A military power during the 17th century, Sweden has not participated in any war for two centuries. An armed neutrality was preserved in both world wars. Sweden's long-successful economic formula of a capitalist system intermixed with substantial welfare elements was challenged in the 1990s by high unemployment and in 2000-02 and 2009 by the global economic downturns, but fiscal discipline over the past several years has allowed the country to weather economic vagaries. Sweden joined the EU in 1995, but the public rejected the introduction of the euro in a 2003 referendum.



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



total: 450,295 sq km
land: 410,335 sq km
water: 39,960 sq km

Area - comparative

slightly larger than California

Land boundaries

total: 2,211 km
border countries (2): Finland 545 km, Norway 1,666 km


3,218 km

Maritime claims

territorial sea: 12 nm (adjustments made to return a portion of straits to high seas)
exclusive economic zone: agreed boundaries or midlines
continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation


temperate in south with cold, cloudy winters and cool, partly cloudy summers; subarctic in north


mostly flat or gently rolling lowlands; mountains in west


mean elevation: 320 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: reclaimed bay of Lake Hammarsjon, near Kristianstad -2.4 m
highest point: Kebnekaise 2,111 m

Natural resources

iron ore, copper, lead, zinc, gold, silver, tungsten, uranium, arsenic, feldspar, timber, hydropower

Land use

agricultural land: 7.5%
arable land 6.4%; permanent crops 0%; permanent pasture 1.1%
forest: 68.7%
other: 23.8% (2011 est.)

Irrigated land

1,640 sq km (2012)

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-Sulfur 85, Air Pollution-Sulfur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Geography - note

strategic location along Danish Straits linking Baltic and North Seas

People and Society

Population growth rate

0.81% (2016 est.)


9,880,604 (July 2016 est.)


noun: Swede(s)
adjective: Swedish

Ethnic groups

indigenous population: Swedes with Finnish and Sami minorities; foreign-born or first-generation immigrants: Finns, Yugoslavs, Danes, Norwegians, Greeks, Turks


Swedish (official), small Sami- and Finnish-speaking minorities


Lutheran 87%, other (includes Roman Catholic, Orthodox, Baptist, Muslim, Jewish, and Buddhist) 13%

Age structure

0-14 years: 17.28% (male 878,463/female 829,266)
15-24 years: 11.63% (male 591,495/female 557,229)
25-54 years: 39.38% (male 1,976,752/female 1,914,623)
55-64 years: 11.58% (male 574,175/female 570,424)
65 years and over: 20.12% (male 915,861/female 1,072,316) (2016 est.)

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 59.3%
youth dependency ratio: 27.5%
elderly dependency ratio: 31.8%
potential support ratio: 3.1% (2015 est.)

Median age

total: 41.2 years
male: 40.2 years
female: 42.2 years (2016 est.)

Birth rate

12 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)

Death rate

9.4 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)

Net migration rate

5.4 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2016 est.)

Population distribution

most Swedes live in the south where there the climate is more mild and there is better connectivity to mainland Europe; population clusters are found all along the Baltic coast in the east; the interior areas of the north remain sparsely populated


urban population: 85.8% of total population (2015)
rate of urbanization: 0.83% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major urban areas - population

STOCKHOLM (capital) 1.486 million (2015)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.85 male(s)/female
total population: 1 male(s)/female (2016 est.)

Maternal mortality rate

4 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)

Infant mortality rate

total: 2.6 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 2.9 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 2.3 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 82.1 years
male: 80.2 years
female: 84.1 years (2016 est.)

Total fertility rate

1.88 children born/woman (2016 est.)

Health expenditures

11.9% of GDP (2014)

Physicians density

3.93 physicians/1,000 population (2011)

Hospital bed density

2.7 beds/1,000 population (2011)

Drinking water source

urban: 100% of population
rural: 100% of population
total: 100% of population
urban: 0% of population
rural: 0% of population
total: 0% of population (2015 est.)

