50 Fascinating Facts about Sweden

Sweden is located in Northern Europe and is part of Scandinavia. It is bordered by Norway and Finland, and is connected to Denmark via a land bridge. The country is the third largest country in the European Union by area, but only is home to 9.5 million people, making its population density very low. The country’s capital is Stockholm, and it is home to approximately 871,990 people. The country’s official language is Swedish. The country does not have an official religion, however over 7 million Swedes are a part of the Church of Sweden, which is a Christian church. The second largest religion in Sweden is Islam. Sweden’s flag is light blue, with a yellow cross spanning across the entire horizontal flag. Their currency is the Swedish krona, which they have used since 1873.

Sweden Facts

1
Sweden’s nominal per capita GDP is $56,956.
2
Their main exports include telecommunications, engineering products, vehicles and pharmaceuticals. Agriculture only accounts for 2% of the country’s GDP.
3
The economy of Sweden is largely based on exports and manufacturing. They have a very small business service sector of their economy that they are working to increase.
4
Volvo, IKEA, and Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications AB are three of the largest companies in Sweden.
5
Their imports include oil, machinery, chemicals and food products.
6
Sweden’s government is a unitary parliamentary representative democracy under a constitutional monarchy. The Monarch is run by King Carl XVI Gustaf.
7
2 million people living in Sweden are under the age of 18.
8
Moose, lynx, bears and wolves can be found in the wild throughout Sweden. Most of the indigenous animals are thriving there, and even expanding their territories.
9
Sweden has claimed armed neutrality for two centuries. This means that they don’t take sides in any world war, and have not been involved in a war for two centuries.
10
All children have access to free education. Everyone in the country has access to free health care and many other social programs that the government sponsors.
11
Large, green forests cover half of Sweden, while the rest of the country is dotted with over 100,000 lakes. 24,000 islands also make up the country, and all Swedish people are able to visit these islands through free public transportation.
12
Sweden is only 977 miles wide at its widest point.
13
The Northern Lights can be seen every fall and spring all throughout Sweden.
14
In Sweden, around 90% of couples stay together in order to raise their children. Some couples don’t even get married before having children, but most children do grow up in a two parent house hold for most, if not all, of their lives.
15
Sweden was the first European country to create a National Park due to the Swedes’ love for nature and wildlife.
16
Many Swedish festivals and traditions are tied into the changing of the seasons.
17
Walpurgis Eve is celebrated every April 30th. It is the day before summer begins. Swedes celebrate the day by building bonfires and singing songs late into the night in order to signify that the cold and dark winter is over.
18
Easter is celebrated each year in a very colorful fashion. People dress in bright clothes, attend church, and celebrate by painting eggs, decorating trees with neon colored feathers and having family time.
19
All property in Sweden that is not own by the military or that is not fenced in is available for people to hike through, and even camp on for one night.
20
The government shut down all of the nuclear plants in the country due to environmental reasons after seeing the Chernobyl disaster.
21
Until 1544, Sweden elected their kings. In 1544, the parliament changed the rules so that the crown would simply be passed down to the King’s descendents.
22
The welfare system was developed in the 1930s. It is still in place today, and states that all Swedes have free access to health care, child care, elder care and education. It also gives citizens five paid vacation weeks per year, and helps the unemployed.
23
Sweden is one of the only members of the European Union that does not use the Euro. Instead, they kept their own currency whenever they joined, since they are a neutral country.
24
Dynamite was invented in Sweden by Albert Nobel, the man who the Nobel Prize is named for.
25
Fathers can take leave from work whenever their wives have babies in order to help out at home. Both parents can also take off work before their child is born in order to take parenting classes. Some workplaces even encourage this practice.
26
All companies are legally required to offer their workers free massages while at work.
27
Taxes comprise 50-70% of the Swedes’ income.
28
There are over 95,000 lakes in Sweden.
29
Over 50% of Sweden's energy comes from renewable energy sources.
30
About 15% of Sweden's citizens were born in other countries.
31
Over half of Sweden's land is covered in forests.
32
Sweden joined the European Union in 1995.
33
Most Swedes live in the southern part of the country because of milder temperatures.
34
Swedish is the official language, but many Swedes also speak English. Many of them speak English fluently.
35
Sweden is made up of over 24,000 islands.
36
In 1979, Sweden banned spanking and other corporal punishments for children.
37
Until 1809, Finland was a part of Sweden.
38
Sweden's Twitter account is run by its people. Every week, a new citizen takes over the official social networking page for the country.
39
Parents are entitled, by law, to receive 480 days of leave when a baby is born or adopted. This law applies to both mothers and fathers.
40
85% of Swedes reside in the country's cities.
41
87% of adults in Sweden have a high school diploma.
42
Stockholm, the capital of Sweden, is spread across 14 islands.
43
Ikea is known for its affordable and simplistic furniture...as well as the furniture's foreign names. The sofas, coffee tables, and bookshelves sold in Ikea are all named after places in Sweden.
44
Sweden was the first country to add a law abolishing censorship in its constitution.
45
The Arctic north of Sweden is nicknamed the land of the midnight sun because the sun never sets during the summer.
46
This country is divided into three distinct regions: Götaland in the south, Svealand in the middle, and Norrland in the north.
47
The national church, the Church of Sweden, is Lutheran, but Sweden is tolerant of all religions.
48
Sweden is the biggest exporter of pop music by GDP in the entire world.
49
Swedes have been behind some of the world's most important inventions, including the three-point seatbelt, the adjustable wrench, and the pacemaker, to name a few.
50
Sweden is responsible for some of the technological advances we have today. Swedes were the brains behind such programs as Spotify and Skype.

Sweden is a beautifully majestic country that is home to ancient, lush forests and wonderful lakes. The country has declared neutrality since the 19th century, and has since been very safe and happy place to live and visit. Tourists enjoy visiting the bustling cities and rural towns, especially during the Northern Lights in the Fall and Spring.

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