Europe :: Sweden

Introduction ::Sweden

    A military power during the 17th century, Sweden has not participated in any war for 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 and 2009 by the global economic downturns, 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

    Northern Europe, bordering the Baltic Sea, Gulf of Bothnia, Kattegat, and Skagerrak, between Finland and Norway
    62 00 N, 15 00 E
    total: 450,295 sq km
    country comparison to the world: 56
    land: 410,335 sq km
    water: 39,960 sq km
    slightly larger than California
    total: 2,233 km
    border countries: Finland 614 km, Norway 1,619 km
    3,218 km
    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
    lowest point: reclaimed bay of Lake Hammarsjon, near Kristianstad -2.4 m
    highest point: Kebnekaise 2,111 m
    iron ore, copper, lead, zinc, gold, silver, tungsten, uranium, arsenic, feldspar, timber, hydropower
    arable land: 5.8%
    permanent crops: 0.02%
    other: 94.18% (2011)
    1,597 sq km (2007)
    174 cu km (2011)
    total: 2.62 cu km/yr (37%/59%/4%)
    per capita: 285.6 cu m/yr (2007)
    ice floes in the surrounding waters, especially in the Gulf of Bothnia, can interfere with maritime traffic
    acid rain damage to soils and lakes; pollution of the North Sea and the Baltic Sea
    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
    strategic location along Danish Straits linking Baltic and North Seas

People and Society ::Sweden

Government ::Sweden

    conventional long form: Kingdom of Sweden
    conventional short form: Sweden
    local long form: Konungariket Sverige
    local short form: Sverige
    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
    21 counties (lan, singular and plural); Blekinge, Dalarna, Gavleborg, Gotland, Halland, Jamtland, Jonkoping, Kalmar, Kronoberg, Norrbotten, Orebro, Ostergotland, Skane, Sodermanland, Stockholm, Uppsala, Varmland, Vasterbotten, Vasternorrland, Vastmanland, Vastra Gotaland
    6 June 1523 (Gustav VASA elected king)
    National Day, 6 June (1983); note - from 1916 to 1982 this date was celebrated as Swedish Flag Day
    1 January 1975
    civil law system influenced by Roman-Germanic law and customary law
    accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
    18 years of age; universal
    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); Deputy Prime Minister Jan BJORKLUND (since 5 October 2010)
    cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the prime minister
    (For more information visit the World Leaders website Opens in New Window)
    elections: the monarchy is hereditary; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or the leader of the majority coalition usually becomes the prime minister
    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 19 September 2010 (next to be held in September 2014)
    election results: percent of vote by party - SAP 30.7%, Moderate Party 30.1%, Green Party 7.3%, FP 7.1%, C 6.6%, SD 5.7%, KD 5.6%, V 5.6%, others 1.3%; seats by party - SAP 112, Moderate Party 107, Green Party 25, FP 24, C 23, SD 20, KD 19, V 19
    highest court(s): Supreme Court of Sweden (consists of 16 justices including the court chairman; Supreme Administrative Court (consists of 18 justices including the court president)
    judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court and Supreme Administrative Court justices nominated by the Board of Judges, a 9-member nominating body consisting of high-level judges, prosecutors, and members of Parliament; justices appointed by the Government; following a probationary period, justices' appointments are permanent
    subordinate courts: first instance and appellate general and administrative courts; specialized courts that handle cases such as land and environment, immigration, labor, markets, and patents
    Center Party (Centerpartiet) or C [Annie LOOF]
    Christian Democrats (Kristdemokraterna) or KD [Goran HAGGLUND]
    Green Party (Miljopartiet de Grona); [spokespersons Asa ROMSON and Gustav FRIDOLIN]
    Left Party (Vansterpartiet) (formerly Communist Party) or V [Jonas SJOSTEDT]
    Liberal People's Party (Folkpartiet) or FP [Jan BJORKLUND]
    Moderate Party (Moderaterna) [Fredrik REINFELDT]
    Social Democratic Party (Socialdemokraterna) or SAP [Stefan LOFVEN]
    Sweden Democrats (Sverigedemokraterna) or SD [Jimmie AKESSON]
    Children's Rights in Society
    Swedish Confederation of Professional Employees or TCO
    Swedish Trade Union Confederation (Landsorganisationen) or LO [Wanja LUNDBY-WEDIN]
    other: environmental groups; media
    ADB (nonregional member), AfDB (nonregional member), Arctic Council, Australia Group, BIS, CBSS, CD, CE, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, EIB, EITI (implementing country), ESA, EU, FAO, FATF, G-9, G-10, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IGAD (partners), IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, MONUSCO, NC, NEA, NIB, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OPCW, OSCE, Paris Club, PCA, PFP, Schengen Convention, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNISFA, UNMISS, UNMOGIP, UNRWA, UNTSO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC
    chief of mission: Ambassador Jonas HAFSTROM
    chancery: The House of Sweden, 2900 K Street NW, Washington, DC 20007
    telephone: [1] (202) 467-2600
    FAX: [1] (202) 467-2699
    consulate(s) general: New York
    chief of mission: Ambassador Mark BRZEZINSKI
    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
    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); the colors reflect those of the Swedish coat of arms - three gold crowns on a blue field
    three crowns; lion
    name: "Du Gamla, Du Fria" (Thou Ancient, Thou Free)

