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Background: A military power during the 17th century, Sweden has not participated in any war in almost two centuries. An armed neutrality was preserved in both World Wars. Sweden's long-successful economic formula of a capitalist system interlarded with substantial welfare elements was challenged in the 1990s by high unemployment, rising maintenance costs, and a declining position in world markets. Indecision over the country's role in the political and economic integration of Europe delayed Sweden's entry into the EU until 1995, and waived the introduction of the euro in 1999.
Geography Sweden
Location: Northern Europe, bordering the Baltic Sea, Gulf of Bothnia, Kattegat, and Skagerrak, between Finland and Norway
Geographic coordinates: 62 00 N, 15 00 E
Map references: Europe
Area: total: 449,964 sq km
water: 39,030 sq km
land: 410,934 sq km
Area - comparative: slightly larger than California
Land boundaries: total: 2,205 km
border countries: Finland 586 km, Norway 1,619 km
Coastline: 3,218 km
Maritime claims: continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation
exclusive economic zone: agreed boundaries or midlines
territorial sea: 12 NM (adjustments made to return a portion of straits to high seas)
Climate: temperate in south with cold, cloudy winters and cool, partly cloudy summers; subarctic in north
Terrain: mostly flat or gently rolling lowlands; mountains in west
Elevation extremes: lowest point: Baltic Sea 0 m
highest point: Kebnekaise 2,111 m
Natural resources: zinc, iron ore, lead, copper, silver, timber, uranium, hydropower
Land use: arable land: 7%
permanent crops: 0%
other: 93% (1998 est.)
Irrigated land: 1,150 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards: ice floes in the surrounding waters, especially in the Gulf of Bothnia, can interfere with maritime traffic
Environment - current issues: acid rain damage to soils and lakes; pollution of the North Sea and the Baltic Sea
Environment - international agreements: party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Sulphur 85, Air Pollution-Sulphur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol
Geography - note: strategic location along Danish Straits linking Baltic and North Seas
People Sweden
Population: 8,876,744 (July 2002 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 18% (male 817,688; female 776,018)
15-64 years: 64.7% (male 2,922,095; female 2,824,770)
65 years and over: 17.3% (male 651,120; female 885,053) (2002 est.)
Population growth rate: 0.02% (2002 est.)
Birth rate: 9.81 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Death rate: 10.6 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Net migration rate: 0.95 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.74 male(s)/female
total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2002 est.)
Infant mortality rate: 3.44 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 79.84 years
female: 82.64 years (2002 est.)
male: 77.19 years
Total fertility rate: 1.54 children born/woman (2002 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 0.08% (1999 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: 3,000 (1999 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths: less than 100 (1999 est.)
Nationality: noun: Swede(s)
adjective: Swedish
Ethnic groups: indigenous population: Swedes and Finnish and Sami minorities; foreign-born or first-generation immigrants: Finns, Yugoslavs, Danes, Norwegians, Greeks, Turks
Religions: Lutheran 87%, Roman Catholic, Orthodox, Baptist, Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist
Languages: Swedish
note: small Sami- and Finnish-speaking minorities
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 99% (1979 est.)
