Sweden Destinations Travel Guide



Flag of Sweden

Language: Swedish

Calling code: 46

Currency: Swedish krone (SEK)


The Kingdom of Sweden is a parliamentary monarchy in Northern Europe. The national territory covers the eastern part of the Scandinavian peninsula and the islands Gotland and Öland . Sweden is a member of the Nordic Council and since 1995 the European Union , but not a member of NATO and militarily non- aligned.

Sweden borders the Kattegat , the states of Norway and Finland, as well as the Baltic Sea . Since the opening of the Öresund Bridge in 2000, there is also a direct land connection to Denmark . Sweden has about 221,800 islands, Gotland (2994 km²) and Öland (1347 km², both in the Baltic Sea) and Orust (346 km², north of Gothenburg ) are the three largest. The longest extension from north to south is 1572 km, from east to west 499 km. The land border with Norway is 1619 km long, that of Finland 586 km.

While large parts of the country are flat to hilly, along the Norwegian border, the massifs of the Skanden rise to over 2000 m altitude. The highest peak is the Kebnekaise with about 2,100 m. There are 30 national parks spread over the country . The largest in terms of area are in the northwest of the country.


Travel Destinations in Sweden



Drottningholm Palace

Stockholm Archipelago



Bohus Fortress

Carlsten Castle




Fulufjället National Park

Great Copper Mountain

Lake Siljan

Njupeskar Waterfall



Muddus National Park


Norrbotten County

Padjelanta National Park

Sarek National Park



Borgholm Castle

Eketorp Castle



Bjärka-Säby Castle



Bäckaskog Castle

Bosjökloster Castle




Kalmar Castle



Karlsborg Fortress


Etymology and national symbols

The name of the country comes from the Old Norse words svea and rige - "the state of the Svei".

The official Swedish heraldry is the yellow and blue flag, the national symbol "Three Crowns", the national anthem, and the coat of arms in two versions: large and small. The oldest images of a blue flag with a yellow cross that have survived to this day date back to the 16th century. The very symbol of the yellow cross in the Swedish army has been applied to banners and standards since time immemorial. It is based on the outlines of the ancient coat of arms of the kingdom with a blue background, divided into four parts by a golden cross. The sign of the "three crowns" has been used as the state emblem of Sweden since at least 1336, but long before that it was known to Europeans as a symbol of the "Three Wise Kings".

Since 1916, the Swedish Flag Day has appeared in the Swedish calendar - June 6th. In 1983, it was renamed the National Day of Sweden, and in 2004 it was proclaimed a public holiday and a day off. The date was chosen immediately for two reasons: on June 6, 1523, the first Swedish king, Gustav Vasa, ascended the throne, and on the same day in 1809, the country adopted a new Constitution that granted citizens civil liberties and rights.

The national anthem of Sweden is "Du Gamla, Du Fria" ("You are ancient, you are free"). Its text was composed by the ballad-author, folklorist Richard Dübeck (1811–1877), and its musical basis was a mid-19th-century folk tune from the province of Westmanland in central Sweden. At the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, this ballad gained such popularity that it was declared the national anthem of Sweden.



Geographical position
Sweden is a country in Northern Europe, located in the eastern and southern part of the Scandinavian Peninsula. In terms of area (447,435 km²), Sweden ranks third among the countries of Western Europe and fifth among the countries of all of Europe. In the west, Sweden borders on Norway (the length of the border is 1619 km), in the northeast - on Finland (614 km). From the east and south it is washed by the waters of the Baltic Sea and the Gulf of Bothnia, in the southwest by the Kattegat and Skagerrak straits. The total length of the borders is 2233 km. In the south, the Øresund, Kattegat and Skagerrak straits separate Sweden from Denmark. Sweden consists of two large islands in the Baltic - Gotland and Öland.

Despite being located in northern latitudes, Sweden has a temperate climate, mainly due to the Gulf Stream[9]. The northern, western and eastern regions of Sweden are protected from the Atlantic winds by the Scandinavian mountains, so winters here are colder relative to Norway, and summers are short. The average January temperature is around -14°C, and in some areas up to -16°C. In summer, the average temperature is +17°C. In the southwest of Sweden from Gothenburg to Malmö and on the islands in the Baltic, climate conditions are moderated by warm Atlantic winds. Winters are warmer here, and summers are longer, but rainy.

In the northern parts, taiga forests (pine, spruce, birch, and aspen) predominate; to the south, mixed coniferous-broad-leaved forests; and in the extreme south, broad-leaved forests (oak and beech). The subarctic climate dominates in the northern mountainous regions. Part of the country is located beyond the Arctic Circle, where the sun does not set at night in the summer, and the polar night sets in in winter. The waters of the Baltic Sea and the Gulf of Bothnia soften the climate even more in the eastern parts.

Sweden is characterized by hilly moraine landscapes, podzolic soils, which are characterized by strong rockiness, low thickness, the predominance of sandy and gravel varieties, high acidity, as well as coniferous forests. Arable land occupies 8%. Most of the country is covered with forests (53%). Taiga forests predominate on podzolic soils, forming large massifs north of 60°N. sh. and consisting mainly of pine and spruce, with an admixture of birch, aspen and other hardwoods. To the south - mixed coniferous-broad-leaved forests on soddy-podzolic soils, and on the Skåne peninsula - broad-leaved forests of oak and beech on brown forest soils. In the north, vast areas are occupied by the tundra zone of Swedish Lapland. The coastline is heavily indented and replete with skerries and island groups. The length of the coastline is 3218 km.

On the territory of Sweden, two large natural regions can be distinguished - northern and southern. The relief in the north and west is dominated by plateaus and mountains, the Scandinavian mountains stretch along the border with Norway, where the highest mountain Kebnekaise has a height of 2126 m. Between the Scandinavian mountains and the Gulf of Bothnia of the Baltic Sea lie the Norland plateau, the Central Swedish lowland and the Småland upland. The southern peninsula of Skåne is flat.



Average temperature level +12.7°С

Since the territory of Sweden has a significant extent in the submeridional direction, it is much colder in the north of the country and the growing season is much shorter than in the south. Accordingly, the length of day and night also differs. However, in general, Sweden is characterized by a greater frequency of sunny and dry weather compared to many other countries in Northwest Europe, especially in winter. In the mainland of Sweden, the climate is temperate, heavily influenced by the Gulf Stream. The average temperature in January is from -16°C in the north to +1°C in the southwest, in July - from +2°C in the mountains to 17-18°C in the south of the country. The absolute minimum temperature was recorded in Laxbacken (−53.3°C). At the same time, this is the lowest temperature on the territory of foreign Europe (the absolute minimum temperature in Europe, equal to −58.1 ° C, was recorded in Russia). A close temperature equal to −52.6°C was also observed in Vuoggachalm. The absolute maximum was recorded in Mollilla and Ultuna and amounted to +38°C.


Geological structure and minerals

Geologically, most of Sweden is located within the Baltic Shield, composed of ancient crystalline and metamorphic rocks, mostly granite.

The mining industry is represented by the mining and enrichment of iron ore (share in world production - 2%, reserves - 3.4 billion tons), copper (1.2%, reserves - 1.6 million tons), lead (3.8%, reserves - 2.3 million tons), zinc (3.7%, 2.4 million tons) and sulfide ores. Sweden is the main exporter of iron ore in Europe. The largest deposits of iron ore are located in northern Sweden (Kiruna, Gällivare, Boitiken, etc.). Uranium, pyrite, gold, silver, tungsten, arsenic, feldspar, graphite, limestone, quartz, sulfur, manganese, rare elements and fluorite, as well as minerals are also mined. The raw material potential of Sweden is quite large, it almost completely provides its own production with the main types of raw materials, as well as its export, but many deposits are difficult to develop. In Sweden, special legislation has been developed in this regard, which reduces the risk of misallocation of resources. The mining industry in Sweden is well developed, but there are still many unexplored deposits, and there is potential for exploration for many minerals.


Inland waters

About 10% of the country's area is occupied by lakes. The largest of them - Vänern (5545 km²) and Vättern (1898 km²) - are located in the south of the country. The rivers that carry their waters to the Baltic Sea and the Kattegat Strait are turbulent and rapids and have significant hydropower potential.


Flora and fauna

Mammals in Sweden are not very diverse (about 70 species), but there are many of them. In the north of Lapland you can see herds of reindeer. Moose, roe deer, squirrels, hares, foxes, martens are found in the forests, in the northern taiga - lynxes, wolverines, brown bears. Muskrat and American mink were introduced from North America several decades ago, but some individuals escaped and managed to form viable populations in nature, which quickly spread throughout the country (with the exception of the far north and some islands) and displaced a number of local animal species from their ecological niches. There are about 340 species of birds: ducks, geese, swans, gulls, terns and other birds nest on the shores of the seas and lakes. About 160 species of fish live in the rivers: salmon, trout, perch, in the north - grayling.

In 1910, Sweden became the first European country to establish national parks. The beginning was laid in the mountains of Norrland, a region in the north of the country. This helped to save one of the last corners of virgin nature in Europe from destruction. Then, all over Sweden, vast areas were declared nature reserves and protected areas of cultural heritage.

In 1964, the Law on Environmental Protection came into force. Now in Sweden there are 30 national parks and about 900 nature reserves.

UNESCO Biosphere Reserves include 5 territories, including nat. Fernebufjerden Park (valley of the Dalelven river, ecotone of taiga and mixed forests), Blekinge archipelago (typical landscapes of skerries).



After the melting of the glaciers, the territories of the Scandinavian Peninsula began to be gradually settled by people whose main occupation was hunting and gathering. Settlement began from the southern part of the peninsula, which over time was divided into several areas of influence, the most powerful of which was the region of Svealand. Royal power increased in the 14th century, and the territories of Northern Europe united in the Kalmar Union. The union broke up after some time and, after a long war between supporters of independence and the Danish Oldenburg dynasty, King Gustav Vasa (Gustav I) came to power in Sweden.

In the 17th century, Sweden made a name for itself, becoming a significant power in Europe thanks to its experienced and efficient army. The country also made progress in trade (see Swedish African Company). In the following century, the kingdom found itself unable to maintain its vast conquests - as a result of the Great Northern War and subsequent wars with Russia during 1721-1809, Sweden lost the eastern half of its territories.

The industrialization of the 19th century came to Sweden quite late, the beginning of the construction of railways in the 1860s was an important factor for the development of the country. The first enterprises began to appear, in particular in the field of electrical engineering and chemistry. Ericsson was founded in 1876. However, at the beginning of the 20th century, Sweden remained at the agro-industrial level of economic development, and the industrial infrastructure was just beginning to take shape there. Sweden, in comparison with other countries of the region, intensively developed metallurgical production and mechanical engineering. The formation of an industrial society in this country was hampered by the extremely low population density and its weak mobility. Urban centers developed very slowly, the level of urbanization was low, and the population remained predominantly rural. But among the Scandinavian countries, Sweden was at that time the strongest state, its economy was characterized by accelerated development rates, science was actively developing, imports and exports were gradually increasing, in connection with which there was an increase in living standards and an improvement in the demographic situation.

Development at the beginning of the 20th century
In Sweden at the beginning of the century, the issue of the Swedish-Norwegian union was actively discussed. In 1905, at a plebiscite, the Norwegians spoke out against the preservation of the union. Russia was the first to recognize the independence of Norway. The Swedes did not want to let the Norwegians go so easily and even prepared an army, but did not receive the support of the military powers.

1905-1920 - the time of a democratic breakthrough. At this time, the liberal government of Karl Stoff was in power. After the collapse of the Swedish-Norwegian Union, the issue of suffrage was on the agenda. As a result of the reform in 1909, the entire male population of the country was given equal voting rights (in 1921, this right was extended to women as well). The social and political aspirations of the liberal government found expression in extensive reformist work, especially in the legislative field relating to labor protection; In 1913, the first law on universal national pensions in the history of Sweden was adopted. It can be seen as a prelude to the large-scale social legislation that is characteristic of the 20th century.