    lyrics/music: Richard DYBECK/traditional
    note: in use since 1844; the anthem, also known as "Sang till Norden" (Song of the North), is based on a Swedish folk tune; it has never been officially adopted by the government; "Kungssangen" (The King's Song) serves as the royal anthem and is played in the presence of the royal family and during certain state ceremonies

Economy ::Sweden

    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 highly 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 vast majority of industrial output, of which the engineering sector accounts for about 50% of output and exports. Agriculture accounts for little more than 1% of GDP and 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 the contraction continued in 2009 as deteriorating global conditions reduced export demand and consumption. Strong exports of commodities and a return to profitability by Sweden's banking sector drove the strong rebound in 2010, which continued in 2011, but growth slipped to 1.2% in 2012. The government proposed stimulus measures in 2012 to curb the effects of a global economic slowdown and boost employment and growth.
    $399.4 billion (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 35
    $394.7 billion (2011 est.)
    $380.4 billion (2010 est.)
    note: data are in 2012 US dollars
    $526.2 billion (2012 est.)
    1.2% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 159
    3.8% (2011 est.)
    6.3% (2010 est.)
    $41,900 (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 26
    $41,600 (2011 est.)
    $40,400 (2010 est.)
    note: data are in 2012 US dollars
    26.8% of GDP (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 36
    27.3% of GDP (2011 est.)
    25.8% of GDP (2010 est.)
    household consumption: 48.4%
    government consumption: 26.9%
    investment in fixed capital: 18.9%
    investment in inventories: -0.3%
    exports of goods and services: 48.8%
    imports of goods and services: -42.6%
    (2012 est.)
    agriculture: 1.8%
    industry: 27.4%
    services: 70.8% (2012 est.)
    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
    1.6% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 108
    5.058 million (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 75
    agriculture: 1.1%
    industry: 28.2%
    services: 70.7% (2008 est.)
    8% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 93
    7.5% (2011 est.)
    lowest 10%: 3.6%
    highest 10%: 22.2% (2000)
    23 (2005)
    country comparison to the world: 136
    25 (1992)
    revenues: $270 billion
    expenditures: $271.5 billion (2012 est.)
    51.3% of GDP (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 13
    -0.3% of GDP (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 52
    38.2% of GDP (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 91
    38.4% of GDP (2011 est.)
    note: data cover general government debt, and includes debt instruments issued (or owned) by government entities other than the treasury; the data include treasury debt held by foreign entities; the data include debt issued by subnational entities, as well as intra-governmental debt; intra-governmental debt consists of treasury borrowings from surpluses in the social funds, such as for retirement, medical care, and unemployment; debt instruments for the social funds are not sold at public auctions
    calendar year
    0.9% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 13
    3% (2011 est.)
    5.5% (31 December 2010 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 137
    0.5% (31 December 2009 est.)
    3.57% (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 167
    4.28% (31 December 2011 est.)
    $260.1 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 17
    $232.6 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    $440.2 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 24
    $422.6 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
    $792.5 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 18
    $725.2 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    $470.1 billion (31 December 2011)
    country comparison to the world: 20
    $581.2 billion (31 December 2010)
    $432.3 billion (31 December 2009)
    $37.56 billion (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 13
    $37.73 billion (2011 est.)
    $178.5 billion (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 29
    $189.1 billion (2011 est.)
    machinery 35%, motor vehicles, paper products, pulp and wood, iron and steel products, chemicals
    Norway 10.4%, Germany 10.3%, UK 8.1%, Denmark 6.7%, Finland 6.7%, Netherlands 5.5%, US 5.5%, Belgium 5%, France 4.8% (2012)
    $163.6 billion (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 29
    $174.3 billion (2011 est.)
    machinery, petroleum and petroleum products, chemicals, motor vehicles, iron and steel; foodstuffs, clothing
    Germany 17.4%, Denmark 8.5%, Norway 8.4%, UK 6.5%, Netherlands 6.4%, Russia 5.6%, Finland 5.1%, China 4.9%, France 4.2% (2012)
    $52.23 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 35
    $50.35 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    $1.034 trillion (31 December 2012)
    country comparison to the world: 18
    $992.5 billion (31 December 2011)
    $488.2 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 15
    $474.5 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    $540.6 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 13
    $507.1 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    Swedish kronor (SEK) per US dollar -
    6.77 (2012 est.)
    6.4918 (2011 est.)
    7.2075 (2010 est.)
    7.6529 (2009)
    6.4074 (2008)

