Sweden (in Swedish : Sverige ( ? · I ) [sværjɛ] ), officially Kingdom of Sweden (Swedish: Konungariket Sverige ( ? · I ) ), is a country Scandinavian of Europe Northern part of the European Union (EU). It is bordered to the north by Norway and Finland , to the east by Finland and the Gulf of Bothnia , to the south by the Baltic Sea and to the west by the North Sea and Norway . It has land borders with Norway and Finland , and is connected to Denmark by the Øresund Bridge . Its most populous city is Stockholm, [ 8 ] which is also its capital.
With an area of 450 295 km², [ 3 ] it is the fifth largest country in Europe . In 2016, it had a total population of just over 10 million people, of which 98% have Internet access , making it the country with the highest penetration of the service in the world . It has a population density of only 22 h / km², similar to other neighboring countries. About 84% of the population lives in urban areas . [ 9 ] Nature conservation, environmental protection and energy efficiencythey are generally a priority in policy formulation and are welcomed by a large part of the people. [ 10 ] [ 11 ] Keeps the Nordic welfare model that provides universal health care and tertiary education free its citizens, has the eleventh highest per capita income in the world and occupies a prominent place in numerous measures of human development , including quality of life, safety, health, education, equality, and prosperity. [ 12 ]
Improved transport and communications have allowed the large-scale exploitation of natural assets, especially wood and iron ore. In the 1980s, universal schooling and industrialization enabled the country to develop a successful manufacturing industry . It has a rich supply of hydropower , but lacks oil and significant coal deposits. In the 20th century, it was consistently among the countries with the best Human Development Index (HDI), currently occupying the eighth position.
The origins of Sweden date back to the 10th century, although there is no true historical consensus on the date of its unification. [ 13 ] Modern Sweden arose from its separation from the Kalmar Union in 1523, during the rule of King Gustav Vasa . During the Thirty Years' War , Sweden began a territorial expansion that resulted in the formation of the so-called Swedish Empire in the 17th century. However, most of the conquered territories outside the Scandinavian peninsula were lost during the following centuries. The eastern half of Sweden made up of the eastern half of Norrland andÖsterland was lost to the Russian Empire in 1809 . Since 1814 , it has not participated in any conflict, maintaining a foreign policy of peace and neutrality in time of war. [ 14 ]
The name "Sweden" derives from the Latin Suetidi , which comes from the Old English word Sweoðeod , which means "people of the suiones " (in Old Scandinavian Svíþjóð ). This word derives from sweon / sweonas ( Old Scandinavian sviar , Latin suiones ). The etymology of Suiones , and hence of Sweden, probably derives from the Proto-Germanic Swihoniz , which means "property of one", [ 15 ] referring to the property of a Germanic tribe. The name in Swedish,Sverige , literally means "Kingdom of the suiones " ( sve 'suiones'; rike 'kingdom'), which was used to designate the southern part of the country inhabited by the Germanic tribe of the same name.
Variations of English Sweden are used in most languages except Danish and Norwegian , where the name is the same as in Swedish, Sverige. In the Finnish (Ruotsi) and Estonian (Rootsi) languages, the name comes from the same root as the word " Russia ", referring to the Rus ethnic group , originally from the coastal areas of Uppland and Roslagen .
Its prehistory begins in the period called the Allerød Oscillation , around 12,000 BC. C. during the Upper Paleolithic , with the arrival of nomadic groups of hunter-gatherers in the southern part of the country, characterized by the use of arrowheads made of stone . [ 16 ]
The agriculture and livestock , along with the construction of megalithic monuments , came from the continent with the culture of the funnel vessels around the year 4000. C .. Southern Sweden was part of the area where the Norse Bronze Age developed . This period began around 1800 BC. C. with the beginning of the importation of bronze from central Europe . [ 17 ] The miningIt was not practiced during this period and as the territory does not have large deposits, all metals were imported. The Nordic Bronze Age was completely pre-urban: people became sedentary and lived in small villages and farms, in longhouses made of wood. [ 17 ]
In the absence of domination by the Roman Empire , the Swedish Iron Age is considered to have ended at the time of the introduction into their lands of stone architecture and monastic orders around 1100. [ 16 ] As written records of This period is of little credibility, this period is considered protohistoric , that is, those records appeared after the period in question, and that they were written in different areas, or that the local and contemporary records are extremely short.
An attempt by the Romans to extend their empire beyond the Rhine and Elbe rivers was aborted in AD 9. C. , when the Germans defeated the Roman legions under the command of Varo , by ambushing them in the battle of the Teutoburg forest . Around this time there was a great change in culture in Scandinavia , the result of increased contact with the Romans. [ 16 ]
During this time the weather worsened, forcing farmers to shelter their animals in sheds during the long winters. This led to an annual accumulation of manure , which could be used for the first time in a systematic way for soil enrichment. In this way, agriculture and livestock progressed and became the economic engine of the first cities. [ 16 ] At the beginning of the second century, much of the cultivated soil in the south of their lands was divided into lots with fences.small ones made of stone. On one side of the wall were permanent crops and meadows for winter fodder, while on the other was forest and land for grazing cattle. This division of the land was used until the 19th century. [ 18 ]
It entered protohistory with the book Germania by Cornelio Tacitus in the year 98. Although the little information that it reports on this distant area has been estimated as uncertain, since it makes mention of several tribes, such as the Suiones and the Lapps of later centuries. [ 19 ] As for its writing , the runic alphabet was invented by the elite of southern Scandinavia in the second century, but all that has survived to the present are brief inscriptions on artifacts, mainly male names, evidencing that the peoples of southern Scandinavia spoke Proto-Norseat that time, a language from which Swedish and other Nordic languages were derived . [ Twenty ]
Viking Age and Middle Ages
The Swedish Viking Age spans from the 8th to the 11th century. During this period, it is believed that the Suiones expanded to the southeast and mixed with the gautas that inhabited the south of present-day Sweden. [ 21 ] The Vikings Swedes and the Vikings guter made trips mainly to the east and south, going to Finland , the Baltic countries , Kievan Rus , the Mediterranean and as far away as Baghdad . Their routes crossed the rivers of the Rus of Kiev until arriving at the capital of the Byzantine Empire ,Constantinople (now Istanbul , Turkey ), from where they departed in different directions (see, for example, the Trade Route from the Varangians to the Greeks ). The Byzantine emperor Theophilus proved their war prowess and invited them to serve as his personal guard, which took the name of the Varangian Guard . [ 22 ] It is also believed that a group of Swedish Vikings, called " Rus ", were the founding fathers of the Kievan Rus and thus of Russia. Their expeditions were embodied in many runestonesexisting in the country, such as the Greek and Varangian runic stones . There was also considerable Viking participation in expeditions to the west, which were recorded on English runestones . The last great Viking expedition was Ingvar the Traveler's failed voyage to Serkland , the southeastern region of the Caspian Sea . His expeditionaries are commemorated on the Ingvar runestones , none of which mention any survivors. It is unknown what happened to the expedition, but it is believed that they were victims of some epidemic. [ 23 ]
It is not known when or how the kingdom of Sweden was created, but the list of Swedish monarchs only names those who reigned in Svealand (Sweden) and Götaland (Gothia) at the same time, the former being Erico the Victorious . [ 24 ] Previously, Sweden and Gothia had been separate nations. Although it is not known how long these kingdoms existed, Beowulf describes them in the semi-legendary wars between Swedes and Geats of the 6th century.