Another issue concerned national defense. It split the country into two camps: supporters of strengthening national defense (conservatives, peasants, part of the liberals) and opponents of increasing military spending (liberals and social democrats). In 1914, the so-called "Peasant Campaign" was organized by supporters of increased spending, in retaliation for it, the "Working Campaign" of opponents was also organized. All this led to an internal political crisis and Stoff's resignation in 1914.

Foreign policy at the beginning of the 20th century
Foreign policy was largely determined by two aspects of the international relations of that time: firstly, these were the pre-war years, and the great powers had been preparing for the First World War for quite a long time. Secondly, the foreign policy activity of the Nordic countries was associated with their different bloc orientation and emphasized neutrality in European and world conflicts.

Long before the First World War, Sweden experienced a strong German influence. Sweden was inclined towards an alliance with Germany and intensified military preparations, justifying them by the danger from Russia caused by Russia's policy in Finland. At the beginning of the war, all the Scandinavian countries declared their neutrality. But this neutrality still leaned in favor of one or another of the warring parties. Sweden was favorable to Germany.


At the beginning of the war, Sweden declared its neutrality. During the war between the political parties in Sweden, civil peace was maintained. There was a special management system and a card system. The neutral position favorably affected the development of the economy. Already in the first years of the war, Sweden was inundated with orders from the warring parties, in connection with which the state managed to expand production, pay off debts on foreign loans, and accumulate large gold reserves. The intelligence services of Germany, Russia and Great Britain were active on the territory of Sweden.

Sweden supplied industrial raw materials to Germany. Swedish enterprises began to earn very well on the supply of military goods, iron and food to Germany (in general, in Sweden there was a movement in support of Germany - the “activist movement”). But this caused a protest from England, which blocked the Swedish shipping. This, combined with a poor harvest, caused a severe food crisis in 1917-1918. Political contradictions escalated to such an intensity that it seemed that Sweden was on the verge of a revolution. After the Entente allies blockaded Sweden, a conflict almost began, which was extinguished with great difficulty. In the last period of the war, the whole of Scandinavia was already oriented towards an alliance with the Entente. The decisions of the Paris Peace Conference were important for this region. The defeat of Germany in 1918 brought to life even more insistent demands for further democratization.

Domestic politics in the interwar period
After the war, in the elections to the second chamber of the Riksdag, the Liberals and the Social Democrats got together the majority, the leaders of the two parties, Niels Eden and Hjalmar Branting, united to form a government. This majority coalition is usually seen as a definite breakthrough in the history of parliamentarism in Sweden. The reform of 1909 did not satisfy many parties, so demands were made for further democratization of the electoral system.

The political situation in Europe and Sweden contributed to the fact that the Eden-Branting cabinet reached an agreement on the constitutional issue at an emergency session of the Riksdag in 1918. In 1921 it acquired the status of a constitutional law. The new law on suffrage abolished the existing property qualification in communal elections. The law gave women, along with men, the right to vote and the right to be elected. The complete democratization of the electoral system meant the strengthening of the influence of industrial workers and, consequently, of the Social Democratic Party on politics.

1920-1932 - Parliamentary minority governments in power. In 1920, Sweden joined the League of Nations and actively participated in its work. The question of the Åland Islands was raised again: it was necessary to decide who would have sovereignty over the Ålands after they received the right to self-determination, the issue was raised in the League of Nations and decided in favor of Finland, but the islands were recognized as a broad autonomy, which assumed the protection of Swedish culture there and language.

Between 1920 and 1932, no party won a majority in the Riksdag. The position in parliament did not allow the formation of a strong government and during this period Sweden had at least 11 prime ministers in nine different cabinets, with important political decisions being made by parliamentary committees. The short stay in power of governments did not lead to any serious social reforms.

In terms of economic development, this period can be divided into three parts: the post-war depression of 1920-1922, the economic recovery of 1922-1930, the international economic crisis and the Great Depression of 1930-1933.

Sweden was expected to recover quickly after the war, but here, as in the rest of Europe, a depression set in due to deflation after the First World War, which led to a drop in industrial production by 25% below the level of 1913. Unemployment has exceeded 25%. But in the mid-1920s, the situation began to improve, unemployment fell, which raised the standard of living of large sections of the population. In 1930, Sweden was overtaken by the world economic crisis: the demand for exported products fell sharply, which caused a reduction in production and high unemployment up to 30%. Reduced foreign exchange reserves, Sweden was forced to abandon the exchange of paper money for gold.

Social democratic welfare policy (1932-1939)
The 1932 elections brought victory to the Social Democrats and the Peasants' Union. The election results allowed the Social Democrats under the leadership of Per Albin Hansson to form a government. Their task was to mitigate the effects of the economic crisis and to overcome unemployment. For this purpose, an anti-crisis program was developed. The primary goal of the new policy was to create a crisis-free economy through active government intervention. In 1933, the so-called "deal" was concluded between the Social Democrats and the Peasants' Union. It was necessary, since the Social Democrats did not have a majority in parliament. As a result, the bloc of bourgeois parties opposing the Social Democrats was destroyed, and the Social Democracy took a strong position, the legitimacy of the parliamentary system was strengthened, the foundation was laid for the long stay of the Social Democrats in power, as voters believed in their ability to manage the Swedish economy.

The Second World War
At the beginning of World War II, neutrality was officially declared. Sweden supported Finland during the Soviet-Finnish War - various kinds of assistance to Finland were organized: volunteers fought on its side, arms and food were supplied.

Despite formal neutrality, Sweden provided Germany with all sorts of privileges and made almost any concessions that were requested by the German side. Through the territory of Sweden during the war there was a transit of weapons to German formations in the north. Sweden intensively armed Nazi Germany, providing it with loans, supplying its own weapons and being the largest supplier of iron ore for the needs of the German military industry. Thanks to its cautious policy of "double standards", Sweden was able to easily endure the war period, and political life was generally calm.

During the Second World War, the Swedes supported the Jews in the territories controlled by the Nazis. So, for example, in the spring of 1944, with the assistance of Swedish diplomats in Hungary, representatives of the Swedish Red Cross rented empty houses in Budapest and hung signs on them: “Swedish Library”, “Swedish Research Institute”. So the buildings impregnable for the Germans, assigned to neutral Sweden, became a shelter for the Jews.

In the last months of World War II, Raoul Wallenberg, a representative of one of the richest families in Sweden, who worked in the Swedish embassy in Budapest, saved, according to various sources, from 20 to 100 thousand Hungarian Jews from extermination by the Nazis. Showing extraordinary courage, he issued Swedish passports to the persecuted and found refuge for them under the Swedish flag.

Sweden also actively accepted refugees from Scandinavia and the Baltic countries. And although many of them returned to their homeland after the end of the war, many remained - especially refugees from the Baltic countries.

Post-war period (1946-1951)
In 1945, the coalition government resigned and was replaced by the purely social democratic cabinet of Per Albin Hansson, who was succeeded by Tage Erlander in 1946. Already in 1944, the Social Democrats put forward a "post-war program of the labor movement" aimed at laying the foundations for a universal social security system that would cover all citizens, as well as the creation of an efficient private enterprise economy through planned farming. However, the social policy section of this program has been completed; were adopted, for example: universal sickness insurance, child allowance, a new law on labor protection (1948), holidays were increased, a nine-year school was introduced.

In 1946 Sweden became a member of the UN.

The period of the "red-green" coalition (1951-1957)
During this period, a tough economic policy was carried out, due to rising prices and inflation. In 1951, a coalition government of the Social Democrats and the Peasants' Union was formed. The years of political cooperation were relatively quiet for Sweden. Government parties have focused on carrying out the reforms they have begun: sickness insurance, indexation of pensions and child benefits, scholarships for students, and so on. The real increase in wages in the 1950s made possible an annual increase in the standard of living for all sections of the population, the demand for goods and services was higher than ever, but the 1950s were a time of housing crisis. By 1957 the coalition had collapsed.

"Swedish model"

The steady economic growth trend that characterized the development of the Swedish economy after the Korean War continued throughout the 1960s and into the early 1970s. Between 1950 and 1973, the value of industrial output in Sweden increased by 280% in constant monetary terms. The "Swedish model" reached its peak during these years. Cooperation between labor and capital, the conclusion of centralized contracts, liberal economic policies aimed at increasing economic growth - all this contributed to the creation of a relationship of trust between the parties in the labor market. The standard of living in Sweden has become one of the highest in the world. Profits and wages in industry grew at a record pace. The policy of solidarity in the field of wages was put forward as a fundamental principle of action in the labor market. There was a significant expansion of the public sector, which was a logical consequence of the creation of a welfare society. Infrastructure - roads, hospitals, schools, communications - developed rapidly. A post-industrial society began to take shape. In 1974, a new constitution was adopted, the king was deprived of all political power, he remained only the head of the foreign policy committee, the bicameral parliament was replaced by a unicameral Riksdag.

Since the mid-1970s, due to the intensification of competition in foreign markets and a deep crisis in production, the country's economic situation has become noticeably more complicated. Separate industries that fell into a deep structural crisis began to receive state assistance, and on a huge scale. As a result, some economists have spoken of the collapse of the Swedish model, a crisis in the welfare state, excessive personal taxation, and a booming public sector that is crowding out private firms. In the 1970s, commodity dependence changed from the basis of Swedish prosperity to a factor that greatly complicates economic growth.

After the 1976 Riksdag elections, the Social Democrats lost power for the first time since 1936. A centre-right coalition of the Center Party, People's Party and the Moderate Coalition Party formed a government led by Prime Minister Thorbjørn Feldin. A regular alternation of center-left and center-right governments began.

The leading economic development trend in Sweden in the 1980s was the transition from traditional dependence on iron ore and iron and steel to advanced technology in the production of vehicles, electrical goods, communications, chemical and pharmaceutical products. In the early 1980s, political debates centered on such issues as the almost complete cessation of economic growth, the decline in Sweden's competitiveness in the world market, the impact of inflation and budget deficits, and the appearance - for the first time since the 1930s - of significant unemployment (4% in 1982). The Palme government, backed by trade unions, published its program for a "third way" between communism and capitalism. Palme shared the ideas of Finnish President Urho Kaleva Kekkonen on securing a nuclear-free status for Northern Europe.

In February 1986, Olof Palme was killed on a street in Stockholm. Ingvar Karlsson, Palme's successor, faced a growing labor movement, scandals, and a rapid economic downturn after 1990. For the second time, foreign and local analysts have been talking about the crisis and the collapse of the Swedish model since the early 1990s, when new acute social, economic and political problems. The public sector, which had been efficient in the 1950s and 1960s, was in a state of permanent crisis. Unemployment reached 13%, an exceptionally high figure by Swedish standards. Strikes became more frequent. The size of the national debt approached the volume of annual GDP, and the state budget deficit reached 11%. Strong contradictions arose between the previously united trade unions and the Social Democrats. Problems with public finances and growing political divisions have been accompanied by growing ethnic tensions in the country, a controversial decision to join the European Union and an ongoing debate about the meaning of Swedish neutrality.

The economic recession of the early 1990s led to a sharp increase in unemployment, public debt and budget deficits in the public sector. The streamlining of public finances and the introduction of a low-inflation policy, as well as the development of the communications and information technology sectors, made it possible to achieve high rates of economic growth in the second half of the 1990s. The peak was reached in 2000; after that, the global economic downturn began to affect the Swedish economy. The growth of Swedish exports is constrained by low demand for cars and communications technology in foreign markets, as well as slower economic growth in the euro area.


By the beginning of the 1990s, the unemployment rate in Sweden reached the average European level and ranged from 10 to 14%. After the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, the Swedish policy of total neutrality was revised and the government expressed its desire to join the European Union. Sweden became a member of the EU in 1995. From September 19, 2005 to October 15, 2007, analogue television was turned off in Sweden.

