Context of Sweden

Sweden, formally the Kingdom of Sweden, is a Nordic country located on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. It borders Norway to the west and north, Finland to the east, and is connected to Denmark in the southwest by a bridge–tunnel across the Öresund.

At 450,295 square kilometres (173,860 sq mi), Sweden is the largest Nordic country and the fifth-largest country in Europe. The capital and largest city is Stockholm. Sweden has a population of 10.5 million, and a low population density of 25.5 inhabitants per square kilometre (66/sq mi), with around 87% of Swedes residing in urban areas, which cover 1.5% of the entire land area, in the central and southern half of the country. Nature in Sweden is dominated by forests and many lakes, including some of the largest in Europe. Many long rivers run from the Scandes range, primarily emptying into the northern tributaries of the Baltic Sea. It has an extensive coastline and mo...Read more

Sweden, formally the Kingdom of Sweden, is a Nordic country located on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. It borders Norway to the west and north, Finland to the east, and is connected to Denmark in the southwest by a bridge–tunnel across the Öresund.

At 450,295 square kilometres (173,860 sq mi), Sweden is the largest Nordic country and the fifth-largest country in Europe. The capital and largest city is Stockholm. Sweden has a population of 10.5 million, and a low population density of 25.5 inhabitants per square kilometre (66/sq mi), with around 87% of Swedes residing in urban areas, which cover 1.5% of the entire land area, in the central and southern half of the country. Nature in Sweden is dominated by forests and many lakes, including some of the largest in Europe. Many long rivers run from the Scandes range, primarily emptying into the northern tributaries of the Baltic Sea. It has an extensive coastline and most of the population lives near a major body of water. With the country ranging from 55°N to 69°N, the climate of Sweden is diverse due to the length of the country.

Germanic peoples have inhabited Sweden since prehistoric times, emerging into history as the Geats (Swedish: Götar) and Swedes (Svear) and constituting the sea peoples known as the Norsemen. A unified Swedish state emerged during the early 11th century. After the Black Death in the middle of the 14th century killed about a third of the Scandinavian population, the dominance of the Hanseatic League in Northern Europe threatened Scandinavia economically and politically. This led to the formation of the Scandinavian Kalmar Union in 1397, which Sweden left in 1523. When Sweden became involved in the Thirty Years' War on the Protestant side, an expansion of its territories began, forming the Swedish Empire, which remained one of the great powers of Europe until the early 18th century.

Sweden is a highly developed country ranked seventh in the Human Development Index, it is a constitutional monarchy and a parliamentary democracy, with legislative power vested in the 349-member unicameral Riksdag. It is a unitary state, divided into 21 counties and 290 municipalities. Sweden maintains a Nordic social welfare system that provides universal health care and tertiary education for its citizens. It has the world's 14th highest GDP per capita and ranks very highly in quality of life, health, education, protection of civil liberties, economic competitiveness, income equality, gender equality and prosperity. Sweden joined the European Union on 1 January 1995 but rejected Eurozone membership following a referendum. It is also a member of the United Nations, the Nordic Council, the Schengen Area, the Council of Europe, the World Trade Organization and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

More about Sweden

Basic information
  • Currency Swedish krona
  • Native name Sverige
  • Calling code +46
  • Internet domain .se
  • Mains voltage 230V/50Hz
  • Democracy index 9.26
Population, Area & Driving side
  • Population 10548336
  • Area 447425
  • Driving side right
History
  • Prehistory  A Vendel-era helmet, at the Swedish Museum of National Antiquities

    Sweden's prehistory begins in the Allerød oscillation, a warm period around 12,000 BC,[1] with Late Palaeolithic reindeer-hunting camps of the Bromme culture at the edge of the ice in what is now the country's southernmost province, Scania. This period was characterised by small clans of hunter-gatherers who relied on flint technology.[2]

    ...Read more
    Prehistory  A Vendel-era helmet, at the Swedish Museum of National Antiquities

    Sweden's prehistory begins in the Allerød oscillation, a warm period around 12,000 BC,[1] with Late Palaeolithic reindeer-hunting camps of the Bromme culture at the edge of the ice in what is now the country's southernmost province, Scania. This period was characterised by small clans of hunter-gatherers who relied on flint technology.[2]