Sanitation facility access

urban: 99.3% of population
rural: 99.6% of population
total: 99.3% of population
urban: 0.7% of population
rural: 0.4% of population
total: 0.7% of population (2015 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate

0.18% (2014 est.)

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS


HIV/AIDS - deaths

100 (2014 est.)

Obesity - adult prevalence rate

22% (2014)

Education expenditures

7.7% of GDP (2013)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)

total: 18 years
male: 17 years
female: 20 years (2014)

Mother's mean age at first birth

28.9 (2010 est.)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24

total: 22.9%
male: 24.2%
female: 21.5% (2014 est.)


Country name

conventional long form: Kingdom of Sweden
conventional short form: Sweden
local long form: Konungariket Sverige
local short form: Sverige
etymology: name ultimately derives from the North Germanic Svear tribe, which inhabited central Sweden and is first mentioned in the first centuries A.D.

Government type

parliamentary constitutional monarchy


name: Stockholm
geographic coordinates: 59 20 N, 18 03 E
time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October

Administrative divisions

21 counties (lan, singular and plural); Blekinge, Dalarna, Gavleborg, Gotland, Halland, Jamtland, Jonkoping, Kalmar, Kronoberg, Norrbotten, Orebro, Ostergotland, Skane, Sodermanland, Stockholm, Uppsala, Varmland, Vasterbotten, Vasternorrland, Vastmanland, Vastra Gotaland


6 June 1523 (Gustav VASA elected king of Sweden marking the abolishment of the Kalmar Union between Denmark, Norway, and Sweden)

National holiday

National Day, 6 June (1983); note - from 1916 to 1982 this date was celebrated as Swedish Flag Day


history: several previous; latest adopted 1 January 1975
amendments: proposed by Parliament; passage requires simple majority vote in two consecutive parliamentary terms with an intervening general election; passage also requires approval by simple majority vote in a referendum if Parliament approves a motion for a referendum by one-third of its members; amended several times, last in 2014 (changes to the "Instrument of Government") (2016)

Legal system

civil law system influenced by Roman-Germanic law and customary law

International law organization participation

accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction


citizenship by birth: no
citizenship by descent only: the father must be a citizen of Sweden; in the case of a child born out of wedlock, the mother must be a citizen of Sweden and the father unknown
dual citizenship recognized: no, unless the other citizenship was acquired involuntarily
residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years


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 Stefan LOFVEN (since 3 October 2014); Deputy Prime Minister Isabella LOVIN (since 25 May 2016)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the prime minister
elections/appointments: the monarchy is hereditary; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or majority coalition usually becomes the prime minister

Legislative branch

description: unicameral Parliament or Riksdag (349 seats; 310 members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by proportional representation vote and 39 members in "at-large" seats directly elected by proportional representation vote; members serve 4-year terms)
elections: last held on 14 September 2014 (next to be held in September 2018)
election results: percent of vote by party - SAP 31.0%, M 23.3%, SD 12.9%, MP 6.9%, C 6.1%, V 5.7%, FP 5.4%, KD 4.6%, others 4.1%; seats by party - SAP 113, M 84, SD 49, MP 25, C 22, V 21, FP 19, KD 16

Judicial branch

highest court(s): Supreme Court of Sweden (consists of 16 justices including the court chairman); Supreme Administrative Court (consists of 18 justices including the court president)
judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court and Supreme Administrative Court justices nominated by the Board of Judges, a 9-member nominating body consisting of high-level judges, prosecutors, and members of Parliament; justices appointed by the Government; following a probationary period, justices' appointments are permanent
subordinate courts: first instance and appellate general and administrative courts; specialized courts that handle cases such as land and environment, immigration, labor, markets, and patents

Political parties and leaders

Center Party (Centerpartiet) or C [Annie LOOF]
Christian Democrats (Kristdemokraterna) or KD [Ebba Busch THOR]
Green Party (Miljopartiet de Grona) or MP [Asa ROMSON and Gustav FRIDOLIN]
Left Party (Vansterpartiet) (formerly Communist Party) or V [Jonas SJOSTEDT]
Liberal Party (Liberalerna) or L [Jan BJORKLUND]
Moderate Party (Moderaterna) or M [Anna KINBERG BATRA]
Swedish Social Democratic Party (Socialdemokraterna) or SAP [Stefan LOFVEN]
Sweden Democrats (Sverigedemokraterna) or SD [Jimmie AKESSON]