male: NA%
female: NA%
Government Sweden
Country name: conventional long form: Kingdom of Sweden
conventional short form: Sweden
local short form: Sverige
local long form: Konungariket Sverige
Government type: constitutional monarchy
Capital: Stockholm
Administrative divisions: 21 counties (lan, singular and plural); Blekinge, Dalarnas, Gavleborgs, Gotlands, Hallands, Jamtlands, Jonkopings, Kalmar, Kronobergs, Norrbottens, Orebro, Ostergotlands, Skane, Sodermanlands, Stockholms, Uppsala, Varmlands, Vasterbottens, Vasternorrlands, Vastmanlands, Vastra Gotalands
Independence: 6 June 1523 (Gustav VASA elected king)
National holiday: Flag Day, 6 June
Constitution: 1 January 1975
Legal system: civil law system influenced by customary law; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, with reservations
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal
Executive branch: chief of state: King CARL XVI GUSTAF (since 19 September 1973); Heir Apparent Princess VICTORIA Ingrid Alice Desiree, daughter of the monarch (born 14 July 1977)
head of government: Prime Minister Goran PERSSON (since 21 March 1996)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the prime minister
elections: the monarchy is hereditary; prime minister elected by the Parliament; election last held NA September 1998 (next to be held 20 September 2002)
election results: Goran PERSSON reelected prime minister with 131 out of 349 votes
Legislative branch: unicameral Parliament or Riksdag (349 seats; members are elected by popular vote on a proportional representation basis to serve four-year terms)
elections: last held 20 September 1998 (next to be held 15 September 2002)
election results: percent of vote by party - Social Democrats 36.5%, Moderates 22.7%, Left Party 12%, Christian Democrats 11.8%, Center Party 5.1%, Liberal Party 4.7%, Greens 4.5%; seats by party - Social Democrats 131, Moderates 82, Left Party 43, Christian Democrats 42, Center Party 18, Liberal Party 17, Greens 16
Judicial branch: Supreme Court or Hogsta Domstolen (judges are appointed by the prime minister and the cabinet)
Political parties and leaders: Center Party [Maud OLOFSSON]; Christian Democratic Party [Alf SVENSSON]; Communist Workers' Party [Rolf HAGEL]; Green Party [no formal leader but party spokespersons are Maria WETTERSTRAND and Peter ERIKSSON]; Left Party or VP (formerly Communist) [Gudrun SCHYMAN]; Liberal People's Party [Lars LEIJONBORG]; Moderate Party (conservative) [Bo LUNDGREN]; Social Democratic Party [Goran PERSSON]
Political pressure groups and leaders: NA
Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Jan ELIASSON
consulate(s) general: Los Angeles and New York
FAX: [1] (202) 467-2699
telephone: [1] (202) 467-2600
chancery: 1501 M Street NW, Washington, DC 20005-1702
Diplomatic representation from the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Charles A. HEIMBOLD, Jr.
embassy: Dag Hammarskjolds VAG 31, SE-11589 Stockholm
mailing address: American Embassy Stockholm, Department of State, Washington, DC 20521-5750 (pouch)
telephone: [46] (08) 783 53 00
FAX: [46] (08) 661 19 64
Flag description: blue with a golden yellow cross extending to the edges of the flag; the vertical part of the cross is shifted to the hoist side in the style of the Dannebrog (Danish flag)
Economy Sweden
Economy - overview: Aided by peace and neutrality for the whole 20th century, Sweden has achieved an enviable standard of living under a mixed system of high-tech capitalism and extensive welfare benefits. It has a modern distribution system, excellent internal and external communications, and a skilled labor force. Timber, hydropower, and iron ore constitute the resource base of an economy heavily oriented toward foreign trade. Privately owned firms account for about 90% of industrial output, of which the engineering sector accounts for 50% of output and exports. Agriculture accounts for only 2% of GDP and 2% of the jobs. The government's commitment to fiscal discipline resulted in a substantive budgetary surplus in 2001, but is expected to shrink somewhat in 2002, due to the global economic slowdown, tax cuts, and spending increases. The Swedish central bank (the Riksbank) is focusing on price stability with an inflation target of 2% for 2002.
GDP: purchasing power parity - $219 billion (2001 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 1.6% (2001 est.)
GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $24,700 (2001 est.)
GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 2%
industry: 28.7%
services: 69.3% (2000)
Population below poverty line: NA%
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: 3.7%
highest 10%: 20.1% (1992)
Distribution of family income - Gini index: 25 (1992)
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 2.7% (2001 est.)
Labor force: 4.4 million (2000 est.)
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture 2%, industry 24%, services 74% (2000 est.)
Unemployment rate: 3.9% (2001 est.)
Budget: revenues: $119 billion
expenditures: $110 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (2001 est.)
Industries: iron and steel, precision equipment (bearings, radio and telephone parts, armaments), wood pulp and paper products, processed foods, motor vehicles
Industrial production growth rate: 4.5% (2001 est.)
Electricity - production: 144.621 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity - production by source: fossil fuel: 6.06%
hydro: 53.81%
other: 2.72% (2000)
nuclear: 37.41%
Electricity - consumption: 139.176 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity - exports: 13.628 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity - imports: 18.306 billion kWh (2000)
Agriculture - products: barley, wheat, sugar beets; meat, milk
Exports: $96 billion (f.o.b., 2001 est.)
