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{{Short description|Country in northern Europe}}{{Other uses}}{{pp|small=yes}}{{pp-move}}{{Use British English|date=December 2021}}{{Use dmy dates|date=March 2024}}

| image_flag = Flag of Sweden.svg| image_coat = Great coat of arms of Sweden.svgCoat of arms of Sweden>Coat of armsde facto.}}(){{center|(File:United States Navy Band - Sweden.ogg)}}(File:EU-Sweden (orthographic projection).svgframeless)(File:EU-Sweden.svgframeless)default=1}}location_color=dark green region_color=dark grey European Union >subregion_color=green |legend=EU-Sweden.svg}}| capital = Stockholm59N4type:city}}| largest_city = capitalSwedish language>Swedish{{efn|Since 1 July 2009. The Swedish Sign Language also has a special status as the official national sign language.}}| languages_type = National minority languages Sámi languages > Finnish language > Meänkieli Romani language>Romani Yiddish{{efn>All five Minority languages of Sweden since 1999.HTTP://WWW.SPRAKRADET.SE/SERVLET/GETDOC?META_ID=2119#ITEM100400 ARCHIVE-DATE=6 FEBRUARY 2014 TRANS-TITLE=IS SWEDISH ALSO AN OFFICIAL LANGUAGE IN SWEDEN? SWEDISH LANGUAGE COUNCIL >DATE=1 FEBRUARY 2008 LANGUAGE=SV, }}}}| ethnic_groups =| ethnic_groups_year =Swedes >Swede}}| government_type = Unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchyMonarchy of Sweden>Monarch| leader_name1 = Carl XVI GustafSpeaker of the Riksdag>Riksdag Speaker| leader_name2 = Andreas NorlénPrime Minister of Sweden>Prime Minister| leader_name3 = Ulf Kristersson| legislature = RiksdagHistory of Sweden>History| established_event1 = A unified Swedish kingdom established| established_date1 = By the late 10th century| established_event2 = Part of the Kalmar Union| established_date2 = 17 June 1397 – 6 June 1523| established_event3 = Swedish Empire| established_date3 = 1611 – 17211995 enlargement of the European Union>Joined the European Union| established_date4 = 1 January 1995| established_event5 = Joined NATO| established_date5 = 7 March 2024WEBSITE=BBC NEWS DATE=6 DECEMBER 2023 ARCHIVE-URL=HTTPS://WEB.ARCHIVE.ORG/WEB/20231119130130/HTTPS://WWW.BBC.COM/NEWS/WORLD-EUROPE-17955808, live, | area_rank = 55th| area_sq_mi = 172,751PUBLISHER=STATISTICS SWEDEN (SCB)ARCHIVE-DATE=10 JULY 2022URL-STATUS=LIVE, weblink {{Webarchive>url= |date=29 June 2021 }} Statistics Sweden. Retrieved 8 July 2021.| population_estimate_year = 31 May 2023| population_estimate_rank = 87th| population_density_km2 = 25| population_density_sq_mi = 65| population_density_rank = 198thPUBLISHER=INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND DATE=10 OCTOBER 2023 ARCHIVE-DATE=13 OCTOBER 2023 URL-STATUS=LIVE, | GDP_PPP_year = 2023| GDP_PPP_rank = 40th| GDP_PPP_per_capita = {{increase}} $66,209| GDP_PPP_per_capita_rank = 17th| GDP_nominal = {{increase}} $597.110 billion| GDP_nominal_year = 2023| GDP_nominal_rank = 25th| GDP_nominal_per_capita = {{decrease}} $55,215| GDP_nominal_per_capita_rank = 12th| Gini = 27.6 | Gini_year = 2022| Gini_change = increase PUBLISHER=EUROSTAT ACCESS-DATE=25 NOVEMBER 2023 ARCHIVE-URL=HTTPS://WEB.ARCHIVE.ORG/WEB/20201009091832/HTTPS://EC.EUROPA.EU/EUROSTAT/DATABROWSER/VIEW/TESSI190/DEFAULT/TABLE?LANG=EN, live, | Gini_rank =| HDI = 0.952 | HDI_year = 2022| HDI_change = increase URL=HTTPS://HDR.UNDP.ORG/SYSTEM/FILES/DOCUMENTS/GLOBAL-REPORT-DOCUMENT/HDR2023-24REPORTEN.PDFARCHIVE-URL=HTTPS://WEB.ARCHIVE.ORG/WEB/20240313164319/HTTPS://HDR.UNDP.ORG/SYSTEM/FILES/DOCUMENTS/GLOBAL-REPORT-DOCUMENT/HDR2023-24REPORTEN.PDF ACCESS-DATE=13 MARCH 2024 UNITED NATIONS DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME >LANGUAGE=EN, | HDI_rank = 5th| currency = Swedish krona| currency_code = SEKCentral European Time>CET| utc_offset = +1| utc_offset_DST = +2Central European Summer Time>CESTSince 3 September 1967.}}.se{{efn>The .eu domain is also used, as it is shared with other European Union member states.}}| today =| official_website =}}Sweden,{{efn| {{IPA-sv|ˈsvæ̌rjÉ›||Sv-Sverige.ogg}}; ; ; ; ; ; ; or ; ; ; .}} formally the Kingdom of Sweden,{{efn|The United Nations Group of Experts on Geographical Names states that the country's formal name is the Kingdom of Sweden. UNGEGN World Geographical Names, Sweden. {{Webarchive|url= |date=1 August 2011 }}}}{{efn| {{IPA-sv|ˈkôːnɵŋaËŒriːkÉ›t ˈsvæ̌rjÉ›||Sv-Konungariket Sverige.ogg}}.}} is a Nordic country located on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. It borders Norway to the west and north, Finland to the east, and is connected to Denmark in the southwest by a bridge{{ndash}}tunnel across the Öresund.At {{convert|450295|km2|sqmi}},WEB, Sweden country profile,weblink BBC News, 6 December 2023, 6 December 2023, 19 November 2023,weblink live, Sweden is the largest Nordic country and the fifth-largest country in Europe. The capital and largest city is Stockholm. Sweden has a population of 10.5 million, and a low population density of {{convert|25.5|PD/km2|PD/sqmi}}, with around 87% of Swedes residing in urban areas, which cover 1.5% of the entire land area, in the central and southern half of the country. Nature in Sweden is dominated by forests and many lakes, including some of the largest in Europe. Many long rivers run from the Scandes range, primarily emptying into the northern tributaries of the Baltic Sea. It has an extensive coastline and most of the population lives near a major body of water. With the country ranging from 55°N to 69°N, the climate of Sweden is diverse due to the length of the country.Germanic peoples have inhabited Sweden since prehistoric times, emerging into history as the Geats () and Swedes () and constituting the sea peoples known as the Norsemen. A unified Swedish state emerged during the late 10th century. In 1397, Sweden joined Norway and Denmark to form the Scandinavian Kalmar Union,WEB,weblink Artikelarkiv, SO-rummet, 1 September 2017,weblink 9 October 2017, dead, which Sweden left in 1523. When Sweden became involved in the Thirty Years' War on the Protestant side, an expansion of its territories began, forming the Swedish Empire, which remained one of the great powers of Europe until the early 18th century. During this era Sweden controlled much of the Baltic Sea.Sweden is a highly developed country ranked fifth in the Human Development Index.BOOK,weblink Human Development Report 2023-24: Breaking the gridlock: Reimagining cooperation in a polarized world, 13 March 2024, United Nations Development Programme, 16 March 2024, It is a constitutional monarchy and a parliamentary democracy, with legislative power vested in the 349-member unicameral . It is a unitary state, divided into 21 counties and 290 municipalities. Sweden maintains a Nordic social welfare system that provides universal health care and tertiary education for its citizens. It has the world's 14th highest GDP per capita and ranks very highly in quality of life, health, education, protection of civil liberties, economic competitiveness, income equality, gender equality and prosperity.WEB, OECD Better Life Index,weblink OECD Publishing, 27 August 2013,weblink" title="">weblink 1 September 2013, live, Sweden joined the European Union on 1 January 1995. It is also a member of the United Nations, NATO, the Nordic Council, the Schengen Area, the Council of Europe, the World Trade Organization and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).


The name for Sweden is generally agreed to derive from the Proto-Indo-European root *(wikt:Reconstruction:Proto-Indo-European/swé|s(w)e), meaning "one's own", referring to one's own tribe from the tribal period.Indogermanisches etymologisches Wörterbuch by Julius Pokorny (English translation), p. 1493BOOK, Friesen (von), O., Verdandis småskrifter (Verdandis Pamphlets) nr. 200., 1915, BOOK, Hellquist, Elof, Svensk etymologisk ordbok,weblink Swedish etymological dictionary, 1922, Gleerup, sv, 915, The native Swedish name, (a compound of the words and , first recorded in the cognate in Beowulf),BOOK, Hellquist, Elof, Svensk etymologisk ordbok, Swedish etymological dictionary, 1922, Gleerup, sv, 917,weblink 30 August 2011,weblink" title="">weblink 28 August 2011, live, translates as "realm of the Swedes", which excluded the Geats in Götaland.The contemporary English variation was derived in the 17th century from Middle Dutch and Middle Low German. As early as 1287, references are found in Middle Dutch referring to a ("land of [the] Swedes"), with as the singular form.Lemma: SWEDEN {{Webarchive|url= |date=20 April 2021 }}, Instituut voor de Nederlandse Taal In Old English the country was known as or , and in Early Modern English as .{{OED|Sweden|ID=195631}} Some Finnic languages, such as Finnish and Estonian, use the terms and ; these variations refer to the Rus' people who inhabited the coastal areas of Roslagen in Uppland and who gave their name to Russia.BOOK, Elgan, Elisabeth, Scobbie, Irene, 2015, Historical Dictionary of Sweden,weblink Rowman & Littlefield, 287, 978-1-4422-5071-0, 9 September 2022, 5 October 2023,weblink live,



File:Vendel I helmet 456057.jpg|thumb|A Vendel-era helmet, at the Swedish Museum of National Antiquities]]Sweden's prehistory begins in the Allerød oscillation, a warm period around 12,000 BC,BOOK, Eric Delson, Ian Tattersall, John Van Couvering, Encyclopedia of Human Evolution and Prehistory, Second,weblink 2004, Routledge, 978-1-135-58228-9, 569, 16 December 2020, 5 October 2023,weblink live, with Late Palaeolithic reindeer-hunting camps of the Bromme culture at the edge of the ice in what is now the country's southernmost province, Scania. This period was characterised by small clans of hunter-gatherers who relied on flint technology.BOOK, Theron Douglas Price, Ancient Scandinavia: An Archaeological History from the First Humans to the Vikings,weblink 2015, Oxford University Press, 978-0-19-023197-2, 43, 16 December 2020, 5 October 2023,weblink live, Sweden and its people were first described by Publius Cornelius Tacitus in his Germania (98 AD).BOOK, Elisabeth Elgán, Irene Scobbie, Historical Dictionary of Sweden,weblink 2015, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 978-1-4422-5071-0, 5, 16 December 2020, 5 October 2023,weblink live, In s:Germania#XLIV|Germania 44 and 45]] he mentions the Swedes (Suiones) as a powerful tribe with ships that had a prow at each end (longships).BOOK, Mitzi M. Brunsdale, Encyclopedia of Nordic Crime Fiction: Works and Authors of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden Since 1967,weblink 2016, McFarland, 978-0-7864-7536-0, 368, 16 December 2020, 5 October 2023,weblink live, Which kings () ruled these Suiones is unknown, but Norse mythology presents a long line of legendary and semi-legendary kings going back to the last centuries BC. The runic script was in use among the south Scandinavian elite by at least the second century AD, but all that has survived from the Roman Period is curt inscriptions demonstrating that the people of south Scandinavia spoke Proto-Norse at the time, a language ancestral to Swedish and other North Germanic languages.BOOK, Christopher McIntosh, Beyond the North Wind: The Fall and Rise of the Mystic North,weblink 2019, Red Wheel Weiser, 978-1-63341-090-9, 71–72, 16 December 2020, 5 October 2023,weblink live, In the sixth century, Jordanes names two tribes living in Scandza, both of which are now considered to be synonymous with the Swedes: the and .BOOK, Nora Berend, Christianization and the Rise of Christian Monarchy: Scandinavia, Central Europe and Rus' c.900–1200,weblink 2007, Cambridge University Press, 978-1-139-46836-7, 174, 16 December 2020, 5 October 2023,weblink live, The were known to the Roman world as suppliers of black fox skins and, according to Jordanes, had very fine horses, similar to those of the Thyringi of ().


{{See also|Early Swedish history|Foundation of Modern Sweden|Varangians}}File:Vikings-Voyages.png|upright=1.3|thumb|left|VikingVikingThe Swedish Viking Age lasted roughly from the eighth century to the 11th century. It is believed that Swedish Vikings and Gutar mainly travelled east and south, going to Finland, Estonia, the Baltic countries, Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, the Black Sea and even as far as Baghdad. Their routes passed through the Dnieper south to Constantinople, on which they carried out numerous raids. The Byzantine Emperor Theophilos noticed their great skills in war, and invited them to serve as his personal bodyguard, known as the Varangian Guard. The Swedish Vikings, called Rus are believed to be the founders of Kievan Rus'.BOOK, Janet L. B. Martin, John D. Martin, Medieval Russia, 980–1584,weblink 1995, Cambridge University Press, 978-0-521-36832-2, 2, 16 December 2020, 5 October 2023,weblink live, The Arab traveller Ibn Fadlan described these Vikings saying:{{blockquote|I have seen the Rus as they came on their merchant journeys and encamped by the Itil. I have never seen more perfect physical specimens, tall as date palms, blond and ruddy; they wear neither tunics nor caftans, but the men wear a garment which covers one side of the body and leaves a hand free. Each man has an axe, a sword, and a knife, and keeps each by him at all times. The swords are broad and grooved, of Frankish sort.Quoted from: Gwyn Jones. A History of the Vikings. Oxford University Press, 2001. {{ISBN|978-0-19-280134-0}}. Page 164.}}File:Bildsten med skepp 800-1099 Tjängvide, Gotland.jpg|thumb|The Tjängvide image stoneTjängvide image stoneThe actions of these Swedish Vikings are commemorated on many runestones in Sweden, such as the Greece runestones and the Varangian runestones. There was also considerable participation in expeditions westwards, which are commemorated on stones such as the England runestones. The last major Swedish Viking expedition appears to have been the ill-fated expedition of Ingvar the Far-Travelled to Serkland, the region south-east of the Caspian Sea. Its members are commemorated on the Ingvar runestones, none of which mentions any survivor.