Political pressure groups and leaders

Swedish Confederation of Professional Associations or SACO [Goran ARRIUS]
Swedish Confederation of Professional Employees or TCO [Eva NORDMARK]
Swedish Trade Union Confederation (Landsorganisationen) or LO [Karl-Petter THORWALDSSON]
other: environmental groups; media

International organization participation

ADB (nonregional member), AfDB (nonregional member), Arctic Council, Australia Group, BIS, CBSS, CD, CE, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, ECB, EIB, EITI (implementing country), EMU, ESA, EU, FAO, FATF, G-9, G-10, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IGAD (partners), IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, MINUSMA, MONUSCO, NC, NEA, NIB, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OPCW, OSCE, Paris Club, PCA, PFP, Schengen Convention, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNMISS, UNMOGIP, UNRWA, UNTSO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC

Diplomatic representation in the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Bjorn O. LYRVALL (since 12 September 2013)
chancery: The House of Sweden, 2900 K Street NW, Washington, DC 20007
telephone: [1] (202) 467-2600
FAX: [1] (202) 467-2699
consulate(s) general: New York

Diplomatic representation from the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Azita RAJI (since 15 March 2016)
embassy: Dag Hammarskjolds Vag 31, SE-11589 Stockholm
mailing address: American Embassy Stockholm, US Department of State, 5750 Stockholm Place, Washington, DC 20521-5750
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); the colors reflect those of the Swedish coat of arms - three gold crowns on a blue field

National symbol(s)

three crowns, lion; national colors: blue, yellow

National anthem

name: "Du Gamla, Du Fria" (Thou Ancient, Thou Free)
lyrics/music: Richard DYBECK/traditional
note: in use since 1844; also known as "Sang till Norden" (Song of the North), is based on a Swedish folk tune; it has never been officially adopted by the government; "Kungssangen" (The King's Song) serves as the royal anthem and is played in the presence of the royal family and during certain state ceremonies


Industrial production growth rate

4.2% (2016 est.)

Economy - overview

Sweden has achieved an enviable standard of living with its combination of free-market capitalism and extensive welfare benefits. Sweden remains outside the euro zone largely out of concern that joining the European Economic and Monetary Union would dimin

Sweden’s economy experienced modest growth in 2014-16, with real GDP growth above 2%, but continues to struggle with deflationary pressure.

GDP (purchasing power parity)

$498.1 billion (2016 est.)
$481 billion (2015 est.)
$461.7 billion (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars

GDP (official exchange rate)

$517.4 billion (2015 est.)

GDP - real growth rate

3.6% (2016 est.)
4.2% (2015 est.)
2.3% (2014 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP)

$49,700 (2016 est.)
$48,800 (2015 est.)
$47,400 (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars

Gross national saving

30.7% of GDP (2016 est.)
29.8% of GDP (2015 est.)
28.4% of GDP (2014 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 45%
government consumption: 25.8%
investment in fixed capital: 24.9%
investment in inventories: 0.4%
exports of goods and services: 43.7%
imports of goods and services: -39.8% (2016 est.)

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 1.7%
industry: 34.2%
services: 64% (2016 est.)

Agriculture - products

barley, wheat, sugar beets; meat, milk


iron and steel, precision equipment (bearings, radio and telephone parts, armaments), wood pulp and paper products, processed foods, motor vehicles

Labor force

5.277 million (2016 est.)

Labor force - by occupation

agriculture: 2%
industry: 12%
services: 86% (2014 est.)

Unemployment rate

6.9% (2016 est.)
7.4% (2015 est.)

