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Sweden country profile

28 August 2006
by eub2 -- last modified 05 January 2010

Sweden has the largest population of the Nordic countries. The Kingdom of Sweden has been a member of the European Union since 1995.



Sweden has the largest population of the Nordic countries. It is separated in the west from Norway by a range of mountains. It shares the Gulf of Bothnia at the north end of the Baltic Sea with Finland.

The southern part of the country is chiefly agricultural, with forests covering an increasing percentage of the land the further north one goes.

Population density is also higher in southern Sweden, with centres being in the valley of Lake Mälaren and the Öresund region.

In 1971 the Riksdag became a single-chamber Parliament. Its 349 members are elected on the basis of proportional representation for a four-year term.

The country has at least 17 000 indigenous Samis (or Lapps) among its population. It also has a minority of ethnic Finns.

Sweden exports cars, engineering products, steel, electronic devices, communications equipment and paper products.

Swedes played a pioneering role of the early days of cinema, with Mauritz Stiller and Victor Sjöström. Later on, directors like Ingmar Bergman and actresses such as Greta Garbo, Ingrid Bergman and Anita Ekberg made careers abroad. Swedish music is in many minds synonymous with ABBA.

The Swedish cuisine is known for its Smorgåsbord (a buffet of savoury delicacies), Baltic herring, pea soup and pancakes.

Official name: Kingdom of Sweden

Area (km2): 449 964

Population: 9.18 million (2008); 9.25 million (forecast for 2009)

Capital: Stockholm

National holiday: 06 June

Currency: Swedish Krona

Date of joining: 01 January 1995

Head of state: King Carl XVI Gustaf

Head of government: Fredrick Reinfeldt, since October 2006. With his own Moderate Party, he governs in coalition with the Liberal People's Party, the Centre Party and the Demo-Christian Party.

GDP (millions €): 328 321.9 (2008); 283 408.4 (forecast for 2009)

GDP per capita in PPS: € 30 500 (2008); € 28 600 (forecast for 2009)

Real growth rate of GDP: -0.2% (2008); -4.0% (forecast for 2009)

Unemployment rate: 8,8% (October 2009)

National debt as % of GDP: 38% (2008)

Inflation: 1,8% (October 2009)

Public deficit/surplus as % of GDP: 2.5% (2008)

Source: Eurostat

Head of State:
Head of Government:
Foreign Minister:

Map of Sweden



Source: European Commission, Spanish EU Presidency, World Factbook
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