During the early years of the Viking era in Scandinavia, Ystad in Scania and Paviken in Gotland were major centers of trade at that time. There are ruins of what is thought to be a large market in Ystad, dating from AD 600 to 700. C. [ 25 ] In Paviken, an important commercial center of the Baltic region during the ninth and tenth centuries, they have found remains of a large dock with boat building workshops and cottage industries. Between the years 800 and 1000, trade led to the abundance of silverin Gotland, and according to several specialists, the inhabitants of the island had more of this metal than all the rest of the population of Scandinavia combined. [ 25 ]
In 829 , Saint Oscar introduced Christianity , but it was not until the 12th century that the new religion began to replace traditional beliefs. [ 26 ] During the 11th century, Christianity became the predominant religion, and by 1050 it was already counted among the Christian nations. The period from 1100 to 1400 was characterized by internal power struggles and competition between the Nordic kingdoms. The Swedish kings also began to expand their territory towards Finland , creating conflicts with the Rus, who had shed all connection with Sweden. [ 27 ]
In the 14th century , it was ravaged by an epidemic of the Black Death ( bubonic plague ). [ 28 ] During this period the Swedish cities also began to gain greater autonomy and were strongly influenced by the German merchants of the Hanseatic League , active especially in Visby . In 1319, Sweden and Norway were united by King Magnus Eriksson and in 1397 Queen Margaret I of Denmark made a personal union of Sweden, Norway and Denmark, thus creating the Kalmar Union. However, Margaret's successors, whose power was centered in Denmark, failed to control the Swedish nobility . For long periods, effective power was held by regents (notably those of the Sture family ) elected by the Swedish parliament . To remedy the situation, King Christian II of Denmark ordered the execution of the Stockholm nobles . The massacre was known as the " Stockholm Bloodbath " and prompted the Swedish nobility to form a new resistance, so on June 6, 1523, they named Gustav I of Sweden as their king. [ 29 ]This fact is often regarded as the founding of the modern state of Sweden and June 6 is now the country's National Holiday . Soon after, Gustav I rejected Catholicism and introduced the Protestant Reformation in the country. For these events Gustavo I is known as the " Father of the Nation ." [ 30 ]
During the 17th century it emerged as a European power . Before the rise of the Swedish Empire, it was a very poor country, sparsely populated, and with little involvement in international affairs. It was suddenly turned into one of the leading nations in Europe by Axel Oxenstierna and King Gustav II Adolf of Sweden , thanks to the conquest of territories from Russia and Poland-Lithuania , but also thanks to their participation in the Thirty Years War , which made it the continental leader of the Protestant until the collapse of the empire in 1721. [ 31 ]
The war of Gustav II Adolf against the Holy Roman-Germanic Empire had a high cost for the latter, where a third of the population died and almost half of the states that made it up were occupied by the Swedes. Gustavo II Adolfo's plan was to take advantage of the armed conflict to expand the limits of his kingdom. However, Gustav II Adolfo later died at the Battle of Lützen in 1632, leaving the throne to the youngest Cristina of Sweden . [ 32 ] After the battle of Nördlingen Sweden withdrew because it grew tired of the hardships of the war and lost its power in the southern part of present-day Germany., and the conquered provinces were separated from Swedish rule one by one, leaving it with only a couple of territories in the north: Swedish Pomerania , Bremen-Verden and Wismar . [ 33 ]
In the middle of the 17th century, it was the third largest country in Europe, only surpassed by Russia and Spain . In 1658, it reached its maximum extent under the reign of Charles X Gustav of Sweden (1622-1660), shortly after the signing of the Treaty of Roskilde . [ 34 ] In the mid-16th century, King Gustav I converted the country to Protestantism and carried out a series of economic reforms. [ 35 ] During the seventeenth century, the country was involved in several wars, such as the one against Poland-Lithuania , in which both competed for the territories of theBaltic States until the Battle of Kircholm in 1605, which is considered one of the worst defeats of the Swedish army. [ 36 ]
This period also witnessed " The Deluge ", the Swedish invasion of the Union of Poland-Lithuania . After more than half a century of almost constant warfare, the Swedish economy seriously deteriorated. Rebuilding the economy and recovering military power became a task that lasted throughout the life of Charles X's successor, Charles XI of Sweden (1655-1697). The legacy for his son, Carlos XII , was one of the best arsenals in the world, a large army and a large fleet. [ 37 ]
In 1700, after the Battle of Narva (one of the first battles of the Great Northern War ), the Russian Army , worse equipped and trained and demoralized by the withdrawal of Peter I from Russia before the battle, was severely decimated, giving Sweden the opportunity to invade Russia . However, Charles XII did not pursue the Russian Army, but instead went to Poland-Lithuania and in 1702, he defeated the Polish King August II and his Saxon allies at the Battle of Kliszów . [ 38 ] After the successful invasion of Poland, Charles XII had prepared the ground to invade Russia by attacking its capital,Moscow , from Ukraine . In addition to his army he had the help of about 2000 Ukrainian Cossacks . But this time the tsarist army was better prepared and motivated, and after harassing the invaders with Cossack horsemen and lowering their supplies with scorched earth techniques , in 1709 Peter I decisively defeated the Swedes at the Battle of Poltava . The Swedes were hunted down, surrendering three days later at Perevolochna . This defeat meant the beginning of the collapse of the Swedish Empire. [ 38 ]
In 1716, Carlos XII tried to invade Norway , however, his advance was stopped by the Norwegians in 1718, with the siege of the Fredriksten fortress . The Swedes were not defeated militarily at Fredriksten, but the organization and structure of the Norwegian campaign led to the death of the king and the withdrawal of the army. [ 38 ] Forced to cede large tracts of land in the 1721 Treaty of Nystad , it also lost its place as an empire and as the dominant state of the Baltic Sea . With the loss of Swedish influence, Russia emerged as an empire and became one of the dominant nations in Europe. [39 ] By the 17th century, it lacked sufficient resources to keep its territories outside of Scandinavia, as a result of which it lost most of these, culminating in the loss of eastern Sweden to Russia, territories that would become the Duchy. of semi-autonomous Finland in imperial Russia . [ 40 ]
After Denmark-Norway was defeated in the Napoleonic wars , on January 14, 1814, Norway was ceded to Sweden in exchange for the northern German provinces, in the Treaty of Kiel . Norway's attempts to remain a sovereign nation were repelled by King Charles XIII of Sweden . The king launched a military campaign against Norway on July 27, 1814, ending with the Moss Convention , which forced Norway into a personal union under Swedish rule, which lasted until 1905. The 1814 campaign was the last war in the one that his army participated as a belligerent. [ 14 ]
Modern and contemporary history
In the 18th and 19th centuries a significant population growth took place, which the writer Esaias Tegnér in 1833 attributed to "peace, the vaccine (against smallpox ), and potatoes ." [ 41 ] Between 1750 and 1850 the Swedish population doubled. According to some specialists, mass emigration to the United States became the only way to avoid starvation and rebellion; more than 1% of the population emigrated annually during the 1880s. [ 42 ]At that time, it was still in poverty, with a primarily agricultural economy, despite the fact that Denmark and other Western European countries had already begun to industrialize . [ 42 ] [ 43 ] Between 1850 and 1910 more than one million Swedes emigrated to the United States since the beginning of the twentieth century, there were more Swedish - born population in Chicago than in Gothenburg (the second largest city in Sweden). [ 44 ] Most of the Swedish emigrants settled in the American Midwest , reaching a high incidence in the population ofMinnesota . As secondary destinations, other groups of emigrants headed to Delaware and Canada .
Although its industrialization process developed slowly, agriculture underwent important changes due to technological innovations and population growth. [ 45 ] These innovations included government enclosure programs , over-exploitation of agricultural land, and the introduction of new crop seeds such as the potato . [ 45 ] Due to the fact that Swedish peasants had been exploited like nowhere else in Europe, [ 46 ]Swedish farming culture acquired a leading role in political processes, a characteristic that has been maintained over time, with the Agrarian Party (currently called the Center Party ). [ 47 ] Between 1870 and 1914, the process of development of its industrial economy began, which continues to this day. [ 48 ]
During the second half of the 19th century, important social and union movements, as well as independent religious and abstinent groups, began to press for a democratic state . In 1889 the Swedish Social Democratic Party was founded . These movements led the country towards a modern parliamentary democracy , achieved at the time of the First World War . As the Industrial Revolution progressed during the 20th century, the rural population began to migrate to the cities to work in the factories and thus eventually be included in the unions . In 1917 a socialist revolution took placewhich failed, which was followed in 1921 by the establishment of a democratic- type parliamentary monarchy . [ 49 ]
During the course of both world wars it remained officially neutral , although its neutrality in World War II has been the subject of debate on many occasions; [ 50 ] [ 51 ] was under German influence most of the war and was isolated from the rest of the world through locks. [ 50 ] Initially, the Swedish government considered that it was in no position to oppose Germany , [ 52 ] and later collaborated with the Adolf Hitler regime . [ 53] Swedish volunteers inNazi SS unitswere among the first elements to invade theSoviet UnionduringOperation Barbarossa. [ citation needed ]Likewise, it also providedsteelandmachineryto Germany during the war. Towards the end of the conflict, when German defeat seemed imminent, Sweden began to play an important role in humanitarian efforts and in sheltering refugees, including the many Jews from Nazi-occupied Europe who were saved. This was partly due to the fact that he participated in rescue missions inconcentration camps., and because the country was the main refugee center for Scandinavia and the Baltic countries. [ 52 ] However, internal and external critics assure that it could have done more to resist the threats of the Nazis, even risking an occupation. [ 52 ]
During the Cold War he publicly adopted a position of neutrality, but unofficially some Swedish leaders maintained close connections with the United States . After World War II, it took advantage of its intact industrial infrastructure, social stability and natural resources to expand its industry and support the reconstruction of Europe. [ 54 ] It was also part of the Marshall Plan and participated in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development ( OECD ). For most of the postwar period, the country was ruled by the Swedish Social Democratic Party(in Swedish: Socialdemokraterna). This party established a corporatist model that favored large capitalist companies, but also trade unions, organized in the Swedish Trade Union Confederation (LTC), affiliated with the same party. [ 55 ] The Swedish State acquired a decisive role and the number of public employees increased notably between 1960 and 1980. [ 55 ] Finally, the country opened up to international trade and turned to the international manufacturing sector, obtaining good growth rates until the 1970s.
