic and North Seas
   People    Sweden Top of Page
9,059,651 (July 2009 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 15.7% (male 733,597/female 692,194)
15-64 years: 65.5% (male 3,003,358/female 2,927,038)
65 years and over: 18.8% (male 753,293/female 950,171) (2009 est.)
Median age:
total: 41.5 years
male: 40.4 years
female: 42.6 years (2008 est.)
Population growth rate:
0.158% (2009 est.)
Birth rate:
10.15 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Death rate:
10.24 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Net migration rate:
1.66 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2009 est.)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.79 male(s)/female
total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2009 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 2.75 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 2.91 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 2.58 deaths/1,000 live births (2009 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 80.86 years
male: 78.59 years
female: 83.26 years (2009 est.)
Total fertility rate:
1.67 children born/woman (2009 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
0.1% (2007 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
6,200 (2007 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
fewer than 100 (2007 est.)
noun: Swede(s)
adjective: Swedish
Ethnic groups:
indigenous population: Swedes with Finnish and Sami minorities; foreign-born or first-generation immigrants: Finns, Yugoslavs, Danes, Norwegians, Greeks, Turks
Lutheran 87%, other (includes Roman Catholic, Orthodox, Baptist, Muslim, Jewish, and Buddhist) 13%
Swedish, small Sami- and Finnish-speaking minorities
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 99%
male: 99%
female: 99% (2003 est.)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
total: 16 years
male: 15 years
female: 17 years (2006)
Education expenditures:
7.1% of GDP (2005)
   Government    Sweden Top of Page
Country name:
conventional long form: Kingdom of Sweden
conventional short form: Sweden
local long form: Konungariket Sverige
local short form: Sverige
Government type:
constitutional monarchy
name: Stockholm
geographic coordinates: 59 20 N, 18 03 E
time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October
Administrative divisions:
21 counties (lan, singular and plural); Blekinge, Dalarnas, Gavleborgs, Gotlands, Hallands, Jamtlands, Jonkopings, Kalmar, Kronobergs, Norrbottens, Orebro, Ostergotlands, Skane, Sodermanlands, Stockholm, Uppsala, Varmlands, Vasterbottens, Vasternorrlands, Vastmanlands, Vastra Gotalands
6 June 1523 (Gustav VASA elected king)
National holiday:
Swedish Flag Day, 6 June (1916); National Day, 6 June (1983)
1 January 1975
Legal system:
civil law system influenced by customary law; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
chief of state: King CARL XVI GUSTAF (since 19 September 1973); Heir Apparent Princess VICTORIA Ingrid Alice Desiree, daughter of the monarch (born 14 July 1977)
head of government: Prime Minister Fredrik REINFELDT (since 5 October 2006)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the prime minister
elections: the monarchy is hereditary; following legislative elections, the prime minister is elected by the parliament; election last held on 17 September 2006 (next to be held in September 2010)
election results: Center-right coalition of Moderate, Center, Liberal, and Christian Democrats parties win 175 out of 349 votes; Fredrik REINFELDT becomes prime minister
Legislative branch:
unicameral Parliament or Riksdag (349 seats; members are elected by popular vote on a proportional representation basis to serve four-year terms)
elections: last held on 17 September 2006 (next to be held in September 2010)
election results: percent of vote by party - Social Democrats 37.2%, Moderates 27.8%, Center Party 8.3%, Liberal People's Party 8.0%, Christian Democrats 6.9%, Left Party 6.3%, Greens 5.4%; seats by party - Social Democrats 130, Moderates 97, Center Party 29, Liberal People's Party 28, Christian Democrats 24, Left Party 22, Greens 19
Judicial branch:
Supreme Court or Hogsta Domstolen (judges are appointed by the prime minister and the cabinet)
Political parties and leaders:
Center Party [Maud OLOFSSON]; Christian Democratic Party [Goran HAGGLUND]; Environment Party the Greens [no formal leader but party spokespersons are Maria WETTERSTRAND and Peter ERIKSSON]; Left Party or V (formerly Communist) [Lars OHLY]; Liberal People's Party [Jan BJORKLUND]; Moderate Party (conservative) [Fredrik REINFELDT]; Social Democratic Party [Mona SAHLIN]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Children's Rights in Society; Central Association of Salarited Emplyees or TCO; Swedish Federation of Trade Unions or LO
other: media
International organization participation:
