OFFICIAL NAME: Kingdom of Sweden
CAPITAL: Stockholm
SYSTEM OF GOVERNMENT: Constitutional Monarchy
AREA: 449,964 Sq Km (173,732 Sq Mi)
ESTIMATED 2000 POPULATION: 8,891,500


Direct Link to Political MapDirect Link to Physical MapLOCATION & GEOGRAPHY: Sweden is located on the east side of the Scandinavian Peninsula in North Europe. It is bound by Finland, the Gulf of Bothnia and the Baltic Sea to the east, Kattegat to the southwest and Norway to the west and northwest. The country is divided into four topographical regions. (1.) The Norrland or Baltic Slope which accounts for 60% of the land area and consists of rolling hills, forested mountains and large river valleys. (2.) Central Sweden which has a faulted terrain with many lakes. (3.) The wooded highlands of Smaland in the south. (4.) Scania or Skane which is the southern most part of the country and is a continuation of the Danish and North German Plains. The territory also includes the coastal islands of Gotland and Oland while around 9% of the land area is accounted for by inland lakes, of which the Vanern, Vattern, Hjalmaren and Malaren are the largest. Major Cities (pop. est.); Stockholm 703,600, Goteborg 444,600, Malmo 242,700, Uppsala 181,200, Linkoping 130,500 (1995). Land Use; forested 68%, pastures 1.5%, agricultural-cultivated 6.5%, other 24% (1993).


CLIMATE: Sweden has a typically continental climate with a moderate to large range in temperatures between summer and winter. Most of the Norrland has a long winter of seven months with cold temperatures and a hot summer of less than three months while Skane in the south has a cold winter of two months and a summer of more than four months. Average annual precipitation is heaviest in the southwest at 580 mm (23 inches) while the average for Lapland in the northwest is only 300 mm (12 inches) and most rainfall north of Stockholm is snow. Average temperature ranges in Stockholm are from -5 to -1 degrees Celsius (23 to 30 degrees Fahrenheit) in February to 4 to 22 degrees Celsius (57 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit) in July.


PEOPLE: Almost the entire population are Swedish of Teutonic origin except for two small minorities, the Sami or Lapps and the Finnish speaking people of the northeast.


DEMOGRAPHIC/VITAL STATISTICS: Density; 21 persons per sq km (54 persons per sq mi) (1991). Urban-Rural; 83.4% urban, 16.6% rural (1991). Sex Distribution; 49.4% male, 50.6% female (1991). Life Expectancy at Birth; 74.6 years male, 80.3 years female (1991). Age Breakdown; 18% under 15, 21% 15 to 29, 21% 30 to 44, 17% 45 to 59, 15% 60 to 74, 8% 75 and over (1990). Birth Rate; 14.4 per 1,000 (1990). Death Rate; 11.1 per 1,000 (1990). Increase Rate; 3.3 per 1,000 (1990). Infant Mortality Rate; 6.2 per 1,000 live births (1991).


RELIGIONS: Mostly Christians with 90% of the population Evangelical Lutheran or Church of Sweden while 1% are Roman Catholic and there is also a smaller number of Orthodox Catholics and Jews.


LANGUAGES: The official language is Swedish which is a north German branch of the Germanic family of languages.


EDUCATION: Aged 16 or over and having attained: primary education 37.1%, lower secondary 29.4%, upper secondary 12.2%, higher 21.3% (1990). Literacy; literate population aged 15 or over virtually 100% (1990).