Like other countries in the world, it entered a period of economic decline after the oil embargoes of 1973-1974 and 1978-1979. [ 56 ] In the 1980s, the pillars of Swedish industry were largely restructured. Shipbuilding was canceled , logging was integrated into the modern paper production process, the steel industry was centralized and specialized, and mechanical engineering turned to robotics . [ 57 ]
Between 1970 and 1990 almost all taxes were raised by more than 10%. The income limit tax for workers reached more than 80%, and public spending exceeded half of the national GDP , while its economic policy was questioned by classical economists. [ 55 ]
In the early 1990s, like the rest of Western countries, the country fell into a fiscal crisis . [ 58 ] [ 59 ] [ 60 ] The response was the Conservative government cut spending and institute a series of reforms to boost competitiveness, among which were reducing the welfare state Swedish and privatize public goods and services. The reforms allowed it to enter the European Union , to which Sweden has belonged since January 1, 1995, although without adopting the euro , as it decided to keep the Swedish crown. as your national currency.
It is currently one of the countries with the highest Human Development Index , among the twenty largest economies in the world. He is also often involved in international military operations, including the war in Afghanistan , where Swedish troops are under the command of NATO ; and in the European Union by supporting "peacekeeping" operations in places like Kosovo , Bosnia-Herzegovina and Cyprus . Furthermore, the weaponry used by the US military in Iraq is produced by various Swedish companies. [ 61 ]
government and politics
Sweden is a constitutional monarchy , in which King Charles XVI Gustav is the head of state , but his royal power is limited only to ceremonial and official functions. [ 62 ] Although The Economist Group claims that democracy is somewhat difficult to measure, the "2006 Democracy Index" placed it at the top of its list of 167 countries. [ 63 ]
His government is divided into three branches : legislative, executive and judicial. The legislative power is the Riksdag (the Swedish parliament), which according to the Swedish constitution , is the supreme authority of the government. It is made up of 349 members, who elect the prime minister , who directs the ministries . Parliamentary elections are held every four years, on the third Sunday in September. [ 64 ]
Bills must be presented by members of the cabinet or parliament. The latter are elected on the basis of multi-member proportional vote for a four-year period. The constitution can be modified by the Riksdag, for which the decision is required to be approved by an absolute majority between general election periods. In addition to government statutes, it has three other fundamental constitutional laws: the Royal Succession Act, the Press Freedom Act, and the Basic Law for Freedom of Expression. [ 65 ]
The executive power is exercised by the prime minister, the cabinet and the king . The judiciary has a regulatory body called Lagrådet (Council of Laws), which has the power to examine the constitutionality of laws and government decisions, although its resolutions are not mandatory; However, due to the restrictions of this form of constitutional control and a weak jurisdiction, their work has little consequence in national politics. [ 66 ]
The Swedish Social Democratic Party has played a leading political role since 1917, after the reformists confirmed their dominance and those on the left left the party. After 1932, the cabinets have been dominated by the Social Democratic party. In just five general elections, another center-right party won enough seats in parliament to become the leading force in government. [ 67 ] However, slow economic advance since the early 1970s, and especially the crisis of 1990, forced it to reform its political system to make it similar to that of other European countries. In the 2010 general elections, theBloque Roji-Verde (Social Democrats with the Green Party ) won the majority of seats in the Riksdag, leaving the Alliance with only 170 seats. [ 68 ]
The elections in October 2014 had the following results:
- Social Democratic Party (SAP): 113 seats
- Moderate Party (M): 84 seats
- Sweden Democrats (SD): 49 seats
- Green Party (MP): 25 seats
- Center Party (C): 22 seats
- Left Party (V): 21 seats
- Liberal People's Party (FP): 19 seats
- Christian Democrats (KD): 16 seats
The total of the government parties (SAP + V + MP) is 159 seats. The total of the opposition parties (M + C + FP + KD) is 141 seats. Parliamentarians were elected for the 2014-2018 term.
In the elections to the European Parliament, the parties that have not exceeded the Riksdag threshold have managed to obtain representation in that place: June List (2004-2009), the Pirate Party (2009-2014), and the Feminist Initiative (2014-current ).
In Sweden the number of voters has always been high compared to many countries, although it has been declining in recent decades, and is currently around 80% (80.11% in 2002 and 81.99% in 2006). Swedish politicians enjoyed a high degree of public trust in the 1960s, but over the years this declined to a lower level of trust than in other countries in the region. [ 69 ] In terms of political movements, Sweden has a long history of so-called Folkrörelser ("popular movements"), the most notable being the trade unions , the independent Christian movement, the abstinence movement , the feminist movement., etc.
Application of the law
The judiciary is represented by the Supreme Court of Sweden and the lower courts . The Supreme Court is the third and last instance in all civil and criminal cases ; It is made up of sixteen Councilors of Justice or justitieråd who are appointed by the executive branch. This court is an independent institution from the prime minister and parliament, so the government cannot interfere in its decisions. [ 71 ]
The courts are divided into two parallel and separate systems: The general courts (allmänna domstolar) for criminal and civil cases, and general administrative courts (allmänna förvaltningsdomstolar) for cases related to disputes between private persons and the authorities. In both systems there are district courts (the first to open a case), appeal courts (the second instance), with the supreme court being the third and last instance. There are also some special courts for certain areas ( labor , trademarks and patents ). [ 72 ]
Law enforcement is carried out by various government institutions: the Swedish National Police (in charge of organizing the police ), the National Task Force ( Swedish SWAT unit ), the National Criminal Investigation Department and the Police Service. Swedish security (responsible for anti- terrorist and counterintelligence activities ) are some examples. [ 73 ]
According to a victimization study of 1201 Swedes in 2005, Sweden has a high crime rate compared to other countries in the European Union . The crimes most frequent are the assaults, sexual crimes , hate crimes and fraud . However, it has low levels of home and car theft , addiction problems and corruption . [ 74 ]
Throughout the 20th century, its foreign policy was based on the principle of non-alliances in times of peace and neutrality in times of war. [ 54 ] This doctrine of neutrality dates back to the 19th century, as the country has not participated in any armed conflict since the end of the war against Norway in 1814. During World War II , it did not join the Axis Forces nor the Allies . However, this has been discussed many times, because Sweden allowed the regime Nazi Germany using their system of roads to transport goods and soldiers, [ 50 ] [52 ] and obtain raw materials, especially iron obtained from mines located in northern Sweden, which were vital for German machinery. [ 52 ] [ 75 ]
During the Cold War , the country combined its policy of no alliances with a low profile in international conflicts, although it did maintain a security policy based on strong national defense to stop possible attacks. [ 76 ] At the same time, the country maintained relatively close informal connections with the capitalist bloc , especially in terms of information exchange. In 1952 a DC-3 Swede was shot down over the Baltic Sea by a MiG-15 Soviet . Subsequent investigations revealed that the plane was obtaining information for NATO . [ 77 ]Another aircraft , a search and rescue PBY Catalina , was shot down days after the first incident, also by the Soviets.
In the early 1960s, he tried to play a more important and independent role in international relations. This led him to participate in international activities to maintain peace, especially through the UN , and in support of Third World countries . Prime Minister Olof Palme severely questioned the action of the United States in the Vietnam War and visited Sandinista Nicaragua and Cuba during the 1970s . [ 78 ] In 1981, a Soviet Whiskey-class submarine entered waters near the Swedish naval base at Karlskrona.in the southeast of the country. It was never clarified why the submarine ended up in that place, if due to a navigation error or if it was a spy mission against the Swedish army. The incident led to a diplomatic crisis between the Soviet Union and Sweden. [ 79 ] After Palme's assassination in 1986, Sweden's international prominence declined considerably, although it remained relatively active in peacekeeping and humanitarian aid missions.
In 1995, the country became a member of the European Union, and as a consequence of the security situation in the new world, its foreign policy and its doctrine of neutrality have been partly modified, coming to play a more active role in the cooperation for the security of Europe. It is one of the EU countries that has not joined the euro on its own initiative. Likewise, since 2014 it is the first EU country to recognize Palestine as one more sovereign state.