Kingdom of Sweden

The actual age of the kingdom of Sweden is unknown.BOOK, Hadenius, Stig, Nilsson, Torbjörn, Ã…selius, Gunnar, Sveriges historia: vad varje svensk bör veta, History of Sweden: what every Swede should know, 1996, Bonnier Alba, sv, 978-91-34-51784-4, Establishing the age depends mostly on whether Sweden should be considered a nation when the (Sweonas) ruled Svealand or if the emergence of the nation started with the and the Götar (Geats) of Götaland being united under one ruler. In the first case, Svealand was first mentioned as having one single ruler in the year 98 by Tacitus, but it is almost impossible to know for how long it had been this way. However, historians usually start the line of Swedish monarchs from when Svealand and Götaland were ruled under the same king, namely Eric the Victorious (Geat) and his son Olof Skötkonung in the tenth century. These events are often described as the consolidation of Sweden, although substantial areas were conquered and incorporated later. It is not known how long they existed: the epic poem Beowulf describes semi-legendary Swedish-Geatish wars in the sixth century. Götaland in this sense mainly includes the provinces of Östergötland (East Gothia) and Västergötland (West Gothia). The island of Gotland was disputed by other than Swedes, at this time (Danish, Hanseatic, and Gotland-domestic). SmÃ¥land was at that time of little interest to anyone due to the deep pine forests, and only the city of Kalmar with its castle was of importance. The south-west parts of the Scandinavian peninsula consisted of three Danish provinces (Scania, Blekinge and Halland). There were Swedish settlements along the southern coastline of Norrland, one of the four lands of Sweden.During the early stages of the Viking Age, a centre of trade in northern Europe developed at Birka on the island of Björkö, not far from where Stockholm was later constructed, in mid-latitude Sweden. Birka was founded around 750 AD as a trading port by a king or merchants trying to control trade.JOURNAL, Price, T. Douglas, Arcini, Caroline, Gustin, Ingrid, Drenzel, Leena, Kalmring, Sven, March 2018, Isotopes and human burials at Viking Age Birka and the Mälaren region, east central Sweden, Journal of Anthropological Archaeology, 49, 19–38, 10.1016/j.jaa.2017.10.002, free, Birka was the Baltic link in the Dnieper Trade Route through Ladoga (Aldeigja) and Novgorod (Holmsgard) to the Byzantine Empire and the Abbasid Caliphate.2006 Encyclopædia Britannica. Article "Birca". It was abandoned {{circa|AD 975}}, around the same time Sigtuna was founded as a Christian town some 35 km to the northeast. It has been estimated that the population in Viking Age Birka was between 500 and 1000 people. Archaeological finds indicate that Birka still was wealthy in the 9th and 10th centuries. Thousands of graves, coins, jewelry and other luxury items have been found there.Andersson (1975), p. 34(File:Sweden 1280.png|thumb|right|A rough map of the extent of Swedish rule, {{circa|1280}})Saint Ansgar is usually credited with introducing Christianity to Sweden in 829, but the new religion did not begin to fully replace paganism until the 12th century. In the 12th century, Sweden was undergoing dynastic struggles between the Erik and Sverker clans. The divide ended when a third clan married into the Erik clan and founded the Bjelbo dynasty. This dynasty gradually consolidated Sweden to a strong state. In the years 1150–1293 according to the legend of Eric IX and the Eric Chronicles Swedish kings made a first, second and third crusade to pagan Finland and started conflicts with the Rus' who no longer had any connection with Sweden.BOOK, Bagge, Sverre, The Scandinavian Kingdoms, The New Cambridge Medieval History, Rosamond, McKitterick, Cambridge University Press, 2005, 978-0-521-36289-4, 724, Swedish expansion in Finland led to conflicts with Rus', which were temporarily brought to an end by a peace treaty in 1323, dividing the Karelian peninsula and the northern areas between the two countries., The Swedish colonisation of the coastal areas of Finland also started during the 12th and 13th century.BOOK, När kom svenskarna till Finland?, Ann-Marie, Ivars, Lena, Hulden, Studier utg. av Svenska Litteratursällskapet i Finland 646, 2002, JOURNAL, Meinander, Carl Fredrik, 1983, Om svenskarnes inflyttningar till Finland, Historisk Tidskrift för Finland, 3, In the 14th century, the colonisation began to be more organised, and by the end of the century, several of the coastal areas of Finland were inhabited mostly by Swedes.BOOK, Sveriges Österland: FrÃ¥n forntiden till Gustav Vasa. Finlands svenska historia 1. Skrifter utgivna av Svenska litteratursällskapet i Finland 702:1., Tarkiainen, Kari, Svenska litteratursällskapet i Finland; Stockholm: Atlantis, 2008, Except for the provinces of Scania, Blekinge, and Halland in the south-west of the Scandinavian peninsula, which were parts of the Kingdom of Denmark during this time, feudalism never developed in Sweden as it did in the rest of Europe.BOOK, Franklin D., Scott, Sweden: The Nation's History,weblink registration, University of Minnesota Press, 1977, 58, 978-0-8166-0804-1, As a result, the peasantry remained largely a class of free farmers throughout most of Swedish history. Slavery (also called thralldom) was not common in Sweden,BOOK,weblink Nordisk familjebok: konversationslexikon och realencyklopedi. Bd 30, Westrin, Theodor, Theodor Westrin, New, rev. and richly ill., 1920, Nordisk familjeboks förl, 159–160, 17 September 2014, sv,weblink" title="">weblink 20 June 2017, live, and what slavery there was tended to be driven out of existence by the spread of Christianity, by the difficulty of obtaining slaves from lands east of the Baltic Sea, and by the development of cities before the 16th century.Scott, p. 55. Indeed, both slavery and serfdom were abolished altogether by a decree of King Magnus IV in 1335. Sweden remained a poor and economically backward country in which barter was the primary means of exchange.Scott, pp. 55–56.In 1319, Sweden and Norway were united under King Magnus Eriksson, who also ruled Scania from 1332 to 1360. In the middle of the 14th century, Sweden was struck by the Black Death.Scott, pp. 56–57. The population of Sweden and most of Europe was decimated. The population (at same territory) did not reach the numbers of the year 1348 again until the beginning of the 19th century. One third of the population died during 1349–1351. During this period, the cities began to acquire greater rights and were strongly influenced by German merchants of the Hanseatic League, active especially at Visby. In 1397 Queen Margaret I of Denmark affected the personal union of Sweden, Norway, and Denmark through the Kalmar Union. However, Margaret's successors, whose rule was also centred in Denmark, were unable to control the Swedish nobility.File:Gustav Vasa.jpg|thumb|left|upright|Gustav I liberated Sweden from Christian II of Denmark, ending the Kalmar Union. He established the House of VasaHouse of VasaMany times the Swedish crown was inherited by child kings over the course of the kingdom's existence; consequently, real power was held for long periods by regents (notably those of the Sture family) chosen by the Swedish parliament. King Christian II of Denmark, who asserted his claim to Sweden by force of arms, ordered a massacre of Swedish nobles in Stockholm in 1520. This came to be known as the "Stockholm blood bath" and stirred the Swedish nobility to new resistance and, on 6 June (now Sweden's national holiday) in 1523, they made Gustav Vasa their king.Scott, p. 121. This is sometimes considered as the foundation of modern Sweden. Shortly afterwards the new king rejected Catholicism and led Sweden into the Protestant Reformation.The term was used for the first time in the 1540s, although the first meeting where representatives of different social groups were called to discuss and determine affairs affecting the country as a whole took place as early as 1435, in the town of Arboga.WEB, The history of the Riksdag,weblink Riksdag, 9 June 2013,weblink" title="">weblink 20 May 2014, live, During the Riksdag assemblies of 1527 and 1544, under King Gustav Vasa, representatives of all four estates of the realm (clergy, nobility, townsmen and peasants) were called on to participate for the first time. The monarchy became hereditary in 1544.The Hanseatic League sought civil and commercial privileges from the princes and royalty of the countries and cities along the coasts of the Baltic Sea.BOOK, Robert S., Hoyt, Stanley, Chodorow, Europe in the Middle Ages,weblink registration, Harcourt, Brace & Jovanovich, Inc., 1976, 628, 978-0-15-524712-3, In exchange, they offered a certain amount of protection to the joining cities.BOOK, John B., Wolfe, The Emergence of European Civilization, Harper & Row Pub., 1962, 50–51, The privileges obtained by the Hansa included assurances that only Hansa citizens would be allowed to trade from the ports where they were located. They sought agreement to be free of all customs and taxes. With these concessions, Lübeck merchants flocked to Stockholm, where they soon came to dominate the city's economic life and made the port city of Stockholm into the leading commercial and industrial city of Sweden.Scott, p. 52. Under the Hanseatic trade, two-thirds of Stockholm's imports consisted of textiles, while the remaining third was salt. The main exports from Sweden were iron and copper.However, the Swedes began to resent the monopoly trading position of the Hansa (mostly consisting of German citizens). Consequently, when Gustav Vasa or Gustav I broke the monopoly power of the Hanseatic League he was regarded as a hero by the Swedish people.Scott, p. 132. Furthermore, when Sweden did develop, freed itself from the Hanseatic League, and entered its golden era, the fact that the peasantry had traditionally been free meant that more of the economic benefits flowed back to them rather than going to a feudal landowning class.Scott, pp. 156–157.The end of the 16th century was marked by a final phase of rivalry between the remaining Catholics and the new Protestant communities. In 1592, Gustav Vasa's Catholic grandson and king of Poland, Sigismund, ascended the Swedish throne.BOOK,weblink British and Irish Emigrants and Exiles in Europe, 1603–1688, David, Worthington, 2010, BRILL, 978-90-474-4458-9, 29 October 2020, 5 October 2023,weblink live, He pursued to strengthen Rome's influence by initiating Counter-Reformation and created a dual monarchy, which temporarily became known as the Polish-Swedish Union. His despotic rule, strongly characterised by intolerance towards the Protestants, sparked a civil war that plunged Sweden into poverty.WEB,weblink the cambridge modern history, 2019, CUP Archive, 29 October 2020, 5 October 2023,weblink live, In opposition, Sigismund's uncle and successor, Charles Vasa, summoned the Uppsala Synod in 1593 which officially confirmed the modern Church of Sweden as Lutheran. Following his deposition in 1599, Sigismund attempted to reclaim the throne at every expense and hostilities between Poland and Sweden continued for the next one hundred years.BOOK,weblink God's Playground A History of Poland: Volume 1: The Origins to 1795, Norman, Davies, 2005, Oxford University Press, 978-0-19-925339-5, 29 October 2020, 5 October 2023,weblink live,

Swedish Empire

{{See also|History of Sweden (1611–1648)|Swedish Empire|Swedish overseas colonies|Age of Liberty|Gustavian era|Union between Sweden and Norway}}File:Gustave Adolphe at Breitenfeld-Johann Walter-f3706497.jpg|thumb|Gustavus Adolphus at the Battle of Breitenfeld in 1631]]File:Swedish Empire.svg|thumb|The Swedish EmpireSwedish EmpireSweden rose to prominence on a continental scale during the reign of king Gustavus Adolphus, seizing territories from Russia and the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth in multiple conflicts.{{sfn|Frost|2000|p=102}} During the Thirty Years' War, Sweden conquered approximately half of the Holy Roman states and defeated the Imperial army at the Battle of Breitenfeld in 1631.{{sfn|Frost|2000|p=103}} Gustavus Adolphus planned to become the new Holy Roman Emperor, ruling over a united Scandinavia and the Holy Roman states, but he was killed at the Battle of Lützen in 1632. After the Battle of Nördlingen in 1634, Sweden's only significant military defeat of the war, pro-Swedish sentiment among the German states faded.{{sfn|Frost|2000|p=103}} These German provinces broke away from Swedish power one by one, leaving Sweden with only a few northern German territories: Swedish Pomerania, Bremen-Verden and Wismar. From 1643 to 1645, during the last years of the war, Sweden and Denmark-Norway fought the Torstenson War. The result of that conflict and the conclusion of the Thirty Years' War helped establish postwar Sweden as a major force in Europe.{{sfn|Frost|2000|p=103}}In the middle of the 17th century, Sweden was the third-largest country in Europe by land area. Sweden reached its largest territorial extent under the rule of Charles X after the treaty of Roskilde in 1658, following Charles X's crossing of the Danish Belts."A Political and Social History of Modern Europe V.1./Hayes..." Hayes, Carlton J. H. (1882–1964), Title: A Political and Social History of Modern Europe V.1., 2002-12-08, Project Gutenberg, webpage: Infomot-7hsr110. {{webarchive |url= |date=17 November 2007}}However, Sweden's largest territorial extent lasted from 1319 to 1343 with Magnus Eriksson ruling all of the traditional lands of Sweden and Norway. The foundation of Sweden's success during this period is credited to Gustav I's major changes to the Swedish economy in the 16th century, and his introduction of Protestantism."Gustav I Vasa – Britannica Concise" (biography), Britannica Concise, 2007, webpage: weblink" title="">EBConcise-Gustav-I-Vasa. In the 17th century, Sweden was engaged in many wars, for example with Poland–Lithuania, with both sides competing for territories of today's Baltic states, with Sweden suffering a notable defeat at the Battle of Kircholm.WEB,weblink Battle of Kircholm 1605,, 25 August 2010,weblink" title="">weblink 14 June 2009, dead, One-third of the Finnish population died in the devastating Great Famine of 1695–1697 that struck the country.WEB,weblink Finland and the Swedish Empire, Library of Congress Country Studies, 17 September 2014,weblink" title="">weblink 26 December 2016, live, Famine also hit Sweden, killing roughly 10% of Sweden's population.BOOK, Elizabeth, Ewan, Janay, Nugent, 2008,weblink Finding the family in medieval and early modern Scotland, Ashgate Publishing, 153, 978-0-7546-6049-1,weblink 5 September 2015, live, The Swedes conducted a series of invasions into the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, known as the Deluge.{{sfn|Frost|2000|p=156}} After more than half a century of almost constant warfare, the Swedish economy had deteriorated. It became the lifetime task of Charles X's son, Charles XI, to rebuild the economy and refit the army.{{sfn|Frost|2000|p=216}} His legacy to his son, the coming ruler of Sweden, Charles XII, was one of the finest arsenals in the world, a large standing army and a great fleet.{{sfn|Frost|2000|p=222}} Russia, the most serious threat to Sweden at this time, had a larger army but lagged far behind in both equipment and training.{{sfn|Frost|2000|p=232}}After the Battle of Narva in 1700, one of the first battles of the Great Northern War, the Russian army was so severely devastated that Sweden had an open chance to invade Russia.{{sfn|Frost|2000|p=230}} However, Charles XII did not pursue the Russian army, instead turning against Poland and defeating the Polish king, Augustus II the Strong, and his Saxon allies at the Battle of Kliszów in 1702.{{sfn|Frost|2000|p=272}} This gave Russia time to rebuild and modernise its army.File:Marten's Poltava.jpg|thumb|right|The Battle of Poltava in 1709. In the following years, Russia and her allies occupied all Swedish dominions on the Baltic coast and even Finland.]]After the success of invading Poland, Charles XII decided to make an attempt at invading Russia, but this ended in a decisive Russian victory at the Battle of Poltava in 1709.{{sfn|Frost|2000|p=290}} After a long march exposed to Cossack raids, the Russian Tsar Peter the Great's scorched-earth techniques and the extremely cold winter of 1709, the Swedes stood weakened with a shattered morale and were enormously outnumbered against the Russian army at Poltava.{{sfn|Frost|2000|p=286}} The defeat meant the beginning of the end for the Swedish Empire. In addition, the plague raging in East Central Europe devastated the Swedish dominions and reached Central Sweden in 1710.BOOKS, Frandsen, Karl-Erik, The Last Plague in the Baltic Region. 1709–1713, 2009,weblink 80, Museum Tusculanum Press, 978-87-635-0770-7, JOURNAL, Engström, Nils Göran, Pesten i Finland 1710, The plague in Finland in 1710, Hippokrates. Suomen Lääketieteen Historian Seuran Vuosikirja, 11, 1994, 38–46, 11640321, Returning to Sweden in 1715, Charles XII launched two campaigns against Norway on 1716 and 1718, respectively. During the second attempt, he was shot to death during the siege of Fredriksten fortress.{{sfn|Frost|2000|p=295}} The Swedes were not militarily defeated at Fredriksten, but the whole structure and organisation of the campaign fell apart with the king's death. Forced to cede large areas of land in the Treaty of Nystad in 1721, Sweden also lost its place as an empire and as the dominant state on the Baltic Sea.{{sfn|Frost|2000|p=296}} With Sweden's lost influence, Russia emerged as an empire and became one of Europe's dominant nations. As the war finally ended in 1721, Sweden had lost an estimated 200,000 men, 150,000 of those from the area of present-day Sweden and 50,000 from the Finnish part of Sweden.BOOK, Ericson, Lars, Svenska knektar, Historiska media, 2004, sv, 92, Executive power was historically shared between the King and an aristocratic Privy council until 1680, followed by the King's autocratic rule initiated by the commoner estates of the Riksdag. As a reaction to the failed Great Northern War, a parliamentary system was introduced in 1719, followed by three different flavours of constitutional monarchy in 1772, 1789 and 1809, the latter granting several civil liberties. Already during the first of those three periods, the 'Era of Liberty' (1719–72) the Swedish Rikstag had developed into a very active Parliament, and this tradition continued into the nineteenth century, laying the basis for the transition towards modern democracy at the end of that century.BOOK, Baten, Jörg, A History of the Global Economy. From 1500 to the Present., 2016, Cambridge University Press, 22, 978-1-107-50718-0, In the 18th century, Sweden did not have enough resources to maintain its territories outside Scandinavia, and most of them were lost, culminating with the loss in 1809 of eastern Sweden to Russia, which became the highly autonomous Grand Principality of Finland in Imperial Russia.BOOK, Eino, Jutikkala, Kauko, Pirinen, A History of Finland, 2003, 978-951-0-27911-3, 287, In interest of re-establishing Swedish dominance in the Baltic Sea, Sweden allied itself against its traditional ally and benefactor, France, in the Napoleonic Wars. However, in 1810, a French Marshal, Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte, was chosen as heir presumptive to Charles XIII; in 1818, he established the House of Bernadotte, taking the regnal name of Charles XIV. Sweden's role in the Battle of Leipzig gave it the authority to force Denmark–Norway, an ally of France, to cede Norway to the King of Sweden on 14 January 1814 in exchange for the northern German provinces, at the Treaty of Kiel.BOOK, Schäfer, Anton, Zeittafel der Rechtsgeschichte. Von den Anfängen über Rom bis 1919. Mit Schwerpunkt Österreich und zeitgenössischen Bezügen,weblink 2002, Edition Europa Verlag, 978-3-9500616-8-0, 3, 137, de, The Norwegian attempts to keep their status as a sovereign state were rejected by the Swedish king, Charles XIII. He launched a military campaign against Norway on 27 July 1814, ending in the Convention of Moss, which forced Norway into a personal union with Sweden under the Swedish crown, which lasted until 1905.WEB, Norborg, Lars-Arne, svensk–norska unionen,weblink, Nationalencyklopedin, 6 August 2015, sv,weblink" title="">weblink 15 January 2016, live, WEB,weblink Mossekonvensjonen, Norges historie, University of Oslo, Ottosen, Morten Nordhagen, 25 November 2015, 9 December 2019, no, 3 July 2019,weblink live, The 1814 campaign was the last time Sweden was at war.WEB,weblink Sweden and Norway celebrate peace treaty, The Local Europe AB, 14 August 2014, 9 December 2019, 3 July 2019,weblink live,

