General Information about Sweden

The official name is the Kingdom of Sweden (Konungariket Sverige). Located in Northern Europe, in the eastern and southern parts of the Scandinavian Peninsula. The area is 450 thousand km2, the population is 8.95 million people. (2003). The official language is Swedish. The capital is Stockholm (1.7 million people with suburbs, 2001). Public holiday – National Day June 6 (in 1916-83 – Swedish Flag Day). The reason for choosing this date is twofold: on June 6, 1523, Gustav Vasa was elected king, which is considered the date of foundation of the independent Swedish state, and on June 6, 1809, a new Constitution was adopted that established civil rights and freedoms. The monetary unit is the Swedish krona.

Member of the UN (since 1946), EU (since 1995), OECD, IMF, IBRD, EBRD, Nordic Council, etc.

The main type of vegetation is forests, covering more than 1/2 of the country’s territory. In terms of forested area (54%), Sweden ranks first in Western Europe. Coniferous forests predominate, the main massifs of which are located in the north of the country. On the slopes of the mountains, they are replaced by birch forests, and even higher – by mountain tundra, which occupies approx. 1/8 of the country. South of 60-61° north latitude, coniferous forests give way to mixed ones. Broad-leaved species appear – maple, ash, oak, linden. In the extreme south and southwest there are beech forests. Sweden ranks 1st in Western Europe in terms of timber reserves, with 90% of the total reserves accounted for by conifers. A lot of money was spent on the restoration of cut down forests. The fauna of Sweden is dominated by forest dwellers: elk, roe deer, fox, pine marten, squirrel, hare. In the taiga forests of Norrland there are lynx, brown bear, wolverine. Wild reindeer live in the polar regions of Lapland, and European deer live in forest parks in the south of the country. Lakes, skerries and sea bays abound with wild ducks and swans that nest in the vicinity of Stockholm. The coastal waters of the Baltic Sea are rich in fish: herring, eel, cod, shrimps, lobsters live in them. In rivers and lakes there are salmon, trout, pike, perch, pike perch, burbot, bream, and in the north – grayling.

Population of Sweden

Growth rates are generally low – 0.02% (2002). Since the 1940s immigration – first from neighboring northern countries, and then from other regions of the world – accounted for more than 40% of the population growth. In 2002, net immigration was 0.95‰.

According to Countryaah, the birth rate in the country is low – 9.81‰ (2002). It increased in the 1980s and 1990s, but then decreased again. Mortality 10.6‰, infant mortality 3.44 pers. per 1000 newborns. Life expectancy is 77 years for men and 83 years for women.

The age structure of the population: at the age of 0-14 years – 18%, 15-64 years – 65%, 65 years and older – 17%. There are more women than men, by about 100 thousand people, especially in old age. 85% of the population lives in the southern half of Sweden Over 80% urban population. The retirement age is 65 years. Literacy is almost complete.

Until the 2nd World War, Sweden was a country with an ethnically homogeneous population. Only the Saami (Lapps), living in the north and traditionally engaged in reindeer herding, were a significant ethnic minority. Now the Swedes are approx. 87% of the population. Approximately 1 million inhabitants are either immigrants or their descendants. These are Finns, immigrants from the former Yugoslavia, Danes, Norwegians, Greeks, Turks.

The Swedish language belongs to the northern subgroup of the Germanic group of languages. The linguistic minority are the Sami and Finns.

The dominant religion is Lutheran (87%). In the 16th century Sweden broke with the Catholic Church, and after that the Evangelical State Church operated in the country. The first Swedish Bible was published in 1541. On January 1, 2000, the Swedish church gained an independent position and was equated with other denominations. Among the believing population there are also Catholics, Orthodox, Baptists, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists.

People of Sweden