Election 2006
The 2006 election was won by the conservative coalition Alliance for Sweden, which includes the Moderate Coalition Party (UCP), the Center Party, the People's Party - Liberals and the Christian Democratic Party, received 48.1% of the vote. In these elections, the UKP won a record number of votes for itself - 26.1%. In support of the Social Democratic Party, in alliance with the Green Party and the Left Party, 46.2% of voters spoke out. On October 5, 2006, the parliament approved the candidacy of the country's new prime minister. They became Fredrik Reinfeldt, leader of the UKP and the right-wing Alliance for Sweden. 175 out of 349 deputies voted for Reinfeldt (169 voted against, 5 were absent). Fredrik Reinfeldt replaced Göran Persson (Social Democratic Party), who had been Prime Minister for ten years.

Election 2010
On September 19, 2010, regular elections were held, as a result of which the center-right coalition won the second victory in a row for the first time in history, although it failed to obtain an absolute majority in the Riksdag. The Alliance's leading party, the Moderate Coalition, gained 30.0%, which was the best result in the party's history. The Social Democrats received the smallest number of votes since 1914 (30.9%), but managed to remain the most popular party in the country. In total, the Alliance for Sweden, which unites four centre-right parties, gained 49.3% of the vote, receiving 172 out of 349 deputy mandates in parliament. 43.7% voted for the coalition of three left and center-left parties, the Red-Greens, which provided it with 157 seats in parliament. For the first time in the history of elections to the Riksdag, the far-right nationalist party Swedish Democrats entered the Parliament. 5.7% of voters voted for her - 20 seats.

Election 2014
According to the results of the 2014 elections, the Social Democratic Party, together with the Green and Left parties, won 43.8% of the vote. For the conservative coalition led by Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt, 39.3% of voters cast their votes.

As a result of these elections, Stefan Löfven became Prime Minister of Sweden, although his coalition of Social Democrats and the Greens did not receive a majority of votes. The Social Democrats and the Greens were able to form a government on their own, as Sweden has a system of negative parliamentarianism, in which the government can remain in power if it is not opposed by a majority in parliament.

This created a difficult situation in the Riksdag. A minority center-left coalition entered the government, but an alliance of right-wing parties had great influence in parliament. The Swedish Democrats won about 13% of the vote, sparking heated political debate throughout the country.

Election 2018
In the elections to the Riksdag held on September 9, 2018, the Alliance of Center-Right Parties (40.3% of votes) and the ruling red-green bloc, which includes the Social Democrats, the Green Party and the Left Party (40. 6%). The far-right Swedish Democrats won 17.6% of the vote, delaying the formation of a new government. On January 18, 2019, on the third attempt, the Riksdag supported the candidacy of the Social Democrat Stefan Löfven for the post of Prime Minister, with the passive support of the center parties.


Political structure

The head of state is the king (since September 1973, this is King Carl XVI Gustaf). He has no political powers and does not participate in political life. The king performs mainly ceremonial (representative) functions, being a symbol of Sweden both for his own subjects and throughout the world.

Legislative power is vested in the parliament, the Riksdag, which is re-elected by universal suffrage under a proportional system every four years. It consists of 349 deputies. Since 1971, the Riksdag has been unicameral. To become a member of the Riksdag, you must be a Swedish citizen and be at least 18 years old.

According to the results of the last parliamentary elections held in 2018, eight parties are represented in the Riksdag:
Social Democrats (100 seats)
Moderate coalition party (70 seats)
Swedish Democrats (62 seats)
Green Party (16 seats)
Center Party (31 seats)
Left Party (28 seats)
Liberals (20 seats)
Christian Democrats (22 seats)

Swedish elections are characterized by consistently high voter turnout (85.8% in 2014 and 87.1% in 2018). Many factors influence high turnout: trust in democratic institutions, respect specifically for the electoral system, and the fact that local and regional authorities are elected at the same time as parliament. Also, Swedish laws allow residents of the EU, Norway and Iceland to vote in local elections (municipalities and regional authorities) without exception, and the rest if they have lived in Sweden for more than three years.

Executive power is vested in the government headed by the prime minister, responsible to the Riksdag and bound to have the support of the parliamentary majority on key issues.

The Riksdag appoints the prime minister, whose task it is to form the government. The prime minister personally selects the ministers for his cabinet and decides which ministries will report to them. According to the Constitution, it is the government, and not the head of state (monarch), who is authorized to make state decisions.

It is not uncommon for ministers to represent the ruling political party or parties in the ruling coalition. In most cases, ministers are appointed from among the deputies of the Riksdag, but they also retain seats in parliament for the period of work in the cabinet of ministers. Their parliamentary duties at this time are performed by deputies. Members of the Cabinet of Ministers cannot vote in the Riksdag, but they have the right to participate in parliamentary debates. During the official opening of the Riksdag session in September, the Prime Minister usually reports on the government's goals for the next year and talks about the priorities of the state's domestic and foreign policy.

The government leads Sweden, implements the decisions of the Riksdag, initiates new laws and makes amendments to existing ones. The powers of the government are currently quite extensive. The Cabinet of Ministers is responsible for all major issues of economic, social and political life. At one time, the government was transferred to such powers of the king as the appointment of senior officials, judges, the formation of certain departments, the determination of foreign policy, and the leadership of the armed forces. The government has the right to dissolve the Riksdag, but this right is limited by certain conditions. For example, a newly elected parliament cannot be dissolved earlier than three months after the start of the first session.



The Constitution is made up of several legislative acts: the Form of Government of 28/2/1974, the Act of Succession of 26/9/1810 and the Act of Freedom of the Press of 27/2/1974 (1949).

The Swedish constitution governs the relationship between the legislative and executive powers, and also establishes the fundamental rights and freedoms of citizens. The constitution consists of four main laws:

The Government Act guarantees citizens the right to demonstrate, join political parties and practice their religion.

The Act of Succession determines the rights of members of the Bernadotte dynasty to the Swedish throne.

The Freedom of the Press Act establishes the principles of an open society and guarantees public access to official information. According to it, any person has the right of access to the documentation of the Riksdag, the government and other state bodies, including any financial reports. Another important principle of the Freedom of the Press Act is freedom of communication, which means that Swedish citizens have the right to provide the media with any information. At the same time, a journalist or publisher does not have the right to disclose his source if the person who provided it wishes to remain anonymous.

The Freedom of Expression Act, which came into force in 1992, largely reflects the principles already enshrined in the Freedom of the Press Act, such as the unconditional prohibition of censorship, freedom of communication, and the right to anonymity.

The provisions of the Constitution take precedence over all other legislative acts, and no law may contradict it. In order to amend the Constitution, the Riksdag must pass it in two readings - before and after the next parliamentary elections.


Political parties

Leading political parties: Social Democratic Workers' Party of Sweden, Moderate Coalition Party, Swedish Democrats.

Left Party (Vänsterpartiet) - leftist socialist
Feminist initiative (Feministiskt initiativ) - feminist

Social Democratic Workers' Party of Sweden (Sveriges socialdemokratiska arbetarepartiet) - social democratic
The Green Party (Miljöpartiet de gröna) is an environmentalist

Center Party (Centerpartiet) - liberal, agrarian

Moderate Coalition Party (Moderata samlingspartiet, Moderaterna) - liberal-conservative
Christian Democrats (Kristdemokraterna) - Christian Democratic, conservative
Liberals (Liberalerna) - liberal

Swedish Democrats (Sverigedemokraterna) - Nationalist

The largest trade union center is the Central Organization of Trade Unions of Sweden (Landsorganisationen i Sverige, LO, TSOPSH), which includes 14 branch trade unions:
Swedish Union of Transport Workers (Svenska Transportarbetareförbundet)
Swedish Paper Industry Association (Svenska pappersindustriarbetareförbundet)
Swedish Electrical Association (Svenska Elektrikerförbundet)
Swedish Union of Construction Workers (Svenska byggnadsarbetareförbundet)
Union of trade workers (Handelsanställdas förbund)
Industrial Trade Union "Metal" (Industripacket Metall)
Union of Food Workers (Livsmedelsarbetareförbundet)
Swedish Musicians Union (Svenska musikerförbundet)
Swedish Union of Artists (Svenska målareförbundet)
Swedish Union of Public Workers (Svenska kommunalarbetareförbundet)
Telecommunication Workers Union (Seko, Service- och Kommunikationsfacket)
Trade Union of Forestry and Woodworkers (GS Facket för skogs-, trä- och grafisk bransch)
Trade Union of Restaurant and Hotel Workers (Hotell- och restaurangfacket)
Housing Workers Union (Fastighetsanställdas förbund)

TsOPSh consists of districts (distrikt) one per flax. The supreme body of the TSOPS is the congress (Kongressen), between congresses - the representative office (Representantskapet), between the representative offices - the board (Styrelsen), the highest body of the district is the annual meeting (årsmöte), between annual meetings - the board (styrelse) The TSOPS does not include the Central Organization of employees (Tjänstemännens centralorganisation) and the Swedish Central Organization of Scientists (Sveriges akademikers centralorganisation). Historically, the TsOPSh is closely associated with the Social Democratic Party.

There is also a syndicalist trade union, the Central Organization of Swedish Workers (SAC), which is based on the principles of libertarian socialism.

Legal system
The highest court is the Supreme Court (Swedish: Högsta domstolen), the courts of appeal are court courts (hovrätt), the courts of first instance are the courts of tings (tingsrätt), consisting of lagman (lagman) and ratmans (rådman) (until 1970 - county courts (häradsrätt), headed by geradsgevding (sv:häradshövding), and town hall courts (rådhusrätt)), the highest court of administrative justice - the Higher Administrative Court (Högsta förvaltningsdomstolen), the courts of appeal of administrative justice - chamber courts (Kammarrätt), courts the first instance of administrative justice is the administrative courts (Förvaltningsrätt), until 1974 there was the State Court (Riksrätt), which tried the chief officials, the highest judicial instance of labor justice is the labor court (Arbetsdomstolen), the highest judicial instance of commercial justice is the commercial court (Marknadsdomstolen ), the highest position of prosecutorial supervision is the Chancellor of Justice (Justitiekanslern).


Administrative division

Sweden is divided into 21 len (Swedish län), each len, in turn, is divided into communes (Swedish kommun), the total number of which is 290.

Previously, Sweden was divided into regional communes (landstingskommun), and regional communes into urban communes (stadskommun) and rural communes (landskommun)).

The king is represented in each of the fiefs by the governor (landshövding), the representative body of the fief is the regional duma (landstingsfullmäktige), until 1991 - the land assembly (landsting); the executive body elected by the population is the regional board (landstingsstyrelse or landstingsråd), consisting of regional councilors (landstingsråd) and a regional director (landstingsdirektör).

The representative body of the commune is the communal council (kommunfullmäktige); until 1954, in small communes, a communal assembly (kommunalstämma), consisting of all the inhabitants of the commune; bodies elected by the population until 1971 - the communal council (kommunalfullmäktige) or the city council (stadsfullmäktige); the executive body is the communal board (kommunstyrelse); until 1971 in city communes - city government (stadsstyrelse); until 1953 - magistrates (magistrat), consisting of a burgomaster and ratmans (rådman)), consisting, in turn, of communal councilors (kommunråd), and until 1971 - from communal burgomasters (kommunalborgmästare)) and a communal director (kommundirektör) elected by communal councils.

There is also a historical division of Sweden into provinces and regions.



Sweden is characterized by a diversified and competitive economy - according to the latter indicator, it is in ninth place in the world. According to the World Bank, Sweden is ranked 12th in the ranking of the most convenient international trading partners. Swedish companies sell the widest range of goods abroad. The country from year to year maintains a positive trade balance.

Sweden has 50 global companies, including ABB, Atlas Copco, Oriflame, IKEA, Saab AB, Saab Automobile AB, Scania, Volvo, Volvo Trucks, Ericsson, Tele2, AB Electrolux, TORNUM, TetraPak, Alfa Laval, SKF, H&M. It is in the first place in the production of bearings. The country has a high level of innovation, a highly developed and constantly modernized infrastructure, an excellent state of technology, well-educated staff who speak English.

Nearly 60% of GDP comes from taxes, the highest figure in the OECD.

Over the past decades, Sweden has also made breakthroughs in the modern sectors of the economy - digital technology and telecommunications. The share of information technology in the country's economy has grown to 16%, and 5% of the working population is already employed in the IT industry. The loudest examples of success are the IP telephony developer Skype or the music streaming service Spotify.

