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Sweden Country Guide

Explore Sweden in Europe

Sweden with the capital city Stockholm is located in Europe (Northern Europe, bordering the Baltic Sea). It covers some 449,965 square kilometres (slightly larger than California) with 9,045,000 citizens.

Interactive map of Sweden

The landscape offers mostly flat or gently rolling lowlands and mountains in west. The average density of population is approximately 20 per km². The notable climate conditions in Sweden can be described as temperate in south with cold, cloudy winters and cool, partly cloudy summers with subarctic in north. Potential threats by nature are ice floes in the surrounding waters, especially in the Gulf of Bothnia, can interfere with maritime traffic.

To reach someone in Sweden dial +46 prior to a number. There are 5,146,000 installed telephones. And there are 11,426,000 registered mobile phones. The cellular networks commonly support frequencies of 900, 1800 MHz and 3G. Websites registered in this country end with the top level domain ".se". If you want to bring electric equipment on your trip (e.g. laptop power supply), note the local power outlet of 230V - 50Hz.

About the flag and history of Sweden

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.

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 Quick-Facts

Summary Continent: Europe
Neighbours: Norway, Finland
Capital: Stockholm
Size 449,964 square kilometers (km² or sqkm) or 173,732 square miles (mi² or sqmi)
slightly larger than California
Population 9,045,000
Currency Name: Krona, Currency Code: SEK
Country Top Level Domain (cTLD) .se
Telephone Country Prefix +46
Mobile Phone Connections 11,426,000
Landline Phone Connections 5,146,000

Country Position in World Rankings

Information about single country attributes and how these compare against the rest of the world. The information below is compiled with data from 2013. As such, it may differ a bit to the Information above in the text (which is from 2010).


Value name Value World Rank
Area 450,295 (sq km) 56

People and Society

Value name Value World Rank
Population 9,119,423 92
Population growth rate 0.18 (%) 178
Birth rate 10.33 (births/1,000 population) 186
Death rate 10.22 (deaths/1,000 population) 47
Net migration rate 1.64 (migrant(s)/1,000 population) 48
Maternal mortality rate 4.00 (deaths/100,000 live births) 178
Infant mortality rate 2.73 (deaths/1,000 live births) 220
Life expectancy at birth 81.28 (years) 17
Total fertility rate 1.67 (children born/woman) 173
Health expenditures 9.60 (% of GDP) 31
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate 0.10 (%) 160
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS 8,100 107
HIV/AIDS - deaths 100 115
Obesity - adult prevalence rate 18.60 (%) 104
Education expenditures 7.30 (% of GDP) 20
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24 22.9 (%) 45


Value name Value World Rank
GDP (purchasing power parity) 399,400,000,000 35
GDP - real growth rate 1.20 (%) 157
GDP - per capita (PPP) 41,900 26
Labor force 5,032,000 76
Unemployment rate 7.50 (%) 84
Distribution of family income - Gini index 23 136
Investment (gross fixed) 18.20 (% of GDP) 117
Taxes and other revenues 54.7 (% of GDP) 13
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) -0.30 (% of GDP) 49
Public debt 38.60 (% of GDP) 95
Inflation rate (consumer prices) 1.40 (%) 22
Central bank discount rate 0.50 (%) 137
Commercial bank prime lending rate 4.28 (%) 167
Stock of narrow money 243,000,000,000 17
Stock of broad money 440,200,000,000 24
Stock of domestic credit 803,300,000,000 19
Market value of publicly traded shares 581,200,000,000 20
Industrial production growth rate 6.80 (%) 43
Current account balance 37,560,000,000 13
Exports 177,600,000,000 29
Imports 166,400,000,000 30
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold 50,350,000,000 37
Debt - external 1,034,000,000,000 18
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home 356,500,000,000 17
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad 385,400,000,000 16