The Swedish Armed Forces (Försvarsmakten) is a government agency headed by the Defense Minister and is responsible for its operation during peacetime. The main task of the Armed Forces is to train and deploy forces for peace support abroad, as well as the ability to refocus on the defense of Swedish territory in the event of war. [ 80 ] The armed forces are divided into the Army, Air Force, and Navy . The Supreme Commander of the Swedish Armed Forces ( Överbefälhavaren , ÖB) is the highest ranking officer in the country. [ 81 ]
Until the end of the Cold War , almost all men who reached the age for military service were drafted. Although until a few years ago military service in Sweden was compulsory, it was expected to end this measure soon. And indeed, in mid-2010, compulsory military service was abolished, resulting in the creation of an army made up entirely of volunteers. [ 82 ] [ 83 ] In recent years, the number of men recruited has decreased dramatically, while the number of female volunteers has increased slightly. [ 84 ]Recruitment has generally been aimed at finding the most motivated recruits, rather than those who only enter to fulfill their service. By law, all soldiers serving abroad must be volunteers. In 1975 the total number of recruits was 45 000. In 2009, it had fallen to 25 000. [ 84 ]
Swedish units were part of the peacekeeping forces in operations in Cyprus , the Democratic Republic of the Congo , Bosnia and Herzegovina , Kosovo , Liberia , Lebanon , Afghanistan and Chad . [ 85 ] Currently, one of the most important tasks for the Swedish Armed Forces is to create a European Union battle group that is led by Sweden, in which Norway, Finland, Ireland and Estonia will also contribute. [ 86 ]
|CESCR||CCPR [ 89 ]||CERD [ 90 ]||CED||CEDAW [ 92 ]||CAT||CRC||MWC||EARL [ 96 ]|
|Signed and ratified, signed, but not ratified, neither signed nor ratified, No information, has agreed to sign and ratify the body in question, but also recognizes the competence to receive and process individual communications from the competent bodies.|
Sweden is a unitary state , currently divided into twenty-one administrative provinces ( län ). Each province has its administrative board or länsstyrelse , which is elected by the national government (the first administrative board was created by the Swedish Prime Minister Axel Oxenstierna in 1634). In each province there is a council or landsting , which is directly elected by the people. [ 97 ]
Each province is divided into several municipalities or kommuner , with a total of 290 municipalities. Its municipal government is similar to a mayoralty . [ 98 ] A municipal legislative assembly, called kommunfullmäktige , of between 31 and 101 members (always an odd number) is elected by popular elections held every four years in conjunction with parliamentary elections. In turn, the municipalities are divided into a total of 2512 parishes or socken . In the past, this subdivision coincided territorially with the parish - församling - used by theChurch of Sweden . Currently, parishes are used for statistical purposes. [ 99 ]
There are also other divisions that no longer have official use, but are still taken into account for certain jobs. Chief among these are Sweden's twenty-five historic provinces or counties ( landskap ) which still have cultural relevance. These provinces are grouped into three large regions according to the geographical and historical characteristics they have in common: Norrland for the north, Svealand for the center and Götaland for the south. [ 100 ]
|Region||Acronym||Provincias ( County )||Municipíos ( Local )||Historic Provinces ( Landskap )|
|Norrland||BD||Provincia de Norrbotten|
|AC||Provincia de Västerbotten|
|WITH||Provincia de Jämtland|
|Y||Provincia de Västernorrland|
|X||Provincia de Gävleborg|
|Svealand||W||Provincia de Dalarna|
|S||Provincia de Värmland|
|T||Provincia de Örebro|
|U||Provincia de Västmanland|
|D||Provincia de Södermanland|
|Götaland||O||Provincia de Västra Götaland|
|E||Provincia de Östergötland|
|N||Provincia de Halland|
|G||Provincia de Kronoberg|
|M||Province of Scania|
|I||Provincia de Gotland|
Located in the north of Europe , Sweden limited to the east by the Baltic Sea and the Gulf of Bothnia , giving the country a long coastline , which forms the eastern part of the Scandinavian peninsula . To the west are the Scandinavian Alps (Skaderna), which form a natural border with Norway . To the northeast it limits with Finland , to the southwest with the Straits of Skagerrak , Kattegat and Öresund , which separate it from Denmark , Germany , Poland ,Russia , Lithuania , Latvia and Estonia . Furthermore, it is connected to Denmark by the Öresund Bridge .
With an area of 450 295 km² , [ 3 ] Sweden is the 57th largest country in the world. [ 101 ] It is the fifth largest on the continent and the largest in Northern Europe. Its size is slightly larger than the state of California and similar to that of Uzbekistan , with a population of more than 10 million people. [ 102 ]
The minimum altitude of Sweden is in the bay of Lake Hammarsjön , near Kristianstad with 2.41 meters below sea level. The country's maximum altitude is Mount Kebnekaise at 2,111 m asl. [ 102 ] The Swedish territory also comprises some 221,800 islands, of which 1,085 have a permanent population. [ 103 ] Gotland , Öland , Orust , Hisingen and Värmdö are the largest islands of the country. [ 104 ]
For the most part, the Swedish territory is flat, with the exception of the western area where the Scandinavian Alps emerge . [ 102 ] This plain and the country's own climate, gives rise to the formation of many lakes , among which Vänern , Vättern , Mälaren and Hjälmaren stand out for their size . Lake Vänern is the largest lake in the country and the third largest on the European continent, after lakes Ladoga and Onega in Russia . [ 105 ]
Geographically and historically, Sweden can be divided into three major regions : North Norrland , Central Svealand, and South Götaland . The sparsely populated Norrland comprises more than half the land area of the country. [ 100 ] In addition, about 15% of the territory is located within the Arctic Circle . The south is predominantly agricultural, while in the north forestry is the most important industry. The most densely populated regions are Öresund in the south and the Lake Mälaren valley near Stockholm . [ 106 ]
Most of Sweden has a temperate climate , despite its latitude, with four different seasons and mild temperatures all year round. The country's three historic regions receive slightly different climates: Gotland has an oceanic climate , Svealand has a humid continental climate, and Norrland has a boreal climate . However, the country is warmer and drier than other places at similar latitudes and at other latitudes even further south, due in large part to the Gulf Stream . [ 107 ] [ 108 ]For example, the center and south of the country have warmer winters than many parts of Russia , Canada, and the United States . [ 109 ] Also due to its location, the length of the day varies enormously. North of the Arctic Circle , the sun never sets on some summer days, and it never rises on some winter days. The day in Stockholm lasts more than eighteen hours at the end of June, but only around six hours at the end of December. Much of the Swedish territory receives between 1600 and 2000 hours of sunlight annually. [ 110 ]
The temperature varies from north to south. The Svealand and Gotland regions have mild summers and cold winters, with maximum temperatures between 20-25 ° C [ 111 ] and minimum temperatures between 6 and 15 ° C [ 112 ] during the summer; and an average temperature of –14 to 2 ° C in the winter. [ 113 ] Norrland has shorter, cooler summers and longer, colder winters, with temperatures usually below freezing from October through June. [ 114 ] [ 115 ] Occasionally present heat waveswith temperatures above 25 ° C that occur for several days in the summer, sometimes even in the northern part of the country. [ 116 ] The highest recorded temperature was 38 ° C in Målilla in 1947, while the lower temperature has been -52.6 ° C in Vuoggatjålme in 1966. [ 117 ]
On average, most of Sweden receives between 500 and 800 mm of precipitation each year, making the country considerably drier than the world average . The southwest is the region of the country with the highest rainfall, between 1000 and 1200 mm, and in some mountainous areas in the north it is estimated that more than 2000 mm of precipitation is received. [ 118 ] Snowfall occurs from December to March in Gotland, from November to April in Svealand, and from October to May in Norrland. Despite their geographical location, Gotland and Svealand tend to be virtually snow-free. [ 119 ]
Flora and fauna
Like the climate, the flora and fauna of the country vary according to the region. From south to north, one can consider that in Sweden there are four ecoregions: mixed forest baltic , mixed forest sarmático , prairie and montane forest of birch in Scandinavia and Scandinavian and Russian taiga . This produces variation among the wildlife in the three regions: coniferous plants are common in Svealand , while deciduous plants predominate in Gotland . [ 120 ] In general, the most common plant species in the country include beech, oak , linden , ash , maple , elm and various species of orchids . [ 121 ]
In the same way, the fauna that inhabits the national territory is distributed according to the geographical and climatological conditions of each region. The bear , the lynx , the wolf , the deer , the elk , the foxes and various species of rodents can be considered the most common animals in Sweden. [ 122 ] Birds such as the black grouse , woodcock , partridge , ducks and swans inhabit much of the Swedish territory. [ 120 ]The lakes and coasts of the country are the habitat of many species of fish, among which the cod , the mackerel , the salmon , the European pike and the herring stand out . [ 121 ] The availability of fish, as well as the country's climate, results in a local cuisine based heavily on seafood.