    Sweden and its people were first described by Publius Cornelius Tacitus in his Germania (98 AD).[3] In Germania 44 and 45 he mentions the Swedes (Suiones) as a powerful tribe with ships that had a prow at each end (longships).[4] Which kings (*kuningaz) ruled these Suiones is unknown, but Norse mythology presents a long line of legendary and semi-legendary kings going back to the last centuries BC. The runic script was in use among the south Scandinavian elite by at least the second century AD, but all that has survived from the Roman Period is curt inscriptions demonstrating that the people of south Scandinavia spoke Proto-Norse at the time, a language ancestral to Swedish and other North Germanic languages.[5]

    In the sixth century, Jordanes names two tribes living in Scandza, both of which are now considered to be synonymous with the Swedes: the Suetidi and Suehans.[6] The Suehans were known to the Roman world as suppliers of black fox skins and, according to Jordanes, had very fine horses, similar to those of the Thyringi of Germania (alia vero gens ibi moratur Suehans, quae velud Thyringi equis utuntur eximiis).

    Vikings  Viking expeditions (blue lines)

    The Swedish Viking Age lasted roughly from the eighth century to the 11th century. It is believed that Swedish Vikings and Gutar mainly travelled east and south, going to Finland, Estonia, the Baltic countries, Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, the Black Sea and even as far as Baghdad. Their routes passed through the Dnieper south to Constantinople, on which they carried out numerous raids. The Byzantine Emperor Theophilos noticed their great skills in war, and invited them to serve as his personal bodyguard, known as the Varangian Guard. The Swedish Vikings, called Rus are believed to be the founders of Kievan Rus'.[7] The Arab traveller Ibn Fadlan described these Vikings saying:

    I have seen the Rus as they came on their merchant journeys and encamped by the Itil. I have never seen more perfect physical specimens, tall as date palms, blond and ruddy; they wear neither tunics nor caftans, but the men wear a garment which covers one side of the body and leaves a hand free. Each man has an axe, a sword, and a knife, and keeps each by him at all times. The swords are broad and grooved, of Frankish sort.[8]

     The Tjängvide image stone dating from 800 to 1099, example of Viking art

    The actions of these Swedish Vikings are commemorated on many runestones in Sweden, such as the Greece runestones and the Varangian runestones. There was also considerable participation in expeditions westwards, which are commemorated on stones such as the England runestones. The last major Swedish Viking expedition appears to have been the ill-fated expedition of Ingvar the Far-Travelled to Serkland, the region south-east of the Caspian Sea. Its members are commemorated on the Ingvar runestones, none of which mentions any survivor.

    Kingdom of Sweden

    The actual age of the kingdom of Sweden is unknown.[9] Establishing the age depends mostly on whether Sweden should be considered a nation when the Svear (Sweonas) ruled Svealand or if the emergence of the nation started with the Svear and the Götar (Geats) of Götaland being united under one ruler. In the first case, Svealand was first mentioned as having one single ruler in the year 98 by Tacitus, but it is almost impossible to know for how long it had been this way. However, historians usually start the line of Swedish monarchs from when Svealand and Götaland were ruled under the same king, namely Eric the Victorious (Geat) and his son Olof Skötkonung in the tenth century. These events are often described as the consolidation of Sweden, although substantial areas were conquered and incorporated later. It is not known how long they existed: the epic poem Beowulf describes semi-legendary Swedish-Geatish wars in the sixth century. Götaland in this sense mainly includes the provinces of Östergötland (East Gothia) and Västergötland (West Gothia). The island of Gotland was disputed by other than Swedes, at this time (Danish, Hanseatic, and Gotland-domestic). Småland was at that time of little interest to anyone due to the deep pine forests, and only the city of Kalmar with its castle was of importance. The south-west parts of the Scandinavian peninsula consisted of three Danish provinces (Scania, Blekinge and Halland). North of Halland, Denmark had a direct border to Norway and its province Bohuslän. But there were Swedish settlements along the southern coastline of Norrland.