ADB (nonregional members), AfDB (nonregional members), Arctic Council, Australia Group, BIS, CBSS, CE, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, EIB, ESA, EU, FAO, G-9, G-10, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, MINURCAT, MONUC, NAM (guest), NC, NEA, NIB, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OPCW, OSCE, Paris Club, PCA, PFP, Schengen Convention, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNMIL, UNMIS, UNMOGIP, UNOMIG, UNRWA, UNTSO, UPU, WCO, WEU (observer), WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC
Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Jonas HAFSTROM
chancery: 2900 K Street NW, Washington, DC 20007
telephone: [1] (202) 467-2600
FAX: [1] (202) 467-2699
consulate(s) general: Chicago, Los Angeles, New York
Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires, Robert J. SILVERMAN
embassy: Dag Hammarskjolds Vag 31, SE-11589 Stockholm
mailing address: American Embassy Stockholm, US Department of State, 5750 Stockholm Place, Washington, DC 20521-5750
telephone: [46] (08) 783 53 00
FAX: [46] (08) 661 19 64
Flag description:
blue with a golden yellow cross extending to the edges of the flag; the vertical part of the cross is shifted to the hoist side in the style of the Dannebrog (Danish flag)
   Economy    Sweden Top of Page
Economy - overview:
Aided by peace and neutrality for the whole of the 20th century, Sweden has achieved an enviable standard of living under a mixed system of high-tech capitalism and extensive welfare benefits. It has a modern distribution system, excellent internal and external communications, and a skilled labor force. In September 2003, Swedish voters turned down entry into the euro system concerned about the impact on the economy and sovereignty. Timber, hydropower, and iron ore constitute the resource base of an economy heavily oriented toward foreign trade. Privately owned firms account for about 90% of industrial output, of which the engineering sector accounts for 50% of output and exports. Agriculture accounts for only 1% of GDP and 2% of employment. Until 2008, Sweden was in the midst of a sustained economic upswing, boosted by increased domestic demand and strong exports. This and robust finances offered the center-right government considerable scope to implement its reform program aimed at increasing employment, reducing welfare dependence, and streamlining the state's role in the economy. Despite strong finances and underlying fundamentals, the Swedish economy slid into recession in the third quarter of 2008 and growth continued downward in the fourth as deteriorating global conditions reduced export demand and consumption. On 3 February 2009, the Swedish Government announced a $6 billon rescue package for the banking sector.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
$348.6 billion (2008 est.)
$346.2 billion (2007)
$337.1 billion (2006)
GDP (official exchange rate):
$512.9 billion (2008 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
0.7% (2008 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP):
$38,500 (2008 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 1.5%
industry: 28.9%
services: 69.6% (2008 est.)
Labor force:
4.9 million (2008 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture: 1.1%
industry: 28.2%
services: 70.7% (2008 est.)
Unemployment rate:
6.4% (2008 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 3.6%
highest 10%: 22.2% (2000)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
23 (2005)
Investment (gross fixed):
19.6% of GDP (2008 est.)
revenues: $270.5 billion
expenditures: $258.6 billion (2008 est.)
Public debt:
36.5% of GDP (2008 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
1.6% (November 2008 est.)
Central bank discount rate:
3.5% (31 December 2007)
Commercial bank prime lending rate:
4% (2004)
Stock of money:
$217.1 billion (31 December 2007)
Stock of quasi money:
$48.49 billion (31 December 2007)
Stock of domestic credit:
$630.8 billion (31 December 2007)
Market value of publicly traded shares:
$612.5 billion (31 December 2007)
Agriculture - products:
barley, wheat, sugar beets; meat, milk
iron and steel, precision equipment (bearings, radio and telephone parts, armaments), wood pulp and paper products, processed foods, motor vehicles
Industrial production growth rate:
1.1% (2008 est.)
Electricity - production:
143.8 billion kWh (2007 est.)
Electricity - consumption:
133.6 billion kWh (2006 est.)
Electricity - exports:
14.74 billion kWh (2007)
Electricity - imports:
16.61 billion kWh (2007 est.)
Oil - production:
2,350 bbl/day (2007 est.)
Oil - consumption:
353,700 bbl/day (2007 est.)
Oil - exports:
219,200 bbl/day (2005)
Oil - imports:
581,000 bbl/day (2005)
Oil - proved reserves:
0 bbl (1 January 2006 est.)
Natural gas - production:
0 cu m (2007 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:
1.006 billion cu m (2007 est.)
Natural gas - exports:
0 cu m (2007 est.)
Natural gas - imports:
1.006 billion cu m (2007 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves:
0 cu m (1 January 2006 est.)
Current account balance:
$35.22 billion (2008 est.)
$185.1 billion f.o.b. (2008 est.)