The Swedish economy is a mixed economy mainly export - oriented and the international trade . The Swedish Welfare State has been based on a conception of the responsibility of the State in the provision of welfare, in the development policies of full employment and the provision of a network of universal public services. The community vision of the State according to political traditions, and the concept of solidarity emerging from social democratic principles, have shaped this conception. This model has tried to reduce the impact of the functioning of the labor market on the well-being of individuals, configuring a level of well-being independent of their social position. None of the major parties in Sweden propose to dissolve this welfare state, since such a proposal would be deeply unpopular with the population. [ 123 ]
Considered by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund as an "advanced economy", its nominal GDP currently reaches 444,585 million dollars . [ 124 ] Therefore, it has a modern distribution system, sufficient external and internal communications , and a specialized workforce . The wood , the hydropower and iron form the economic base of the country, along with the sector of engineering that provides 50% of production and exports. Telecommunications andAutomotive and pharmaceutical industries are also of great importance. The agriculture accounts for only 2% of the workforce .
At the end of 2009, the top ten Swedish companies were: AB Volvo , Ericsson , Vattenfall , Skanska , Svenska Cellulosa Aktiebolaget , TeliaSonera , Electrolux , H&M (Hennes & Mauritz) , ICA AB and Nordea . [ 125 ] In 2008, the center-right government of Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt privatized more than fifty public companies, leaving the Swedish state in deficit. [ 126 ]
The economically active population (EAP) is 5.3 million people (2017) [ 102 ] , of which 35.2% (2011) have higher education studies . [ 127 ] The country's economy is growing at a rate of 2% per year. [ 127 ]
In 2003, Sweden rejected the euro as a currency through a referendum , so currently the country's official currency is the Swedish krona (SEK). [ 128 ] Sweden's central bank is Sveriges Riksbank , which was founded in 1668, making it the oldest central bank in the world. [ 129 ] In addition to being the mint, Sveriges Riksbank is concerned with price stability, keeping inflation at 2% per year, one of the lowest among European countries since the mid-1990s. [ 127 ] [102 ] The countries with which it carries out most of its financial activity are Germany , the United States , Norway , the United Kingdom , Denmark , and Finland .
The 2010 World Economic Forum ranked it as the second most competitive country in the world, only behind Switzerland . [ 130 ] Finally, he ranked ninth in the Competitiveness Yearbook IMD 2008. [ 131 ]
A large part of the energy sector is privately owned and is supported mainly by hydraulic energy , which in 2000 contributed 76 TWh (53.8% of total production), and nuclear energy , which produced 53 TWh (37.4%) . At the same time, the use of biofuels , peat , wind energy and other renewable energy sources contributed only 4 TWh (2.7%). [ 132 ] In 2016 152.9 TWh of electrical energy were produced in Sweden . [ 102 ] The biomassIt is mainly used to produce the heat used in heating systems and industrial processes. Nord Pool , created in 1991, is the company in charge of trading energy between the Nordic countries . [ 133 ]
The 1973 oil crisis reinforced the government's decision to decrease its dependence on imported fossil fuels . Since then, the majority of electricity has been obtained from hydroelectric plants , renewable sources and nuclear energy, the latter with limited use. Among other things, the nuclear accident at the Three Mile Island Nuclear Power Plantin the United States, it led parliament to ban the construction of new nuclear power plants. However, after multiple studies showed the project as "unworkable" in addition to the change of administration in government and intense debate, parliament approved the cancellation of this policy in June 2010. [ 134 ]
In 2006, due to a serious accident that nearly caused a massive loss of radiation at the Forsmark nuclear power plant , the government closed four of the ten nuclear power plants that were in operation. [ 135 ] [ 136 ] In 2009, the government Social Democratic Swedish "decided to print a total turn its energy policy, paving the way for the construction of new nuclear power plants." [ 136 ]
Various political leaders have announced plans to free Sweden from the use of fossil fuels, decrease the use of nuclear energy and invest several million dollars for research in renewable energy and energy efficiency. [ 137 ] [ 138 ] The country has continued for many years to tax strategy as an instrument of environmental policy , including energy taxes and tax on carbon dioxide . [ 137 ]
Sweden has 573,134 km of paved roads and 2,050 km of motorways (2016). [ 102 ] The motorways run through Sweden, Denmark and over the Öresund Bridge to Stockholm , Gothenburg , Uppsala and Uddevalla . The country is carrying out a highway construction plan; as part of it, on October 17, 2007 the road from Uppsala to Gävle was completed . From 1736 to the middle of the 20th century, the direction of circulation was to the right ( Vänstertrafik) Until voters rejected this effect in 1955, to impose the reverse direction from 1963. However, parliament returned to the right direction in 1967, on the day called Dagen H . [ 139 ]
The railroad has been partially privatized, but there are several companies operated by counties and municipalities. The main operators include: SJ AB, Veolia Transportation, Connex, Green Cargo, Tågkompaniet, Inlandsbanan and multiple regional companies. The railways that have not yet been privatized are owned by Banverket . In 2016, there were about 14,062 km of railways , of which 12,322 km are electrified , also having 65 km of narrow gauge (0.891 m). [ 102 ]
There are 231 airports in the country , 149 of them with paved runways, and 8 registered airlines operate with an annual traffic of 11.6 million passengers (2015). [ 102 ] The largest and most important airports include Stockholm-Arlanda Airport (17.91 million passengers in 2007) 40 km north of the country's capital, Gothenburg-Landvetter Airport (4.3 million passengers in 2006) and Stockholm-Skavsta Airport (2 million passengers in 2006). The two most important port authorities in Scandinavia are located in Sweden : the Gothenburg Port Authority and thetransnational in Copenhagen - Malmö .
Sweden liberalized its telecommunications industry in a process that included the regularization of the media and that lasted more than ten years, culminating in 1993. [ 140 ] There are more than 2.7 million telephone lines in use in the country, in addition to 12.4 million mobile lines (2017). [ 102 ] In turn, more than 90% of the population has access to the Internet . [ 102 ] Public broadcasting companies had a monopoly on radio and televisionfor a long time in the country, since the first radio station began broadcasting in 1925. [ 141 ] Later, in 1954, a second station began broadcasting and a third station opened in 1962, in response to pirate radio stations. . In 1979, charity radio stations were allowed and in 1993 local radio stations began.
Officially, it was in 1956 when the first television station began broadcasting. [ 142 ] A second channel, TV2 , was created in 1969. These two channels (operated by Sveriges Television from the late 1970s) had a monopoly until the 1980s, when cable and satellite television were available on the country. The first Swedish satellite service was TV3 , which was broadcast from London in 1987. It was followed by Kanal 5 in 1989 (then known as "Canal Nordic") and TV4 in 1990. [ 142 ]
In 1991 the government announced that it would begin to receive requests from those companies that wanted to transmit their signal by cable . TV4, which had previously broadcast via satellite, began broadcasting by cable in 1992, becoming the first privately-owned channel to broadcast from within the country. [ 142 ] Today, about half of the population uses cable television. The digital terrestrial television began in 1999 and broadcasts analog television ended in 2007. [ 143 ]
Sweden is among the largest newspaper consumers in the world, and most towns and cities have a local newspaper. The main newspapers of national circulation are: Dagens Nyheter (liberal leaning), Göteborgs-Posten (liberal), Svenska Dagbladet (conservative) and Sydsvenska Dagbladet (liberal). The two most popular tabloids are the Aftonbladet (Social Democrat) and Expressen (Liberal). The free , world-wide newspaper Metro International was originally founded in Stockholm; while The Local(Liberal), another newspaper with worldwide circulation, is also based in Sweden. [ 144 ]
At the end of December 2010, its total population was estimated at 9,415,570 inhabitants. [ 145 ] According to estimates from its Statistics Institute (SCB), around August 12, 2004, the Swedish population exceeded nine million for the first time. In 2007, approximately 16.7% of the inhabitants (1.53 million) had at least one foreign-born relative, mainly from Scandinavia . [ 146 ] This reflects the large migratory processes between the Nordic countries, originated first by the search for employment and later followed by decades of immigration of refugees from countries in conflict. The country was transformed from a nation of emigrants at the end of World War I, to a country of immigrants after World War II. In 2006, immigration to Sweden reached its highest level since records began: 95,750 people arrived in the country in that year. [ 147 ]
The largest immigrant groups in Sweden consist of people from Finland , followed by people born in Iraq , the former Yugoslavia , Somalia , Germany , Denmark , Norway , Turkey , Poland , Romania , Russia , Syria , Lebanon , Chile and Iran . [ 148 ] In addition, Sweden is home to the largest exiled community of Assyrians and Syrian Christians..