Modern history

{{See also|Modernization of Sweden|Swedish emigration to the United States}}File:Starvation image from Fäderneslandet 1867.jpg|thumb|Starvation in northern Sweden depicted in an illustration of the Famine of 1867–1869.]]File:Farewell_to_home,_Göteborg,_1905_(cropped).jpg|thumb|Swedish emigrants boarding a ship in GothenburgGothenburgThe Swedish East India Company began in 1731. The obvious choice of home port was Gothenburg at Sweden's west coast, the mouth of Göta älv river is very wide and has the county's largest and best harbour for high-seas journeys. The trade continued into the 19th century, and caused the little town to become Sweden's second city.Tore Frängsmyr, "Ostindiska Kompaniet", Publisher- "Bokförlaget Bra Böcker", Höganäs, 1976. (No ISBN to be found), backside overview andBetween 1750 and 1850, the population in Sweden doubled. According to some scholars, mass emigration to America became the only way to prevent famine and rebellion; over 1% of the population emigrated annually during the 1880s.BOOK, Einhorn, Eric, John, Logue, 1989, Modern Welfare States: Politics and Policies in Social Democratic Scandinavia, Praeger Publishers, 9, 978-0-275-93188-9, Though Denmark, where industrialization had begun in the 1850s, was reasonably prosperous by the end of the nineteenth century, both Sweden and Norway were terribly poor. Only the safety valve of mass emigration to America prevented famine and rebellion. At the peak of emigration in the 1880s, over 1% of the total population of both countries emigrated annually.,weblink It is thought that between 1850 and 1910 more than one million Swedes moved to the United States.Einhorn, Eric and John Logue (1989), p. 8. Nevertheless, Sweden remained poor, retaining a nearly entirely agricultural economy even as Western European countries began to industrialise.BOOK, Koblik, Steven, 1975, Sweden's Development From Poverty to Affluence, 1750–1970,weblink registration, University of Minnesota Press, 8–9, 978-0-8166-0766-2, In economic and social terms the eighteenth century was more a transitional than a revolutionary period. Sweden was, in light of contemporary Western European standards, a relatively poor but stable country. ...It has been estimated that 75–80% of the population was involved in agricultural pursuits during the late eighteenth century. One hundred years later, the corresponding figure was still 72%., Despite the slow rate of industrialisation into the 19th century, many important changes were taking place in the agrarian economy due to constant innovations and a rapid population growth.Koblik, pp. 9–10. These innovations included government-sponsored programmes of enclosure, aggressive exploitation of agricultural lands, and the introduction of new crops such as the potato. The Swedish farming culture began to take on a critical role in Swedish politics, which has continued through modern times with modern Agrarian party (now called the Centre Party).Koblik, p. 11: "The agrarian revolution in Sweden is of fundamental importance for Sweden's modern development. Throughout Swedish history the countryside has taken an unusually important role in comparison with other European states." Between 1870 and 1914, Sweden began developing the industrialised economy that exists today.Koblik, p. 90. "It is usually suggested that between 1870 and 1914 Sweden emerged from its primarily agrarian economic system into a modern industrial economy."Strong grassroots movements sprang up in Sweden during the latter half of the 19th century (trade unions, temperance groups, and independent religious groups), creating a strong foundation of democratic principles. These movements precipitated Sweden's migration into a modern parliamentary democracy, achieved by the time of World War I. As the Industrial Revolution progressed during the 20th century, people gradually moved into cities to work in factories and became involved in socialist unions. A communist revolution was avoided in 1917, following the re-introduction of parliamentarism, and the country was democratised.

World War I and World War II

Sweden was officially neutral during World War I. However, under pressure from the German Empire, they did take steps which were detrimental to the Allied powers – most notably, mining the Øresund channel, thus closing it to Allied shipping, and allowing the Germans to use Swedish facilities and the Swedish cipher to transmit secret messages to their overseas embassies.JOURNAL, Siney, Marion C., Swedish neutrality and economic warfare in World War I, Conspectus of History, 1975, 1, 2,weblink 12 May 2014, 5 October 2023,weblink live, Sweden also allowed volunteers to fight alongside the Germans for the White Guards against the Red Guards and Russians in the Finnish Civil War, and briefly occupied Åland in cooperation with the German Empire.As in the First World War, Sweden remained officially neutral during World War II, although its neutrality has been disputed.Koblik, pp. 303–313.Nordstrom, p. 315: "Sweden's government attempted to maintain at least a semblance of neutrality while it bent to the demands of the prevailing side in the struggle. Although effective in preserving the country's sovereignty, this approach generated criticism at home from many who believed the threat to Sweden was less serious than the government claimed, problems with the warring powers, ill feelings among its neighbours, and frequent criticism in the postwar period." Sweden was under German influence for much of the war, as ties to the rest of the world were cut off through blockades. The Swedish government unofficially supported Finland in the Winter War and the Continuation War by allowing volunteers and materiel to be shipped to Finland. However, Sweden supported Norwegian resistance against Germany, and in 1943 helped rescue Danish Jews from deportation to Nazi concentration camps.During the last year of the war, Sweden began to play a role in humanitarian efforts, and many refugees, among them several thousand Jews from Nazi-occupied Europe, were rescued thanks to the Swedish rescue missions to internment camps and partly because Sweden served as a haven for refugees. The Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg and his colleagues ensured the safety of tens of thousands of Hungarian Jews.WEB,weblink Raoul Wallenberg,, 28 August 2014,weblink" title="">weblink 5 December 2014, live, Nevertheless, both Swedes and others have argued that Sweden could have done more to oppose the Nazis' war efforts.Nordstrom, pp. 313–319.

Post-war era

File:Olivecrona erlander 380.jpg|thumb|Tage Erlander (left), Prime Minister under the ruling Swedish Social Democratic PartySwedish Social Democratic PartySweden was officially a neutral country and remained outside NATO and Warsaw Pact membership during the Cold War, but privately Sweden's leadership had strong ties with the United States and other western governments. Following the war, Sweden took advantage of an intact industrial base, social stability and its natural resources to expand its industry to supply the rebuilding of Europe.Nordstrom, pp. 335–339. Sweden received aid under the Marshall Plan and participated in the OECD. During most of the post-war era, the country was governed by the Swedish Social Democratic Party largely in co-operation with trade unions and industry. The government actively pursued an internationally competitive manufacturing sector of primarily large corporations.Sweden was one of the founding states of the European Free Trade Area (EFTA). During the 1960s the EFTA countries were often referred to as the Outer Seven, as opposed to the Inner Six of the then-European Economic Community (EEC).NEWS, Finland: Now, the Seven and a Half, Time (magazine), Time, 7 April 1961,weblink 18 July 2009,weblink" title="">weblink 4 November 2011, dead, Like many industrialised countries, Sweden entered a period of economic decline and upheaval following the oil embargoes of 1973–74 and 1978–79.Nordstrom, p. 344: "During the last 25 years of the century a host of problems plagued the economies of Norden and the West. Although many were present before, the 1973 and 1980 global oil crises acted as catalysts in bringing them to the fore." In the 1980s several key Swedish industries were significantly restructured. Shipbuilding was discontinued, wood pulp was integrated into modernised paper production, the steel industry was concentrated and specialised, and mechanical engineering was robotised.BOOK, Krantz, Olle, Lennart, Schön, 2007, Swedish Historical National Accounts, 1800–2000, Almqvist and Wiksell International, {{Page needed|date=February 2016}} Swedish GDP per capita ranking declined during this time.Globalization and Taxation: Challenges to the Swedish Welfare State. By Sven Steinmo.

Recent history

{{See also|History of Sweden (1991–present)}}File:Tratado de Lisboa 13 12 2007 (081).jpg|thumb|right|Sweden joined the European Union in 1995, and signed the Lisbon TreatyLisbon TreatyA bursting real estate bubble caused by inadequate controls on lending combined with an international recession and a policy switch from anti-unemployment policies to anti-inflationary policies resulted in a fiscal crisis in the early 1990s.Englund, P. 1990. "Financial deregulation in Sweden." European Economic Review 34 (2–3): 385–393. Korpi TBD. Meidner, R. 1997. "The Swedish model in an era of mass unemployment." Economic and Industrial Democracy 18 (1): 87–97. Olsen, Gregg M. 1999. "Half empty or half full? The Swedish welfare state in transition." Canadian Review of Sociology & Anthropology, 36 (2): 241–268. Sweden's GDP declined by around 5%. In 1992, a run on the currency caused the central bank to briefly increase interest rates to 500%.NEWS, Swisher, Kara,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink dead, 15 February 2011, Sweden's 'Crazy' 500% Interest Rate; Fails to Faze Most Citizens, Businesses; Hike Seen as Short-Term Move to Protect Krona From Devaluation, The Washington Post,, 18 September 1992, 3 August 2010, BOOK,weblink The Great Financial Crisis in Finland and Sweden, Edward Elgar Publishing, 978-1-84844-305-1, Jonung, Lars, Kiander, Jaakko, Vartia, Pentti, 2009,weblink 5 September 2015, live, The response of the government was to cut spending and institute a multitude of reforms to improve Sweden's competitiveness, among them reducing the welfare state and privatising public services and goods. A referendum passed with 52.3% in favour of joining the EU on 13 November 1994. Sweden joined the European Union on 1 January 1995. In a 2003 referendum the Swedish electorate voted against joining the Euro currency.On 28 September 1994, the MS Estonia sank as the ship was crossing the Baltic Sea, en route from Tallinn, Estonia, to Stockholm, Sweden. The disaster claimed the lives of 852 people (501 of them were SwedesWEB, Sweden pays tribute,weblink, 4 September 2023, 5 October 2023,weblink live, ), being one of the worst maritime disasters of the 20th century.NEWS, Henley, Jon, correspondent, Jon Henley Europe, Estonia ferry disaster inquiry backs finding bow door was to blame,weblink The Guardian, 23 January 2023, 4 September 2023, 5 October 2023,weblink live, Until recently Sweden remained non-aligned militarily, although it participated in some joint military exercises with NATO and some other countries, in addition to extensive cooperation with other European countries in the area of defence technology and defence industry. However, in 2022, in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Sweden moved to formally join the NATO alliance.NEWS,weblink NATO formally invites Finland and Sweden to join the alliance., Steven, Erlanger, Michael D., Shear, The New York Times, 29 June 2022, 30 June 2022, 30 June 2022,weblink live, On 10 July 2023, after opposing the Swedish NATO application for 14 months, president Erdogan agreed to send the Swedish NATO application to the Turkish parliament for ratification.NEWS, Turkey's Erdogan to back Sweden joining Nato,weblink 10 July 2023, 10 July 2023,weblink live, After several more months of delays caused by final holdout Hungary, the Hungarian parliament approved Sweden's NATO accession on 26 February 2024.WEB, Krisztina Than, Niklas Pollard, Sweden clears final hurdle to join NATO as Hungary approves accession, Reuters, 26 February 2024,weblink 28 February 2024, Sweden officially joined NATO on 7 March 2024.Swedish-exported weaponry was also used by Coalition militaries in Iraq.NEWS,weblink New Swedish weapon in Iraq, The Local, 7 February 2006, 10 June 2013, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 29 April 2013, Sweden has a long history of participating in international military operations, including in Afghanistan, where Swedish troops were under NATO command, and in EU-sponsored peacekeeping operations in Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Cyprus. Sweden also participated in enforcing a UN mandated no-fly zone over Libya during the Arab Spring. Sweden held the chair of the European Union from 1 July to 31 December 2009.(File:Second day of Husby riots, three burning cars.jpg|thumb|upright|Second day of the Stockholm Husby riots. The picture shows three cars on fire in the Stockholm suburb of Husby, 20 May 2013.)In recent decades Sweden has become a more culturally diverse nation due to significant immigration; in 2013, it was estimated that 15% of the population was foreign-born, and an additional 5% of the population were born to two immigrant parents. The influx of immigrants has brought new social challenges. Violent incidents have periodically occurredNEWS, Rioting breaks out in Malmö suburb,weblink The Local, 30 June 2013, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 26 July 2013, NEWS, Fires and rioting after Malmö suburb unrest,weblink The Local, 30 June 2013, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 5 February 2013, including the 2013 Stockholm riots.NEWS, Sweden Riots Put Faces to Statistics as Stockholm Burns,weblink Bloomberg News, 30 June 2013,weblink" title="">weblink 8 July 2013, live, In response to these violent events, the anti-immigration opposition party, the Sweden Democrats, promoted their anti-immigration policies, while the left-wing opposition blamed growing inequality caused by the centre-right government's socioeconomic policies.NEWS, Higgins, Andrew, 26 May 2013,weblink In Sweden, Riots Put an Identity in Question, The New York Times, 1 June 2013,weblink" title="">weblink 31 May 2013, live, Sweden was heavily affected by the 2015 European migrant crisis, eventually forcing the government to tighten regulations of entry to the country.NEWS,weblink Sweden and Denmark add border controls to stem flows of migrants, The New York Times, Dan, Bilefsky, 5 January 2016, 9 January 2016,weblink" title="">weblink 7 January 2016, live, Some of the asylum restrictions were relaxed again later.NEWS,weblink Immigration: Sweden rolls back strict rules on family reunification, 19 June 2019, 7 August 2019, 17 July 2019,weblink live, On 30 November 2021, Magdalena Andersson became Sweden's first female prime minister.NEWS, Johnson, Simon, Pollard, Niklas, Sweden's first female premier returns days after quitting,weblink Reuters, 29 November 2021, en, 1 December 2021, 14 December 2021,weblink live, NEWS, Magdalena Andersson: Sweden's first female PM returns after resignation,weblink BBC News, 29 November 2021, 1 December 2021, 29 November 2021,weblink live, The September 2022 general election ended in a narrow win to a bloc of right-wing parties.NEWS, Magdalena Andersson: Swedish PM resigns as right-wing parties win vote,weblink BBC News, 15 September 2022, 21 October 2022, 14 September 2022,weblink live, On 18 October 2022, Ulf Kristersson of the Moderate Party became the new Prime Minister.NEWS,weblink Ulf Kristersson names ministers in his three-party government, Radio, Sweden, 18 October 2022, 18 October 2022, Sveriges Radio, 18 October 2022,weblink live,


File:Vy mot Stora Sjöfallet frÃ¥n Saltoluokta.jpg|thumb|left|View of the Stora Sjöfallet National ParkStora Sjöfallet National ParkSituated in Northern Europe, Sweden lies west of the Baltic Sea and Gulf of Bothnia, providing a long coastline, and forms the eastern part of the Scandinavian Peninsula. To the west is the Scandinavian mountain chain (Skanderna), a range that separates Sweden from Norway. Finland is located to its north-east. It has maritime borders with Denmark, Germany, Poland, Russia, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, and it is also linked to Denmark (south-west) by the Öresund Bridge. Its border with Norway (1,619 km long) is the longest uninterrupted border within Europe.Sweden lies between latitudes 55° and 70° N, and mostly between longitudes 11° and 25° E (part of Stora Drammen island is just west of 11°).File:Sandön - KMB - 16001000454384.jpg|thumb|Sandhamn island, Stockholm archipelagoStockholm archipelagoAt {{convert|449964|km2|sqmi|0|abbr=on}}, Sweden is the 55th-largest country in the world,WEB, Country Comparison: Area,weblink Central Intelligence Agency,, 19 August 2010,weblink 2 June 2010, dead, the fifth-largest country in Europe, and the largest country in Northern Europe. The lowest elevation in Sweden is in the bay of Lake Hammarsjön, near Kristianstad, at {{convert|-2.41|m|ft|2|abbr=on}} below sea level. The highest point is Kebnekaise at {{convert|2111|m|ft|0|abbr=on}} above sea level.Sweden has 25 provinces or . While these provinces serve no political or administrative purpose, they play an important role in people's self-identity. The provinces are usually grouped together in three large lands, parts, the northern Norrland, the central Svealand and southern Götaland. The sparsely populated Norrland encompasses almost 60% of the country. Sweden also has the Vindelfjällen Nature Reserve, one of the largest protected areas in Europe, totaling 562,772 ha (approx. 5,628 km{{sup|2}}).About 15% of Sweden lies north of the Arctic Circle. Southern Sweden is predominantly agricultural, with increasing forest coverage northward. Around 65% of Sweden's total land area is covered with forests. The highest population density is in the Öresund Region in southern Sweden, along the western coast up to central Bohuslän, and in the valley of lake Mälaren and Stockholm. Gotland and Öland are Sweden's largest islands; Vänern and Vättern are its largest lakes. Vänern is the third largest in Europe, after Lake Ladoga and Lake Onega in Russia. Combined with the third- and fourth-largest lakes Mälaren and Hjälmaren, these lakes take up a significant part of southern Sweden's area. Sweden's extensive waterway availability throughout the south was exploited with the building of the Göta Canal in the 19th century, shortening the potential distance between the Baltic Sea south of Norrköping and Gothenburg by using the lake and river network to facilitate the canal.WEB,weblink Göta kanal official website, Göta Canal, 9 January 2016,weblink" title="">weblink 12 January 2016, live, Sweden also has plenty of long rivers draining the lakes. Northern and central Sweden have several wide rivers known as , commonly sourced within the Scandinavian Mountains. The longest river is Klarälven-Göta älv, which originates in Trøndelag in central Norway, running {{convert|720|mi|km|order=flip}} before it enters the sea at Gothenburg. In southern Sweden, narrower rivers known as are also common. The vast majority of municipal seats are set either on the sea, a river or a lake and the majority of the country's population live in coastal municipalities.