Exports - commodities:
machinery 35%, motor vehicles, paper products, pulp and wood, iron and steel products, chemicals
Exports - partners:
Germany 10.4%, Norway 9.4%, US 7.6%, Denmark 7.4%, UK 7.1%, Finland 6.4%, Netherlands 5.1%, France 5%, Belgium 4.6% (2007)
$166.6 billion f.o.b. (2008 est.)
Imports - commodities:
machinery, petroleum and petroleum products, chemicals, motor vehicles, iron and steel; foodstuffs, clothing
Imports - partners:
Germany 18.4%, Denmark 9.2%, Norway 8.3%, UK 6.8%, Finland 6.1%, Netherlands 5.8%, France 5%, China 4.3%, Belgium 4.1% (2007)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$31.04 billion (2006 est.)
Debt - external:
$598.2 billion (30 June 2006)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:
$225.9 billion (2008 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:
$289.6 billion (2008 est.)
Exchange rates:
Swedish kronor (SEK) per US dollar - 6.4074 (2008 est.), 6.7629 (2007), 7.3731 (2006), 7.4731 (2005), 7.3489 (2004)
   Communications    Sweden Top of Page
Telephones - main lines in use:
5.506 million (2007)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
10.371 million (2007)
Telephone system:
general assessment: highly developed telecommunications infrastructure; ranked among leading countries for fixed-line, mobile-cellular, Internet and broadband penetration
domestic: coaxial and multiconductor cables carry most of the voice traffic; parallel microwave radio relay systems carry some additional telephone channels
international: country code - 46; submarine cables provide links to other Nordic countries and Europe; satellite earth stations - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean), 1 Eutelsat, and 1 Inmarsat (Atlantic and Indian Ocean regions); note - Sweden shares the Inmarsat earth station with the other Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, and Norway)
Radio broadcast stations:
AM 1, FM 124, shortwave 0 (2008)
Television broadcast stations:
252 (2008)
Internet country code:
Internet hosts:
3.579 million (2008)
Internet users:
7 million (2007)
   Transportation    Sweden Top of Page
250 (2007)
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 152
over 3,047 m: 3
2,438 to 3,047 m: 12
1,524 to 2,437 m: 75
914 to 1,523 m: 24
under 914 m: 38 (2007)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 98
914 to 1,523 m: 6
under 914 m: 92 (2007)
2 (2007)
gas 786 km (2008)
total: 11,528 km
standard gauge: 11,528 km 1.435-m gauge (7,527 km electrified) (2006)
total: 425,300 km
paved: 139,300 km (includes 1,740 km of expressways)
unpaved: 286,000 km (2008)
2,052 km (2007)
Merchant marine:
total: 195
by type: bulk carrier 6, cargo 23, carrier 1, chemical tanker 45, passenger 4, passenger/cargo 36, petroleum tanker 15, roll on/roll off 37, specialized tanker 3, vehicle carrier 25
foreign-owned: 41 (Denmark 4, Estonia 2, Finland 12, Germany 5, Italy 9, Norway 7, UK 2)
registered in other countries: 207 (Antigua and Barbuda 1, Bahamas 4, Barbados 7, Bermuda 20, Cook Islands 8, Cyprus 2, Denmark 6, Finland 2, France 9, Germany 1, Gibraltar 13, Isle of Man 1, Italy 1, Liberia 10, Malaysia 3, Malta 2, Marshall Islands 1, Netherlands 28, Netherlands Antilles 1, Norway 34, Panama 6, Portugal 3, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 2, Singapore 20, UK 17, US 5) (2008)
Ports and terminals:
Brofjorden, Goteborg, Helsingborg, Lulea, Malmo, Stenungsund, Stockholm, Trelleborg, Visby
   Military    Sweden Top of Page
Military branches:
Swedish Armed Forces (Forsvarsmakten): Army (Armen), Royal Swedish Navy (Marinen), Swedish Air Force (Svenska Flygvapnet) (2008)
Military service age and obligation:
19 years of age for compulsory military service; conscript service obligation: 7-15 months (Navy), 8-12 months (Air Force); after completing initial service, soldiers have a reserve commitment until age 47 (2006)
Manpower available for military service:
males age 16-49: 2,052,890
females age 16-49: 1,980,550 (2008 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:
males age 16-49: 1,705,746
females age 16-49: 1,645,070 (2009 est.)
Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:
male: 62,262
female: 59,340 (2009 est.)
Military expenditures:
1.5% of GDP (2005 est.)
   Transnational Issues    Sweden Top of Page
Disputes - international:

This page was last updated on 9 April 2009


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