Population below poverty line

14% (2011 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 3.4%
highest 10%: 24% (2012)

Distribution of family income - Gini index

24.9 (2013)
25 (1992)


revenues: $248.3 billion
expenditures: $250.2 billion (2016 est.)

Taxes and other revenues

48% of GDP (2016 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)

-0.4% of GDP (2016 est.)

Public debt

41.4% of GDP (2016 est.)
43.2% of GDP (2015 est.)
note: data cover general government debt, and includes debt instruments issued (or owned) by government entities other than the treasury; the data include treasury debt held by foreign entities; the data include debt issued by subnational entities, as well as i

Fiscal year

calendar year

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

0.8% (2016 est.)
0% (2015 est.)

Central bank discount rate

0% (31 December 2014)
1% (31 December 2013)
note:: the Discount rate was abolished in 2002, and replaced by a "Reference rate" with no bearing on monetary policy; the rate quoted here is the Reference rate

Commercial bank prime lending rate

2% (31 December 2016 est.)
1.96% (31 December 2015 est.)

Stock of narrow money

$282.6 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$271 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

Stock of broad money

$328.8 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$323 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

Stock of domestic credit

$747.3 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$749.3 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares

$560.5 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
$470.1 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
$581.2 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Current account balance

$26.03 billion (2016 est.)
$25.86 billion (2015 est.)


$147.3 billion (2016 est.)
$151.1 billion (2015 est.)

Exports - commodities

machinery 35%, motor vehicles, paper products, pulp and wood, iron and steel products, chemicals (2012 est.)

Exports - partners

Norway 10.3%, Germany 10.3%, US 7.7%, UK 7.2%, Denmark 6.8%, Finland 6.7%, Netherlands 5.2%, Belgium 4.4%, France 4.2% (2015)


$134.9 billion (2016 est.)
$137.3 billion (2015 est.)

Imports - commodities

machinery, petroleum and petroleum products, chemicals, motor vehicles, iron and steel; foodstuffs, clothing

Imports - partners

Germany 17.9%, Netherlands 8.1%, Norway 7.8%, Denmark 7.7%, China 6%, UK 5.5%, Finland 4.6%, France 4.3%, Belgium 4.3% (2015)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$58.11 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$62.5 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

Debt - external

$939.9 billion (31 March 2016 est.)
$929.4 billion (31 March 2015 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home

$390.8 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$380.9 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad

$465.4 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$445 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

Exchange rates

Swedish kronor (SEK) per US dollar -
8.569 (2016 est.)
8.4335 (2015 est.)
8.4335 (2014 est.)
6.8612 (2013 est.)
6.77 (2012 est.)


Electricity - access

electrification - total population: 100% (2016)

Electricity - production

150 billion kWh (2014 est.)

Electricity - consumption

127 billion kWh (2014 est.)

Electricity - exports

29 billion kWh (2014 est.)

Electricity - imports

14 billion kWh (2014 est.)

Electricity - installed generating capacity

39 million kW (2014 est.)

Electricity - from fossil fuels

9.5% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from nuclear fuels

24.8% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from hydroelectric plants

43% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from other renewable sources

22.7% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Crude oil - production

0 bbl/day (2015 est.)

Crude oil - exports

23,210 bbl/day (2015 est.)

Crude oil - imports

410,600 bbl/day (2015 est.)

Crude oil - proved reserves

0 bbl (1 January 2016 es)

Refined petroleum products - production

426,600 bbl/day (2015 est.)

Refined petroleum products - consumption

291,100 bbl/day (2015 est.)

Refined petroleum products - exports

298,700 bbl/day (2015 est.)

Refined petroleum products - imports

174,500 bbl/day (2015 est.)

Natural gas - production

0 cu m (2014 est.)

Natural gas - consumption

933 million cu m (2014 est.)

Natural gas - exports

0 cu m (2014 est.)

Natural gas - imports

891 million cu m (2014 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves

0 cu m (1 January 2014 es)

Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy

50 million Mt (2013 est.)


Telephones - fixed lines

total subscriptions: 3,554,665
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 36 (July 2015 est.)

