Facts About Sweden - Big Country, Small Population, Great Achievements
Following facts about Sweden tell you something about population, climate, society, culture and economy. Sweden is a fascinating country in many respects. This general information on Sweden gives you some clues.
Facts about Sweden: country, area and land
Sweden is the biggest country of Northern Europe and the fifth of whole Europe. With 449,964 sq km (173,732 sq mi) it is almost as big as Spain or France. But it has a completely different shape. The extreme distance from north to south in Sweden is about 1,575 km (about 980 mi). If you turn Sweden around at the southern end, you will see the north end up as south as Naples in Italy! The distance from east to west is only 500 km (about 310 mi).
With such a small population it is not a surprise this vast country is dominated by nature. One of the main facts about Sweden for tourists to remember is that Sweden is not a country for sensation-seekers.
Instead it is perfect for those who love nature, space, clean air, beautiful landscapes and outdoor activities. Great sceneries are among the major tourist attractions.
|The Swedish Perspective On News |
It's not uncommon that Swedes look at the world news differently than media in other countries. What's a headline in Sweden, can be ignored elsewhere and vice versa. It's a fact that continues to amaze Martina Aronsson, a Swedish journalist who's living in Holland. In her web log
Triple News - A newsblog with a Swedish/Dutch twist
she covers both the Swedish and the Dutch perspective, with interesting results. Recommended!
The agricultural south is rather flat and, at the best, hilly.
The more you get to the north the landschape becomes wilder, with ever bigger forests and literally thousands of lakes.
The north (Lapland) is often called the last wilderness in Europe, with high mountains, swamps and wild rivers, treeless highlands and impenetrable birch forests. In this part of Sweden the Saami live, also called the Lapps, one of the last nomad peoples in Europe.
Facts about Sweden: climate
Although at a very northern latitude,
Sweden has a moderate climate.
It has rainfall in spring, summer and fall, but never very much. In winter there is always snowfall. It is freezing cold then, especially in the northern parts of the country. The summers are sunny with an average temperature of 22°C (71°F). Daylight hours increase in summer and decrease in winter.
Facts about Sweden: people and populationAlmost 9 million people live in this long-shaped country.
That is next to nothing compared to the area. Most Swedes live in urban areas in the southern half. The capital Stockholm has almost 1,900,000 inhabitants including suburbs. Second city is Göteborg (Gothenburg), third is Malmö
The national language is Swedish, a Germanic language closely related to Norwegian and Danish. Language education is considered important. Most Swedes speak very good English.
Most Swedes are Christians, Lutheran to be precise. But most do not attend church. They have liberal views on life, although they never tend to extremities. Most Swedes are calm and down-to-earth. Read more about Swedish mentality.
Facts about Sweden: government
Sweden is a monarchy, now ruled by king Carl GustavXVI. In reality his function is purely ceremonial. The country is governed by a democratically chosen parliament. Social-democrats are traditionally the main political force, with the Moderate Party in second place.
The national flag is blue with a yellow cross. Read more about the Swedish flag.
The crown or krona is the Swedish currency. Sweden has a tradition of pacifism. It is the only European state that was not involved in any armed conflict for almost 200 years.
Facts about Sweden: economy
Sweden used to be agricultural, but is now a rich, industrial country. During the 20th century the Swedish welfare state was built up, a unique mix of socialist ideas against a capitalist background. Health care, social security and education are on a high level and easily accessible for all, while companies still find enough freedom to expand. Read more about Swedish economy.
About half of Sweden’s electricity is produced in hydroelectric facilities. Nuclear power plants generate some 43 percent.
Environmental issues are important and Swedes love to keep their country clean. Nevertheless, the country does suffer from acid rain. Sweden was also badly affected from fallout by the nuclear disaster in Chernobyl, Ukraine, in 1986.
Facts about Sweden: Swedish culture
Swedish culture has brought up many famous names. From the world of science come amongst other Anders Celsius, who invented the temperature scale that bears his name, and Carl von Linné, the botanist who gave plants their Latin names. Alfred Nobel, the inventor of dynamite, founded the Nobel Institute. Viktor Hasselblad was the inventor of the single lens reflex camera.
Famous names from the world of arts are painter Anders Zorn and film directors Ingmar Bergman, Lasse Hallström and Lukas Moodysson. Swedish actors with international fame are Greta Garbo, Liv Ullman, Ingrid Bergman, Max von Sydow, Stellan Skarsgård and Lena Olin.
The Swedish written word has enriched the world with Selma Lagerlöf, August Strindberg and Astrid Lindgren and thriller authors like Henning Mankell, Liza Marklund and the legendary duo Maj Sjöwall/Per Wahlöö.
Sweden is also the world’s third largest producer of pop music, with ABBA, Roxette, Ace of Base and The Cardigans as best-selling artists. Swedish producer Max Martin recorded and wrote major hits for Britney Spears and The Backstreet Boys.
You know enough facts about Sweden now to enjoy a trip to this fascinating country?
More facts about Sweden are found on the country's official gateway page.