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About Sweden

Basic facts




Around 10 million, 0.13 per cent of the world’s population

Life expectancy:

Men 81 years, women 84 years


Swedish (main language), with five official minority languages: Sami, Finnish, Meänkieli (Tornedalen Finnish), Yiddish and Romani Chib


The Church of Sweden is Evangelical Lutheran, but there are also other religions and faiths in the country

National Day:

6 June



Form of government:

Constitutional monarchy, with parliamentary democracy – political power lies with the parliament and government; the monarch has ceremonial functions


Called ‘riksdag’ – 349 members of parliament in a single chamber

Head of state:

His Majesty King Carl XVI Gustaf; heir to the throne is Crown Princess Victoria

Related reading:


Education and work


Ten years of compulsory schooling, but most students continue to the three-year upper secondary school.

Around one-third go on to higher education at universities and colleges throughout Sweden

Working hours:

Standard work week is 40 hours, minimum paid holiday allowance is 5 weeks

Related reading:


Geography and nature

Sweden is divided into 21 counties:

Stockholm, Västerbotten, Norrbotten, Uppsala, Södermanland, Östergötland, Jönköping, Kronoberg, Kalmar, Gotland, Blekinge, Skåne, Halland, Västra, Götaland, Värmland, Örebro, Västmanland, Dalarna, Gävleborg, Västernorrland, Jämtland.

Longest north–south distance:

1,572 km

Longest east–west distance:

499 km

Total area:

528,447 sq km, the fifth largest country in Europe and roughly the same size as California
– Forests: 63%
– Lakes and rivers: 9%
– Marshland: 6.5%
– Agricultural land: 7%
– Grasslands: 7%
– Urban and industrial land: 3%
– Exposed rock and mountains: 4.5%

Biggest cities and population, including suburbs (2017):

– Stockholm: 2,300,000
– Gothenburg: 1,000,000
– Malmö: 720,000


Money and trade


1 krona (SEK) = 100 öre = USD $.11 / EUR 0.097

GDP per capita (PPP):

SEK 457,300 (2017)

Most important export goods:

Vehicles and machines, pharmaceuticals/chemicals, electronics, minerals, wood products, energy, foods, shoes and clothes


Holidays in Sweden

Holidays (bolded) and other Observed Holidays 2020

New Year’s Day                                         Wed, Jan 1, 2020

Epiphany Eve                                              Sun, Jan 5, 2020

Epiphany                                                   Mon, Jan 6, 2020

Easter Thursday                                          Thu, Apr 9, 2020

Good Friday                                               Fri, Apr 10, 2020

Easter Eve                                                  Sat, Apr 11, 2020

Easter                                                        Sun, Apr 12, 2020

Easter Monday                                         Mon, Apr 13, 2020

Valborg Eve                                                       Apr, 30, 2020

Labour Day                                                  Fri, May 1, 2020

Ascension Day                                        Thu, May 21, 2020

Pentecost                                                 Sun, May 31, 2020

National Day                                                Sat, Jun 6, 2020

Midsummer Eve                                         Fri, Jun 19, 2020

Midsummer Day                                       Sat, Jun 20, 2020

All Saint’s Eve                                             Fri, Oct 30, 2020

All Saints’ Day                                          Sat, Oct 31, 2020

Christmas Eve                                        Thu, Dec 24, 2020

Christmas Day                                          Fri, Dec 25, 2020

Saint Stephen’s Day                                Sat, Dec 26, 2020

New Year’s Eve                                       Thu, Dec 31, 2020