Sweden's National Parks
WWF Sweden The World Wide Fund For Nature in 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
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
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.)
SOURCES: The World Factbook, U.S. Department of State
Mother Earth Travel > Country Index > Sweden > Map Economy History