In the rankings of the largest exporters of video games, Sweden occupies the top lines. In 2010-2012 alone, the local gaming industry has more than doubled. The annual turnover of the entire industry, according to the International Game Developers Index, is about 3.7 billion SEK (about 400 million euros). The undisputed leaders of Swedish cyber exports are the video games Minecraft by Mojang and Battlefield by Dice. In 2015, over 250 million users played Candy Crush Saga, a caramel puzzle game from King Studios.

Stockholm is recognized as one of the best cities in Europe for launching digital start-ups.

This is the main, but far from the only economic hub. The wealth in Sweden is distributed across its regions much more evenly than anywhere else in Europe. This is the only country of the Old World, in which in every, even the poorest corner of it, the share of GDP per capita is higher than the European average.

This is also facilitated by a fairly low level of corruption in society. Thus, according to the annual research of the international anti-corruption movement Transparency International, Sweden, in terms of the Corruption Perception Index (CPI), as a rule, occupies the first positions in the ranking (in 2018, 3rd place). This means that the level of corruption in society is perceived as unusually low.

As of March 2020, the average monthly salary of non-professional workers in the private sector was SEK 42,590 gross. The hourly average wage of workers in the private sector was 174.7 SEK gross. For comparison, in 2017, wages in Sweden are 34,000 kr (€3,246.91, gross) and 26,162 kr (€2,498.40, net) per month.



In accordance with Swedish law, payers of income tax are commercial organizations and branches operating in Sweden. The income tax rate is 22%. The tax base includes the worldwide income of companies resident in Sweden (a company is resident if it is registered in the Swedish Business Register), as well as the income of companies that are not resident in Sweden, received from Swedish sources. The tax period is 12 months (fiscal year), which may not coincide with the calendar year. In this case, the financial year, as a rule, ends on December 31, April 30 or August 31.

Income tax payers in Sweden are individuals who are residents of Sweden, individuals who previously lived in Sweden, in the case of having a home (“permanent home”) or family in Sweden, as well as foreigners, in case of staying in Sweden for more than 183 days during tax period (calendar year). Sweden has a progressive taxation system with income tax rates ranging from 30% to 55%. Income tax in Sweden consists of two parts: municipal tax from 28.9 to 34.2% (depending on the commune) and national tax from 20 to 25%. It is paid by those who earn more than 490,700 crowns per year. Those whose annual income exceeds 689,300 kroons, in addition to municipal and state taxes, must also pay 5% of the amount exceeding this threshold.

The tax base includes business income, employment income and capital income.

VAT in Sweden is paid by individuals and legal entities selling goods and services in Sweden. The tax is levied at any stage of production, sale of products and provision of services. The basic rate - 25% - applies to most goods and services; reduced - 12% - to food products, hotel services, the sale of artists' own works of art, cultural and sports events, restaurants and catering services (with the exception of alcoholic and alcohol-containing products, beer and beer drinks - the main VAT rate is applied); reduced rate - 6% - for newspapers, magazines, books, public transport, etc. VAT is not charged in case of sale of products to a buyer registered as a VAT payer in an EU country (the buyer declares VAT in his country), as well as in case of export products, regardless of the status of the buyer.

Most taxes go to social protection (41% of all tax revenues), health care (13%) and education (13%). The police, fire service, defense (6%), housing construction, roads, labor market support (9%), management, administration (14%) and others are also financed from taxes.

The activities of the State Tax Service (Skatteverket) are not limited to collecting payments from citizens. In addition, it assigns to every person born in Sweden or permanently residing (or intending to permanently reside for more than one year) in the country an individual tax number (personnummer), registers at the place of residence and issues identification cards.



Swedish transport is represented by road, rail, air, water (sea, river and lake) and pipeline. In settlements and in intercity communication, public transport for passenger transportation operates. The geographical position of Sweden allows you to control the sea transport routes between the waters of the North and Baltic Seas through the Danish Straits; road connection to the mainland for Norway and Finland via the Øresund bridge; ferry service with the Baltic countries.

In Sweden, they are successfully working on creating a barrier-free environment in public transport. Elevators, ramps, dedicated parking lots, additional infrastructure at airports, subways, railways, ferries have become the norm. The government and municipal authorities are working to make bus and tram stops more accessible throughout the country.

The Swedish transport system is characterized by the search for environmentally friendly solutions. The Swedes are actively replacing combustible fuels and gasoline with alternative sources - biofuels obtained from food and organic waste, electricity and ethanol. Many enterprises, as well as almost all government agencies, are replacing the fleet, getting rid of flammable fuel vehicles and switching to environmentally friendly electric vehicles. Almost all city and intercity buses have switched to biofuel and ethanol. One of the priorities of Swedish environmental policy is to rid the fleet of fossil fuels by 2030.


Armed forces

The Armed Defense Forces (Försvarsmakten) consist of four branches of service:
Swedish army
Swedish navy (Svenska marinen)
Swedish Air Squads (Svenska flygvapnet)
"Patriotic Defense" (Hemvärnet)
In 2017, compulsory military service and military duty were restored. Women are also eligible, but not all.



As of December 31, 2019, the population of Sweden was 10,327,589 people, 97.4 thousand more than in December 2018. Population growth is largely due to immigration processes, although their importance is decreasing compared to previous years.

According to statistics for 2019, approximately equal numbers of women and men live in the country. At the same time, the number of minors (0-17 years old) is 21.1%, and the elderly (more than 65) - 20%. On average, during this period, 11.1 children were born per 1,000 people in Sweden, and 8.6 people died.

Average life expectancy is 83 years (81.3 years for men and 84.7 years for women).

As of December 31, 2018, out of 10.2 million people living in Sweden, 930 thousand (9.1%) were citizens of other countries. 1.1 million Swedish citizens were born abroad. 2.5 million people (24.9% of the total population of the country) have foreign roots (that is, they or both of their parents were born abroad).

85% of Swedes live in cities, the largest of them are Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö.

Ethnic composition
In addition to the Swedes, more than 17,000 Saami live in Sweden, more than 50,000 native Finns, as well as more than 450,000 ethnic Finns who immigrated to the country during the 20th century, as well as their descendants.

Sweden, being a country of emigration in the 20th century, has now turned into a country, first of all, of immigration. Historically, Sweden has always been an ethnically homogeneous country, the majority of the population were Swedes and an ethnic minority - the Sami, who in the XVIII-XIX centuries roamed the territory of Northern Europe, and now live in the north of the country.

About 10 million people live in Sweden itself. The time from the middle of the 19th century until the 1930s was a period of mass emigration, when people left the country in search of a better life due to poverty, religious persecution, lack of faith in a happy future, political restrictions, because of the desire for adventure and on the wave of "gold rush". During the First World War and after its end, emigration slowed down due to the restriction of immigration to the United States.

After World War II, Sweden becomes a country of immigration. Before the war, the country remained ethnically homogeneous; during the war, the bulk of immigrants were refugees; in the 1930s, Swedes returning from the United States immigrated to the country. Since the 1930s, and to this day, with the exception of a few years in the 1970s, immigration has exceeded emigration. In the 1950s and 1960s, a large flow of immigrants poured into the country due to the growth of industry and the need for labor resources, as well as a large number of war refugees from Germany, Scandinavian neighbors, and residents of the Baltic states. Many of them subsequently returned to their homeland, a larger number remained, especially for people from the Baltic countries. In the post-war period, the country supplemented its labor force with immigrants from other parts of Scandinavia, Yugoslavia, Greece, Italy and Turkey. Since the late 60s, regulated immigration has been introduced in Sweden.

By the 1980s, in order to slow down the negative economic consequences of the demographic aging of the population, Sweden adopted a liberal immigration policy. By the end of the decade, refugees from Somalia, Iran, Iraq, a number of Arab countries and immigrants from Africa, Asia, and Latin America began to actively move to Sweden. Thus, as of 2021, Sweden is a multinational state with a wide ethno-cultural, religious, racial and national diversity. In 2020, people of foreign origin accounted for 98.8% of the population growth in Sweden, while people of Swedish origin only accounted for 1.2% of the population growth. As of 2020, every fourth resident of the country (25.9% of the population) is an immigrant, and as of 2017, every third resident of the country (32.3% of the population) had at least one parent born abroad. Thanks to these new Swedes, a previously monolingual Swedish society with a homogeneous ethnic structure became a multinational and international society. To visually see the increase in immigration processes in the country, it is worth paying attention to the fact that population growth in 2007 by 75% (1.2 million foreigners in total lived in Sweden in 2007) consisted of immigration inflow into the country, and only 25 % population increased due to the birth rate in the country. There is a percentage increase in immigrants from Iraq, Romania, Bulgaria and Poland.

Under the influence of immigration flows from different parts of the world, society itself is changing, as well as the economic situation in Sweden, on the one hand, refugees can be consumers of social benefits and state. budget, and on the other hand, an increase in the population, especially the young population and the working-age population, increases: consumption in the country and consumer activity, dynamism in the labor market, and in the economy as a whole, and the growth of the country's GDP, and also prevents stagnant processes in the country's economy, the emergence stagnation and deflation.


On the one hand, granting asylum to refugees creates a significant burden on the budget. Moreover, in Sweden there is a large gap in employment between Swedes and migrants. This, according to researchers, has a negative impact on social security in the country, and also undermines faith in state institutions.

On the other hand, a meta-analysis of the scientific literature on immigration in Sweden indicates a positive effect of this phenomenon on the country's economic growth, especially at the expense of highly educated migrants. Moreover, according to Bloomberg, it was immigration that was one of the key factors behind the economic boom in Sweden in 2015. The growth of the service sector to help a record number of refugees during the European migration crisis helped to reduce domestic unemployment.

The Swedish government also denies the negative impact of immigration on the situation in the country, citing facts that show that the economy is on the rise, and the long-term unemployment rate is one of the lowest in the EU. The Swedish authorities are also refuting the common stereotype that allegedly because of migrants in Sweden there is an increase in crime.

The government is taking steps to improve the situation in the country by improving legislation, creating specialized structures dealing with this issue, developing strategies for tolerance between ethnic and cultural groups within the state. The Government of Sweden declares its goal to achieve harmony, real political, cultural, social equality and equality of various groups of the population. For this, the policy of multiculturalism is being implemented, but its implementation is accompanied by a number of social problems, which leads to a revision of the state's immigration policy, its goals and directions. In this regard, legislation in the immigration field is being tightened, new bills are being adopted and amendments are being made to existing laws. The procedure for accepting immigrants into the country, obtaining refugee status, issuing a residence permit, employment, etc. is changing. Most immigrants live in the agglomerations of Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö.



The official language is Swedish. Standard Swedish, the so-called rikssvenska, is based on the dialects of the Stockholm region. There are also about a hundred other dialects of the Swedish language, which the inhabitants of the country use both in private and in public life, for example, on television.

The majority of the population speaks English quite well. Moreover, some TV channels broadcast in English with subtitles in Swedish.

The following are recognized as national minority languages: Sami, Meänkieli, Finnish, Gypsy and Yiddish. The first three of them can be used in state and municipal institutions, courts, kindergartens and nursing homes in some parts of the county of Norrbotten.



According to statistics for 2018, 5.9 million Swedes (57.7% of the total population of the country) formally belong to the Church of Sweden (Svenska kyrkan).

Until 2000, this Lutheran church, according to the law on the church of 1951, was considered a state and communal organization, and priests were considered civil servants (with the obligation to register birth and marriage, organize burials and care for cemeteries) for which they received a salary from the state. It was not until 1 January 2000 that the Church of Sweden was completely separated from the state under the Church of Sweden Act 1998 (Lag om Svenska kyrkan (SFS 1998:1591).

Back in the early 1960s, the Swedish Church began ordaining priests and women. Now the clergy are almost equally composed of both men and women. Today, about 45% of all priests in Sweden are women. The General Synod is made up of 121 women and 130 men who make key decisions regarding the development and future of the Church of Sweden.