Most of Sweden has a temperate climate, despite its northern latitude, with largely four distinct seasons and mild temperatures throughout the year. The winter in the far south is usually weak and is manifested only through some shorter periods with snow and sub-zero temperatures; autumn may well turn into spring there, without a distinct period of winter. The northern parts of the country have a subarctic climate while the central parts have a humid continental climate. The coastal south can be defined as having either a humid continental climate using the 0 Â°C isotherm, or an oceanic climate using the -3 Â°C isotherm.Due to the increased maritime moderation in the peninsular south, summer differences between the coastlines of the southernmost and northernmost regions are about {{convert|2|C-change|0}} in summer and {{convert|10|C-change}} in winter. This grows further when comparing areas in the northern interior where the winter difference in the far north is about {{convert|15|C-change}} throughout the country. The warmest summers usually happen in the Mälaren Valley around StockholmWEB,weblink Dataserier med normalvärden för perioden 1991–2020, SMHI, sv, 1 November 2021, 28 May 2021,weblink live, due to the vast landmass shielding the middle east coast from Atlantic low-pressure systems in July. Daytime highs in Sweden's municipal seats vary from {{convert|19|C|F}} to {{convert|24|C|F}} in July and {{convert|-9|C|F}} to {{convert|3|C|F}} in January. The colder temperatures are influenced by the higher elevation in the northern interior. At sea level, the coldest average highs range from {{convert|21|C|F}} to {{convert|-6|C|F}}. As a result of the mild summers, the arctic region of Norrbotten has some of the northernmost agriculture in the world.WEB,weblink Det norrländska klimatets fördelar, Sveriges lantbruksuniversitet, sv, 5 October 2021, 1 November 2021, 1 November 2021,weblink live, Sweden is much warmer and drier than other places at a similar latitude, and even somewhat farther south, mainly because of the combination of the Gulf StreamWEB,weblink BBC, BBC Climate and the Gulf Stream, 29 October 2008,weblink" title="">weblink 28 September 2008, live, JOURNAL,weblink The Gulf Stream Myth, Monthly Weather Review, 28, 9, 393–394, 29 October 2008, 1900MWRv...28..393W, Watts, Harvey Maitland, 1900, 10.1175/1520-0493(1900)28[393:TGSM]2.0.CO;2,weblink" title="">weblink 25 February 2011, live, free, and the general west wind drift, caused by the direction of Earth's rotation.WEB,weblink Food and Agriculture Organization, Global Climate Maps, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 17 November 2006, Because of Sweden's high latitude, the length of daylight varies greatly. North of the Arctic Circle, the sun never sets for part of each summer, and it never rises for part of each winter. In the capital, Stockholm, daylight lasts for more than 18 hours in late June but only around 6 hours in late December. Sweden receives between 1,100 and 1,900 hours of sunshine annually.WEB,weblink Normal solskenstid för ett Ã¥r, sv, Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute, 27 January 2010,weblink" title="">weblink 26 August 2010, live, The highest temperature ever recorded in Sweden was {{convert|38|°C|°F|abbr=on}} in MÃ¥lilla in 1947,{{citation needed|date=January 2021}} while the coldest temperature ever recorded was {{convert|-52.6|°C|1|abbr=on}} in VuoggatjÃ¥lme on 2 February 1966.WEB,weblink Weather Data: Sweden, Vuoggatjalme, 1966, February,, 27 June 2020, 29 June 2020,weblink live, On average, most of Sweden receives between {{convert|500|and|800|mm|0|abbr=on}} of precipitation each year, making it considerably drier than the global average. The south-western part of the country receives more precipitation, between {{convert|1000|and|1200|mm|0|abbr=on}}, and some mountain areas in the north are estimated to receive up to {{convert|2000|mm|0|abbr=on}}. Despite northerly locations, southern and central Sweden may have almost no snow in some winters. Most of Sweden is located in the rain shadow of the Scandinavian Mountains through Norway and north-west Sweden. It is predicted that as the Barents Sea gets less frozen in the coming winters, becoming thus "Atlantified", additional evaporation will increase future snowfalls in Sweden and much of continental Europe.JOURNAL, Arctic sea-ice loss fuels extreme European snowfall, Nature Geoscience,weblink Bailey, Hannah, 1 April 2021, Hubbard, Alun, Klen, Eric S., Mustonen, Kaisa-Riikka, Akers, Pete D., Marttila, Hannu, Welker, Jeffrey M., 14, 5, 283–288, 10.1038/s41561-021-00719-y, 1752-0894, 2021NatGe..14..283B, 10037/20941, 232765992, free, 3 April 2021, 28 January 2023,weblink live,


{{See also|Wildlife of Sweden}}(File:Sweden Vegetation Zones.jpg|thumb|upright=1.35|Map of Sweden's five major vegetation zones)Sweden has a considerable south to north distance which causes large climatic difference, especially during the winter. The related matter of the length and strength of the four seasons plays a role in which plants that naturally can grow at various places. Sweden is divided in five major vegetation zones. These are:
  • The southern deciduous forest zone
  • The southern coniferous forest zone
  • The northern coniferous forest zone, or the Taiga
  • The alpine-birch zone
  • The bare mountain zone
Southern deciduous forest zone, also known as the nemoral region, the southern deciduous forest zone is a part of a larger vegetation zone which also includes Denmark and large parts of Central Europe. It has to a rather large degree become agricultural areas, but larger and smaller forests still exist. The region is characterised by a large wealth of trees and shrubs. The beech are the most dominant tree, but oak can also form smaller forests. Elm at one time formed forests, but have been heavily reduced due to Dutch Elm disease. Other important trees and shrubs in this zone include hornbeam, elder, hazel, fly honeysuckle, linden (lime), spindle, yew, alder buckthorn, blackthorn, aspen, European rowan, Swedish whitebeam, juniper, European holly, ivy, dogwood, goat willow, larch, bird cherry, wild cherry, maple, ash, alder along creeks, and in sandy soil birch compete with pine.WEB,weblink Södra lövskogsregionen – Skogskunskap,, 11 October 2017,weblink 12 October 2017, dead, Spruce is not native but between approximately 1870 and 1980, large areas were planted with it.WEB, Forest and Buildings,weblink,weblink" title="">weblink 12 October 2017, sv, "Granskogen, som spreds norrifrån, nådde inte Skåne förrän mot slutet av 1800-talet. Under 1900-talets första hälft planterades stora arealer granskog." or in English "The spruce forest, which spread from the north, did not reach Scania until the end of the 19th century. During the first half of the twentieth century, large areas of pine forest were planted.", During the last 40–50 years large areas of former spruce plantings have been replanted with deciduous forest.About the 1984 "Ädellövskogslagen" weblink {{Webarchive|url=|date=12 October 2017}} – "I Sydsverige (Skåne, Halland och Blekinge) skall minst 70% av beståndet utgöras av ädellöv. Enligt ädellövskogslagen skall efter slutavverkning, alltid ny ädellövskog anläggas på sådana marker." or "In southern Sweden (Scania, Halland and Blekinge) at least 70% of the stock must be of edible leaves. According to the 'edible deciduous forests law', after ever harvesting, new deciduous forests must always be planted on such fields." (in these three provinces)Southern coniferous forest zone, also known as the boreo-nemoral region, is delimited by the oak's northern natural limit (limes norrlandicus) and the Spruce's southern natural limit,WEB,weblink Södra barrskogsregionen – Skogskunskap,, 13 October 2017,weblink 13 October 2017, dead, between the southern deciduous zone and the Taiga farther north. In the southern parts of this zone the coniferous species are found, mainly spruce and pine, mixed with various deciduous trees. Birch grows largely everywhere. The beech's northern boundary crosses this zone. Although in its natural area, also planted Spruce are common, and such woods are very dense, as the spruces can grow very tight, especially in this vegetation zone's southern areas.The northern coniferous forest zone or the Taiga begins north of the natural boundary of the oak. Of deciduous species the birch is the only one of significance. Pine and spruce are dominant, but the forests are slowly but surely more sparsely grown the farther towards the north it gets. In the extreme north is it difficult to state the trees forms true forests at all, due to the large distances between the trees.BOOK, Lars Rydén, Pawel Migula, Magnus Andersson, Environmental science: understanding, protecting and managing the environment in the Baltic Sea region,weblink 2003, Baltic University Press, 978-91-970017-0-0, 82, 16 December 2020, 5 October 2023,weblink live, The alpine-birch zone, in the Scandinavian mountains, depending on both latitude and altitude, is an area where only a smaller kind of birch (Betula pubescens or B.tortuosa) can grow. Where this vegetation zone ends, no trees grow at all: the bare mountain zone.Swedish Encyclopedia "Bonniers Lexikon", vol 13 of 15, article "Sverige", Sweden, columns 1046–1050Sweden had a 2019 Forest Landscape Integrity Index mean score of 5.35/10, ranking it 103rd globally out of 172 countries.JOURNAL, Grantham, H. S., Duncan, A., Evans, T. D., Jones, K. R., Beyer, H. L., Schuster, R., Walston, J., Ray, J. C., Robinson, J. G., Callow, M., Clements, T., Costa, H. M., DeGemmis, A., Elsen, P. R., Ervin, J., Franco, P., Goldman, E., Goetz, S., Hansen, A., Hofsvang, E., Jantz, P., Jupiter, S., Kang, A., Langhammer, P., Laurance, W. F., Lieberman, S., Linkie, M., Malhi, Y., Maxwell, S., Mendez, M., Mittermeier, R., Murray, N. J., Possingham, H., Radachowsky, J., Saatchi, S., Samper, C., Silverman, J., Shapiro, A., Strassburg, B., Stevens, T., Stokes, E., Taylor, R., Tear, T., Tizard, R., Venter, O., Visconti, P., Wang, S., Watson, J. E. M., 1, Anthropogenic modification of forests means only 40% of remaining forests have high ecosystem integrity – Supplementary Material, Nature Communications, 11, 1, 2020, 5978, 2041-1723, 10.1038/s41467-020-19493-3, 33293507, 7723057, 2020NatCo..11.5978G,

Government and politics

Sweden has a history of strong political involvement by ordinary people through its "popular movements" (), the most notable being trade unions, the independent Christian movement, the temperance movement, the women's movement, and the intellectual property pirate movements. Sweden was the first country in the world to outlaw corporal punishment of children by their parents (parents' right to spank their own children was first removed in 1966, and it was explicitly prohibited by law from July 1979BOOK, Durrant, Joan E., Frehsee, Detlev, etal, Family Violence Against Children: A Challenge for Society, 1996, Walter de Gruyter, 978-3-11-014996-8, 20,weblink The Swedish Ban on Corporal Punishment: Its History and Effects, 17 September 2020, 5 October 2023,weblink live, ).Sweden is currently leading the EU in statistics measuring equality in the political system and equality in the education system.WEB, European Commission, Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, Report On The Equality Between Men And Women,weblink February 2006, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 17 August 2007, The Global Gender Gap Report 2006 ranked Sweden as the number one country in terms of gender equality.WEB,weblink Nordic countries rank highest in gender equality,, 6 May 2009,weblink" title="">weblink 21 August 2007, dead,

Constitutional framework

File:Nationaldagen EM1B2097 (48018075518).jpg|thumb|right|The current King of Sweden, Carl XVI Gustaf, and his consort, Queen Silvia ]]File:Ulf Kristersson on 29 June 2023.jpg|thumb|right|150px|Prime Minister of Sweden, Ulf KristerssonUlf KristerssonSweden has four fundamental laws () which together form the Constitution: the Instrument of Government (), the Act of Succession (), the Freedom of the Press Act (), and the {{Ill|Fundamental Law on Freedom of Expression|sv|Yttrandefrihetsgrundlagen}} ().WEB,weblink The Constitution, The Riksdag, 8 November 2014,weblink" title="">weblink 10 November 2014, live, dmy-all, Petersson: pp. 38–40.The public sector in Sweden is divided into two parts: the legal person known as the State (){{efn|The State () is also descriptively translated into English as the "central government", not to be confused with the Government, i.e. the cabinet which is but one organ of the State.}} and local authorities:{{efn|An alternate English translation is "local governments".}} the latter include Regional Councils () (renamed from county councils (landsting) in 2020WEB, Riksdagsförvaltningen, En ny beteckning för kommuner på regional nivå och vissa frågor om regionindelning Konstitutionsutskottets Betänkande 2019/20:KU3 - Riksdagen,weblink 4 January 2020,, 20 November 2019, sv, 17 February 2020,weblink live, WEB, Viktigare lagar och förordningar inför årsskiftet 2019/202,weblink Government of Sweden, 4 September 2022, 30 December 2019,weblink live, ) and local Municipalities ().Larsson & Bäck: pp. 16–18.Larsson & Bäck: pp. 212–215.Petersson: p. 92.Petersson: p. 174. The local authorities, rather than the State, make up the larger part of the public sector in Sweden.Petersson: p. 79. Regional Councils and Municipalities are independent of one another, the former merely covers a larger geographical area than the latter.Larsson & Bäck: p. 210. The local authorities have self-rule, as mandated by the Constitution, and their own tax base.Petersson: pp. 79–82. Notwithstanding their self-rule, local authorities are nevertheless in practice dependent upon the State, as the parameters of their responsibilities and the extent of their jurisdiction are specified in the Local Government Act () passed by the Riksdag.Petersson: pp. 80–82.Sweden is a constitutional monarchy, and King Carl XVI Gustaf is the head of state, but the role of the monarch is limited to ceremonial and representative functions.WEB,weblink Monarchy: A modern royal family,, 13 March 2013,weblink" title="">weblink 25 April 2013, live, Under the provisions of the 1974 Instrument of Government, the King lacks any formal political power.WEB,weblink The Instrument of Government, The Riksdag, 8 November 2014,weblink" title="">weblink 24 October 2014, live, dmy-all, WEB,weblink The Head of State, Government of Sweden, 8 November 2014, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 25 February 2014, The King opens the annual Riksdag session, chairs the Special Council held during a change of Government, holds regular Information Councils with the Prime Minister and the Government, chairs the meetings of the Advisory Council on Foreign Affairs (), and receives Letters of Credence of foreign ambassadors to Sweden and signs those of Swedish ambassadors sent abroad.WEB,weblink Duties of the Monarch, Royal Court of Sweden, 8 November 2014,weblink" title="">weblink 16 March 2015, live, dmy-all, WEB,weblink A new government is formed, The Riksdag, 8 November 2014,weblink" title="">weblink 9 November 2014, live, dmy-all, In addition, the King pays State Visits abroad and hosts those incoming.Legislative power is vested in the unicameral Riksdag with 349 members. General elections are held every four years. Legislation may be initiated by the Government or by members of the Riksdag. Members are elected on the basis of proportional representation to a four-year term. The internal workings of the Riksdag are, in addition to the Instrument of Government, regulated by the Riksdag Act ().WEB,weblink The Riksdag Act – almost a fundamental law, The Riksdag, 9 November 2014, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 24 October 2014, The fundamental laws can be altered by the Riksdag alone; only an absolute majority with two separate votes, separated by a general election in between, is required.File:Rosenbad 2006.jpg|thumb|upright=1.15|left|Rosenbad, in central Stockholm, has been the seat of the Government since 1981.WEB,weblink The Swedish Government Offices – a historical perspective, Government Offices of SwedenGovernment Offices of SwedenThe Government () operates as a collegial body with collective responsibility and consists of the Prime Minister {{mdash}} appointed and dismissed by the Speaker of the Riksdag (following an actual vote in the Riksdag before an appointment can be made) {{mdash}} and other cabinet ministers (), appointed and dismissed at the sole discretion of the Prime Minister.WEB,weblink Forming a government, The Riksdag, 8 November 2014,weblink" title="">weblink 9 October 2014, live, dmy-all, The Government is the supreme executive authority and is responsible for its actions to the Riksdag.WEB,weblink The Instrument of Government (as of 2012), The Riksdag, 8 November 2014,weblink" title="">weblink 8 October 2014, live, dmy-all, Most of the State administrative authorities () report to the Government. A unique feature of Swedish State administration is that individual cabinet ministers do not bear any individual ministerial responsibility for the performance of the agencies within their portfolio; as the director-generals and other heads of government agencies reports directly to the Government as a whole; and individual ministers are prohibited to interfere; thus the origin of the pejorative in Swedish political parlance term ministerstyre (English: "ministerial rule") in matters that are to be handled by the individual agencies, unless otherwise specifically provided for in law.The Judiciary is independent from the Riksdag, Government and other State administrative authorities.WEB,weblink The Swedish courts, Swedish National Courts Administration, 9 November 2014, 27 November 2005,weblink" title="">weblink 19 October 2014, dead, dmy-all, The role of judicial review of legislation is not practised by the courts; instead, the Council on Legislation gives non-binding opinions on legality.{{sfn|Terrill|2009|p=243}} There is no stare decisis in that courts are not bound by precedent, although it is influential.{{sfn|Terrill|2009|p=246}}


File:Riksdag.ipred b9dn510 4451.jpg|thumb|right|The RiksdagRiksdagFor over 50 years, Sweden had had five parties who continually received enough votes to gain seats in the Riksdag—the Social Democrats, the Moderate Party, the Centre Party, the Liberal People's Party and the Left Party—before the Green Party became the sixth party in the 1988 election. In the 1991 election, while the Greens lost their seats, two new parties gained seats for the first time: the Christian Democrats and New Democracy. It was not until elections in 2010 that an eighth party, the Sweden Democrats, gained Riksdag seats. In the elections to the European Parliament, parties who have failed to pass the Riksdag threshold have managed to gain representation at that venue: the June List (2004–2009), the Pirate Party (2009–2014), and Feminist Initiative (2014–2019).Election turnout in Sweden has always been high by international comparison. Although it declined in recent decades, the latest elections saw an increase in voter turnout (80.11% in 2002, 81.99% in 2006, 84.63% in 2010, 85.81 in 2014)WEB,weblink Röster – Val 2014, Election Authority (Sweden), Election Authority, sv, 15 February 2016,weblink" title="">weblink 3 May 2015, live, and 87.18% in 2018.WEB,weblink Röster – Val 2018,, 18 January 2019, 17 December 2018,weblink dead, Swedish politicians enjoyed a high degree of confidence from the citizens in the 1960s, However, that level of confidence has since declined steadily, and is now at a markedly lower level than in its Scandinavian neighbours.BOOK, Norris, Pippa, Holmberg, Sören, Critical Citizens: Global Support for Democratic Government, Oxford University Press, 1999, 103–123, 978-0-19-829568-6,

Administrative divisions

(File:SWE-Map Kommuner2007.svg|thumb|upright|Municipal divisions of Sweden)Sweden is a unitary state divided into 21 regions () and 290 municipalities (). Every region corresponds to a county () with a number of municipalities per county. Regions and municipalities are both local government but have different roles and separate responsibilities. Health care, public transport and certain cultural institutions are administered by regional councils. Preschools, primary and secondary schooling, public water utilities, garbage disposal, elderly care and rescue services are administered by the municipalities. Gotland is a special case of being a region with only one municipality and the functions of region and municipality are performed by the same organisation.WEB, Municipalities and regions,weblink 21 November 2021,, en, 21 November 2021,weblink live, Municipal and region government in Sweden is similar to city commission and cabinet-style council government. Both levels have legislative assemblies (municipal councils and region assemblies of between 31 and 101 members (always an uneven number) that are elected from party-list proportional representation at the general election which are held every four years in conjunction with the national parliamentary elections.Municipalities are also divided into a total of 2,512 parishes (). These have no official political responsibilities but are traditional subdivisions of the Church of Sweden and still have some importance as census districts.The Swedish central government has 21 County Administrative Boards (), which are responsible for regional state administration not assigned to other government agencies or local government. Each county administrative board is led by a County Governor () appointed for a term of six years. The list of previous officeholders for the counties stretches back, in most cases, to 1634 when the counties were created by Lord High Chancellor Count Axel Oxenstierna. The main responsibility of the County Administrative Board is to co-ordinate the development of the county in line with goals set by the Riksdag and Government.There are older historical divisions, primarily the twenty-five provinces and three lands, which still retain cultural significance.

