Kingdom of Sweden

#Sweden#History

Sweden (Sverige): The lands of the Svear.

Capital: Stockholm (about 1,5 million inhabitants).

Official language: Swedish.

Official name: Konungariket Sverige (Kingdom of Sweden).

Constitution: Monarchy (from 1975 King Carl XVI Gustav).

Government: the prime minister (today Goran Persson), parliament (Riksdag) with 349 members (Socialists Democratic Party role since 1998, next election in 2002) who are elected to four-year terms. The whole country is devided in 24 counties with their own local government. All Swedish citizens at least 18 years old may vote.

Area: 449,964 sq. km. (279,655 sq. miles) Greatest distances-north-south, 1,572 km (980 miles); east-west, 499 km. (311 miles) Coastline-7,564 km (4701 miles).

Elevation: Highest-Mount Kebnekaise, 2,111 m (6926 feet) above sea level. Lowest- sea level along the coast.

On your “Swedeninfo” page, it says that Kebnekaise is the highest point in Sweden (correct), and that the shoreline (sea level) is the lowest point. That's not true.

In the southern part of the city Kristianstad, Skåne, is the lowest point in Sweden. This is 2.41 m below mean sea level. Actually, a great deal of the town is built on the bottom of a former lake, protected by walls. They had a

lot of problems there this winter, with the high water level in Helge å and Hammarsjön.

Hälsningar Anders Persson Manager Electric Systems Design Strålfors Research and Development

Thanks Anders,

Jerry Longstrom

Population: estimated 1998 population 8,890,000 with only 19 persons per sq. km (12 persons per sq. mile)

Chief products: Apriculture–barley, beef cattle, milk and other dairy products, oats, potatoes, pigs, rye, sugar beet, wheat. Forestry-birch, pine, spruce. Manufacturing-agricultural, aircraft, ball bearings, cars, diesel motors, electrical equipment, explosives, fertilizers, furniture, glass, matches, mobile telephones, paper and cardboard, plastics, plywood, precision tools, prefabricated houses, ships, steel, steelware, telecommunication systems, textiles, wood pulp. Mining - copper, gold, iron ore, lead, zinc.

National anthem: “Du gamla, du fria, du fjallhoga nord (Thou Ancient, Thou Free, Thou Mountain-Crowned North”).

National holiday: Flag Day, June 6.

Money: krona (SEK), 100 ore = 1 SEK (January 1999: 1 USD = 8,20 krona, 1 Euro = 8,45 krona).

Armed forces: Swedish men between the ages of 18 and 47 are required to serve from 7 to 15 months in the country's armed forces.

GDP: $ 251,3 bn USD (1998)

GDP per head: $ 28,312 USD (1998)

GDP growth: 2,9%, Inflation: 1,9% (1998)

Sweden is one of the five Nordic countries. its area of approx. 450 000 square kilometers, Sweden is the fourth largest country in Europe. Sweden is a little larger than California.

The population is 8.8 millions, 80 % of whom live in small urban districts, towns and cities; geographically located in the southern 1/4 of the country.

The biggest cities are Stockholm, the capital city with approx. 1. 5 million inhabitants including the whole region; Gothenburg with 700 000 and Malmö with 450 000 inhabitants. Linköping is the fifth biggest city in Sweden.

Sweden has many lakes and water-courses, and a total coastal length of 2,700 kilometers (1,680 miles).

The official language is Swedish, but most Swedes speak English fairly well. The Swedish language is related to the other Nordic languages, with the exception of Finnish, and belongs to the Germanic family of languages.

There is freedom of religion in Sweden. Most inhabitants, approx. 90 %, of the population are non-active members of the Lutheran Protestant State Church.

The population of Sweden is ethnically homogeneous. Immigration, however, has increased considerably within the last few years. At present, approximately 15 % of the population is considered to be of foreign origin, that is immigrants of the first and second generation. Swedish society is becoming gradually more multi-cultural.

As Sweden is a sparsely populated country, with the exception of the metropolitan areas, relatively unspoiled countryside is within easy reach.

Swedish Right of Common Access ensures all citizens and visitors the right to stroll freely and to pick berries and mushrooms in woods and fields, taken for granted that they show due consideration.

The People

Sweden has a population of 8.8 million, with about 85% living in the southern half of the country. Around 90% belong to the Church of Sweden, which is Lutheran. Swedish is a Germanic language.

Like other industrialized countries, Sweden has a low birth rate. It rose during the 1980s and early 1990s but is now in decline again. Life expectancy is high—about 76 years for men and 81 for women. Since the 1940s, immigration—mostly from neighboring Scandinavian countries but also from elsewhere in the world—has accounted for over 40% of the population growth. Sweden has two minority groups of native inhabitants in the north: the Finnish-speaking people of the northeast and the Sami (Lapp) population.

Education

Nine years of schooling are compulsory for all children from the age of 6 or 7. About 95% go on to the upper secondary school, which offers both vocational and academic programs. Schools are run by municipalities and provide free instruction, books and lunches. A separate municipal adult education system enables adults with inadequate schooling to reach the same level of education as young people.

Altogether there are about forty institutions of higher education in Sweden, operated mainly by the State and providing free instruction. About half the students are women, and a large number are people over 25 taking advantage of special admission rules for those with work experience. Almost one fourth of adult Swedes have a higher education.

Private, government-subsidized adult education associations arrange study circles for more than 2.5 million course participants a year.

Natural Resources

Sweden has rich natural supplies of coniferous forest, water power, iron ore, uranium and other minerals but lacks significant oil and coal deposits. The only iron ore mines are situated in the far north. Their production is mainly exported.

Sweden’s vast forests of spruce, pine and other softwoods supply a highly developed sawmill, pulp, paper and finished wood product industry. Despite high domestic consumption, Sweden exports about 60% of its forest products.

Cheap hydro power was a major factor in Sweden’s industrial development. Today around 15% of the country’s energy supply comes from its hydroelectric plants, many of them on the main northern rivers. Over 40% of energy consumed in Sweden comes from imported oil, 7% from imported coal and coke. Sweden’s twelve nuclear reactors provide over 15% of total energy or almost 50% of electrical energy. The rest of the energy supply comes from biofuels, peat, waste heat, etc. After an advisory referendum in 1980, Parliament decided that the use of nuclear power should be phased out by 2010. That does not appear to be the end of the matter, however, for the subject is one which

Grandmother's Swedish Meatballs

KROPPKAK - Sweden and Norway Recipes