Part of the Pietists, Baptists and Methodists is represented by the United Church of Sweden (Equmeniakyrkan), established in 2011 by combining the Swedish Baptist Union (Svenska Baptistsamfundet), the United Methodist Church (Metodistkyrkan i Sverige) and the Church of the Covenant Mission of Sweden (Svenska Missionskyrkan). Catholicism is represented by the Diocese of Stockholm.

The number of Orthodox in 2017 was estimated at 140 thousand people (about 1.4% of the population). A significant part of them are Serbs, Greeks, Romanians, Russians, but there are also small communities of Orthodox Finns, Estonians, Georgians.

The number of Jehovah's Witnesses is 22,426.

Between 250,000 and 450,000 Muslims live in Sweden as a result of immigration, and more than 18,000 Jews. There are also Catholics and Baptists in the country. Part of the Saami professes animism.

The results of the Eurobarometer poll from 2005 show that Sweden is third from the bottom (fewer believers only in the Czech Republic and Estonia) in the list of believing countries in the EU: only 23% of Swedes believe in God, 53% believe in some kind of spirit or life force, 23% do not believe in God, nor in any spirit or power of life.


Education in Sweden

7.7% of GDP is allocated for education in Sweden (2014 data).

From the age of six, every child in Sweden has the right to a free education at school. The Swedish Education Act mandates nine years of compulsory schooling for all children, as well as a preparatory class, which has become compulsory for all six-year-olds since 2018.

Now compulsory school education in Sweden involves several stages of education: a preparatory class - förskoleklass; elementary school - lågstadiet (grades 1-3), middle grades - mellanstadiet (grades 4-6), senior grades - högstadiet (grades 7-9). Compulsory secondary school is followed by gymnasium education (grades 10-12).

In order to enter upper secondary school, students must have passing scores in Swedish, English and mathematics. Education at the gymnasium is not mandatory, however, it is necessary to complete it for those who are going to enter the university, as well as to get a job in some specialties immediately after school. In 2018, approximately 77.6% of students received their 12-year high school diplomas.

Overall, 83% of adults aged 25-64 in Sweden have achieved a high school (gymnasium) diploma, compared with about 75% of adults across the OECD on average.

Until the sixth grade, students in Swedish schools are not given grades, so as not to interfere with individual development and not cause a feeling of competition and stress.

Over the past hundred years, Sweden has tried many knowledge assessment systems. In 2011, Swedish schools switched from a three-point scale to a six-point scale. Students can be given the following grades: A (excellent), B (very good), C (good), D (satisfactory), E (adequate), F - failing.

According to the 2015 PISA ranking, which assesses the educational achievements of students, Sweden, along with France, ranked 25th (495.7 points) out of 70 countries participating in the assessment. In the 2018 PISA ranking, Sweden improved its results (506 points in reading, 502 in mathematics, 499 in science). In reading, 15-year-old Swedish students were fifth in Europe (after Estonia, Finland, Ireland and Poland).

There are more than 30 higher educational institutions in the country, of which about a third are universities.

Swedish universities offer degree programs according to the European standard: bachelor's, master's and doctoral studies. Undergraduate (core higher education program) - program after high school; usually lasts three years (180 ECTS academic credits). Master (graduate program of higher education) - more advanced study of selected subjects, as a rule, ends with writing a master's thesis; may last one or two years (60 or 120 ECTS credits). Doctorate - research work and preparation of a dissertation for several years. The length and content of PhD programs vary from Swedish university to university.

The oldest university in Sweden is Uppsala University, founded in 1477. He, along with the Karolinska Institute, as well as Stockholm University, is one of the hundred best institutions of higher education, according to the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU). In 2020, the Karolinska Institute ranked 45th, Stockholm 69th, and Uppsala University 77th. 14 Swedish universities are in the top 1000.

Sweden is one of the countries in the world with a large proportion of international students. According to the OECD, in 2010 Sweden had PhD students from 80 countries and 7.5% of students were foreigners, a figure that has risen sharply over the years. In the 2017/2018 academic year, about 38,000 foreign students studied at Swedish universities. Of these, 36% came on an exchange, and 64% on their own.

Higher education is free for Swedish citizens, citizens of EU countries, as well as holders of a residence permit obtained for a reason other than education, for example, for family reunification.


The science

Swedish scientists have made a significant contribution to the development of world science. The naturalist Carl Linnaeus (1707–1778), who founded the Royal Academy of Sciences in 1739, had an enormous influence on the development of science. He laid the foundations for the systematics of flora and fauna. His contemporary astronomer and physicist Anders Celsius (1701-1744) created the oldest astronomical observatory in Sweden and introduced the centigrade scale for thermometers. A great contribution to the development of chemistry was made by Jöns Jakob Berzelius (1779–1848), who developed electrochemical and atomistic theories and created scientific mineralogy, and Svante Arrhenius (1859–1927), who created the theory of electrolytic dissociation and received the Nobel Prize in chemistry in 1903. Swedish chemist and engineer Alfred Nobel (1833-1896) owned about 355 patents. But perhaps his most famous invention is dynamite.

In the history of technology, the names of Jon Eriksson (1803-1889), the designer of the first ship propellers, steamships and steam locomotives, and engineer Carl Gustav Laval (1845-1913), who invented the steam turbine and separator, are known.

In modern Sweden, the main part of state-funded research work is carried out at universities and other institutions that are part of the country's higher education system. The leading universities include Uppsala, Stockholm, Lund, Karolinska Institute and others. The largest part of research spending at universities goes to medicine (25%), technological developments (22%), natural sciences (19%), social sciences (11%), humanities (6%). Research costs are covered from the state budget, as well as from external sources - national research councils, government agencies and scientific foundations. Also, the amount of funds for scientific research allocated by the private sector is constantly increasing.


Nobel Prize

The Nobel Prize is the property of the Swedish scientist, inventor and entrepreneur Alfred Nobel. He bequeathed his entire fortune to the creation of a fund, the funds from which should be awarded to those who during the past year made a special contribution to the history of mankind. At the same time, Nobel insisted that this award be given to outstanding scientists, writers and public figures, regardless of their country of origin.

The award has been awarded since 1901 in five categories: in physics, chemistry, physiology and medicine, in literature, as well as for achievements in the field of peacekeeping. The solemn ceremony of awarding the prize takes place annually on the same day - December 10th. Laureates in the first five nominations come to Stockholm in order to receive from the hands of the Swedish king a gold medal with the silhouette of Alfred Nobel, a diploma and a cash prize. Its exact amount is not called, however, according to existing data, it is about 1 million dollars or 8 million Swedish kronor. The amount may vary from year to year, and also depending on how many laureates share the award in one nomination.

After the ceremony, they will have a magnificent banquet in the city hall, where, in addition to the laureates and their families, royal persons, the prime minister and representatives of parliament and a number of high-ranking guests from different countries are invited. The Nobel Peace Prize is awarded at the Opera House in Oslo on the same day.

Applicants for the Nobel Prizes are selected and considered by several scientific institutions.

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has the right to award Nobel Prizes in physics and chemistry. The winner of the Alfred Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics is also chosen there. The Academy of Sciences was founded in 1739 as an independent organization designed to advance science and promote the practical application of discoveries. At present, the Academy of Sciences has 450 Swedish and 175 foreign members.

The Swedish Academy is a separate organization responsible for selecting candidates for the Nobel Prize in Literature. Founded in 1786, usually consists of 18 members who are elected for life.

The Nobel Committee at the Karolinska Institute annually awards the Nobel Prize to those who have made significant discoveries in the field of medicine and physiology. Applications for the Nobel Prize in Medicine are studied by 50 professors at the Karolinska Institute, who also choose the winners.

The Norwegian Nobel Committee is responsible for awarding the Peace Prize, which is awarded to those who have made a significant contribution to "strengthening brotherhood among peoples, disarming armies and promoting peace". The Norwegian Committee was founded in 1897 and consists of five members appointed by the Norwegian Parliament.


Swedish inventions

Ultrasound echocardiography / ultrasound

Ultrasound is the invention of the physician Inge Edler and the German scientist Karl-Helmut Hertz, who developed a device for monitoring cardiovascular diseases.

Automatic identification systems
With the help of Swedish inventor Håkan Lance's development of Automatic Identification Systems (AIS), it is possible to track any moving object, such as a marine vessel, as well as find out how many people are on board, how long the vessel has been in touch and whether it has deviated from the route. These systems help prevent accidents and ship collisions.

HIV tracker
The ultra-sensitive sensor is able to capture the smallest concentrations of dangerous viruses, such as HIV, in liquids. A recent invention belongs to a group of Swedish scientists from Lund University led by Martin Hedström. Academia has already recognized it as invaluable in the fight against bioterrorism.

PowerTrekk Battery
Portable charger runs on eco-fuel and water, turning them into electricity. If you pour a tablespoon of water into the device and install a cassette with special chemicals, you can charge a mobile phone, laptop, navigator or camera from it.

Tetra Pak packaging
Sealed paper packaging allows you to store and transport food, juices, dairy products. The idea of ​​such packaging was proposed in 1946 by Eric Wallenberg, and another Swede, Ruben Rausing, was able to implement it.

Back in 1958, the inventor Rune Elmqvist developed an artificial device for stimulating the activity of the heart, powered by a battery. The first pacemaker was successfully implanted in a heart patient in Stockholm, at the Karolinska Medical University Hospital. A pacemaker, sewn under the skin of the patient, generates electrical impulses that contribute to the proper functioning of the heart muscle. This invention saves more than half a million lives every year.

Three-point seat belt
The seat belt was invented and introduced by the Swedish engineer Nils Bohlin in 1959 for Volvo cars. After trying many options and testing them on himself, he settled on a belt model with three points of support. Today, the presence of three-point belts is mandatory for all cars without exception.


Traditions, culture and art

Swedish cuisine
Swedish cuisine, like all Scandinavian cuisine, is characterized by simplicity. It has absorbed the traditions of peasant food (cheese, bread, sausage), is rich in fish, minced meat, game dishes and is known for its desserts and pastries. Swedes highly appreciate the gifts of local nature: berries, mushrooms, spices, as well as locally produced food (milk, cheese, sausage).

Typical Swedish dishes:
Pickled herring
No festive table in Sweden is complete without pickled herring (sill). The tradition of marinating herring, which is found in abundance in the North and Baltic seas, has existed since the Middle Ages. Various marinades for herring: with mustard, onions, garlic, dill, beets, curry. Herring is most often eaten with boiled potatoes, sour cream, finely chopped green onions, aged hard cheese, sometimes with boiled eggs, and, of course, with crispbread.

The invariable ingredient of any lunch or dinner is bread (knäckebröd). They began to be baked in Sweden more than 500 years ago, and initially bread was considered the food of the poor. With proper storage, crispbread retains its taste for at least a year. They are different in shape, thickness, composition, texture and taste.

Shrimp sandwich

The Swedish tradition of sandwiches began in the 15th century when thick slices of bread were used as plates. One of the most popular is the shrimp sandwich (räksmörgås). Consisting of a mixture of finely chopped boiled eggs, lettuce, tomatoes and cucumbers, this seafood appetizer is often topped with caviar sauce (romsås), sour cream mixed with dill sprigs and caviar.

Variation - Smörgastorte sandwich cake.

Gravlax is a truncated gravad lax ("buried salmon"): this is the name of the old Swedish method of preserving fish in the ground. Serve gravlax with mustard sauce and usually with potato salad, which goes well with salty-sweet red fish.

Pea soup and pancakes
In Sweden, pea soup and pancakes (ärtsoppa och pannkakor) are traditionally eaten on Thursdays. There are different opinions about the origins of the gastronomic ritual: according to one version, Catholics (and Sweden was a Catholic country until the 16th century) do not eat meat on Fridays, and therefore ate hearty pea soup on Thursdays, according to another, pea soup was an easy-to-prepare dish for servants who worked half-days on Thursdays.

"The Temptation of Janson"
Potato casserole with marinated anchovies and cream is an important part of Swedish feasts. There is a version that this dish is named after Pelle Janson, a Swedish opera singer and great gourmet who lived in the second half of the nineteenth century. On the other hand, few people heard of this recipe until the 1940s, when it was first published. Another version is related to the 1928 film of the same name, which a certain wealthy resident of Stockholm liked so much that she named her dish for the New Year's party after him. Since that party, the casserole recipe has sold out among Swedish housewives.