Judicial system

The courts are divided into two parallel and separate systems: The general courts () for criminal and civil cases, and general administrative courts () for cases relating to disputes between private persons and the authorities.WEB,weblink Swedish National Courts Administration, The Swedish courts, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 9 February 2009, 10 March 2005, Each of these systems has three tiers, where the top tier court of the respective system typically only will hear cases that may become precedent. There are also a number of special courts, which will hear a narrower set of cases, as set down by legislation. While independent in their rulings, some of these courts are operated as divisions within courts of the general or general administrative courts.File:Hogsta domstolen Stockholm.jpg|thumb|Bonde Palace in Stockholm, seat of the Supreme Court of SwedenSupreme Court of SwedenThe Supreme Court of Sweden () is the third and final instance in all civil and criminal cases in Sweden. The Supreme Court consists of 16 Justices (), appointed by the Government, but the court as an institution is independent of the Riksdag, and the Government is not able to interfere with the decisions of the court.According to a victimisation survey of 1,201 residents in 2005, Sweden has above-average crime rates compared to other EU countries. Sweden has high or above-average levels of assaults, sexual assaults, hate crimes, and consumer fraud. Sweden has low levels of burglary, car theft and drug problems. Bribe seeking is rare.WEB,weblink EUICS report, The Burden of Crime in the EU, A Comparative Analysis of the, van Dijk, Jan, Robert Manchin, John van Kesteren, Sami Nevala, Gergely Hideg, 2005, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 28 April 2008, A mid-November 2013 news report announced that four prisons in Sweden were closed during the year due to a significant drop in the number of inmates, with prison numbers in Sweden falling by around 1% a year since 2004.NEWS, Sweden closes four prisons as number of inmates plummets,weblink 15 November 2013, The Guardian, 11 November 2013, Orange, Richard,weblink" title="">weblink 15 November 2013, live,

Foreign relations

(File:European-parliament-brussels-inside.JPG|thumb|The EU parliament in Brussels. Sweden is a member state of the European Union.)Throughout the 20th century, Swedish foreign policy was based on the principle of non-alignment in peacetime and neutrality in wartime. Sweden's government pursued an independent course of nonalignment in times of peace so that neutrality would be possible in the event of war.During the early Cold War era, Sweden combined its policy of non-alignment and a low profile in international affairs with a security policy based on strong national defence.As context, according to Edwin Reischauer, "To be neutral you must be ready to be highly militarized, like Switzerland or Sweden." – see NEWS, Chapin, Emerson,weblink Edwin Reischauer, Diplomat and Scholar, Dies at 79, The New York Times, 2 September 1990, 16 February 2016, 25 April 2021,weblink live, The function of the Swedish military was to deter attack.Nordstrom, p 336: "As a corollary, a security policy based on strong national defences designed to discourage, but not prevent, attack was pursued. For the next several decades, the Swedish poured an annual average of about 5% of GDP into making their defenses credible." Beginning in the late 1960s, Sweden attempted to play a more significant and independent role in international relations. It involved itself significantly in international peace efforts, especially through the United Nations, and in support to the Third World. Following the 1986 assassination of Olof Palme and with the end of the Cold War, Sweden has adopted a more traditional foreign policy approach. Nevertheless, the country remains active in peacekeeping missions and maintains a considerable foreign aid budget.Since 1995 Sweden has been a member of the European Union, and as a consequence of a new world security situation the country's foreign policy doctrine has been partly modified, with Sweden playing a more active role in European security co-operation. In 2022, in response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Sweden moved to formally join the NATO alliance. Sweden formally became a member of NATO in 2024.WEB, 2024-03-07, NATO - Sweden Accession Protocol - Notification of Entry Into Force, March 7, 2024,weblink 2024-03-07, United States Department of State, en, 7 March 2024,weblink live,


File:Saab JAS 39 Gripen at Kaivopuisto Air Show, June 2017 (altered) copy.jpg|thumb|The Saab JAS 39 Gripen is an advanced Swedish multi-role fighter aircraft of the Swedish Air ForceSwedish Air ForceThe law is enforced in Sweden by several government entities. The Swedish police is a Government agency concerned with police matters. The National Task Force is a national SWAT unit within the police force. The Swedish Security Service's responsibilities are counter-espionage, anti-terrorist activities, protection of the constitution and protection of sensitive objects and people.The (Swedish Armed Forces) are a government agency reporting to the Swedish Ministry of Defence and responsible for the peacetime operation of the armed forces of Sweden. The primary task of the agency is to train and deploy peacekeeping forces abroad, while maintaining the long-term ability to refocus on the defence of Sweden in the event of war. The armed forces are divided into Army, Air Force and Navy. The head of the armed forces is the Supreme Commander (, ÖB), the most senior commissioned officer in the country. Up to 1974, the King was pro forma Commander-in-Chief, but in reality it was clearly understood through the 20th century that the monarch would have no active role as a military leader.File:Stridsfordon 90 Revinge 2012-2.jpg|thumb|The Infantry fighting vehicle CV90, which is produced and used by Sweden]]Until the end of the Cold War, nearly all males reaching the age of military service were conscripted. In recent years, the number of conscripted males has shrunk dramatically, while the number of female volunteers has increased slightly. Recruitment has generally shifted towards finding the most motivated recruits. By law, all soldiers serving abroad must be volunteers. On 1 July 2010, Sweden ended routine conscription, switching to an all-volunteer force unless otherwise required for defence readiness.WEB,weblink Swedish Armed Forces, Värnplikt, Conscription, 21 April 2010, sv, {{dead link|date=May 2016|bot=medic}}{{cbignore|bot=medic}}WEB,weblink Sveriges Television, Allmänna värnplikten skrotas, General conscription scrapped, 21 April 2010, sv, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 26 April 2011, NEWS,weblink The Local, Military conscription phase out under fire, 21 April 2010, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 22 January 2010, The total forces gathered would consist of about 60,000 personnel. This in comparison with the 1980s, before the fall of the Soviet Union, when Sweden could gather up to 1,000,000 servicemembers.However, on 11 December 2014, due to tensions in the Baltic area, the Swedish Government reintroduced one part of the Swedish conscription system, refresher training.WEB,weblink Frågor och svar om repetitionsutbildning, Försvarsmakten, Försvarsmakten, 13 November 2017,weblink" title="">weblink 1 November 2017, live, On 2 March 2017, the government decided to reintroduce the remaining part of the Swedish conscription system, basic military training. The first recruits began their training in 2018. As the law is now gender neutral, both men and women may have to serve.WEB,weblink Regeringen återaktiverar mönstring och grundutbildning med värnplikt, Regeringen och, Regeringskansliet, 2 March 2017, Regeringskansliet, 13 November 2017,weblink" title="">weblink 13 November 2017, live, Sweden decided not to sign the UN treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.NEWS, Sweden declines to sign UN nuclear ban treaty,weblink The Local, 12 July 2019, 8 August 2019, 15 July 2019,weblink live, Swedish units have taken part in peacekeeping operations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Cyprus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Liberia, Lebanon, Afghanistan and Chad.


File:Sweden GRP per Capita (2014).png|thumb|upright|Gross regional productGross regional productSweden is the twelfth-richest country in the world in terms of GDP (gross domestic product) per capita and a high standard of living is experienced by its citizens. Sweden is an export-oriented mixed economy. Timber, hydropower and iron ore constitute the resource base of an economy with a heavy emphasis on foreign trade. Sweden's engineering sector accounts for 50% of output and exports, while telecommunications, the automotive industry and the pharmaceutical industries are also of great importance. Sweden is the ninth-largest arms exporter in the world. Agriculture accounts for 2% of GDP and employment. The country ranks among the highest for telephone and Internet access penetration.WEB,weblink Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook, EUROPE :: SWEDEN, 16 February 2016, 18 January 2021,weblink live, Trade unions, employers' associations and collective agreements cover a large share of the employees in Sweden.Anders Kjellberg (2019) Kollektivavtalens täckningsgrad samt organisationsgraden hos arbetsgivarförbund och fackförbund {{Webarchive|url= |date=17 June 2019 }}, Department of Sociology, Lund University. Studies in Social Policy, Industrial Relations, Working Life and Mobility. Research Reports 2019:1, Appendix 3 (in English) Tables A-G (in English)Anders Kjellberg (2019) "Sweden: collective bargaining under the industry norm" {{Webarchive|url=|date=25 July 2019}}, in Torsten Müller & Kurt Vandaele & Jeremy Waddington (eds.) Collective bargaining in Europe: towards an endgame, European Trade Union Institute (ETUI) Brussels 2019. Vol. III (pp. 583–604) The high coverage of collective agreements is achieved despite the absence of state mechanisms extending collective agreements to whole industries or sectors. Both the prominent role of collective bargaining and the way in which the high rate of coverage is achieved reflect the dominance of self-regulation (regulation by the labour market parties themselves).Anders Kjellberg (2017) weblink" title="">"Self-regulation versus State Regulation in Swedish Industrial Relations" In Mia Rönnmar and Jenny Julén Votinius (eds.) Festskrift till Ann Numhauser-Henning. Lund: Juristförlaget i Lund 2017, pp. 357–383 When the Swedish Ghent system was changed in 2007, resulting in considerably raised fees to unemployment funds, a substantial decline in union density and density of unemployment funds occurred.Anders Kjellberg (2011) "The Decline in Swedish Union Density since 2007" {{Webarchive|url= |date=12 March 2017 }} Nordic Journal of Working Life Studies (NJWLS) Vol. 1. No 1 (August 2011), pp. 67–93Anders Kjellberg and Christian Lyhne Ibsen (2016) "Attacks on union organizing: Reversible and irreversible changes to the Ghent-systems in Sweden and Denmark" {{Webarchive|url=|date=9 March 2017}} in Trine Pernille Larsen and Anna Ilsøe (eds.)(2016) Den Danske Model set udefra (The Danish Model Inside Out) – komparative perspektiver på dansk arbejdsmarkedsregulering, Copenhagen: Jurist- og Økonomforbundets Forlag (pp.279–302)In 2010, Sweden's income Gini coefficient was the third lowest among developed countries, at 0.25—slightly higher than Japan and Denmark—suggesting Sweden had low income inequality. However, Sweden's wealth Gini coefficient at 0.853 was the second highest in developed countries, and above European and North American averages, suggesting high wealth inequality.WEB, The Real Wealth of Nations: Pathways to Human Development (2010 Human Development Report – see Human Development Statistical Tables), 152–156, United Nations Development Program, 2011,weblink 4 August 2012,weblink" title="">weblink 16 July 2011, live, WEB, Global Wealth Databook, Credit Suisse (using Statistics Sweden data), 2010, 14–15, 83–86,weblink dead,weblink 23 October 2012, Even on a disposable income basis, the geographical distribution of Gini coefficient of income inequality varies within different regions and municipalities of Sweden. Danderyd, outside Stockholm, has Sweden's highest Gini coefficient of income inequality, at 0.55, while Hofors near Gävle has the lowest at 0.25. In and around Stockholm and Scania, two of the more densely populated regions of Sweden, the income Gini coefficient is between 0.35 and 0.55.BOOK, Do unequal societies cause death and disease?, Edvinsson, Sören, Malmberg, Gunnar, Häggström Lundevaller, Erling, 2011, Umeå University,weblink 27 August 2012, 5 October 2023,weblink live, {{Multiple image
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|caption1 = Sweden is home to Volvo Cars, an automobile company with its headquarters in Gothenburg
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|caption3 = H&M, one of the world's largest fashion retailers
}}In terms of structure, the Swedish economy is characterised by a large, knowledge-intensive and export-oriented manufacturing sector; an increasing, but comparatively small, business service sector; and by international standards, a large public service sector. Large organisations, both in manufacturing and services, dominate the Swedish economy.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink 4 October 2006, Doing Business Abroad – Innovation, Science and Technology,, 6 May 2009, dead, High and medium-high technology manufacturing accounts for 9.9% of GDP.WEB,weblink High- and medium-high-technology manufacturing,, 22 September 2012,weblink" title="">weblink 23 September 2012, dead, The 20 largest (by turnover) registered Swedish companies in 2007 were Volvo, Ericsson, Vattenfall, Skanska, Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications AB, Svenska Cellulosa Aktiebolaget, Electrolux, Volvo Personvagnar, TeliaSonera, Sandvik, Scania, ICA, Hennes & Mauritz, IKEA, Nordea, Preem, Atlas Copco, Securitas, Nordstjernan and SKF.WEB,weblink$/lev2-TopList/lev2Desc-The_largest_companies_in_the_Nordic_countries_by%A0turnover%A0%28excl._national_subsidiaries%29/AdPageId-102/list-2/cc-SE/,weblink" title="">weblink$/lev2-TopList/lev2Desc-The_largest_companies_in_the_Nordic_countries_by%A0turnover%A0(excl._national_subsidiaries)/AdPageId-102/list-2/cc-SE/, dead, 28 June 2012, 20 largest companies in Sweden,, 6 October 2009, 25 August 2010, The vast majority of Sweden's industry is privately controlled, unlike many other industrialised Western countries.An estimated 4.5 million Swedish residents are employed, and around a third of the workforce completed tertiary education. In terms of GDP per-hour-worked, Sweden was the world's ninth highest in 2006 at US$31, compared to US$22 in Spain and US$35 in the United States. GDP per-hour-worked is growing 2.5% per year for the economy as a whole and the trade-terms-balanced productivity growth is 2%. According to the OECD, deregulation, globalisation, and technology sector growth have been key productivity drivers. Sweden is a world leader in privatised pensions and pension funding problems are relatively small compared to many other Western European countries.WEB,weblink Pension Reform in Sweden: Lessons for American Policymakers, The Heritage Foundation, 17 September 2014, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 13 January 2010, A pilot program to test the feasibility of a six-hour workday, without loss of pay, will commence in 2014, involving the participation of Gothenburg municipal staff. The Swedish government is seeking to reduce its costs through decreased sick leave hours and increased efficiency.NEWS, Swedes to give six-hour workday a go,weblink Oliver, Gee, 9 April 2014, The Local, 8 April 2014,weblink" title="">weblink 9 April 2014, live, The typical worker receives 40% of his or her labour costs after the tax wedge. Total tax collected by Sweden as a percentage of its GDP peaked at 52.3% in 1990. The country faced a real estate and banking crisis in 1990–1991, and consequently passed tax reforms in 1991 to implement tax rate cuts and tax base broadening over time.JOURNAL, Tax reform of the Century – the Swedish Experiment, Agell, Jonas, Englund, Peter, Södersten, Jan, National Tax Journal, 49, December 1996, 643–664,weblink$file/v49n4643.pdf, 4, 10.1086/NTJ41789232, 232211459, dead,weblink" title="">weblink$file/v49n4643.pdf, 27 November 2012, WEB,weblink Financial Crisis – Experiences from Sweden, Lars Heikensten (1998), Sveriges Riksbank, 15 July 1998, 13 March 2013,weblink" title="">weblink 2 February 2013, live, Since 1990, taxes as a percentage of GDP collected by Sweden have been dropping, with total tax rates for the highest income earners dropping the most.SSRN, Lifetime Versus Annual Tax Progressivity: Sweden, 1968–2009, Bengtsson, Niklas, Holmlund, Bertil, Waldenström, Daniel, amp, June 2012, 2098702, In 2010 45.8% of the country's GDP was collected as taxes, the second highest among OECD countries, and nearly double the percentage in the US or South Korea.WEB, Revenue Statistics – Comparative tables, OECD, Europe, 2011,weblink 13 August 2012,weblink" title="">weblink 18 September 2012, live, Tax income-financed employment represents a third of the Swedish workforce, a substantially higher proportion than in most other countries. Overall, GDP growth has been fast since reforms—especially those in manufacturing—were enacted in the early 1990s.OECD Economic Surveys: Sweden – Volume 2005 Issue 9 by OECD PublishingFile:Spotify App (23745887894).jpg|thumb|SpotifySpotifySweden is the fourth-most competitive economy in the world, according to the World Economic Forum in its Global Competitiveness Report 2012–2013.WEB,weblink Global Competitiveness Report 2012–2013, World Economic Forum, 5 September 2012, 9 June 2013, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 10 December 2014, Sweden is the top performing country in the 2014 Global Green Economy Index (GGEI).WEB,weblink 2014 Global Green Economy Index, Dual Citizen LLC, 19 October 2014, 19 October 2014,weblink" title="">weblink 28 October 2014, live, Sweden is ranked fourth in the IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook 2013.WEB,weblink IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook 2013,, 30 May 2013, 9 June 2013,weblink" title="">weblink 9 June 2013, live, Sweden maintains its own currency, the Swedish krona (SEK). The Swedish Riksbank—founded in 1668 and thus the oldest central bank in the world—is currently focusing on price stability with an inflation target of 2%. According to the Economic Survey of Sweden 2007 by the OECD, the average inflation in Sweden has been one of the lowest among European countries since the mid-1990s, largely because of deregulation and quick utilisation of globalisation.WEB,weblink Economic survey of Sweden 2007,, 1 January 1970, 25 August 2010, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 26 April 2011, The largest trade flows are with Germany, the United States, Norway, the United Kingdom, Denmark and Finland.