Immigration from other Nordic countries reached its highest level between 1968 and 1970 with 40,000 people per year. This happened due to new immigration laws enacted in 1967, which made it more difficult for non-Scandinavian immigrants to settle in the country, mainly for political reasons. [ 148 ] The immigration of refugees from the outskirts of the Nordic region increased markedly in the late 1980s, with the arrival of various groups of refugees from Asia and the Americas., especially from Iran and Chile (after the 1973 coup, many sympathizers and militants of left and center-left political parties, persecuted by the Augusto Pinochet dictatorship, were exiled ). During the 1990s and onward, another large group of refugees arrived from the former Yugoslavia and the Middle East . [ 149 ] This arrival of immigrants has caused some problems of coexistence, such is the case of the city of Malmö , where immigrants and their descendants make up 40% of the population. [ 150 ]From 2007 to 2010, the average annual number of immigrants reached, considering all categories, one hundred thousand people. The number of emigrants, meanwhile, was around 45,000 people. [ 151 ]
The most widely spoken language in the country is Swedish , a related Germanic language and very similar to Danish and Norwegian , but with differences in pronunciation and spelling . Swedish is understandable for Norwegians and Danes, the latter having a little more difficulty than the former. [ 152 ] Although Swedish is the predominant language, Swedish law does not consider it as the official language . [ 153 ] Finns living in the east are the most significant linguistic minority in the country. They make up more than 3% of the population and Finnishit is recognized as a minority language. In addition, it has four other languages recognized as minority : Meänkieli , Sami , Romany and Yiddish . In 2005, a proposal for Swedish to be declared the official language of the country was presented to parliament, but was ultimately rejected. [ 154 ]
The vast majority of its inhabitants born after World War II understand and speak English thanks to business ties, the popularity of foreign travel, and a strong Anglo-American influence. Beginning in 1849, English became a compulsory subject in high school for those studying natural sciences , and it became compulsory for all students in the late 1940s. [ 155 ]Depending on the local school authorities, English is a compulsory subject between first and ninth grade, with at least one extra year of study in high school. Many students learn one or two languages other than English, most notably German , French, and Spanish . [ 152 ]
|Year||Population||Members||Percentage||% change (avg.)|
Before the 11th century, the Nordic religion predominated in which the gods Æsir , or Ásatrú with its center in the Temple of Uppsala, were worshiped . [ 158 ] With Christianization , the country's laws were changed, prohibiting the worship of other deities until the last years of the 19th century. In 1530 after the Protestant Reformation , Olaus Petri , a follower of the ideas of Martin Luther , carried out the separation between the Church and the Swedish State , at the same time that he abolished the authority of the Catholic bishops . In this way theLutheranism was adopted as a religion in much of the country, a process that ended with the Council of Upsala in 1593. [ 159 ]
During the post-Reformation era small groups of Calvinists from the Netherlands, the Moravian Brotherhood, and Huguenots from Belgium played an important role in industry and commerce, and were partly tolerated as long as they kept a low religious profile. The Lapps originally had their own shamanic religion , but were converted to Lutheranism by Swedish missionaries in the 17th and 18th centuries. [ 160 ]
With religious liberalization at the end of the 18th century, followers of other religions, including Judaism and Catholicism , were able to live and work openly in the country, but for Swedish Lutherans, changing their religion was illegal until 1860. In the century In the nineteenth century, several evangelical churches came to their lands and, towards the end of the century, secularism , which led many people to renounce religion. Leave the Church of Swedenit became legal in the so-called "Law of Desertion of 1860", but only with the condition of becoming a member of another religion. The right to remain outside any religious congregation was established in the law of freedom of worship , 1951. [ 161 ] [ 162 ]
About 56.4% of the population are members of the Church of Sweden (Lutheran) [ 156 ] , and less than 20% of them regularly attend Church of Sweden religious services. [ 159 ] However, the reason for the high number of members is partly due to the fact that until 1996, all children who were born automatically became members if one of their parents was. Since 1996, only children who are baptized become members. [ 163 ] Around 275,000 Swedes belong to other Protestant churches (where attendance at services is much higher) and due to immigration there are about 500,000 Muslims(5.2%), 100,000 Orthodox Christians and 92,000 Catholics living in Sweden. [ 164 ] Despite the figures, many studies claim that Sweden is one of the countries with the fewest religious adherents in the world and with a high degree of atheism : between 46 and 85% of Swedes do not believe in a God. [ 165 ]
Being a developed country, in Sweden health care is universal and free, it is financed almost in its majority with taxes. The nation is often among the top five countries with the lowest infant mortality rate ; It is also among the countries with the longest life expectancy (82.2 years) and in drinking water purity . [ 102 ] In Sweden there are 4.2 doctors for every 1000 inhabitants, [ 166 ] in addition to the government investing 11.9% of total GDP in health expenditures. [ 167 ] [ 102 ]
This is due to the high quality of the healthcare system, which is similar to that of other European countries and is often ranked as one of the best in the world. [ 166 ] Health services are coordinated by the National Board of Health and Social Welfare ( Socialstyrelsen ). [ 168 ]
The current health system was founded in 1968, thanks to the union of the Royal Board of Health and the Royal Board of Social Affairs by the Social Democratic government , ensuring extensive coverage of social security , through the provision of free health care. , a system of retirement pensions and sickness allowances, free preschool nurseries and economic allowances for maternity or paternity. [ 169 ]
The prostitution is legal nationwide. Faced with the problem in relation to sexual health at a social level, Sweden took in its hands the option of legalizing prostitution in 1999 . [ 170 ] Sweden stands out for giving one of the longest maternity or paternity leave: The law requires each parent to take 60 days of work leave to care for their newborns. [ 171 ]
Thanks to its well-developed education system, in which the government invests 7.7% of GDP (2014), [ 102 ] the country has one of the highest literacy rates in the world, at 99%. [ 172 ] Children between the ages of one and six are guaranteed a place in a public preschool (in Swedish: förskola or, colloquially, dagis ). Between the ages of seven and fifteen, students enter primary and secondary school , which are compulsory. [ 173 ]Fifteen-year-old Swedish students rank 22nd in the PISA Report , as well as within the OECD member countries . [ 174 ]
After completing the ninth grade, about 90% of graduates continue their studies for three years of upper secondary education ( gymnasium ); Upon completion of this, students are qualified to get a job or to apply to college . [ 173 ] The country has many universities and colleges, with the Karolinska Institute , the University of Upsala , the University of Lund and Stockholm University cited as the most prestigious educational institutions. [ 175 ]
The school system is largely tax-financed. Any citizen can establish a non-profit school and the municipal government must pay them the same amount as municipal schools, without discriminating in the distribution of school checks . This system dates from 1992 and was borrowed from the school policy of the Netherlands . [ 176 ] As in other European countries, the government also subsidizes the exchange of students of foreign origin seeking a degree in Swedish institutions. [ 177 ]
|Major Cities of Sweden|
|1||Stockholm||Stockholm||1 293 176||11||Umeå||Västerbotten||81 324|
|2||Gothenburg||Västra Götaland||549 839||12||Lund||scan||79 112|
|3||Malmö||scan||269 549||13||Gävle||Gävleborg||69 841|
|4||Upsala||Upsala||135 367||14||Borås||Västra Götaland||65 269|
|5||Västerås||Västmanland||109 092||15||Eskilstuna||Södermanland||63 043|
|6||Örebro||Örebro||101 614||16||Karlstad||Värmland||61 203|
|7||Linköping||Östergötland||101 031||17||Södertälje||Stockholm||61 111|
|8||Helsingborg||scan||95 886||18||Växjö||Kronoberg||60 581|
|9||Jönköping||Småland||87 549||19||Täby||Stockholm||59 219|
|10||Norrköping||Östergötland||84 322||20||Halmstad||Halland||58 216|
|Estimate for 2012 [ 8 ]|
The Swedish culture is typically seen as egalitarian , simple and open to influences from other countries. The country has received cultural influence from other countries and institutions: the Catholic Church and Germany during the Middle Ages , France during the 18th century, again Germany in the 19th century, and the countries of the Anglosphere after World War II. Similarly, its culture and its development are closely related to that of the other Nordic countries .