Energy ::Sweden

Communications ::Sweden

    4.6 million (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 35
    11.194 million (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 69
    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) (2011)
    publicly owned TV broadcaster operates 2 terrestrial networks plus regional stations; multiple privately owned TV broadcasters operating nationally, regionally, and locally; about 50 local TV stations; widespread access to pan-Nordic and international broadcasters through multi-channel cable and satellite TV; publicly owned radio broadcaster operates 3 national stations and a network of 25 regional channels; roughly 100 privately owned local radio stations with some consolidating into near national networks; an estimated 900 community and neighborhood radio stations broadcast intermittently (2008)
    5.978 million (2010)
    country comparison to the world: 19
    8.398 million (2009)
    country comparison to the world: 33

Transportation ::Sweden

    231 (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 25
    total: 149
    over 3,047 m: 3
    2,438 to 3,047 m: 12
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 75
    914 to 1,523 m: 22
    under 914 m: 37 (2013)
    total: 82
    914 to 1,523 m: 5
    under 914 m:
    77 (2013)
    2 (2013)
    gas 1,626 km (2013)
    total: 11,633 km
    country comparison to the world: 20
    standard gauge: 11,568 km 1.435-m gauge (7,567 km electrified)
    narrow gauge: 65 km 1.000-m gauge (65 km electrified) (2008)
    total: 572,900 km (includes 1,855 km of expressways)
    country comparison to the world: 12
    note: includes 98,400 km of state roads, 433,500 km of private roads, and 41,000 km of municipal roads; 215,700 km of these are open to public traffic (2009)
    2,052 km (2010)
    country comparison to the world: 41
    total: 135
    country comparison to the world: 42
    by type: bulk carrier 4, cargo 16, carrier 1, chemical tanker 15, passenger 5, passenger/cargo 36, petroleum tanker 11, roll on/roll off 30, vehicle carrier 17
    foreign-owned: 35 (Denmark 4, Estonia 3, Finland 16, Germany 3, Ireland 1, Italy 5, Norway 3)
    registered in other countries: 189 (Bahamas 11, Barbados 4, Bermuda 14, Canada 2, Cook Islands 3, Cyprus 5, Denmark 15, Faroe Islands 11, Finland 1, France 4, Gibraltar 11, Italy 1, Liberia 12, Malta 1, Marshall Islands 1, Netherlands 12, Norway 27, Panama 2, Portugal 3, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 10, Singapore 11, UK 28) (2010)
    Brofjorden, Goteborg, Helsingborg, Karlshamn, Lulea, Malmo, Stockholm, Trelleborg, Visby

Military ::Sweden

Transnational Issues ::Sweden