Value name Value World Rank
Electricity - production 147,800,000,000 (kWh) 27
Electricity - consumption 127,100,000,000 (kWh) 27
Electricity - exports 12,850,000,000 (kWh) 14
Electricity - imports 14,930,000,000 (kWh) 13
Electricity - installed generating capacity 35290000 (kW) 25
Electricity - from fossil fuels 12.5 (% of total installed capacity) 194
Electricity - from nuclear fuels 25.0 (% of total installed capacity) 6
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants 46.9 (% of total installed capacity) 45
Electricity - from other renewable sources 15.2 (% of total installed capacity) 11
Crude oil - imports 380,100 (bbl/day) 24
Refined petroleum products - production 413,300 (bbl/day) 37
Refined petroleum products - consumption 316,000 (bbl/day) 42
Refined petroleum products - exports 243,200 (bbl/day) 27
Refined petroleum products - imports 166,000 (bbl/day) 33
Natural gas - consumption 1,296,000,000 (cu m) 86
Natural gas - imports 1,296,000,000 (cu m) 54
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy 62,740,000 (Mt) 54


Value name Value World Rank
Telephones - main lines in use 4,600,000 35
Telephones - mobile cellular 11,194,000 69
Internet hosts 5,978,000 19
Internet users 8,398,000 33


Value name Value World Rank
Airports 230 26
Railways 11,633 (km) 20
Roadways 572,900 (km) 12
Waterways 2,052 (km) 41
Merchant marine 135 42


Value name Value World Rank
Military expenditures 1.50 (% of GDP) 100

Data based on CIA facts book 2010 & 2013, wikipedia, national statistical offices and their census releases

List of current world heritage sites

Name Since
Agricultural Landscape of Southern Öland
The southern part of the island of Öland in the Baltic Sea is dominated by a vast limestone plateau. Human beings have lived here for some five thousand years and adapted their way of life to the physical constraints of the island. As a consequence, ...
Birka and Hovgården
The Birka archaeological site is located on Björkö Island in Lake Mälar and was occupied in the 9th and 10th centuries. Hovgården is situated on the neighbouring island of Adelsö. Together, they make up an archaeological complex which illustrate ...
Church Town of Gammelstad, Luleå
Gammelstad, at the head of the Gulf of Bothnia, is the best-preserved example of a 'church village', a unique kind of village formerly found throughout northern Scandinavia. The 424 wooden houses, huddled round the early 15th-century stone church, we ...
Decorated Farmhouses of Hälsingland
Seven timber houses are listed in this site located in the east of Sweden, representing the zenith of a regional timber building tradition that dates back to the Middle Ages. They reflect the prosperity of independent farmers who in the 19th century ...
Engelsberg Ironworks
Sweden's production of superior grades of iron made it a leader in this field in the 17th and 18th centuries. This site is the best-preserved and most complete example of this type of Swedish ironworks. ...
Grimeton Radio Station, Varberg
The Varberg Radio Station at Grimeton in southern Sweden (built 1922–24) is an exceptionally well-preserved monument to early wireless transatlantic communication. It consists of the transmitter equipment, including the aerial system of six 127-m h ...
Hanseatic Town of Visby
A former Viking site on the island of Gotland, Visby was the main centre of the Hanseatic League in the Baltic from the 12th to the 14th century. Its 13th-century ramparts and more than 200 warehouses and wealthy merchants' dwellings from the same pe ...
Laponian Area
The Arctic Circle region of northern Sweden is the home of the Saami, or Lapp people. It is the largest area in the world (and one of the last) with an ancestral way of life based on the seasonal movement of livestock. Every summer, the Saami lead th ...
Mining Area of the Great Copper Mountain in Falun
The enormous mining excavation known as the Great Pit at Falun is the most striking feature of a landscape that illustrates the activity of copper production in this region since at least the 13th century. The 17th-century planned town of Falun with ...
Naval Port of Karlskrona
Karlskrona is an outstanding example of a late-17th-century European planned naval city. The original plan and many of the buildings have survived intact, along with installations that illustrate its subsequent development up to the present day. ...
Rock Carvings in Tanum
The rock carvings in Tanum, in the north of Bohuslän, are a unique artistic achievement not only for their rich and varied motifs (depictions of humans and animals, weapons, boats and other subjects) but also for their cultural and chronological uni ...
Royal Domain of Drottningholm
The Royal Domain of Drottningholm stands on an island in Lake Mälar in a suburb of Stockholm. With its castle, perfectly preserved theatre (built in 1766), Chinese pavilion and gardens, it is the finest example of an 18th-century north European roya ...
This Stockholm cemetery was created between 1917 and 1920 by two young architects, Asplund and Lewerentz, on the site of former gravel pits overgrown with pine trees. The design blends vegetation and architectural elements, taking advantage of irregu ...