MODERN HISTORY - WWII TO 1993: In 1953 Sweden was a founding member of the Nordic Council and in 1959 Sweden and six other nations founded the European Free Trade Association (EFTA). In 1969 Olof Palme succeeded Tage Erlander as Prime Minister and leader of the Social Democrats (SD). In 1973 Carl XVI Gustav succeeded his grandfather as King and in 1975 Sweden adopted a new constitution that reduced the role of the King to a ceremonial one. In 1976 the Social Democrats were replaced by a conservative non-socialist coalition government with Thorbjorn Falldin as Prime Minister until their collapse in 1978. In 1979 Falldin formed another conservative coalition. In 1982 the Social Democrats formed a minority government and were re-elected in 1985. In Feb. 1986 Prime Minister Palme was killed by an unknown assassin and was succeeded by Ingvar Carlsson. In 1988 the Social Democrats formed another minority government. In Dec. 1990 the Parliament (Riksdag) gave Carlsson a mandate to seek EU membership. In 1991 the Riksdag reached an agreement to construct a road and rail link between Sweden and Denmark. On July 1, 1991 Sweden formally applied for EU membership. In Sept. 1991 following general elections the Moderate Party formed a coalition government with Carl Bildt as Prime Minister, virtually ending almost 63 years of socialist government domination. On Oct. 13, 1991 the EU and EFTA reached an agreement on the establishment of a 19-member European Economic Area (EEA). On Nov. 6, 1991 the government announced austerity measures in an attempt to strengthen the economy and reduce government expenditure, and on Dec. 5, 1991 the central bank lifted official interest rates to 17.5%. Also in 1991 two new political parties entered Parliament for the first time, the Christian Democrats and the New Democracy (ND) which held the balance of power and whose support enabled the Moderate Party's coalition to hold a majority. In 1992 Prime Minister Bildt's coalition government and the opposition Social Democrats reached agreement on cuts in government expenditure programs and tax increases. In Sept. 1992 the Krona came under international pressure to be devaluated and on Nov. 19, 1992 the government allowed the Krona to float downward. Also in 1992 economic difficulties worsened with unemployment rising, a slump in economic and industrial growth, and an increasing number of bankruptcies. As a result, the government provided guarantees to support the country's financial system and banks with taxpayers' money. In 1993 the country's economic recession and rising unemployment led the government to abandon its tax-cutting plans and to adopt a cost-cutting plan to reduce the budget by SKr 81 billion over five years. In Feb. 1993 Sweden began negotiations with the EU hoping it would gain agricultural and alcohol concessions. In Dec. 1993 the economic conditions led to Volvo A.B canceling its plans to merge its operations with France's Renault S.A. Also in 1993 the government narrowly averted a vote of no confidence after offering concessions to the ND following disagreements over the government's budget.


CURRENCY: The official currency is the Krona (SKr) (plural; Kronor) divided into 100 Ore.


ECONOMY: Gross National Product; USD $216,294,000,000 (1993). Public Debt; USD $119,370,000,000 (1994). Imports; SKr 399,130,000,000 (1994). Exports; SKr 471,600,000,000 (1994). Tourism Receipts; USD $2,650,000,000 (1993). Balance of Trade; SKr 72,470,000,000 (1994). Economically Active Population; 4,320,000 or 49.5% of total population (1993). Unemployed; 8.2% (1993).


MAIN TRADING PARTNERS: Its main trading partners are Germany, the UK, the USA and Norway.

MAIN PRIMARY PRODUCTS: Cereals, Copper, Dairy Products, Iron Ore, Lead, Potatoes, Rape seed, Sugar Beets, Timber.

MAJOR INDUSTRIES: Engineering and Electrical Goods, Mining, Motor Vehicles, Timber Products including Wood, Pulp and Paper and Furniture.

MAIN EXPORTS: Chemicals, Engineering and Electrical Goods, Iron and Steel, Motor Vehicles, Paper and Wood Pulp, Petroleum Products, Timber and Timber Products.


TRANSPORT: Railroads; route length 11,491 km (7,140 mi) (1989), passenger-km 5,856,000,000 (3,639,000,000 passenger-mi) (1989), cargo ton-km 19,044,000,000 (13,043,000,000 short ton-mi) (1989). Roads; length 133,673 km (83,061 mi) (1989). Vehicles; cars 3,600,500 (1990), trucks and buses 324,100 (1990). Merchant Marine; vessels 679 (1990), deadweight tonnage 2,942,270 (1990). Air Transport; passenger-km 8,496,000,000 (5,279,000,000 passenger-mi) (1989), cargo ton-km 207,120,000 (141,856,000 short ton-mi) (1989).


COMMUNICATIONS: Daily Newspapers; total of 179 with a total circulation of 4,678,000 (1993). Radio; receivers 7,450,000 (1993). Television; receivers 3,750,000 (1993). Telephones; units 5,907,000 (1993).


MILITARY: 64,000 (1994) total active duty personnel with 68.0% army, 14.1% navy and 17.9% air force while military expenditure accounts for 2.8% (1993) of the Gross National Product (GNP).


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