Throughout the country there are about 330 libraries and more than 200 museums , most of them located near large cities such as Stockholm , as well as multiple tourist attractions of artistic, cultural and historical interest. [ 178 ] Swedish cultural heritage is recognized worldwide: fourteen places within the national territory have been declared " World Heritage Sites " by UNESCO . [ 179 ] Another internationally outstanding cultural aspect is the awarding of the Nobel Prize, instituted by Alfred Nobel. This accolade has been given each year since 1901 to individuals who have done outstanding research, invented revolutionary equipment or techniques, or made notable contributions to society. [ 180 ]
In the 1960s and 1970s, Sweden was one of the first places where a movement that is now known as the " sexual revolution " emerged , especially promoting gender equality. [ 181 ] Currently, the percentage of single people is one of the highest in the world. The Swedish film I am curious: yellow (1967) reflected a liberal point of view on sexuality and introduced the concept of "Swedish sin." In recent decades, it has become one of the most tolerant countries in the world towards homosexuality and since 2009 same-sex marriage has been allowed . [ 182 ]
The art of Sweden is strongly linked with the art of the other nations of Scandinavia, mainly due to the geographical and historical conditions in which it was developed. From the first cave paintings and megalithic monuments , passing through medieval and Gothic art, Swedish art did not emerge in itself until the formation of the Swedish national identity, between the 16th and 17th centuries. Thus, Stockholm became the artistic center of the new nation, where trends originated in other parts of Europe developed: Renaissance , Baroque , Rococo, among others. [ 183 ]
However, it was not until the 19th century that Swedish artists began to attract global critics. Within this scenario, the participation of Anders Zorn , Carl Larsson , Eugène Jansson , Richard Bergh and August Strindberg stands out , who made great contributions to painting , sculpture and photography . [ 184 ] During the 20th century, the expressionist and modernist tendenciesentered the Swedish art scene. The new artistic trends developed in the country have attracted international attention, mainly in the field of design , fashion , pop music and gastronomy . [ 185 ]
In 1930, painting , graphic design and modern architecture entered the country with the stream of functionalism and since then the works of Swedish painters, designers and architects have gained a good reputation. However, its traditional art is still preserved, its best example being the handicrafts manufactured in rural areas and marketed in the cities and even exported to other parts of the continent. Some of the most popular include stoves in ceramic works made of glass and wood carvings . [ 186 ]
In recent decades, Swedish cinema gained international importance thanks to the works of directors such as Ingmar Bergman , Vilgot Sjöman , Bo Widerberg , Roy Andersson and Lasse Hallström . The film industry is regulated by the Swedish Institute of Cinema , supported largely by government programs, who spent about 200 million dollars annually to the production and promotion of national films. In addition, each year several international film festivals are held throughout the country; the Guldbagge Awardsthey are awarded each year to the best feature films and are often regarded as the " Swedish Oscars ." [ 187 ]
Among the interpreters of Swedish origin, actresses such as Greta Garbo , Ingrid Bergman and Anita Ekberg have stood out worldwide ; after his performance in La dolce vita by Federico Fellini . In addition, in recent years, actors such as Mikael Persbrandt stand out in films such as those belonging to The Hobbit Trilogy , and the Netflix series Sex Education . Also notable is the actress Alicia Vikander , winner of the Oscar for best supporting actress , among other awards, for her work in The Danish Girl; She has also acted in other feature films such as Ana Karenina and Ex Machina .
Sweden has a rich musical tradition, from medieval folk ballads to hip hop . Pre-Christian Norse music was lost over time, although historical re-enactments have been made based on instruments found at Viking archaeological sites. Instruments used include the lur (a kind of trumpet ), simple stringed instruments , wooden flutes , and drums . It is possible that some features of Viking music remain to this day in traditional Swedish songs. [ 188 ]
Traditional music is an important musical scene that often incorporates elements from other contemporary genres such as rock and jazz . Lapp music , called yoik , is also present , which is part of the traditional spirituality of the Lapp people and has gained worldwide recognition within the field of folk music. [ 189 ] Furthermore, the country also has a prominent tradition in choral music , derived in part from the cultural importance of folk music. In fact, of the 9.4 million inhabitants, it is estimated that between 500 and 600 thousand people are part of a choir. 
The jazz is another important genera within Swedish music. Since the 1950s it has maintained a high artistic standard, largely due to local bands being influenced by other countries such as Belgium, France, the United Kingdom and the United States. Lars Gullin is often cited as one of the leading representatives of Swedish jazz . [ 191 ]
Within today's music industry , Sweden is the third largest music exporter in the world, with more than $ 800 million in revenue in 2007, surpassed only by the United States and the United Kingdom. [ 193 ] Currently, Swedish pop is one of the best known styles in the country. The group ABBA was one of the first Swedish musical groups to become famous around the world, and thanks to their fame Swedish pop acquired a certain status of international importance. [ 192 ] In turn, other bands such as Roxette , Ace of Base , Europe and The Cardigansthey consolidated the image of modern Swedish music. Another similar genre from Germany, the schlager , gained popularity since the 1950s and its influence has remained in current music through various music festivals such as the folkpark , the Melodifestivalen and the Eurovision Song Contest . [ 194 ]
The indie pop also has many representatives in Sweden. In Gothenburg a number of important record labels such as Sincerely Yours or Service have been created . Some indie artists and groups are Jens Lekman , The Knife , Love Is All , Kent (probably the most popular pop rock band in Sweden in recent years [ 195 ] ), The Concretes , Broder Daniel , The Tough Alliance , Peter Olof Swartz , Bjorn and John , Little Dragon ,El Perro del Mar, Maia Hirasawa, Fever Ray, Popsicle, Studio, The Embassy, The Honeydrips, Brainpool, Air France, jj, Joel Alme o Pacific!.
On the other hand, genres such as heavy metal began to grow within the Swedish music scene, encompassing a wide range of subgenres with world-renowned exponents. Along with Norway, the country has been the center of development for many of these styles and artists. In the decade of 1980 the influence of bands like Bathory or in black metal [ 196 ] and of Candlemass in Doom Metal is remarkable . [ 197 ] [ 198 ] In the 1990s especially it highlights the wave of groups melodic death metal from Gothenburgof the groups At The Gates , Dark Tranquility and In Flames , [ 199 ] which generated a whole stream of fans and followers among which bands such as Amon Amarth , Arch Enemy or Soilwork stand out . There was also a wave of progressive death metal bands like Edge of Sanity , Meshuggah , Therion, and Opeth . [ 200 ] [ 201 ] The renowned guitarist neo metal and power metal, Yngwie Malmsteen , is also of Swedish origin. In this area, another very relevant band worldwide are Hammerfall and also with shared musicians such as Anders Johansson . Other important groups within the Swedish scene are Hammerfall , Entombed , Evergrey , Katatonia , Marduk , Dissection , The Haunted , Dark Funeral , Vintersorg . [ 202 ] Another band that has also achieved worldwide success and recognition is the garage rock band androck n' roll, The Hives.
Regarding electronic and dance music in the second decade of the 21st century, names such as Lykke Li , Swedish House Mafia , Galantis , Avicii , Eric Saade , Carola , Greek-Swedish Helena Paparizou , Yohio , Loreen , Danny Saucedo , Icona Pop stand out. , Tove lo , Alesso , Zara Larsson , AronChupa , Måns Zelmerlöw , Benjamin Ingrosso and Ghost .
The first literary text found in Sweden is the Rök Stone , carved during the Viking Age around 800 BC. C. [ 203 ] With the conversion of the country to Christianity in 1100 d. C. , Sweden entered the Middle Ages , during which the monks preferred to use Latin in their writings, so the texts in Swedish from that time are scarce. The Swedish literature flourished only after the Swedish language was standardized in the sixteenth century, being Bible one of the first books translated into Swedish in 1541. This translation is often called theGustavo Vasa's Bible . [ 204 ]
With the introduction of the educational system and the freedom that secularization gave , the seventeenth century saw the development of multiple Swedish writers. Examples of this are Georg Stiernhielm (17th century), who was the first to write classical poetry in Swedish; Johan Henric Kellgren (18th century), the first to write fluent prose in Swedish; Carl Michael Bellman (late 18th century), the first writer of burlesque ballads ; and August Strindberg (late 19th century), a socio-realist writer and playwright who achieved world fame. [ 205 ] The 20th century continued to produce notable authors such as Selma Lagerlöf(Nobel Prize in Literature 1909), Verner von Heidenstam (Nobel Prize in Literature 1916) and Pär Lagerkvist (Nobel Prize in Literature 1951). In total, seven Nobel Prizes for Literature have been awarded to Swedish writers. [ 206 ]
In recent decades, several writers have been recognized internationally, including crime novel authors Henning Mankell , Stieg Larsson , Camilla Läckberg and Åsa Larsson as well as Jan Guillou , spy novel writer. But the most recognized Swedish author in recent decades is children's story writer Astrid Lindgren , whose major works, such as Pippi Långstrump and Emil of Maple Hills , still rank among the most popular children's books. [ 207 ] And in the horror genre is John Ajvide Lindqvist with his novelLet me enter published in 2008 and already with a Swedish adaptation and an American adaptation for the big screen.