    During the early stages of the Scandinavian Viking Age, Ystad in the Danish province Scania and Paviken on Gotland were flourishing centres of trade, but they were not parts of the early Swedish Kingdom. Remains of what is believed to have been a large market dating from 600 to 700 CE have been found in Ystad.[10] In Paviken, an important centre of trade in the Baltic region during the ninth and tenth century, remains have been found of a large Viking Age harbour with shipbuilding yards and handicraft industries. Between 800 and 1000, trade brought an abundance of silver to Gotland.[10]

     A rough map of the extent of Swedish rule, c. 1220

    Saint Ansgar is usually credited with introducing Christianity to Sweden in 829, but the new religion did not begin to fully replace paganism until the 12th century. The period between 1100 and 1400 was characterised by internal power struggles and competition among the Nordic kingdoms. In the years 1150–1293 according to the legend of Eric IX and the Eric Chronicles Swedish kings made a first, second and third crusade to pagan Finland and started conflicts with the Rus' who no longer had any connection with Sweden.[11] The Swedish colonisation of the coastal areas of Finland also started during the 12th and 13th century.[12][13] In the 14th century, the colonisation began to be more organised, and by the end of the century, several of the coastal areas of Finland were inhabited mostly by Swedes.[14]

    Except for the provinces of Scania, Blekinge, and Halland in the south-west of the Scandinavian peninsula, which were parts of the Kingdom of Denmark during this time, feudalism never developed in Sweden as it did in the rest of Europe.[15] As a result, the peasantry remained largely a class of free farmers throughout most of Swedish history. Slavery (also called thralldom) was not common in Sweden,[16] and what slavery there was tended to be driven out of existence by the spread of Christianity, by the difficulty of obtaining slaves from lands east of the Baltic Sea, and by the development of cities before the 16th century.[17] Indeed, both slavery and serfdom were abolished altogether by a decree of King Magnus IV in 1335. Sweden remained a poor and economically backward country in which barter was the primary means of exchange.[18]

    In the middle of the 14th century, Sweden was struck by the Black Death.[19] The population of Sweden and most of Europe was decimated. The population (at same territory) did not reach the numbers of the year 1348 again until the beginning of the 19th century. One third of the population died during 1349–1351. During this period, the cities began to acquire greater rights and were strongly influenced by German merchants of the Hanseatic League, active especially at Visby. In 1319, Sweden and Norway were united under King Magnus Eriksson, and in 1397 Queen Margaret I of Denmark affected the personal union of Sweden, Norway, and Denmark through the Kalmar Union. However, Margaret's successors, whose rule was also centred in Denmark, were unable to control the Swedish nobility.

     Gustav I liberated Sweden from Christian II of Denmark, ending the Kalmar Union. He established the House of Vasa which ruled Sweden and Poland until the 17th century.

    Many times the Swedish crown was inherited by child kings over the course of the kingdom's existence; consequently, real power was held for long periods by regents (notably those of the Sture family) chosen by the Swedish parliament. King Christian II of Denmark, who asserted his claim to Sweden by force of arms, ordered a massacre of Swedish nobles in Stockholm in 1520. This came to be known as the "Stockholm blood bath" and stirred the Swedish nobility to new resistance and, on 6 June (now Sweden's national holiday) in 1523, they made Gustav Vasa their king.[20] This is sometimes considered as the foundation of modern Sweden. Shortly afterwards the new king rejected Catholicism and led Sweden into the Protestant Reformation. The term riksdag was used for the first time in the 1540s, although the first meeting where representatives of different social groups were called to discuss and determine affairs affecting the country as a whole took place as early as 1435, in the town of Arboga.[21] During the Riksdag assemblies of 1527 and 1544, under King Gustav Vasa, representatives of all four estates of the realm (clergy, nobility, townsmen and peasants) were called on to participate for the first time.[21] The monarchy became hereditary in 1544.

