Sweden Travel Information

Mother Earth Travel > Country Index > Sweden > Map Economy History

Sweden's National Parks 
WWF Sweden The World Wide Fund For Nature in Sweden.

Facts About Sweden

Background: 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 has recently been undermined by high unemployment, rising maintenance costs, and a declining position in world markets. Indecision over the country's role in the political and economic integration of Europe caused Sweden not to join the EU until 1995, and to forgo the introduction of the euro in 1999.
Government type: constitutional monarchy
Capital: Stockholm
Currency: 1 Swedish krona (SKr) = 100 oere

Geography of Sweden

Location: Northern Europe, bordering the Baltic Sea, Gulf of Bothnia, Kattegat, and Skagerrak, between Finland and Norway
Geographic coordinates: 62 00 N, 15 00 E
total: 449,964 sq km
land: 410,934 sq km
water: 39,030 sq km
Land boundaries:
total: 2,205 km
border countries: Finland 586 km, Norway 1,619 km
Coastline: 3,218 km
Maritime claims:
continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation
exclusive economic zone: agreed boundaries or midlines
territorial sea: 12 nm (adjustments made to return a portion of straits to high seas)
Climate: temperate in south with cold, cloudy winters and cool, partly cloudy summers; subarctic in north
Terrain: mostly flat or gently rolling lowlands; mountains in west
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Baltic Sea 0 m
highest point: Kebnekaise 2,111 m
Natural resources: zinc, iron ore, lead, copper, silver, timber, uranium, hydropower
Land use:
arable land: 7%
permanent crops: 0%
permanent pastures: 1%
forests and woodland: 68%
other: 24% (1993 est.)
Irrigated land: 1,150 sq km (1993 est.)
Natural hazards: ice floes in the surrounding waters, especially in the Gulf of Bothnia, can interfere with maritime traffic
Environment - current issues: acid rain damaging 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-Sulphur 85, Air Pollution-Sulphur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified:  Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol
Geography - note: strategic location along Danish Straits linking Baltic and North Seas

People of Sweden

Sweden has one of the world's highest life expectancies and one of the lowest birth rates. The country's largest ethnic and linguistic minorities include 15,000 Lapps and 50,000 indigenous Finnish speakers in the north as well as 960,000 immigrants mainly from the Nordic countries, but also from Asia, Africa, South America, and the rest of Europe. More than 1 million people, one-eighth of the population, are either foreign born or the children of immigrants.

Swedish is a Germanic language related to Danish and Norwegian but different in pronunciation and orthography. English is by far the leading foreign language, particularly among students and those under age 50.

Sweden has an extensive child-care system that guarantees a place for all young children from 2-6 years old in a public day-care facility. From ages 7-16, children attend compulsory comprehensive school. After completing the ninth grade, 90% attend upper secondary school for either academic or technical education.

Swedes benefit from an extensive social welfare system that provides for childcare and maternity and paternity leave, a ceiling on health care costs, old-age pensions, and sick leave among other benefits. Parents are entitled to a total of 12 months' paid leave between birth and the child's eighth birthday, with one of those months reserved specifically for the father. A ceiling on health care costs makes it easier for Swedish workers to take time off for medical reasons.

Population: 9,001,774 (July 2005 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years:  18.19% 
15-64 years:  64.53% 
65 years and over:  17.28%
Population growth rate: 0.02% 
Birth rate: 9.91 births/1,000 population 
Death rate: 10.61 deaths/1,000 population 
Net migration rate: 0.91 migrant(s)/1,000 population 
Infant mortality rate: 3.47 deaths/1,000 live births 
Life expectancy at birth:
total population:  79.71 years
male:  77.07 years
female:  82.5 years 
Total fertility rate: 1.53 children born/woman 
noun: Swede(s)
adjective: Swedish
Ethnic groups: indigenous population: Swedes and Finnish and Sami minorities; foreign-born or first-generation immigrants: Finns, Yugoslavs, Danes, Norwegians, Greeks, Turks
Religions: Lutheran 87%, Roman Catholic, Orthodox, Baptist, Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist
Languages: Swedish
note: small Lapp- and Finnish-speaking minorities
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 99% (1979 est.)

SOURCES: The World Factbook, U.S. Department of State

Mother Earth Travel > Country Index > Sweden > Map Economy History