Science and Technology
Being a very advanced developed country , scientific research plays a key role for economic development and for society in general, and the high quality of scientific and technological development is recognized around the world. Together, the public and private sectors allocate about 4% of GDP to research and development ( R&D ), which makes it one of the countries that invests the most in R&D in terms of percentage of GDP . [ 208 ] The standard of Swedish research is high and the country is a world leader in multiple scientific fields. For example, it is the first in Europein terms of the number of scientific papers published per capita. [ 209 ]
In 1739 the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences was founded , with characters such as Carlos Linnaeus and Anders Celsius among its first members. [ 210 ] Since 1870, engineering companies were created at a rate never seen before and engineers became the heroes of the time. Many of the companies founded by these pioneers are still recognized internationally. Among the main Swedish innovators of the time are: Alfred Nobel who invented dynamite and instituted the Nobel Prize ; Gustaf Dalén founded the gas company AGA and won the Nobel Prize in Physicsby its solar valves; Lars Magnus Ericsson started the company that bears his name, Ericsson , which today is one of the largest telecommunications companies in the world; Jonas Wenström was a pioneer in alternating current and together with Croatian inventor Nikola Tesla , he invented the three-phase electronic system. [ 211 ]
In international comparison, industrial high technology is relatively more important in all sectors, particularly in telecommunications and the pharmaceutical industry . Although it is a relatively small country, Sweden has long been at the forefront of R&D. For several decades, the government has prioritized some scientific research activities. This strong support has helped Sweden become a leading country in terms of innovation . For many years, it was a leading country among OECD members when it comes to research and the use of advanced technology . [ 208 ]
Statistics show that between the years 1970 to 2003, the Swedish national innovation system was among the best of the OECD member countries in terms of the generation of technological inventions and the number of patents registered according to the size of the population. Only Switzerland reported a higher rate of patents relative to its population. In total, at the end of 2009 it had 33,523 registered patents , according to the United States Patent and Trademark Office, with only ten countries surpassing its number of patents. [ 212 ] Furthermore, in 2001 it was among the countries with the highest number of scientific publications in the fields of medical science ,natural sciences and engineering . [ 209 ]
In terms of structure, the Swedish economy is characterized by its large exports oriented towards the technology and industrial sector (motors, vehicles and telecommunications equipment), as well as the comparatively small services and finance sectors. [ 102 ] Thus science and technology have become an important part of the country's economy, mainly for the large industrial and service organizations that dominate it, since a large part of the multinational Swedish industries had their origins in the ingenuity of multiple Swedish inventors. [ 211 ]
The Swedish cuisine has always been under the influence of climate and resources in different regions of the country. Like other Scandinavian countries ( Denmark , Finland and Norway ), it is traditionally simple. The fish (particularly clupea ), the meat and potatoes are the basic ingredients for most typical Swedish recipes. [ 213 ]
Among the most famous dishes in the country are the Swedish meatballs , traditionally served with sauce, boiled potatoes and with red cranberry jam; pancakes, lutfisk and smörgåsbord . In addition, there is also a great tradition in dairy production: cheese , filmjölk (sour milk), långfil (thick yogurt), filbunke (curdled milk) and gräddfil (sour cream). [ 214 ] The knäckebröd is the traditional Swedish bread and developed in many contemporary variants. [ 214 ] Thebrännvin (a term that groups together alcoholic beverages such as aquavit and vodka ) is very popular in the country, and along with beer , they are a must at traditional social events. Other drinks like coffee , milk , and carbonated drinks . [ 215 ]
However, due to the country's foreign influences and international relations, its gastronomy has been influenced by French and Mediterranean cuisine since the 18th century. Currently, as a result of migration and globalization, there are a great variety of imported dishes, in addition to the fact that the consumption of fast food is also widespread. [ 216 ]
Aside from the traditional Church of Sweden festivities , several unique dates are also celebrated, some of which have been held since pre-Christian times. However, many of them are local or regional and are therefore considered " de facto holidays ". These include Holy Saturday , Walpurgis Night , Christmas Eve , New Year's Eve , among others. In addition to Sundays, the days that are officially considered "holidays" (and therefore non-working days) are listed in the table. [ 217 ]
|New Year||New Year's Day||January 1|
|Holy Friday||Good Friday||Friday before Easter Sunday|
|Easter Sunday||Easter Day||Sunday after the first full moon after the equinox spring|
|Easter monday||Easter Monday||The Monday after Easter Sunday|
|International Workers Day||May 1||May 1|
|Ascension Day||Ascension Day||Sixth Thursday after Easter Sunday|
|Pentecost||Pentecost||Seventh Sunday after Easter Sunday|
|Swedish National Day||Sweden's National Day||June 6th|
|San Juans night||Midsummer Day||Saturday between June 20 and 26 .|
|All Saints Day||All Saints Day||Saturday between October 31 and November 6|
|Christmas||Christmas day||December 25th|
|Boxing Day||Second day of Christmas||December 26|
The Sport in Sweden is regarded as a national movement ( föreningsstöd ), which actively participates almost half the population. Sports activities are largely regulated by the Swedish Sports Confederation and the Swedish Olympic Committee , which comprise more than 22,000 sports clubs across the country specializing in different disciplines. However, most sports activities are subsidized by the government, although some of the more popular sports receive support from various sponsors . [ 218 ]
On the other hand, tennis has been very successful. Björn Borg is considered one of the best male tennis players in the history of tennis . He was ranked No. 1 in the ATP rankings and has 11 Grand Slam titles to his credit. Other prominent tennis players are Mats Wilander and Stefan Edberg .
The two most popular sports in Sweden are ice hockey and soccer . [ 219 ] The Swedish ice hockey team ( Tre Kronor ) has won the World Ice Hockey Championship eight times, being the third country with the most medals. They also won the gold medal at the 1994 and 2006 Olympics . [ 220 ]
For its part, the soccer team has had good successes in past world cups , being runners-up in the 1958 World Cup in Sweden , and they came in third place twice, in Brazil 1950 and the United States 1994 . [ 221 ] At the player level, great players such as Gunnar Gren , Gunnar Nordahl , Nils Liedholm , Martin Dahlin , Henrik Larsson (winner of the Golden Boot in 2001 ) and Zlatan Ibrahimović are known.; the latter considered one of the best players today. And at the club level, IFK Göteborg is the only club to have been European champions by winning the UEFA Cup in the 1980s ( 1982 and 1987 ).
After football, equestrian sports have the largest number of practitioners, and Gothenburg has an internationally important equestrian center. Other sports commonly practiced in the country include golf , tennis , track and field events, and various team sports such as handball , floorball , basketball, and bandy . [ 219 ]
Sweden is the eighth country in the Olympic Games medal table with 193 gold, 204 silver and 230 bronze medals obtained until 2010. [ 222 ] The country ranks second in the historical cross-country ski medal table , horsemanship and modern pentathlon , third in wrestling and jumping , and fourth in shooting and canoeing . The athletes with the most gold medals were Gert Fredriksson , Sixten Jernberg , Gunde Svan , Henri Saint Cyr and Thomas Wassberg.
The Swedish capital was chosen to host the 5th edition of the Games in 1912. Other sporting events in which the country has been the host include Euro 1992 , the Women's Soccer World Cup in 1995 , and multiple world championships in ice hockey, track and field, skiing, bandy, curling , figure skating, and swimming . [ 223 ]
- Portal: Sweden . Content related to Sweden .
- Flag of sweden
- Coat of arms of sweden
- World Heritage Site in Sweden
- Swedish gastronomy
- Homosexuality in Sweden
- Sweden at the Eurovision Song Contest
- Traditional Swedish clothing
- The anthem is not official, since it is not included in the constitution
- «The National Anthem - Swedish Royal Family» . www.kungahuset.se (en sueco) . Consulted April 6, 2021 .
- CIA. "Sweden - Geography - World Book of Facts" . Retrieved February 15, 2017 .
- "Population Statistics" . Central Statistical Office of Sweden . Archived from the original on January 24, 2017 . Retrieved December 7, 2018 .
- "Sweden" . International Monetary Fund . Retrieved September 24, 2018 .
- "Human Development Index (HDI)" . hdr.undp.org (in English) . United Nations Development Program (UNDP) . Retrieved December 11, 2019 .
- "Gini coefficient of equivalised disposable income - EU-SILC survey" (in English) . Eurostat . Retrieved February 14, 2020 .
- World Gazetteer (2012). "Sweden - the most important cities" . Population-Statistics.com . Retrieved January 26, 2012 .
- Swedish Statistical Office (2007). "Bostads- och byggnadsstatistisk årsbok 2007" (PDF) . SCB.se (in Swedish) . Retrieved November 26, 2010 .