{{See also|Energy in Sweden|Electricity in Sweden|Nordic energy market|Nuclear power in Sweden}}File:Ringhals.JPG|thumb|Ringhals Nuclear Power Plant, located south of GothenburgGothenburgSweden's energy market is largely privatised. The Nordic energy market is one of the first liberalised energy markets in Europe and it is traded in NASDAQ OMX Commodities Europe and Nord Pool Spot. In 2006, out of a total electricity production of 139 TWh, electricity from hydropower accounted for 61 TWh (44%), and nuclear power delivered 65 TWh (47%). At the same time, the use of biofuels, peat etc. produced 13 TWh (9%) of electricity, while wind power produced 1 TWh (1%). Sweden was a net importer of electricity by a margin of 6 TWh.WEB,weblink Kraftläget i Sverige, Vattensituationen, 19 April 2007, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 16 February 2008, Biomass is mainly used to produce heat for district heating and central heating and industry processes.Sweden joined the International Energy Agency in 1974, after the 1973 oil crisis strengthened Sweden's commitment to decrease dependence on imported fossil fuels.WEB, International Energy Agency, 2020, Countries & Regions – Sweden,weblink 17 May 2022, 28 March 2019,weblink live, To protect against unexpected oil supply shocks and in accordance with international commitments made through the IEA, Sweden maintains a strategic petroleum reserve of at least 90 days of net oil imports. As of February 2022, Sweden's oil reserves totalled 130 days' worth of net imports.WEB, International Energy Agency, 12 May 2022, Oil Stocks of IEA Countries,weblink 17 May 2022, 16 May 2022,weblink live, Sweden has moved to generate electricity mostly from hydropower and nuclear power. The use of nuclear power has been limited, however. Among other things, the accident of Three Mile Island prompted the Riksdag to ban new nuclear plants. In March 2005, an opinion poll showed that 83% supported maintaining or increasing nuclear power.WEB, September 2009, Nuclear Power in Sweden,weblink live,weblink" title="">weblink 13 February 2010, 29 January 2010, World Nuclear Association, Sweden is considered a "global leader" in decarbonisation. Politicians have made announcements about oil phase-out in Sweden, decrease of nuclear power, and multibillion-dollar investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency.WEB, April 1997, NATURAL RESOURCE ASPECTS OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IN SWEDEN,weblink live,weblink" title="">weblink 4 March 2016, 17 February 2016, Agenda 21, United Nations, NEWS, Vidal, John, 8 February 2006, Sweden plans to be world's first oil-free economy, The Guardian,weblink 13 March 2013, 5 October 2023,weblink live, The country has for many years pursued a strategy of indirect taxation as an instrument of environmental policy, including energy taxes in general and carbon dioxide taxes in particular. Sweden was the first nation to implement carbon pricing, and its carbon prices remain the highest in the world as of 2020. This model has been shown to be particularly effective at decarbonizing the nation's economy.


File:Øresund Bridge from the air in September 2015.jpg|thumb|The Öresund Bridge between Malmö and CopenhagenCopenhagenFile:E6-E20 Olskroksmotet in Gothenburg.png|thumb|The west coast motorway E6/E20 in central GothenburgGothenburgSweden has {{convert|162707|km|mi|abbr=on}} of paved road and {{convert|1428|km|mi|abbr=on}} of expressways. Motorways run through Sweden and over the Øresund Bridge to Denmark. Sweden had left-hand traffic ( in Swedish) from approximately 1736, but after the Riksdag passed legislation in 1963 changeover took place on 3 September 1967, known in Swedish as Dagen H.The Stockholm metro is the only underground system in Sweden and serves the city of Stockholm via 100 stations. The rail transport market is privatised, but while there are many privately owned enterprises, the largest operators are still owned by the state. Operators include SJ, Veolia Transport, Green Cargo, Tågkompaniet and Inlandsbanan. Most of the railways are owned and operated by Trafikverket.File:Hall, Stockholm Central Station.jpg|thumb|Stockholm Central StationStockholm Central StationMost tram networks were closed in 1967. But they survived in Norrköping, Stockholm and Gothenburg, with Gothenburg tram network being the largest. A new tram line opened in Lund on 13 December 2020.The largest airports include Stockholm–Arlanda Airport (16.1 million passengers in 2009) {{convert|40|km|mi|abbr=on}} north of Stockholm, Göteborg Landvetter Airport (4.3 million passengers in 2008), and Stockholm–Skavsta Airport (2.0 million passengers). Sweden hosts the two largest port companies in Scandinavia, Port of Göteborg AB (Gothenburg) and the transnational company Copenhagen Malmö Port AB. The most used airport for a large part of Southern Sweden is Kastrup or Copenhagen Airport which is located only 12 minutes by train from the closest Swedish railway station, Hyllie.Sweden also has a number of car ferry connections to several neighbouring countries.WEB,weblink Ferry to Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Poland, Baltic, Russia, Germany., Kowalski, Oliver,, 28 August 2016, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 16 August 2016, This includes a route from Umeå across the Gulf of Bothnia to Vaasa in Finland. There are several connections from the Stockholm area across the Sea of Åland to Mariehamn in Åland as well as Turku and Helsinki on the Finnish mainland and beyond to Estonia and St Petersburg in Russia. Ferry routes from the Stockholm area also connect with Latvia and Poland across the Baltic Sea. The ferry ports of Karlskrona and Karlshamn in southeastern Sweden serve Poland and Lithuania. Ystad and Trelleborg near the southern tip of Sweden have ferry links with the Danish island of Bornholm and the German ports of Sassnitz, Rostock and Travemünde, respectively, and ferries run to Świnoujście, Poland, from both of them. Trelleborg is the busiest ferry port in Sweden in terms of weight transported by lorry.John Bitton and Nils-Åke Svensson, "Øresund sett från himlen" (Oresund seen from the sky), 2005, {{ISBN|978-91-85305-10-0}}, page 38 Despite the opening of the fixed link to Denmark, the Øresund Bridge, the busiest ferry route remains the short link across the narrowest section of the Øresund between Helsingborg and the Danish port of Helsingør, known as the HH Ferry route. There are over seventy departures a day each way; during peak times, a ferry departs every fifteen minutes.At WEB,weblink Tidtabell, 12 May 2015, live,weblink" title="">weblink 24 December 2016, please press "Tidtabell 2 jan – 31 maj 2015" (Time table 2. January to 31. May 2015) for PDF download Ports higher up the Swedish west coast include Varberg, with a ferry connection across the Kattegat to Grenaa in Denmark, and Göteborg, serving Frederikshavn at the northern tip of Denmark and Kiel in Germany. Finally, there are ferries from Strömstad near the Norwegian border to destinations around the Oslofjord in Norway.Sweden has two domestic ferry lines with large vessels, both connecting Gotland with the mainland. The lines leave from Visby harbour on the island, and the ferries sail to either Oskarshamn or Nynäshamn.WEB,weblink Boka båtbiljetter till och från Gotland,, sv, 12 May 2015,weblink" title="">weblink 18 May 2015, live, A smaller car ferry connects the island of Ven in Øresund with Landskrona.WEB,weblink Ventrafiken -Upplev sundets pärla,, sv, 12 May 2015,weblink" title="">weblink 1 May 2015, live,

Public policy

{{See also|Nordic model|Social welfare in Sweden}}Sweden has one of the most highly developed welfare states in the world. According to a 2012 OECD report, the country had the second-highest public social spending as a percentage of its GDP after France, and the third-highest total (public and private) social spending at 30.2% of its GDP, after France and Belgium.WEB, OECD Factbook 2011–2012 (see Public Finance -> Social Expenditure), 2012, OECD Publishing,weblink 9 August 2012,weblink" title="">weblink 23 August 2012, live, Sweden spent 6.3% of its GDP, the ninth-highest among 34 OECD countries, to provide equal access to education.WEB, OECD Factbook 2011–2012 (see Education -> Education Expenditure), 2012, OECD Publishing,weblink 9 August 2012,weblink" title="">weblink 23 August 2012, live, On health care, the country spent 10.0% of its total GDP, the 12th highest.WEB, OECD Factbook 2011–2012 (see Health -> Health Expenditure), 2012, OECD Publishing,weblink 9 August 2012,weblink" title="">weblink 23 August 2012, live, Historically, Sweden provided solid support for free trade (except agriculture) and mostly relatively strong and stable property rights (both private and public), though some economists have pointed out that Sweden promoted industries with tariffs and used publicly subsidised R&D during the country's early critical years of industrialisation.BOOK, Kicking Away The Ladder, 39–42, Ha-Joon, Chang, After World War II a succession of governments expanded the welfare state by raising the taxes. A series of successive social reforms transformed the country into one of the most equal and developed on earth. The consistent growth of the welfare state led to Swedes achieving unprecedented levels of social mobility and quality of life—to this day Sweden consistently ranks at the top of league tables for health, literacy and Human Development—far ahead of some wealthier countries (for example the United States).WEB,weblink$FILE/135%20-%20Submission%20-%20Childrens%20Hospitals%20Australasia%20(Attachment%20C).pdf, Department of Health (Australia), Department of Health, The Spirit Level: Why More Equal Societies Almost Always Do Better, Richard, Wilkinson, Kate, Pickett, 8 March 2009, 16 February 2016, dead,weblink" title="">weblink$FILE/135%20-%20Submission%20-%20Childrens%20Hospitals%20Australasia%20(Attachment%20C).pdf, 5 February 2016, A report from the United Nations Development Program predicted that Sweden's rating on the Human Development Index will fall from 0.949 in 2010 to 0.906 in 2030.JOURNAL, Asher, Jana, Jana Asher, Osborne Daponte, Beth, A Hypothetical Cohort Model of Human Development, Human Development Research Paper, 41,weblink 30 December 2014,weblink" title="">weblink 19 February 2015, live, Sweden has been relatively quick to adopt neoliberal policies, such as privatisation, financialisation and deregulation,BOOK, Pierre, Jon, 2016, The Oxford Handbook of Swedish Politics (Oxford Handbooks),weblink Oxford University Press, 573, 978-0-19-966567-9,weblink 9 October 2017, live, BOOK, Springer, Simon, Birch, Kean, MacLeavy, Julie, 2016, The Handbook of Neoliberalism,weblink Routledge, 569, 978-1-138-84400-1,weblink 9 October 2017, live, compared to countries such as France.WEB,weblink Sweden's balancing lessons for Europe, 17 September 2014,weblink" title="">weblink 31 October 2011, live, The current Swedish government is continuing the trend of moderate rollbacks of previous social reforms.NEWS,weblink Moderate revolution, The Economist, 17 September 2014,weblink" title="">weblink 4 January 2010, live, Growth has been higher than in many other EU-15 countries. Since the mid-1980s, Sweden has had the fastest growth in inequality of any developed nation, according to the OECD. This has largely been attributed to the reduction in state benefits and a shift toward the privatisation of public services. Nevertheless, it remains far more egalitarian than most nations.WEB,weblink Swedish riots rage for fourth night, The Guardian, 23 May 2013, 17 September 2014,weblink" title="">weblink 17 August 2014, live, Sweden adopted free market agricultural policies in 1990. Since the 1930s, the agricultural sector had been subject to price controls. In June 1990, the Riksdag voted for a new agricultural policy marking a significant shift away from price controls. As a result, food prices fell somewhat. However, the liberalisations soon became moot because EU agricultural controls supervened.JOURNAL, Econ Journal Watch, Lindberg, Henrik, The Role of Economists in Liberalising Swedish Agriculture, May 2007,weblink 4, 2, 17 February 2016,weblink" title="">weblink 3 March 2016, live, In 2015 and 2016, 69 per cent of the employed workers is organised in trade unions. Union density in 2016 was 62% among blue-collar-workers (most of them in the Swedish Trade Union Confederation, LO) and 75% among white-collar workers (most of them in the Swedish Confederation of Professional Employees, TCO, and the Swedish Confederation of Professional Associations, SACO).Yearly averages excluding full-time students working part-time. See Anders Kjellberg Kollektivavtalens täckningsgrad samt organisationsgraden hos arbetsgivarförbund och fackförbund {{webarchive|url= |date=12 March 2017 }}, Department of Sociology, Lund University. Studies in Social Policy, Industrial Relations, Working Life and Mobility. Research Reports 2017:1, Appendix 3 (in English) Table A Sweden has state-supported union unemployment funds (Ghent system).Anders Kjellberg and Christian Lyhne Ibsen "Attacks on union organizing: Reversible and irreversible changes to the Ghent-systems in Sweden and Denmark" {{Webarchive|url=|date=9 March 2017}} in Trine Pernille Larsen and Anna Ilsøe (eds.)(2016) Den Danske Model set udefra (The Danish Model Inside Out) – komparative perspektiver på dansk arbejdsmarkedsregulering, Copenhagen: Jurist- og Økonomforbundets Forlag (pp.279–302) Trade unions have the right to elect two representatives to the board in all Swedish companies with more than 25 employees. Sweden has a relatively high amount of sick leave per worker in OECD: the average worker loses 24 days due to sickness.The unemployment rate was 7.2% in May 2017 while the employment rate was 67.4%, with the workforce consisting of 4,983,000 people while 387,000 are unemployed.NEWS,weblink Continued increase in the number of employees in the municipal sector, Statistics Sweden, 20 June 2017, 30 June 2017,weblink" title="">weblink 9 October 2017, live, NEWS,weblink SCB: Arbetslösheten minskar i landet, Svenska Dagbladet, Tidningarnas Telegrambyrå, 20 June 2017, sv, 30 June 2017,weblink 23 June 2017, live, Unemployment among youth (aged 24 or younger) in 2012 was 24.2%, making Sweden the OECD country with the highest ratio of youth unemployment versus unemployment in general.WEB, Sweden: Highest ratio of youth unemployment, UNRIC, United Nations Regional Information Centre for Western Europe, Brussels, 2012,weblink 9 August 2012,weblink" title="">weblink 2 February 2013, dead,

Science and technology

File:AlfredNobel adjusted.jpg|thumb|upright|Alfred NobelAlfred NobelIn the 18th century, Sweden's scientific revolution took off. Previously, technical progress had mainly come from mainland Europe.In 1739, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences was founded, with people such as Carl Linnaeus and Anders Celsius as early members. Gustaf Dalén founded AGA, and received the Nobel Prize for his sun valve. Alfred Nobel invented dynamite and instituted the Nobel Prizes. Lars Magnus Ericsson started the company bearing his name, Ericsson, still one of the largest telecom companies in the world. Jonas Wenström was an early pioneer in alternating current and is along with Nikola Tesla credited as one of the inventors of the three-phase electrical system.The traditional engineering industry is still a major source of Swedish inventions, but pharmaceuticals, electronics and other high-tech industries are gaining ground. Tetra Pak was an invention for storing liquid foods, invented by Erik Wallenberg. Losec, an ulcer medicine, was the world's best-selling drug in the 1990s and was developed by AstraZeneca. More recently Håkan Lans invented the Automatic Identification System, a worldwide standard for shipping and civil aviation navigation. A large portion of the Swedish economy is to this day based on the export of technical inventions.WEB,weblink Innovation, Science/Research: Inventing tomorrow's world,, 27 January 2011, February 2010, Fact Sheet FS 4,weblink" title="">weblink 4 January 2011, live, Swedish inventors held 47,112 patents in the United States {{as of|2014|alt=in 2014}}, according to the United States Patent and Trademark Office. As a nation, only ten other countries hold more patents than Sweden.WEB,weblink United States Patent and Trademark Office, Patents By Country, State, and Year – All Patent Types (December 2014), 17 February 2016,weblink" title="">weblink 26 February 2016, live, Combined, the public and the private sector in Sweden allocate over 3.5% of GDP to research & development (R&D) per year, making Sweden's investment in R&D as a percentage of GDP the second-highest in the world.WEB,weblink % Of GDP > Research And Development Expenditure statistics – countries compared, NationMaster, 22 September 2012,weblink" title="">weblink 8 October 2012, dead, For several decades the Swedish government has prioritised scientific and R&D activities. As a percentage of GDP, the Swedish government spends the most of any nation on research and development.WEB,weblink Government spending in research and development statistics – countries compared,, 1 April 2007, 22 September 2012,weblink" title="">weblink 30 September 2012, live, Sweden tops other European countries in the number of published scientific works per capita.WEB,weblink Embassy of Sweden New Delhi – Science & Technology,, 6 May 2009, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 16 September 2008, The European Spallation Source (ESS) was scheduled to begin initial operations in 2019 with construction completion scheduled for 2025. The ESS will give an approximately 30 times stronger neutron beam than any of today's existing neutron source installations.WEB, Neutron scattering,weblink Institute of Physics, 16 October 2013,weblink" title="">weblink 22 October 2013, live, The MAX IV, costing some SEK 3 billion, was inaugurated on 21 June 2016. Both facilities have strong implications on material research. Sweden was ranked third in the Global Innovation Index in 2022 and second in 2023.BOOK, WIPO, Global Innovation Index 2023, 15th Edition,weblink 17 October 2023,, 12 December 2023, World Intellectual Property Organization, 10.34667/tind.46596, 9789280534320, en, 22 October 2023,weblink live, BOOK, Global Innovation Index 2022, 15th Edition,weblink 16 November 2022, 2022, World Intellectual Property Organization, 10.34667/tind.46596, 978-92-805-3432-0, en, 3 December 2022,weblink live, Dutta, Soumitra, Lanvin, Bruno, Wunsch-Vincent, Sacha, León, Lorena Rivera, World Intellectual Property Organization,