Swedish meatballs with lingonberry sauce
These meatballs, with a classic accompaniment of mashed potatoes and lingonberry and brown sauce, have become one of the most famous Swedish dishes around the world thanks to IKEA. Crackers or bread crumbs soaked in milk are an extremely important component: they give the meatballs a special delicate texture.

Cake "Princess"
The princess cake (prinsesstårta) consists of several layers of biscuit spread with jam and vanilla cream, topped with whipped cream, and topped with a thin layer of sweet green marzipan. Decorate the cake with a scarlet sugar rose. Dessert made his debut in 1920 with the light hand of Jenny Åkerström. She was the teacher of the daughters of Prince Carl Bernadotte, brother of King Gustav V, Princesses Margareta, Martha and Astrid, who loved this cake so much that over time it began to be named after them. Even though the official Princess Cake Week is the third week of September, this popular treat is widely used to celebrate special occasions. Today, it comes in a variety of colors, from classic green to yellow for Easter, red for Christmas, orange for Halloween, and white for weddings.

Buns according to the calendar
Swedish sweets have special days on the calendar. Cinnamon Snail Day (Kanelbullens dag) is celebrated on October 4th. Every year, only on this day, 7,000,000 buns are sold (the population of Sweden is 10 million people). Saffron buns - lussekatta - on Saint Lucia's Day on December 13th. Semla buns filled with cream and almond paste (semlor) are traditionally eaten on Fat Tuesday (fettisdagen), the day before the start of Lent. Freshly baked waffles (våfflor) are eaten on March 25th, and a creamy biscuit decorated with a chocolate or marzipan silhouette of King Gustav Adolfs (Gustav Adolfs-bakelse) is eaten on November 6th in memory of the Swedish monarch, who was killed on this day in 1632 at the Battle of Lützen.


Seven types of cookies
Coffee in Sweden is supposed to be served with strictly seven types of cookies, so as not to be considered stingy or immodest.

Sweets on Saturdays
The average Swedish family of two adults and two children eats 1.2 kg of candy a week - most of them on Saturday, the official day of sweets. This tradition is connected with a long-standing medical experiment. In the 1940s and 1950s, in the Lund Psychiatric Hospital, patients were fed large amounts of sweets as part of a study to deliberately induce tooth decay. Based on the results of an experiment that established a direct link between eating sweets and tooth decay, the National Medical Council recommended that Swedes limit sweets to once a week. Many families adhere to this unwritten rule to this day.


Lagom - Swedish philosophy of life

Lagom is the Swedish ethic of moderation, which preaches a reasonable attitude to life: when everything is not too much and not too little, but exactly just right. The birth of the lagoma tradition is usually attributed to the times of the Vikings: passing a cup of drink around, it was necessary to swallow just enough so as not to offend others and in order to get enough and enjoy yourself. Thus, a certain attitude to life and the world arose from everyday practice, which made it possible to avoid excesses and spread to all practical spheres of activity. In a sense, this is a normative setting that creates a delicate balance between individualism and collectivism.

Lagom became a global fashion trend in 2017, after an article in Vogue magazine. It lagom was presented as a practical philosophy of life - an eco-friendly Aristotelian golden mean for conscious citizens of the 21st century, implying moderation in consumption, as well as in design.

However, for the Swedes, lagom is not only an individual choice of lifestyle, but a kind of way to balance between the individual and the collective. In the realm of politics, this approach has created what is often called “capitalism with a human face”: that is, with free and affordable social services and a fairly low level of social inequality.



The Swedish public was first introduced to cinema on June 28, 1896 at an industrial exhibition in Malmö, where the first film footage was shown. Already in 1897, the first Swedish-made short films were shown at an exhibition in Stockholm. In the following years, thanks to touring screenings of films, interest in cinema grew in Sweden, and at the beginning of the 20th century, permanent cinemas gradually began to appear here. In 1907, Svenska Biografteatern (Svenska Bio) was founded in Kristianstad.

During these years, directors Viktor Sjöström and Maurits Stiller actively worked, who managed to achieve international recognition. Filming mainly based on Swedish classical literature, they revealed the themes of man and nature, the foundations of Swedish society. So, after the famous film by Sjöström “Ingeborg Holm” (Ingeborg Holm, 1913), which criticizes the Swedish laws on the poor, the adaptation of the epic poem by Henrik Ibsen “Terje Vigen” (Terje Vigen, 1917), as well as the novel by Selma Lagerlöf “The Charioteer” (Körkarlen , 1921). At this time, Stiller was filming Herr Arnes pengar's Money (1918), Erotikon (1920), and Gösta Berling's Saga (1924), the film that introduced Greta Garbo to the audience. Later, Stiller and Garbo accept an invitation from Louis Barth Mayer to work in Hollywood, thus establishing a trend where Swedish directors and actors such as Ingrid Bergman, Ingmar Bergman, Max von Sydow, Bo Wiederberg and the Skarsgard acting dynasty actively filmed and starred in the USA.

In 1919, all the major film companies in Sweden merged into Svensk Filmindustri (SF), headed by Charles Fredrik Magnusson.

The development of Swedish cinema was not hindered by the hardships of the First World War, as Sweden remained neutral in the war. Thus the golden age of Swedish silent cinema continued until the 1920s, when the advent of sound cinema changed things dramatically.

The decline in international demand for films understood by only a few million people, the emigration of stars such as Garbo and Stiller, the appearance of Hollywood films on Swedish screens, caused a crisis in the development of high-quality cinema in the 1930s. Those few bright films shot during that period, such as Gustav Mulander's Intermezzo (Intermezzo, 1936), where Ingrid Bergman and Josta Ekman played, did not save the situation. It got to the point that film industry workers staged protests to draw attention to the problem of low standards in Swedish cinema.

The situation leveled off during the Second World War, in which Sweden also acted as a neutral side. The thirst for change in the film environment and the problems with the supply of imported films breathed new life into Swedish cinema. And this period saw the films The Divine Game (Himlaspelet, 1942) and The Hounding (1944) by Alf Sjöberg, Crime (Ett brott, 1940) by Anders Henrikson, Money (Pengar — en tragikomisk saga, 1946) by Nils Poppe and "Night at the Port" (Natt i hamn, 1943) by Hampe Faustmann.

Other reasons include the literary movement of writers in the 1940s, who abandoned the idealized image of Swedish society and pastoral landscapes - against the background of disillusionment with the post-war nuclear era, they were more interested in the inner experiences of a person than in a detached observation of social processes. The new management of SvenskFilmindustri also played a role. Carl Anders Dymling headed the structure, Viktor Sjöström became the artistic director. Dümling believed that artists should be treated with patience, allowed to make mistakes and learn from them.

Under such conditions, Hans Ekman created his best films, including "The Girl and the Hyacinths" (Flicka och hyacinter; 1950), and Alf Sjöberg's "Fröken Julia" (1951) again brought worldwide fame to Swedish cinema. At the same time, the film career of Ingmar Bergman was rapidly going up, whose comedy "Smiles of a Summer Night" received a prize and general attention at the 1956 Cannes Film Festival. Subsequently, Bergman became a recognized classic of world cinema, and his films The Seventh Seal, Strawberry Field (1957), Silence (1963), Persona (1966), Whispers and Cries (1973), Fanny and Alexander (1982) had a significant impact on many directors. During his long film career, Bergman was nominated 12 times for the Oscar film award and became its winner three times.


In the late 1950s, the Swedish cinema was in crisis, which was largely due to the advent of television. Simultaneously with the decline in the number of viewers and the closure of cinemas, film companies have become reluctant to take artistic risks. The time has come for sexually liberated paintings. The Swedish nude proved to be a good seller, and during the 1960s Swedish cinema was best known abroad for films such as Angels... Do They Really Exist? (Änglar, finns dom?, 1961), "Dear Jon" (Käre John, 1964), "I'm Curious - Yellow" (Jag är nyfiken - gul_ 1967) and "The Language of Love" (Kärlekens språk, 1969). At the same time, the film adaptations of children's works by Astrid Lindgren, carried out by Ulle Hellbum, were in demand among the public.

The artistic component of Swedish cinema was saved by the film reform of 1963, the essence of which was the financial support of the state for the production of highly artistic films. A significant role in this process was assigned to the newly created Swedish Film Institute. This approach soon brought results and allowed such young directors as Vilgot Schoemann, Bo Wiederberg, Mai Setterling, Jan Truell, Cel Grede and Roy Andersson to make their film debuts.

The 1970s and 1980s were characterized by growing economic and artistic instability. With the advent of cable and satellite television, the decline in cinema attendance continues. At this time, comedy films such as The Adventures of Picasso (Picassos äventyr; 1978), Leif (Leif; 1987), Charter Flight (Sällskapsresan, 1980) and My Dog Life (Mitt liv som hund, 1985). Several female directors are emerging in Sweden: Marianne Arne, Marie-Louise Ekman and Susanne Osten. In the 1990s, Rikard Hubert created a name for himself with a series of films about the seven deadly sins (Glädjekällan, Höst i paradiset, Spring för livet, etc.). At the same time, Lukas Moodysson began his film career, whose fame was brought by the film “Show Me Love” (Fucking Åmål, 1998).

The development of cinema in the 21st century is closely connected with the names of Roy Andersson (“Songs from the second floor”, (Sånger från andra våningen, 2000), “You, who live” (Du levande, 2007), “A dove sat on a branch, thinking about being” (En duva satt på en gren och funderade på tillvaron, 2014), Lisa Olin (“Simon and the Oaks” (Simon och ekarna, 2011), Lisa Langseth (“Towards Something Beautiful” (Till det som är vackert, 2009) ; Hannes Holm ("The Second Life of Uwe" (En man som heter Uve, 2015); Helena Bergström's "Merry Damn Christmas" (En underbar jävla jul, 2015) and others. And Ruben Ostlund is the director of the films "Volunteer Forced" (De ofrivilliga, 2008) and Force Majeure (Tourist, 2014) - in 2017 he received the Palme d'Or for the satirical drama The Square (The Square, 2017).



As in other Scandinavian countries, until the middle of the 19th century, the fine arts of Sweden lagged far behind central Europe. In Sweden, the creative activity of the German artist Albertus Piktor took place. His most famous work is the fresco "Death Playing Chess" (Swedish: Döden spelar schack) in Töby Church (Swedish: Täby kyrka), made on a non-canonical subject.

From the middle of the 19th century, Swedish painting developed, and by the beginning of the 20th century it reached its peak. The most recognizable Swedish artist and illustrator is Carl Larsson, who developed a unique style. Impressionism is represented by the paintings of Anders Zorn, famous for his images of the nude, Bruno Liljefors and the landscapes of Prince Eugene. Symbolism is very well developed, the most prominent representative of which was Eugen Janson, who at the beginning of his creative activity painted characteristic sunrise and sunset landscapes in blue tones. Ivar Arosenius depicted semi-dark interiors with human figures. One of the representatives of Swedish expressionism was Albin Amelin. In the mid-1920s, under the influence of the work of K. S. Malevich and V. V. Kandinsky, the first works of Swedish abstractionism appeared (W. Eggeling, O. G. Karlsund, J. Adrian-Nilson). We can talk about Swedish surrealism starting with the performance of the so-called Halmstad group led by Eric Olson.



The origins of Swedish literature go back to runic inscriptions, which most often told about the glorious deeds of one or another noble family. The first literary text is considered to be a rune stone from Rök, carved in the Viking Age around the 8th century AD. e. After converting to Christianity around 1100 A.D. e. Christian literature is also developing, mainly in Latin, for example, the manuscripts of St. Brigid of Wadstena. However, several texts in Old Swedish also survive.

Swedish literature flourished only after the standardization of the Swedish language in the 16th century, largely due to the complete translation of the Bible into Swedish in 1541 - the so-called Gustav Vasa Bible.