Telephones - mobile cellular

total: 12.639 million
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 129 (July 2015 est.)

Telephone system

general assessment: highly developed telecommunications infrastructure; ranked among leading countries for fixed-line, mobile-cellular, Internet and broadband penetration
domestic: coaxial and multiconductor cables carry most of the voice traffic; parallel microwave radio relay systems carry some additional telephone channels
international: country code - 46; submarine cables provide links to other Nordic countries and Europe; satellite earth stations - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean), 1 Eutelsat, and 1 Inmarsat (Atlantic and Indian Ocean regions); note - Sweden shares the Inmarsat earth station (2015)

Broadcast media

publicly owned TV broadcaster operates 2 terrestrial networks plus regional stations; multiple privately owned TV broadcasters operating nationally, regionally, and locally; about 50 local TV stations; widespread access to pan-Nordic and international bro (2008)

Internet country code


Internet users

total: 8.881 million
percent of population: 90.6% (July 2015 est.)


National air transport system

number of registered air carriers: 8
inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 219
annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 11,623,930
annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 0 mt-km (2015)

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

SE (2016)


231 (2013)

Airports - with paved runways

total: 149
over 3,047 m: 3
2,438 to 3,047 m: 12
1,524 to 2,437 m: 75
914 to 1,523 m: 22
under 914 m: 37 (2013)

Airports - with unpaved runways

total: 82
914 to 1,523 m: 5
under 914 m: 77 (2013)


2 (2013)


gas 1,626 km (2013)


total: 11,915 km
standard gauge: 11,850 km 1.435-m gauge (7,567 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 65 km 0.891-m gauge (65 km electrified) (2014)


total: 579,564 km (includes 1,913 km of expressways)
paved: 135,444 km
unpaved: 444,412 km
note: includes 104,705 km of state roads, 433,034 km of private roads, and 41,825 km of municipal roads (2010)


2,052 km (2010)

Merchant marine

total: 135
by type: bulk carrier 4, cargo 16, carrier 1, chemical tanker 15, passenger 5, passenger/cargo 36, petroleum tanker 11, roll on/roll off 30, vehicle carrier 17
foreign-owned: 35 (Denmark 4, Estonia 3, Finland 16, Germany 3, Ireland 1, Italy 5, Norway 3)
registered in other countries: 189 (Bahamas 11, Barbados 4, Bermuda 14, Canada 2, Cook Islands 3, Cyprus 5, Denmark 15, Faroe Islands 11, Finland 1, France 4, Gibraltar 11, Italy 1, Liberia 12, Malta 1, Marshall Islands 1, Netherlands 12, Norway 27, Panama 2, Portugal 3, Saint Vincent and (2010)

Ports and terminals

major seaport(s): Brofjorden, Goteborg, Helsingborg, Karlshamn, Lulea, Malmo, Stockholm, Trelleborg, Visby
LNG terminal(s) (import): Brunnsviksholme, Lysekil


Military branches

Swedish Armed Forces (Forsvarsmakten): Army (Armen), Royal Swedish Navy (Marinen), Swedish Air Force (Svenska Flygvapnet) (2010)

Military service age and obligation

18-47 years of age for male and female voluntary military service; Swedish citizenship required; service obligation: 7.5 months (Army), 7-15 months (Navy), 8-12 months (Air Force); the Swedish Parliament has abolished compulsory military service, with exclusively voluntary recruitment as of July 2010; conscription remains an option in emergencies; after completing initial service, soldiers have a reserve commitment until age 47 (2013)

Military expenditures

1.1% of GDP (2015)
1.1% of GDP (2014)
1.1% of GDP (2013)
1.18% of GDP (2012)
1.17% of GDP (2011)

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international


Refugees and internally displaced persons

refugees (country of origin): 52,707 (Syria); 23,886 (Iraq); 21,501 (Somalia); 20,203 (Eritrea); 13,064 (Afghanistan) (2015)
stateless persons: 31,062 (2015); note - the majority of stateless people are from the Middle East and Somalia