Waste management

Sweden is known for its efficient waste management system. Only 0.7% of the total household waste is disposed, and the rest is reused.WEB, Balaam, Kellie, 20 December 2019, Turning around WA's poor reputation on waste,weblink 6 June 2023, Western Independent, en-US, 6 June 2023,weblink live, Around 52% of its waste is used for energy production (that is burnt) and 47% recycled.WEB, Dirty power: Sweden wants your garbage for energy,weblink 6 June 2023,, 6 June 2023,weblink" title="">weblink live, JOURNAL, Eriksson, Ola, Finnveden, Göran, 2009, Plastic waste as a fuel - CO2-neutral or not?,weblink Energy & Environmental Science, en, 2, 9, 907, 10.1039/b908135f, 1754-5692, 6 June 2023, 5 October 2023,weblink live, About two million tonnes of waste are imported from neighbouring countries to make profitable recycling products.WEB, Balaam, Kellie, 20 December 2019, Turning around WA's poor reputation on waste,weblink 6 June 2023, Western Independent, en-US, 6 June 2023,weblink live, As of 2023 report, Sweden generated 1.7 billion euros in 2020 (the highest so far was 1.98 billion euros in 2016) from recycling waste.WEB, Sweden: waste collection industry turnover 2020,weblink 6 June 2023, Statista, en, 6 June 2023,weblink live, The works are mostly executed through the public organisation, Swedish Waste Management (Avfall Sverige).WEB, Balaam, Kellie, 20 December 2019, Turning around WA's poor reputation on waste,weblink 6 June 2023, Western Independent, en-US, 6 June 2023,weblink live,


Since the late 1960s, Sweden has had the highest tax quota (as percentage of GDP) in the industrialised world, although today the gap has narrowed and Denmark has surpassed Sweden as the most heavily taxed country among developed countries. Sweden has a two-step progressive tax scale with a municipal income tax of about 30% and an additional high-income state tax of 20–25% when a salary exceeds roughly 320,000 SEK per year. Payroll taxes amount to 32%. In addition, a national VAT of 25% is added to many things bought by private citizens. Certain items are subject to additional taxes, e.g. electricity, petrol/diesel and alcoholic beverages. {{As of|2007|alt=In 2007}}, total tax revenue was 47.8% of GDP, the second-highest tax burden among developed countries, down from 49.1% 2006.NEWS, Kenneth, Westerlund, Danmark har högsta skattetrycket, Denmark has the highest tax burden,weblink Dagens Nyheter, 11 March 2008, 11 March 2008, sv, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 14 February 2009, Public sector spending amounts to 53% of the GDP. State and municipal employees total around a third of the workforce, much more than in most Western countries. Only Denmark has a larger public sector (38% of Danish workforce). Spending on transfers is also high. On average, 27% of taxpayers' money in Sweden goes to education and healthcare, whereas 5% goes to the police and military, and 42% to social security.NEWS, 22 August 2017, Offentliga sektorns utgifter,weblink 21 April 2019,weblink 7 July 2018, live,


Every Swedish resident receives a state pension. Swedish Pensions Agency is responsible for pensions. People who have worked in Sweden, but relocated to another country, can also receive the Swedish pension. There are several types of pensions in Sweden: occupational and private pensions, and national retirement. A person can receive a combination of the various types of pensions.


{{Largest cities of Sweden}}(File:Swedishpopdensity.svg|thumb|right|upright=0.7|Population density in the counties of Sweden.People/km2.{{legend|#E1E1FF|0–9.9}}{{legend|#CDCDFF|10–24.9}}{{legend|#A5A5FF|25–49.9}}{{legend|#7373FF|50–99.9}}{{legend|#2D2DFF|100–199.9}}{{legend|#0000FA|200+}})The total resident population of Sweden was 10,377,781 in October 2020. The population exceeded 10 million for the first time on Friday 20 January 2017.NEWS,weblink Swedish population hits 10-million mark – Radio Sweden, Radio, Sveriges, Sveriges Radio, 20 January 2017, en, 19 September 2019, 3 September 2019,weblink live, WEB,weblink Sweden's population reaches historic ten million milestone, 20 January 2017,, en-GB, 19 September 2019, 14 September 2019,weblink live, The average population density is just over 25 people per km2 (65 per square mile), with 1 437 persons per km2 in localities (continuous settlement with at least 200 inhabitants).WEB,weblink Densification in half of Sweden's urban areas, 9 August 2020, 5 August 2020,weblink live, ,WEB,weblink Roughly 87 percent of the population lives in localities and urban areas, 9 August 2020, 9 August 2020,weblink live, 87% of the population live in urban areas, which cover 1.5% of the entire land area.Statistiska tätorter 2018 {{Webarchive|url= |date=9 September 2020 }} page 33 63% of Swedes are in large urban areas. It is substantially higher in the south than in the north. The capital city Stockholm has a municipal population of about 950,000 (with 1.5 million in the urban area and 2.3 million in the metropolitan area). The second- and third-largest cities are Gothenburg and Malmö. Outside of major cities, areas with notably higher population density include the agricultural part of Östergötland, the western coast, the area around Lake Mälaren and the agricultural area around Uppsala.Norrland, which covers approximately 60% of the Swedish territory, has a very low population density (below 5 people per square kilometre). The mountains and most of the remote coastal areas are almost unpopulated. Low population density exists also in large parts of western Svealand, as well as southern and central Småland. An area known as Finnveden, which is located in the south-west of Småland, and mainly below the 57th parallel, can also be considered as almost empty of people.There are no official statistics on ethnicity, but according to Statistics Sweden, 2,752,572 (26%) inhabitants of Sweden were of a foreign background in 2021, defined as being born abroad or born in Sweden with both foreign-born parents.WEB, Number of persons with foreign or Swedish background (detailed division) by region, age and sex. Year 2002 – 2021,weblink 15 April 2022, Statistikdatabasen, en, 19 April 2020,weblink" title="">weblink live, Of these inhabitants, 2,090,503 persons were born abroad and 662,069 persons were born in Sweden to parents born abroad. In addition, 805,340 persons had one parent born abroad with the other parent born in Sweden. Five minority groups are officially recognized by Sweden: Jews, Romani, Sámi, Finns, and Tornedalers.WEB, Sweden's national minorities,weblink, 16 October 2023, 20 September 2023, 1 December 2023,weblink live, Sweden has one of the oldest populations in the world, with the average age of 41.1 years.{{citation|url=|title=World Factbook EUROPE : SWEDEN|work=The World Factbook|date=12 July 2018|access-date=23 January 2021|archive-date=18 January 2021|archive-url=|url-status=live}}


{{See also|Swedish dialects}}The official language of Sweden is Swedish,WEB,weblink Språklag (2009:600), 28 May 2009, Riksdag, sv, 10 November 2014,weblink" title="">weblink 10 November 2014, live, NEWS,weblink Swedish becomes official 'main language', Landes, David, 1 July 2009, The Local, 15 July 2009,weblink" title="">weblink 10 December 2013, live, a North Germanic language, related and very similar to Danish and Norwegian, but differing in pronunciation and orthography. The dialects spoken in Scania, the southernmost part of the country, are influenced by Danish because the region traditionally was a part of Denmark and is nowadays situated closely to it. Sweden Finns are Sweden's largest linguistic minority, comprising about 5% of Sweden's population,WEB,weblink På lördag kan 440 000 flagga blått och vitt, On Saturday 440 000 can flag blue and white, Statistics Sweden, sv, 5 December 2008, 16 June 2009, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 20 August 2010, and Finnish is recognised as a minority language. Owing to a 21st-century influx of native speakers of Arabic, the use of Arabic is likely more widespread in the country than that of Finnish. However, no official statistics are kept on language use.NEWS,weblink Hur många språk talas i Sverige?, How many languages are spoken in Sweden?, Sveriges Radio, sv, 29 October 2014, 10 January 2016,weblink" title="">weblink 4 March 2016, live, Forsberg, Ingrid, Along with Finnish, four other minority languages are also recognised: Meänkieli, Sami, Romani, and Yiddish. Swedish became Sweden's official language on 1 July 2009, when a new language law was implemented. The issue of whether Swedish should be declared the official language had been raised in the past, and the Riksdag voted on the matter in 2005, but the proposal narrowly failed.NEWS, Svenskan blir inte officiellt språk, SVT Nyheter, Swedish will not become an official language,weblink Sveriges Television, sv, 9 June 2013, 7 December 2005,weblink" title="">weblink 11 March 2014, live, Nyheter, S. V. T., To varying degrees, a majority of Swedes, especially those born after World War II, understand and speak English, owing to trade links, the popularity of overseas travel, a strong Anglo-American influence and the tradition of subtitling rather than dubbing foreign television shows and films, and the relative similarity of the two languages which makes learning English easier. In a 2005 survey by Eurobarometer, 89% of Swedes reported the ability to speak English.WEB,weblink Europeans and their Languages, European Commission, 12 March 2012, 17 September 2014, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 16 November 2013, English became a compulsory subject for secondary school students studying natural sciences as early as 1849, and has been a compulsory subject for all Swedish students since the late 1940s.WEB,weblink English spoken – fast ibland hellre än bra, Lund University newsletter 7/1999, sv, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 6 January 2006, Most students also study one and sometimes two additional languages. Some Danish and Norwegian is also taught as part of Swedish courses for native speakers. Because of the extensive mutual intelligibility between the three continental Scandinavian languages, Swedish speakers often use their native language when visiting or living in Norway or Denmark.


Before the 11th century, Swedes adhered to Norse paganism, worshiping Æsir gods, with its centre at the Temple in Uppsala. With Christianisation in the 11th century, the laws of the country changed, forbidding worship of other deities until the late 19th century. After the Protestant Reformation in the 1530s, the authority of the Roman Catholic Church was abolished and Lutheranism became widespread. Adoption of Lutheranism was completed by the Uppsala Synod of 1593, and it became the official religion. During the era following the Reformation, usually known as the period of Lutheran orthodoxy, small groups of non-Lutherans, especially Calvinist Dutch, the Moravian Church and French Huguenots played a significant role in trade and industry, and were quietly tolerated.BOOK, Gritsch, Eric, A History of Lutheranism, 2010, Fortress Press, 978-1-4514-0775-4, 351, 2nd,weblink 29 October 2020, 5 October 2023,weblink live, The Sami originally had their own shamanistic religion, but they were converted to Lutheranism by Swedish missionaries in the 17th and 18th centuries.File:Katarina kyrka February 2015 02.jpg|thumb|The Protestant Katarina ChurchKatarina ChurchFile:Moske Malmo 2014Jun17 0002-3.jpg|thumb|The second oldest mosque in Sweden is the Malmö MosqueMalmö MosqueWith religious liberalisations in the late 18th century believers of other faiths, including Judaism and Roman Catholicism, were allowed to live and work freely in the country. However, until 1860 it remained illegal for Lutherans to convert to another religion. The 19th century saw the arrival of various evangelical free churches, and, towards the end of the century, secularism, leading many to distance themselves from church rituals. Leaving the Church of Sweden became legal with the so-called Dissenter Act of 1860, but only under the provision of entering another Christian denomination. The right to stand outside any religious denomination was formally established in the law on freedom of religion in 1951.In 2000, the Church of Sweden was separated from the state. Sweden was the second Nordic country to disestablish its state church (after Finland did so in the Church Act of 1869).WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink dead, MAARIT JÄNTERÄ-JAREBORG: Religion and the Secular State in Sweden, 10 January 2016, At the end of 2022, 52.8% of Swedes belonged to the Church of Sweden;WEB, Svenska kyrkan, 2022, Svenska kyrkans medlemsutveckling år 1972-2022,weblink 23 April 2023, 7 April 2023,weblink live, this number has been decreasing by 1-2 percentage points each year since 2001.WEB,weblinkweblink dead, 20 February 2020, Church of Sweden, Stift, Diocese, PDF, sv, NEWS,weblink Swedes depart church in droves, The Local, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 2 August 2010, WEB, Church of Sweden,weblink Medlemmar 1972–2006, Members 1972–2006, xls, sv, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 30 September 2007, Approximately 2% of the church's members regularly attend Sunday services.WEB, Church of Sweden,weblink Liturgy and Worship, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 22 April 2010, The reason for the large number of inactive members is partly that, until 1996, children automatically became members at birth if at least one of the parents was a member. Since 1996, only children and adults who are christened become members. Some 275,000 Swedes are today members of various Evangelical Protestant free churches (where congregation attendance is much higher), and due to recent immigration, there are now some 100,000 Eastern Orthodox Christians and 92,000 Roman Catholics living in Sweden.(:sv:Frikyrka|Statistics about free churches and immigration churches from Swedish Wikipedia – in Swedish)The first Muslim congregation was established in 1949. Islam's presence in Sweden remained marginal until the 1960s, when Sweden started to receive migrants from the Balkans and Turkey. Further immigration from North Africa and the Middle East have brought the estimated Muslim population to 600,000.International Religious Freedom Report 2014 : Sweden {{Webarchive|url= |date=8 August 2019}}, U.S. Department Of State. However, only about 110,000 were members of a congregation around 2010.NEWS,weblink Erik, Magnusson, Olle, Lönnaeus, Niklas, Orrenius, Djup splittring bland Malmös muslimer, Deep splits among Malmö's Muslims, Sydsvenska Dagbladet, sv, 8 February 2006, 25 August 2010, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 13 January 2012, WEB,weblink Statistik, Statistics, Swedish Commission for Government Support to Faith Communities, sv, 2010, 4 July 2012, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 29 November 2012, WEB,weblink Mattias, Gardell, Islam och muslimer i Sverige, Islam and Muslims in Sweden, Inheritance Fund (Sweden), Inheritance Fund, May 2010, sv, 4 July 2012, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 13 August 2010,


{{See also|Healthcare in Sweden|Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare}}Healthcare in Sweden is mainly tax-funded, universal for all citizens, and decentralised,WEB,weblink Getting Better Value for Money from Sweden's Healthcare System {{!, OECD READ edition |website=OECD iLibrary |access-date=7 December 2017 |archive-date=3 June 2020 |archive-url= |url-status=live }} although private health care also exists. The health care system in Sweden is financed primarily through taxes levied by regional councils and municipalities. A total of 21 councils are in charge of primary and hospital care within the country.Private healthcare is a rarity in Sweden, and even those private institutions work under the mandated city councils.WEB,weblink Improving Quality and Value for Money in Healthcare {{!, OECD READ edition|website=OECD iLibrary|language=en|access-date=7 December 2017|archive-date=6 June 2020|archive-url=|url-status=live}} The city councils regulates the rules and the establishment of potential private practices. While care for the elderly or those who need psychiatric help is conducted privately in many other countries, in Sweden, publicly funded local authorities are in charge of this type of care.NEWS,weblink Swedish council becomes first to limit private profits in healthcare, Orange, Richard, 28 April 2015, The Guardian, 7 December 2017, en-GB, 0261-3077, 5 April 2020,weblink live, Healthcare in Sweden is similar in quality to other developed nations. Sweden ranks in the top five countries with respect to low infant mortality. It also ranks high in life expectancy and in safe drinking water.WEB,weblink OECD Better Life Index,, 16 December 2020, 25 December 2020,weblink" title="">weblink live, In 2018, health and medical care represented around 11% of GDP.WEB,weblink Healthcare in Sweden, 5 May 2020,, 16 December 2020, 17 October 2019,weblink live,