    The Hanseatic League sought civil and commercial privileges from the princes and royalty of the countries and cities along the coasts of the Baltic Sea.[22] In exchange, they offered a certain amount of protection to the joining cities.[23] The privileges obtained by the Hansa included assurances that only Hansa citizens would be allowed to trade from the ports where they were located. They sought agreement to be free of all customs and taxes. With these concessions, Lübeck merchants flocked to Stockholm, where they soon came to dominate the city's economic life and made the port city of Stockholm into the leading commercial and industrial city of Sweden.[24] Under the Hanseatic trade, two-thirds of Stockholm's imports consisted of textiles, while the remaining third was salt. The main exports from Sweden were iron and copper.[24] However, the Swedes began to resent the monopoly trading position of the Hansa (mostly consisting of German citizens). Consequently, when Gustav Vasa or Gustav I broke the monopoly power of the Hanseatic League he was regarded as a hero by the Swedish people.[25] Furthermore, when Sweden did develop, freed itself from the Hanseatic League, and entered its golden era, the fact that the peasantry had traditionally been free meant that more of the economic benefits flowed back to them rather than going to a feudal landowning class.[26]

    The end of the 16th century was marked by a final phase of rivalry between the remaining Catholics and the new Protestant communities. In 1592, Gustav Vasa's Catholic grandson and king of Poland, Sigismund, ascended the Swedish throne.[27] He pursued to strengthen Rome's influence by initiating Counter-Reformation and created a dual monarchy, which temporarily became known as the Polish-Swedish Union. His despotic rule, strongly characterised by intolerance towards the Protestants, sparked a civil war that plunged Sweden into poverty.[28] In opposition, Sigismund's uncle and successor, Charles Vasa, summoned the Uppsala Synod in 1593 which officially confirmed the modern Church of Sweden as Lutheran. Following his deposition in 1599, Sigismund attempted to reclaim the throne at every expense and hostilities between Poland and Sweden continued for the next one hundred years.[29]

    Swedish Empire  Gustavus Adolphus at the Battle of Breitenfeld in 1631. The Swedish Empire between 1611 and 1815; its peak was between 1658 and 1660.

    Sweden rose to prominence on a continental scale during the reign of king Gustavus Adolphus, seizing territories from Russia and the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth in multiple conflicts.[30] During the Thirty Years' War, Sweden conquered approximately half of the Holy Roman states and defeated the Imperial army at the Battle of Breitenfeld in 1631.[31] Gustavus Adolphus planned to become the new Holy Roman Emperor, ruling over a united Scandinavia and the Holy Roman states, but he was killed at the Battle of Lützen in 1632. After the Battle of Nördlingen in 1634, Sweden's only significant military defeat of the war, pro-Swedish sentiment among the German states faded.[31] These German provinces broke away from Swedish power one by one, leaving Sweden with only a few northern German territories: Swedish Pomerania, Bremen-Verden and Wismar. From 1643 to 1645, during the last years of the war, Sweden and Denmark-Norway fought the Torstenson War. The result of that conflict and the conclusion of the Thirty Years' War helped establish postwar Sweden as a major force in Europe.[31]

    In the middle of the 17th century, Sweden was the third-largest country in Europe by land area. Sweden reached its largest territorial extent under the rule of Charles X after the treaty of Roskilde in 1658, following Charles X's crossing of the Danish Belts.[32][33] The foundation of Sweden's success during this period is credited to Gustav I's major changes to the Swedish economy in the 16th century, and his introduction of Protestantism.[34] In the 17th century, Sweden was engaged in many wars, for example with Poland–Lithuania, with both sides competing for territories of today's Baltic states, with Sweden suffering a notable defeat at the Battle of Kircholm.[35] One-third of the Finnish population died in the devastating Great Famine of 1695–1697 that struck the country.[36] Famine also hit Sweden, killing roughly 10% of Sweden's population.[37]

    The Swedes conducted a series of invasions into the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, known as the Deluge.[38] After more than half a century of almost constant warfare, the Swedish economy had deteriorated. It became the lifetime task of Charles X's son, Charles XI, to rebuild the economy and refit the army.[39] His legacy to his son, the coming ruler of Sweden, Charles XII, was one of the finest arsenals in the world, a large standing army and a great fleet.[40] Russia, the most serious threat to Sweden at this time, had a larger army but lagged far behind in both equipment and training.[41]

    After the Battle of Narva in 1700, one of the first battles of the Great Northern War, the Russian army was so severely devastated that Sweden had an open chance to invade Russia.[42] However, Charles XII did not pursue the Russian army, instead turning against Poland and defeating the Polish king, Augustus II the Strong, and his Saxon allies at the Battle of Kliszów in 1702.[43] This gave Russia time to rebuild and modernise its army.

     The Battle of Poltava in 1709. In the following years, Russia and her allies occupied all Swedish dominions on the Baltic coast and even Finland.

