SWEDISH FACTS


The Swedish Institute publishes fact sheets on Sweden that are updated periodically. They cover a wide range of topics and are a valuable source of information for anybody interested in Sweden. The fact sheets are available on the Swedish Institute's homepage. Listed below are examples of some topics covered in the Institute's fact sheets series.

Geography
Climate
Population
Language
Religion
Form of government
Political parties
Education
Labor market
Economy


GEOGRAPHY

Area: 450,000 kmֲ² (174,000 sq mi)
Forests: 54%
Mountains: 16%
Cultivated land: 8%
Lakes and rivers: 9%
Highest mountain: Kebnekaise 2,111m (6,926 ft)
Maximum distance north-south: 1,574 km (977 mi)
Maximum distance east-west: 499 km (310 mi
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CLIMATE


Average temperature

In January
In July
Malm׳¦ -0.2ֲ°C (+31.6ֲ°F) +16.8ֲ°C (+62.2ֲ°F)
Stockholm -2.8ֲ°C (+30.0ֲ°F) +17.2ֲ°C (+63.0ֲ°F)
Kiruna -16.0ֲ°C (+3.2ֲ°F) +12.8ֲ°C (+55.0ֲ°F)

Daylight (approx. values)

 

January 1
July 1
Malm׳¦ 7 hours 17 hours
Stockholm 6 hours 18 hours
Kiruna 0 hours 24 hours

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POPULATION
(Population figures for 1998 if not otherwise indicated)

Total 8.9 million
Stockholm city/region 0.7 / 1.7 million
G׳¦teborg city/region 0.5 / 0.8 million
Malm׳¦ city/region 0.25 / 0.5 million

Foreign-born inhabitants 11%
Born in Sweden with two foreign-born parents
3%
Population density 20 inhabitants/kmֲ²
(52 inh/sq mi)

Average life expectancy
Men: 77.2 years
Women: 82 years

Post-retirement age (65+) 17.4%
Very elderly (80+) 4.9%
Total fertility rate (1999) 1.5 children

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LANGUAGE

SwedishTop page


RELIGION

84% belong to the Evangelical Lutheran Church of SwedenTop page


FORM OF GOVERNMENT

Head of state:
Since 1973 King Carl XVI Gustaf, married since 1976 to Queen Silvia; three children, of whom the oldest, Victoria, is Crown Princess.

Head of government:
G׳¦ran Persson, prime minister in a Social Democratic minority government.

Every four years there are elections to the Riksdag (Parliament), municipal councils and county councils, under a proportional representation system, In parliamentary elections, a threshold of 4% of votes cast is used to prevent too many small parties from winning seats.
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POLITICAL PARTIES

Parliamentary election, September 1998: distribution of seats and share of votes cast

Political party Seats Share of votes cast
Left Party (formerly Communists) 43 12.0%
Social Democrats 131 36.4%
Green Party 16 4.5%
Center (formerly Agrarians) 18 5.1%
Christian Democrats 42 11.8%
Liberals 17 4.7%
Moderates (formerly Conservatives) 82 22.9%

Voter turnout: 81.4%
Women Members of Parliament: 43%

Swedish citizens aged 18 or over may vote and run for office. Foreign citizens who have been residents of Sweden for at least three years have the same right in municipal and county council elections.

There is general male conscription for 7.5-15 months. Sweden pursues a non-aligned security policy aiming at neutrality in the event of war in its vicinity, but is an active member of the United Nations, the European Union and many other international organizations.
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EDUCATION

Compulsory schooling is 9 years. Most pupils continue to the 3-year upper secondary school, where they choose among 16 nationwide study programs — academic or vocationally oriented. Around one third of young people go on to higher education at one of the universities and colleges located throughout Sweden. There are large gender differences concerning fields of study, but not when it comes to educational level.

Instruction is free of charge at all levels of the regular school and higher education system. Private schools and colleges are few in number and generally receive government grants.
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LABOR MARKET

Labor force participation rate as a percentage of working-age population (Men 78.8% / Women 74.2%).

Registered unemployment rate (Men 5.8% / Women 5.1%).

Labor force by sector
Private services (39.6%)
Public services (32.6%)
Mining and manufacturing (19.6%)
Construction (5.5%)
Agriculture and forestry (2.5%)

Standard work week 40 hours, minimum paid vacation 5 weeks.
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ECONOMY
(figures for 1999 if not otherwise indicated)

Currency (SEK): 1 krona = 100 ׳¦re = USD 0.11 or GBP 0.07 (January 2000)
GDP: SEK 1,890 billion. GDP per capita: SEK 213,500 (1998)
National debt: 76.4% of GDP (1998)
Inflation rate: 1,2% (December 1999)



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