Exports - commodities: machinery 35%, motor vehicles, paper products, pulp and wood, iron and steel products, chemicals
Exports - partners: EU 53.6% (Germany 10.6%, UK 9.1%, Denmark 5.3%, France 5.1%), US 9.5%, Norway 7.5% (2000)
Imports: $89.2 billion (f.o.b., 2001 est.)
Imports - commodities: machinery, petroleum and petroleum products, chemicals, motor vehicles, iron and steel; foodstuffs, clothing
Imports - partners: EU 60.3% (Germany 16.3%, UK 8.8%, Denmark 6.7%, France 5.6%), Norway 8.2%, US 6.7% (2000)
Debt - external: $66.5 billion (1994)
Economic aid - donor: ODA, $1.7 billion (1997)
Currency: Swedish krona (SEK)
Currency code: SEK
Exchange rates: Swedish kronor per US dollar - 10.4381 (January 2002), 10.3291 (2001), 9.1622 (2000), 8.2624 (1999), 7.9499 (1998), 7.6349 (1997)
Fiscal year: calendar year
Communications Sweden
Telephones - main lines in use: 6.017 million (December 1998)
Telephones - mobile cellular: 3.835 million (October 1998)
Telephone system: general assessment: excellent domestic and international facilities; automatic system
domestic: coaxial and multiconductor cables carry most of the voice traffic; parallel microwave radio relay systems carry some additional telephone channels
international: 5 submarine coaxial cables; satellite earth stations - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean), 1 Eutelsat, and 1 Inmarsat (Atlantic and Indian Ocean regions); note - Sweden shares the Inmarsat earth station with the other Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, and Norway)
Radio broadcast stations: AM 1, FM 265, shortwave 1 (1998)
Radios: 8.25 million (1997)
Television broadcast stations: 169 (plus 1,299 repeaters) (1995)
Televisions: 4.6 million (1997)
Internet country code: .se
Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 29 (2000)
Internet users: 5.64 million (2000)
Transportation Sweden
Railways: total: 12,821 km
standard gauge: 12,600 km 1.435-m gauge (7,918 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 221 km 0.891-m gauge (2001)
Highways: total: 210,760 km
paved: 162,707 km (including 1,428 km of expressways)
unpaved: 48,053 km (1999)
Waterways: 2,052 km
note: navigable to small steamers and barges
Pipelines: natural gas 84 km
Ports and harbors: Gavle, Goteborg, Halmstad, Helsingborg, Hudiksvall, Kalmar, Karlshamn, Malmo, Solvesborg, Stockholm, Sundsvall
Merchant marine: total: 174 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 2,255,344 GRT/1,609,844 DWT
note: includes some foreign-owned ships registered here as a flag of convenience: Denmark 8, Finland 8, Germany 3, Italy 3, Japan 2, Norway 7 (2002 est.)
ships by type: bulk 5, cargo 37, chemical tanker 33, combination ore/oil 4, passenger 1, petroleum tanker 27, railcar carrier 1, roll on/roll off 38, short-sea passenger 4, specialized tanker 6, vehicle carrier 18
Airports: 255 (2001)
Airports - with paved runways: total: 147
over 3,047 m: 3
2,438 to 3,047 m: 12
914 to 1,523 m: 27
under 914 m: 25 (2001)
1,524 to 2,437 m: 80
Airports - with unpaved runways: total: 108
914 to 1,523 m: 6
under 914 m: 102 (2001)
Heliports: 1 (2001)
Military Sweden
Military branches: Army, Royal Navy (including Coast Artillery and Naval Helicopter Service), Air Force
Military manpower - military age: 19 years of age (2002 est.)
Military manpower - availability: males age 15-49: 2,060,205 (2002 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service: males age 15-49: 1,800,991 (2002 est.)
Military manpower - reaching military age annually: males: 51,506 (2002 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure: $4,395,100,000 (FY01)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP: 2.1% (FY01)
Transnational Issues Sweden
Disputes - international: none

This page was last updated on 1 January 2002


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