File:Entrance hall of Uppsala University main building.jpg|thumb|upright|Uppsala UniversityUppsala UniversityChildren aged 1–5 years old are guaranteed a place in a public kindergarten ( or, colloquially, ). Between the ages of 6 and 16, children attend compulsory comprehensive school. In the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), Swedish 15-year-old pupils score close to the OECD average.WEB,weblink Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, OECD, PISA results for Sweden, 25 August 2010,weblink" title="">weblink 29 December 2009, live, After completing the ninth grade, about 90% of the students continue with a three-year upper secondary school (gymnasium), which can lead to both a job qualification or entrance eligibility to university. The school system is largely financed by taxes.The Swedish government treats public and independent schools equallyNEWS,weblink The Swedish model, The Economist, 17 September 2014,weblink" title="">weblink 26 December 2016, live, by introducing education vouchers in 1992 as one of the first countries in the world after the Netherlands. Anyone can establish a for-profit school and the municipality must pay new schools the same amount as municipal schools get. School lunch is free for all students in Sweden, and providing breakfast is also encouraged.WEB,weblink The provision of school food in 18 countries, Children's Food Trust, July 2008, 9 June 2013, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 1 March 2013, There are a number of different universities and colleges in Sweden, the oldest and largest of which are situated in Uppsala, Lund, Gothenburg and Stockholm. In 2000, 32% of Swedish people held a tertiary degree, making the country fifth in the OECD in that category.WEB,weblink Tertiary > Educational Attainment statistics – countries compared,, 17 February 2016,weblink" title="">weblink 4 November 2013, live, Along with several other European countries, the government also subsidises tuition of international students pursuing a degree at Swedish institutions, although a recent bill passed in the Riksdag will limit this subsidy to students from EEA countries and Switzerland.WEB,weblink Sweden introduces tuition fees and offers scholarships for students from outside EU, 21 April 2010,, 3 August 2010, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 28 June 2010, The large influx of immigrants to Swedish schools has been cited as a significant part of the reason why Sweden has dropped more than any other European country in the international PISA rankings.NEWS, 16 March 2016, Immigrant children in Sweden blamed for country's poor test scores,weblink The Independent, 28 January 2018,weblink 27 January 2018, live, NEWS, What's behind the rising inequality in Sweden's schools, and can it be fixed?,weblink The Local,weblink 25 November 2018, 22 August 2018, NEWS, 16 June 2016, Why Sweden's free schools are failing,weblink New Statesman, 17 November 2017,weblink 15 November 2017, live, NEWS, 23 February 2016, Invandring säker faktor bakom Pisa-tappet,weblink 17 November 2017,weblink Dagens Samhalle, 15 November 2017, live,


File:Nationalmuseum Stockholm.jpg|thumb|upright|NationalmuseumNationalmuseumThroughout the 1960s and 1970s, Sweden was seen as an international leader in what is now referred to as the "sexual revolution", with gender equality having particularly been promoted.NEWS,weblink The Swedish Myths: True, False, or Somewhere In Between?,, 27 January 2011, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 17 September 2010, JOURNAL, Carl, Marklund, Hot Love and Cold People. Sexual Liberalism as Political Escapism in Radical Sweden, 2009, NORDEUROPAforum, 19, 1, 83–101,weblink 5 May 2012,weblink" title="">weblink 17 December 2012, live, Sweden has also become very liberal towards homosexuality, as is reflected in the popular acceptance of films such as Show Me Love. Since 1 May 2009, Sweden repealed its "registered partnership" laws and fully replaced them with gender-neutral marriage.NEWS, Sweden passes new gay marriage law, The Local, 2 April 2009,weblink 5 May 2009, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 10 April 2009, Sweden also offers domestic partnerships for both same-sex and opposite-sex couples. Cohabitation () by couples of all ages, including teenagers as well as older couples, is widespread.


File:ABBA - TopPop 1974 5.png|thumb|upright|right|The Swedish band ABBA in April 1974, a few days after they won the Eurovision Song Contest ]]Historical re-creations of Norse music have been attempted based on instruments found in Viking sites. The instruments used were the lur (a sort of trumpet), simple string instruments, wooden flutes and drums. Sweden has a significant folk-music scene. The joik, a type of Sami music, is a chant that is part of the traditional Sami animistic spirituality. Notable composers include Carl Michael Bellman and Franz Berwald.Sweden also has a prominent choral music tradition. Out of a population of 9.5 million, it is estimated that five to six hundred thousand people sing in choirs.BOOK, Durant, Colin, 2003, Choral Conducting: philosophy and practice, Routledge, 46–47, 978-0-415-94356-7, Sweden has a strong and enviable choral singing tradition. [..] All those interviewed placed great emphasis on the social identification through singing and also referred to the importance of Swedish folk song in the maintenance of the choral singing tradition and national identity., In 2007, with over 800 million dollars in revenue, Sweden was the third-largest music exporter in the world and surpassed only by the US and the UK.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink 15 June 2008, Consulate General of Sweden Los Angeles – Export Music Sweden at MuseExpo,, 6 May 2009, dead, weblink" title="">Interesting facts about EU countries.{{Better source needed|date=March 2013}} According to one source 2013, Sweden produces the most chart hits per capita in the world, followed by the UK and the US.WEB,weblink Sveriges Television, Agenda (Swedish TV program), Agenda, Del 16 av 16, Part 16 of 16, 15 December 2013, 17 December 2013, sv, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 17 December 2013, at 19:45, citing the Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth.Sweden has a rather lively jazz scene. The Centre for Swedish Folk Music and Jazz Research has published an overview of jazz in Sweden by Lars Westin.WEB,weblink Lars Westin: Jazz in Sweden – an overview,, 25 August 2010, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 23 June 2008,


File:Djurgardsbron 2008.jpg|left|thumb|DjurgårdsbronDjurgårdsbronBefore the 13th century almost all buildings were made of timber, but a shift began towards stone. Early Swedish stone buildings are the Romanesque churches on the countryside. This would include the Lund Cathedral from the 11th century and the somewhat younger church in Dalby, but also many early Gothic churches built through influences of the Hanseatic League, such as in Ystad, Malmö and Helsingborg.Cathedrals in other parts of Sweden were also built as seats of Sweden's bishops. The Skara Cathedral is of bricks from the 14th century, and the Uppsala Cathedral in the 15th. In 1230 the foundations of the Linköping Cathedral were made, the material was there limestone, but the building took some 250 years to finish.Among older structures are also some significant fortresses and other historical buildings such as at Borgholm Castle, Halltorps Manor and Eketorp fortress on the island Öland, the Nyköping fortress and the Visby city wall.File:Kalmar domkyrka 002.jpg|thumb|Kalmar CathedralKalmar CathedralAround 1520 King Gustav Vasa initiated grand mansions, castles and fortresses to be built. Some of the more magnificent include Kalmar Castle, Gripsholm Castle and the one at Vadstena.In the next two centuries, Sweden was designated by Baroque architecture and later the rococo. Notable projects from that time include the city Karlskrona, which has now also been declared a World Heritage Site and the Drottningholm Palace.1930 was the year of the great Stockholm exhibition, which marked the breakthrough of Functionalism, or as it became known. The style came to dominate in the following decades. Some notable projects of this kind were the Million Programme, offering affordable living in large apartment complexes.The Avicii Arena, located in Stockholm, is the largest hemispherical building on Earth. Its dome has a diameter of 110 metres (360 feet) and took two and a half years to build.WEB, SGM Lights Up World's Largest Hemispherical Building,weblink 25 August 2022,, en, 25 August 2022,weblink live,


File:Sveriges Television, 2.jpg|thumb|Headquarters of Sveriges TelevisionSveriges TelevisionSwedes are among the greatest consumers of newspapers in the world, and nearly every town is served by a local paper. The country's main quality morning papers are (liberal), (liberal), Svenska Dagbladet (liberal conservative) and Sydsvenska Dagbladet (liberal). The two largest evening tabloids are Aftonbladet (social democratic) and Expressen (liberal). The ad-financed, free international morning paper, Metro International, was founded in Stockholm, Sweden. The country's news is reported in English by, among others, The Local (liberal).BOOK, Kenneth E., Olson, The history makers;: The press of Europe from its beginnings through 1965, LSU Press, 1966, 33–49, The public broadcasting companies held a monopoly on radio and television for a long time in Sweden. Licence-funded radio broadcasts started in 1925. A second radio network was started in 1954, and a third opened 1962, in response to pirate radio stations. Non-profit community radio was allowed in 1979 and in 1993 commercial local radio started.The licence-funded television service was officially launched in 1956. A second channel, TV2, was launched in 1969. These two channels (operated by Sveriges Television since the late 1970s) held a monopoly until the 1980s when cable and satellite television became available. The first Swedish-language satellite service was TV3 which started broadcasting from London in 1987. It was followed by Kanal 5 in 1989 (then known as Nordic Channel) and TV4 in 1990. TV4 began its terrestrial broadcasts in 1992, becoming the first private channel to broadcast television content from within the country.Around half the population are connected to cable television. Digital terrestrial television in Sweden started in 1999.


File:Portrait of August Strindberg by Richard Bergh 1905.jpg|upright|thumb|The writer and playwright August StrindbergAugust StrindbergSweden has many authors of worldwide recognition including August Strindberg, Astrid Lindgren, and Nobel Prize winners Selma Lagerlöf and Harry Martinson. In total seven Nobel Prizes in Literature have been awarded to Swedes.The first literary text from Sweden is the Rök runestone, carved during the Viking Age {{circa|800 AD}}. With the conversion of the land to Christianity around 1100 AD, Sweden entered the Middle Ages, during which monastic writers preferred to use Latin. Therefore, there are only a few texts in the Old Swedish from that period. Swedish literature only began to flourish when the language was standardised during the 16th century. This standardisation was largely due to the full translation of the Bible into Swedish in 1541. This translation is the so-called Gustav Vasa Bible.With improved education and the freedom brought by secularisation, the 17th century saw several notable authors develop the Swedish language further. Some key figures include Georg Stiernhielm (17th century), who was the first to write classical poetry in Swedish; Johan Henric Kellgren (18th century), the first to write fluent Swedish prose; Carl Michael Bellman (late 18th century), the first writer of burlesque ballads; and August Strindberg (late 19th century), a socio-realistic writer and playwright who won worldwide fame. The early 20th century continued to produce notable authors, such as Selma Lagerlöf, (Nobel laureate 1909), Verner von Heidenstam (Nobel laureate 1916) and Pär Lagerkvist (Nobel laureate 1951).In recent decades, a handful of Swedish writers have established themselves internationally, including the detective novelist Henning Mankell and the writer of spy fiction Jan Guillou. The Swedish writer to have made the most lasting impression on world literature is the children's book writer Astrid Lindgren, and her books about Pippi Longstocking, Emil, and others. In 2008, the second best-selling fiction author in the world was Stieg Larsson, whose Millennium series of crime novels is being published posthumously to critical acclaim.WEB,weblink Bestselling fiction authors in the world for 2008,, 5 September 2009,weblink" title="">weblink 29 May 2012, live,


File:Valborgsbrasa-1.jpg|thumb|left|Walpurgis NightWalpurgis NightApart from traditional Protestant Christian holidays, Sweden also celebrates some unique holidays, some of a pre-Christian tradition. They include Midsummer celebrating the summer solstice; Walpurgis Night () on 30 April lighting bonfires; and Labour Day or May Day on 1 May is dedicated to socialist demonstrations. The day of giver-of-light Saint Lucia, 13 December, is widely acknowledged in elaborate celebrations which betoken its Italian origin and commence the month-long Christmas season.6 June is the National Day of Sweden and has since 2005 been a public holiday. Furthermore, there are official flag flying day observances and a Namesdays in Sweden calendar. In August many Swedes have (crayfish dinner parties). Martin of Tours Eve is celebrated in Scania in November with parties, where roast goose and svartsoppa ('black soup') are served. The Sámi, one of Sweden's indigenous minorities, have their holiday on 6 February and Scania celebrate their Scanian Flag day on the third Sunday in July.NEWS, Lokala Nyheter Skåne,weblink Så firas skånska flaggans dag | SVT Nyheter, SVT Nyheter, 21 July 2019,, 3 June 2020, 8 March 2021,weblink live,


File:Sveriges Nationaldag 2014.jpg|thumb|Cinnamon rollCinnamon rollSwedish cuisine, like that of the other Nordic countries (Denmark, Norway and Finland), was traditionally simple. Fish (particularly herring), meat, potatoes and dairy products played prominent roles. Spices were sparse. Preparations include Swedish meatballs, traditionally served with gravy, boiled potatoes and lingonberry jam; pancakes; pyttipanna, a spiced fried hash of meat and potatoes originally meant to use up any leftovers of meat; lutfisk; and the smörgåsbord, or lavish buffet. Akvavit is a popular alcoholic distilled beverage, and the drinking of snaps is of cultural importance. The traditional flat and dry crisp bread has developed into several contemporary variants. Regionally important foods are the surströmming (a fermented fish) in northern Sweden and eel in southern Sweden.In August, at the traditional feast known as crayfish party, kräftskiva, Swedes eat large amounts of crayfish boiled with dill.


Swedish 20th-century culture is noted by pioneering works in the early days of cinema, with Mauritz Stiller and Victor Sjöström. In the 1920s–1980s, the filmmaker Ingmar Bergman and actors Greta Garbo and Ingrid Bergman became internationally noted people within cinema. More recently, the films of Lukas Moodysson, Lasse Hallström, and Ruben Östlund have received international recognition.


File:Björn Borg (1979) cropped.jpg|thumb|upright|Former world No. 1 tennis player Björn BorgBjörn BorgSport activities are a national movement with half of the population actively participating in organised sporting activities. The two main spectator sports are football and ice hockey. Second to football, horse sports (of which most of the participants are women) have the highest number of practitioners. Thereafter, golf, orienteering, gymnastics, track and field, and the team sports of ice hockey, handball, floorball, basketball and bandy are the most popular in terms of practitioners.WEB, Idrottsrörelsen i siffror,weblink, Swedish Sports Confederation, sv, 16 July 2020, 9 August 2022,weblink dead, The Swedish national men's ice hockey team, affectionately known as (English: Three Crowns), has won the World Championships nine times, placing them third in the all-time medal count. also won Olympic gold medals in 1994 and 2006. In 2006, became the first national hockey team to win both the Olympic and world championships in the same year. The Swedish national men's football team has seen some success at the World Cup in the past, finishing second when they hosted the tournament in 1958, and third twice, in 1950 and 1994.Sweden hosted the 1912 Summer Olympics, Equestrian at the 1956 Summer Olympics and the FIFA World Cup in 1958. Other big sports events include the UEFA Euro 1992, 1995 FIFA Women's World Cup, 1995 World Championships in Athletics, UEFA Women's Euro 2013, and several championships of ice hockey, curling, athletics, skiing, bandy, figure skating and swimming.

See also





Further reading

  • Bagge, Sverre (2005). "The Scandinavian Kingdoms". In The New Cambridge Medieval History. Eds. Rosamond McKitterick et al. Cambridge University Press, 2005. {{ISBN|978-0-521-36289-4}}.
  • JOURNAL, Radical principles and the legal institution of marriage: domestic relations law and social democracy in Sweden—BRADLEY 4 (2): 154—International Journal of Law, Policy and the Family, International Journal of Law, Policy and the Family, 4, 2, 154–185, 10.1093/lawfam/4.2.154, 1990, Bradley, David,
  • Sweden {{Webarchive|url= |date=18 January 2021 }}. The World Factbook. Central Intelligence Agency.
  • WEB,weblink Sweden's population 2012, Statistics Sweden, 24 March 2013, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 5 November 2013,
  • Durant, Colin (2003). Choral Conducting: philosophy and practice, Routledge, pp. 46–47. {{ISBN|978-0-415-94356-7}}.
  • Einhorn, Eric and John Logue (1989). Modern Welfare States: Politics and Policies in Social Democratic Scandinavia. Praeger Publishers, 1989. {{ISBN|978-0-275-93188-9}}.
  • BOOK, The Northern Wars. War, State and Society in Northeastern Europe 1558–1721, Robert I, Frost, Longman, 2000, 978-0-582-06429-4,
  • Koblik, Steven (1975). Sweden's Development from Poverty to Affluence 1750–1970. University of Minnesota Press. {{ISBN|978-0-8166-0757-0}}.
  • BOOK, Larsson, Torbjörn, Henry, Bäck, Governing and Governance in Sweden, Studentlitteratur AB, 2008, 978-91-44-03682-3, Larsson & Bäck,
  • Magocsi, Paul Robert (1998). Encyclopedia of Canada's Peoples. University of Minnesota Press, 1998. {{ISBN|978-0-8020-2938-6}}.
  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Sweden {{Webarchive|url= |date=4 March 2016 }} Agenda 21 – Natural Resource Aspects – Sweden. 5th Session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development, April 1997.
  • Nordstrom, Byron J. (2000). Scandinavia since 1500. University of Minnesota Press, 2000. {{ISBN|978-0-8166-2098-2}}.
  • BOOK, Petersson, Olof, Den offentliga makten, SNS Förlag, 2010, sv, 978-91-86203-66-5, Petersson,
  • BOOK, Sawyer, Birgit, Sawyer, Peter H., Peter Hayes Sawyer, Medieval Scandinavia: from Conversion to Reformation, Circa 800–1500, University of Minnesota Press, 1993,weblink 978-0-8166-1739-5, 17 September 2020, 20 April 2023,weblink live,
  • WEB,weblink 2006 census, Statistics Sweden, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 31 July 2009,
  • WEB,weblink Preliminary Population Statistics, by month, 2004–2006, Statistics Sweden, 1 January 2007, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 14 July 2009,
  • BOOK, Yearbook of Housing and Building Statistics 2007, Statistics Sweden, Energy, Rents and Real Estate Statistics Unit, 2007, 978-91-618-1361-2,weblink 19 February 2007,weblink" title="">weblink 25 March 2009, dead,
  • BOOK, World Criminal Justice Systems: A Survey, Richard J., Terrill, Elsevier, 2009, 7, 978-1-59345-612-2,weblink
  • United States Department of State – Sweden {{Webarchive|url= |date=4 June 2019 }}{{ISBN|978-0-521-60367-6}}

External links

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Eastern Philosophy
History of Philosophy
M.R.M. Parrott