In the 17th century, with the improvement of education and the development of civil liberties due to secularization, several iconic names appeared in Sweden. Among them: "the father of Swedish poetry" Georg Shernjelm (XVII century), the first who began to compose poetry in Swedish; poet and critic Johan Henrik Cjölgren (18th century), author of burlesque ballads Karl Mikael Belman (late 18th century), and August Strindberg (late 19th century) - a world-famous writer and playwright.

At the beginning of the 20th century, writers Hjalmar Söderberg, Selma Lagerlöf (Nobel Prize winner in 1909), Per Lagerkvist (Nobel Prize winner in 1951) worked. A total of 7 Swedish writers have won the Nobel Prize in Literature.

After the First World War, fame came to Wilhelm Muberg, who later wrote one of the masterpieces of Swedish literature, the tetralogy "Emigrants" (Utvandrarna).

Scandinavian noir is developing. One of the first such works was the detectives of the writer couple Mai Chevall and Pera Valle. The novels of these writers do not just tell crime stories, they quite critically and quite realistically describe the social environment, working conditions and private relationships of police officers through the narratives of the criminal investigations of Chief Inspector Martin Beck; some of them were successfully filmed. Another popular author of this genre is Henning Mankel, whose works have been translated into 37 languages. His main character Kurt Wallander is also a hit in the movies. In the spy fiction genre, the most successful writer is Jan Guillou.

In recent decades, many Swedish writers have become world stars, such as Henning Mankel or Stieg Larsson.

If we talk about literature for children, then here the cult names are Elsa Beskov (“The Girl with Blooming Hair”, “The Brownie in the Window”), Astrid Lindgren (“Pippi Longstocking”, “The Kid and Carlson”, “Mio, My Mio”, "Brothers Lionheart"), Sven Nurdqvist (Series of books about Petson and Findus), Barbru Lindgren ("Loranga, Mazarin and Dartagnan"), author of detective stories for children Martin Widmark (series about the Lasse-Maya detective agency). Adult writers such as Selma Lagerlöf and Henning Mankell also wrote children's books.

It is impossible not to mention the famous modern writer Frederick Backman, whose novels have gained international fame and have been filmed.



Over the past few centuries, the history of Swedish architecture has borrowed elements from other cultures and, combining them with national color, has created its own unique form.

Swedish architectural culture in the Middle Ages was not distinguished by pomp, proof of this are the preserved noble houses. However, since 1600 everything has changed: with the growth of Sweden's ambitions in the international arena, architectural ambitions have also increased.

The first steps, which subsequently led to the creation of the national style of Sweden, were taken by the architects Jean de la Vallee (1620-1696), Nicodemus Tessin the Elder (1615-1681) and his son Nicodemus Tessin the Younger (1654-1728), who were in the service of Kings Charles XI and Charles XII. During this period, the Knights' House in Stockholm, the Oksenstjern Palace, the Drotningholm Palace, the building of the State Bank, as well as the Royal Palace in Stockholm were built.

During the reign of Gustav III (1771-1792), the architect Jean-Eric Ren built the Opera House in Stockholm (dismantled in 1892), the architecture of which was still under the strong French influence of those years.

At the end of the 18th century, the French "Empire" began to break through, the initiator of which in Sweden was the French architect Jean Louis Despres (1743-1804). Despres commissioned the king to draw up projects for civil buildings and ensembles, of which the most famous is the project for the luxurious Haga Palace, made in the antique spirit. This building, begun in 1788, was never completed.

Since 1820, the construction of a number of public buildings in the forms of a laconic but monumental Swedish Empire has intensified. These include the building of the University Library (1819–1826) in Uppsala (architect K. F. Sundval, 1754–1831) and the hospital of the Stockholm garrison (architect K. G. Gjervel). Especially strict and spartan is the architecture of the Stockholm barracks, devoid of any ornamentation. The author of the barracks arch. Frederik Blom (1781-1853) designed the church on the island of Skeppsholmen in Stockholm, which is a miniature copy of the Pantheon, as well as the country palace Rosendal near Djurgården. The latter has beautifully decorated interiors, which can be considered the best example of Karl Johan's style, that is, the Swedish Empire style.

In the middle of the XIX century. in the cities of Sweden, as in many cities in Europe, a period of historicism began, imitation of the historical styles of all countries and all times. In the 20s of the XX century. many major architects again returned to the classical forms of antiquity, but this neoclassicism was in fact the last echo of historicism.

Now the architectural "visiting cards" of Sweden can be credited to:
The wooden church in the northern city of Kiruna (architect Gustav Wikman, built in 1912) is recognized by the Swedes as the most beloved building of all time in a national vote. Due to the expansion of neighboring iron ore mines, in the coming years the church will be dismantled, moved and rebuilt in a different place - like the whole of Kiruna.
The Stockholm City Hall, built in 1923 by Ragnar Östberg, is an example of Swedish national romanticism. 365 steps lead to the top of the 106-meter bell tower, which is crowned with a spire with the Three Crowns - the national emblem of Sweden.
Ericsson Globe is the world's largest sphere building. The snow-white globe rises above the surrounding neighborhoods of Stockholm, like a huge golf ball. The arena, designed by architect Svante Berg, was opened in 1989. Its diameter is 110 meters and its height is 85 meters.
The Øresund Bridge (opened in 1999) connects Sweden with Denmark and the rest of Europe. The project, which also includes a tunnel and an artificial island, was designed by COWI. It became the longest cable-stayed bridge in the world, combining rail and road traffic. In 2002 he was awarded the main prize of the International Association of Bridge Builders and Design Engineers (IABSE).
The only skyscraper in the world that spirals around its axis is the Turning Torso in Malmö (architect Santiago Calatrava, opened in 2005). The 190-meter tower is the tallest structure in Scandinavia.
The building of the Tusen restaurant in the Ramundberget ski resort was designed in 2008 by the architectural bureau Murman Arkitekter. The restaurant's menu includes local and Sami dishes. The house in the form of a vezha - a traditional Sami dwelling - located at an altitude of 1000 meters above sea level, fits perfectly into the surrounding landscape - it is built from a birch bar, the only tree that can take root in a mountainous landscape.
A separate building for an ultra-precise electron microscope designed by Tham & Videgård on the campus of the University of Linköping.
The futuristic shopping mall Emporia in Malmö, built by architects Gert Wingård in 2012, features a giant depression that creates the effect of a melting building.


Another hallmark of modern urban planning in Sweden is the desire for the rational use of natural resources and concern for the environment. The transformation of the former industrial area of ​​Hammarby in Stockholm into a model of ecological urban planning was such an exemplary project. The newly built residential area has smart power grids, affordable and environmentally friendly public transport, bike paths and parking lots, waste collection and disposal.

A similar transformation from an industrial area to a residential area has taken place in Malmö. Today, Västra hamnen is a carbon-neutral area with a thermal energy storage system. The water is stored during the summer, then pumped using wind power to heat homes during the cold season. The water is then reused to cool buildings in the summer.


Music industry

According to research by Joel Waldfogel and Fernando Ferreira of the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, Sweden is the number one pop music exporter in the world in terms of GDP. It is followed by Canada, Finland, Great Britain, New Zealand and the USA (according to data for 1960-2007).

Among the reasons for the success of the Swedish music industry are the popularity and accessibility of children's music schools, amateur choirs, the use of digital technology and even government support. For example, in 1997, the Swedish government established its own Music Export Prize, which is awarded to those who have achieved particular success in the global music market. Previous winners have included Swedish House Mafia, singer Robin, music producer Max Martin, members of ABBA, The Hives, The Cardigans and Roxette.

The five Swedish music sales records (both albums and singles are taken into account):

1. ABBA - over 300 million
2. Roxette - over 70 million
3. Ace of Base - 50 million
4. Europe - more than 20 million
5. The Cardigans - over 15 million

The Swedes have won the Eurovision Song Contest six times, and thus are second only to Ireland in terms of victories in this music competition:
1974, Brighton - ABBA "Waterloo"
1984, Luxembourg - Herrey's "Diggi-loo Diggy-ley"
1991, Rome - Carola "Fångad av en stormvind"
1999, Jerusalem - Charlotte Perelli "Take Me to Your Heaven"
2012, Baku - Loreen "Euphoria"
2015, Vienna - Mons Selmerlöw "Heroes"

Swedish music has entered the avant-garde of world pop culture not only thanks to musicians and producers, but also thanks to the visual range. The Swedish videos were able to both express the notorious Nordic character and teach the world how music videos can work with the physicality or, for example, with contemporary art. The Swedish video makers have also filmed for The Prodigy, Madonna, Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, Coldplay and many more.


Fashion and design

The Swedish combination of high style and low prices has become a competitive advantage of Stockholm in comparison with other fashion capitals. Popular Swedish brands include Filippa K, Tiger of Sweden, Swedish Hasbeens, Gudrun Sjödén, Uniforms for the Dedicated, Nudie, Cheap Monday, Acne, Hope.

Over half of Sweden's multibillion-dollar fashion industry comes from H&M, a giant with 4,000 stores in 62 countries and 150,000 employees. For comparison: in the rest of the industry in the country, a little more than 50 thousand people are employed. Realizing its basic principle that good clothes should and can be affordable, H&M regularly releases special collections with famous designers. The list of invited celebrities, along with Stella McCartney, Karl Lagerfeld and Donatella Versace, includes pop stars: Madonna, Kylie Minogue, Beyoncé.

In general, conciseness and functionality in clothes can be called the basis of the Swedish style. To this we can add a modern trend of respect for the environment, the reuse of materials and the organization of fair working conditions.

For example, an ambitious research program Mistra Future Fashion has been launched in Sweden. Her goals are to achieve dramatic environmental reforms in the fashion industry and change the attitude of consumers themselves to what they wear. To develop a new collection, establish a supply chain, sell finished goods and recycle used clothes - for each stage, the Mistra Future Fashion team issues scientific recommendations on respect for natural resources and environmental protection. H&M, Lindex, Eton and Nudie Jeans, the biggest players in the Swedish fashion industry, collaborate with the project.



The Swedish Olympic Committee was created and recognized by the IOC in 1913. Swedish athletes won their first gold medal in 1900 (Paris) in a tug-of-war competition. In 1912, the V Olympic Games were held in Stockholm; in the informal The team standings was dominated by the Swedish team (24 gold, 24 silver, 17 bronze medals). The Swedish national football team won the Olympic Games in London (1948), was the bronze medalist of the European Championship (1992). The Swedish Open Tennis Championship is traditionally held in Båstad (since 1948).

In Sweden, sport is an obligatory part of leisure time, about half of the country's population regularly goes in for sports. About 2 million people (20% of the population) are members of sports clubs. The most popular sports are ice hockey, bandy and football. Handball (handball), athletics, skiing, tennis, golf, equestrian sports, artistic gymnastics, and various types of martial arts are also common. In turn, broadcasts of football, hockey, handball matches, as well as golf and car racing competitions gather the largest audience on TV screens.

Recreational sports include brännboll (ball game), pétanque, kubb, as well as skiing, swimming, walking, cycling, dancing, etc.

In 2018, Sweden became the third country in the world in terms of sports achievements per capita. In the entire history of the Olympic Games, Swedish athletes have won 648.5 medals: 484.5 (one medal shared with Denmark) at the summer and 164 at the winter Olympics.

The most outstanding Swedish athletes of the 20th century: seven-time world swimming champion and three-time Olympic medalist Sara Sjöström, football players Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Gunnar Nurdal, tennis players Stefan Edber, Mats Wilander, Bjorn Borg, skiers Anja Person, Ingemar Stenmark, Charlotte Kalla, Pernilla Wieberg, hockey players Peter Forsberg, Niklas Lidström, golfer Annika Sörenstam, high jumpers Patrick Sjöberg, Kaisa Bergqvist, curler Anette Nurberg and others.



St. Knut's Day
Knut Day is celebrated on January 13th. This day marks the end of Christmas celebrations and school holidays. On the Day of the Whip, the Christmas tree is removed from the house.

All Hearts Day - February 14

Valentine's Day, named after the Roman martyr, is known in Sweden as All Hearts Day (Alla hjärtans dag).

Since the Middle Ages, it has been celebrated on February 14 in England, Scotland and France. In the 19th century, the custom spread to the United States: there, on this day, they exchanged heart-shaped postcards and expensive gifts. In the 1980s, the holiday began to be celebrated in Sweden, mainly among children and adolescents. On Valentine's Day, a lot of roses, jelly hearts, sweets, jewelry and toys are sold here.

In Sweden, Easter is predominantly a secular holiday. Statistically, Swedes don't go to church often. And even if the number of parishioners at services slightly increases on Easter, the majority still celebrates at home or goes out of town with family and relatives.

A traditional Easter lunch usually consists of various types of marinated herring, smoked salmon, and Janson's Temptation, a potato casserole with onions, marinated anchovies, and cream. For dinner, they usually eat roast lamb with potato gratin and asparagus. The house is decorated with birch branches with colored feathers.

Also on Easter, children dress up as Easter witches: they put on long skirts, old-fashioned sweaters, aprons, multi-colored scarves, paint their cheeks red and draw freckles. They go from house to house and give their neighbors homemade Easter cards. In return, they receive sweets. Children are also given fake Easter eggs filled with sweets.

Walpurgis Night – April 30
The celebration of Walpurgis Night marks the final onset of spring. Throughout Sweden on the evening of April 30, people gather in thousands, kindle large fires and enjoy spring songs performed by choirs (most often male).

The tradition of lighting bonfires (majbrasor, kasar) dates back to the beginning of the 18th century. The fire was not limited to: the peasants fired from rifles, rang bells, squealed and shouted. In some parts of Sweden, on Walpurgis Night, boys and girls went from house to house, singing festive songs - such guests were supposed to be treated.

International Workers' Day - May 1
The first of May has been a public holiday in Sweden since 1939. On this day, various demonstrations take place in the country, although for many it is just another day off.

National Day of Sweden - June 6
Since 1983, Sweden has officially celebrated its national holiday on June 6th. On this day in 1523, King Gustav Vasa came to the throne, and in 1809 a new constitution was adopted. Initially, the idea to celebrate June 6 belonged to Arthur Hazelius, an ethnographer, founder of the Skansen open-air museum in Stockholm. On his initiative, National Day June 6 has been celebrated in Skansen since the 1890s. However, at the 1893 World's Fair in Chicago, Sweden introduced the Midsummer Midsummer as a national holiday - hence the proposal to officially approve this particular date. Hazelius, however, continued the celebrations at Skansen on 6 June. Thus, in Sweden there were two national days at once. In 1916, the Hazelius version was officially approved: June 6 became Swedish Flag Day. This day became a day off only in 2004.

On this day, a solemn ceremony is held in Skansen with the participation of the royal couple. The blue and yellow national flag is hoisted, and children in national costumes present bouquets of flowers to the king and queen. Ceremonies are held across the country to congratulate new Swedish citizens on receiving a Swedish passport.


Summer Solstice Festival
Midsommar (Swedish: Midsommar), the midsummer festival was originally celebrated on June 24 in honor of John the Baptist. In 1953, it was moved to the next Saturday.

Midsommar, or the summer solstice, falls at the end of June and is celebrated on the Saturday closest to the day of the summer solstice. By this time, the sun's rays are already reaching the northernmost corners of the country, and the sun no longer sets beyond the Arctic Circle. The celebration begins the night before with the fortune-telling of the girls “for the betrothed”: it is believed that if you pick flowers of seven different types and put them under your pillow, then at night you will dream of the betrothed. The remaining flowers are used to decorate the “Maypole”, wreaths are woven from them - both for people and for houses. The hoisting of the "Maypole" is the signal for the start of traditional round dances to the violin, accordion and guitar.

The festive dinner menu always includes various types of pickled herring, boiled young potatoes with fresh dill, sour cream and onions. After that, hot, grilled, such as ribs or salmon are served. A traditional dessert is young strawberries with whipped cream.

Cancer Day - Second Wednesday of August
In Sweden, crayfish have been eaten since the 16th century. For several centuries, this delicacy has gone from the table of the aristocracy to universal recognition. However, Swedish crayfish have been threatened with infections more than once - and then the population has sharply decreased. In order to preserve these arthropods, restrictions were introduced on their catching at the beginning of the 20th century. The season for catching crayfish, then reduced to a couple of months, began in August. This was the basis for the celebration.

On the second Wednesday of August, the Swedes gather on the terraces with their families to taste boiled crayfish. The decoration of the festive evening is colored paper lanterns, colorful fake caps on their heads, bibs.

Sauerkraut Day - Third Thursday in August
In the northern half of Sweden, crayfish are not caught; instead of crayfish day, they celebrate the day of surströmming - pickled herring, in honor of which a festival is also held, starting on the third Thursday of August. Surströmming is usually wrapped in tunnbrød (thin bread cakes) along with mandelpotatis (small potatoes) and chopped onion.

All Saints' Day - early November
The Swedes celebrate this memorial holiday on Saturday between October 31 and November 6, visiting cemeteries and leaving wreaths, flowers, and lit candles on the graves of their loved ones.

This tradition has its roots in the Middle Ages. In 731, the church proclaimed November 1 as the day of commemoration of the departed saints. And in the XI century, November 2 became the day of commemoration of all the dead, regardless of status - it was called the day of all souls. For centuries, prayers for the dead were heard and the bell rang, but the custom was forgotten after the Reformation. In 1772, All Saints' Day was moved to the first Sunday in November, and in 1953 to a Saturday between October 31 and November 6.

Halloween - October 31
All Saints' Day in the American version of the holiday reached Sweden in the 1990s. It is celebrated mainly by children and teenagers. They dress up as witches and ghosts, light lanterns and wander the streets, scaring neighbors and late passers-by. Many bars and restaurants decorate the halls with spooky decorations and throw holiday parties.

Saint Martin's Day (Morten Goose) - November 11
The tradition of celebrating Saint Martin's Day has its roots in the Middle Ages. According to legend, when Saint Martin of Tours tried to avoid consecration as a bishop, he hid in a goose coop - but the geese gave him away by crying. After that, he chose the image of a goose as his coat of arms.

Saint Martin's Day is celebrated in November, when geese are traditionally slaughtered. The custom of eating goose came to Sweden from France. At first, this tradition was observed by artisans and wealthy citizens. Not all peasant families could afford a goose, so many ate duck or chicken.

Today, the goose is eaten mainly in the southern province of Skåne and in university towns, although this custom also existed in Stockholm and its environs in the past. Some families still prepare the holiday dinner themselves, but most go to a restaurant.

Lunch begins with a bowl of thick, sweet and sour black soup (svartsoppa), made from blood and broth flavored with fruit puree, strong tincture and spices. It is served with offal, goose liver sausage, stewed prunes and potatoes. The goose carcass is stuffed with apples and prunes and slowly baked in the oven. Apple charlotte is usually served for dessert.


Saint Lucia's Day - December 13
The tradition of this holiday can be traced both to Saint Lucia of Syracuse, a martyr who died in 304, and to the Swedish legend of Lucia, Adam's first wife. Legend has it that the latter was in touch with the devil and that her children became invisible in the underworld. Thus, the name can be associated with both the word lux (lat. light) and the name of the devil (Lucifer), and its true origin is difficult to determine. The custom that the Swedes follow today is the result of the interweaving of different traditions.

On this day, traditionally, children prepare breakfast for their parents (homemade cookies and hot chocolate) and, dressed in outfits (girls in white dresses, and boys in an astrologer costume), congratulate their elders. Special songs, hymns, psalms are performed at Lucia. It is also customary that on this day, schoolchildren visit teachers in the morning. Traditional food is sweet buns with saffron (Sw. lussekatter). They look like curled up kittens with raisin eyes. They eat these buns with glög or coffee.

Since the 1920s, when the competition for the most beautiful Lucia of the city was first held in Stockholm, a corresponding tradition has been established, and now Lucia is elected annually not only in every city or town, but also in every school.

Christmas Eve and Christmas - December 24-25
The celebration of one of the most important Swedish holidays, Christmas, is preceded by a long and thorough preparation. Since the beginning of December, streets and houses have been decorated with electric garlands and lamps. A few days before Christmas Eve, the Swedes rush in search of the perfect Christmas tree. Christmas trees are decorated, according to family traditions, with flags, tinsel or colored balls. At home - tapestries depicting the Swedish version of Santa Claus Yltomten, winter landscapes, tablecloths with Christmas patterns, candlesticks and figurines.

At 3pm on December 24th, everyone in Sweden sits down in front of the TV and watches Disney cartoons, the same year after year since the 1960s.

Traditional dishes: Christmas ham (first boiled, then glazed with egg, breadcrumbs and mustard), pork sausage, egg and anchovy mixture (gubbröra), herring salad, pickled herring, homemade liver pate, rye bread with beer wort ( vörtbröd), potatoes and a special fish dish called lutfisk. To prepare lutefisk, the fish is soaked in an alkaline solution and then soaked in water. Yulmust is a traditional Swedish Christmas drink.

After the feast, it is customary to open gifts.

The classic description of Swedish Christmas is Ingmar Bergman's Oscar-winning film Fanny and Alexander, set in the early 20th century: a time of abundance and delicious food, happiness and fun.

New Year
If Swedes celebrate Christmas with their families, they prefer to celebrate the New Year with friends - often on the street, watching the fireworks with a glass of champagne in their hands.

A few minutes before the New Year, live from the Skansen Open Air Museum, a famous Swedish actress or actor reads Alfred Tennyson's New Year's poem "Ring Out, Wild Bells". Then the outgoing year is escorted to the sound of bells. This tradition is over a hundred years old.



The postal operator until 1994 was Postverket, in 1994-2008 - Posten AB, since 2008 - PostNord Sverige; the operator of telephone communications, wired (cable) television and the Internet network - Televerket, until 1946 - Kungliga Telegrafverket; in large cities there are networks owned by private companies.


Media and freedom of speech

On December 2, 1766, censorship was abolished in Sweden and the world's first law guaranteeing freedom of speech was passed. Subsequently, its main provisions were included in the Constitution of the country.

The Swedish press in the 18th and 19th centuries developed as the press of political parties. The multi-party newspaper market reached its quantitative peak in the 1920s, after which the popularity of newspapers of political parties began to decline gradually. In the 1950s and early 1960s, Swedish economists even started talking about the period of the “death of newspapers”. Then, in 1965, in order to maintain a high level of party pluralism and keep the presence of competing media independent of political parties, in 1965 the Swedish state created a system of financial support for newspapers.

Largely thanks to the systemic efforts of the state, the Swedish press managed to maintain its popularity. According to UNESCO, in the mid-2000s, the country was one of the world leaders in reading newspapers: there were about 400 copies of newspapers for every 1,000 Swedes. And despite the decline in this indicator (in 2014 the number of newspapers per 1000 people was reduced to just over 200), it remains very high in comparison with other countries.

Like many Western European countries, Sweden has public service television (SVT) and public radio (SR). Public broadcasting in Sweden was created as a non-political institution serving society as a whole. This was reflected in the ownership structure: in the 1960s, it included a variety of social forces - labor unions, consumer organizations, the church, the press and business. As a result, SVT and SR gained a high level of independence from the state, which increased their political influence in society. Another distinguishing feature of public broadcasting in Sweden is funding by all viewers and listeners in the country: they regularly pay a license for the use of television and radio.

News Agency - Swedish Telegraph Bureau TT (Tidningarnas Telegrambyrå, TT Nyhetsbyrån) - a joint stock company of Swedish newspapers. The state newspaper is Post-och Inrikes Tidningar. It has been published since 1645 (since 2007 only on the Internet), which makes it the oldest newspaper published in our time. A number of private newspapers are also published and distributed, for example, Aftonbladet, Dagens Nyheter, Expressen, Svenska Dagbladet and others.

Radio and television broadcasting is carried out both by public radio and television, and by numerous private channels. Streaming services are actively developing.



The asteroid (329) Svea, discovered in 1892 and named after the Old Norse name for Sweden Svea, is named after Sweden.