    After the success of invading Poland, Charles XII decided to make an attempt at invading Russia, but this ended in a decisive Russian victory at the Battle of Poltava in 1709.[44] After a long march exposed to Cossack raids, the Russian Tsar Peter the Great's scorched-earth techniques and the extremely cold winter of 1709, the Swedes stood weakened with a shattered morale and were enormously outnumbered against the Russian army at Poltava.[45] The defeat meant the beginning of the end for the Swedish Empire. In addition, the plague raging in East Central Europe devastated the Swedish dominions and reached Central Sweden in 1710.[46][47] Returning to Sweden in 1715, Charles XII launched two campaigns against Norway on 1716 and 1718, respectively. During the second attempt, he was shot to death during the siege of Fredriksten fortress.[48] The Swedes were not militarily defeated at Fredriksten, but the whole structure and organisation of the campaign fell apart with the king's death. Forced to cede large areas of land in the Treaty of Nystad in 1721, Sweden also lost its place as an empire and as the dominant state on the Baltic Sea.[49] With Sweden's lost influence, Russia emerged as an empire and became one of Europe's dominant nations. As the war finally ended in 1721, Sweden had lost an estimated 200,000 men, 150,000 of those from the area of present-day Sweden and 50,000 from the Finnish part of Sweden.[50] Executive power was historically shared between the King and an aristocratic Privy council until 1680, followed by the King's autocratic rule initiated by the commoner estates of the Riksdag. As a reaction to the failed Great Northern War, a parliamentary system was introduced in 1719, followed by three different flavours of constitutional monarchy in 1772, 1789 and 1809, the latter granting several civil liberties. Already during the first of those three periods, the 'Era of Liberty' (1719–72) the Swedish Rikstag had developed into a very active Parliament, and this tradition continued into the nineteenth century, laying the basis for the transition towards modern democracy at the end of that century.[51] In the 18th century, Sweden did not have enough resources to maintain its territories outside Scandinavia, and most of them were lost, culminating with the loss in 1809 of eastern Sweden to Russia, which became the highly autonomous Grand Principality of Finland in Imperial Russia.[52]

    In interest of re-establishing Swedish dominance in the Baltic Sea, Sweden allied itself against its traditional ally and benefactor, France, in the Napoleonic Wars. However, in 1810, a French Marshal, Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte, was chosen as heir presumptive to Charles XIII; in 1818, he established the House of Bernadotte, taking the regnal name of Charles XIV. Sweden's role in the Battle of Leipzig gave it the authority to force Denmark–Norway, an ally of France, to cede Norway to the King of Sweden on 14 January 1814 in exchange for the northern German provinces, at the Treaty of Kiel.[53] The Norwegian attempts to keep their status as a sovereign state were rejected by the Swedish king, Charles XIII. He launched a military campaign against Norway on 27 July 1814, ending in the Convention of Moss, which forced Norway into a personal union with Sweden under the Swedish crown, which lasted until 1905.[54] The 1814 campaign was the last time Sweden was at war.[55]

    Modern history  Starvation in northern Sweden depicted in an illustration of the Famine of 1867–1869. Swedish emigrants boarding a ship in Gothenburg in 1905.

    The Swedish East India Company began in 1731. The obvious choice of home port was Gothenburg at Sweden's west coast, the mouth of Göta älv river is very wide and has the county's largest and best harbour for high-seas journeys. The trade continued into the 19th century, and caused the little town to become Sweden's second city.[56] Between 1750 and 1850, the population in Sweden doubled. According to some scholars, mass emigration to America became the only way to prevent famine and rebellion; over 1% of the population emigrated annually during the 1880s.[57] It is thought that between 1850 and 1910 more than one million Swedes moved to the United States.[58] Nevertheless, Sweden remained poor, retaining a nearly entirely agricultural economy even as Western European countries began to industrialise.[57][59]

    Despite the slow rate of industrialisation into the 19th century, many important changes were taking place in the agrarian economy due to constant innovations and a rapid population growth.[60] These innovations included government-sponsored programmes of enclosure, aggressive exploitation of agricultural lands, and the introduction of new crops such as the potato.[60] The Swedish farming culture began to take on a critical role in Swedish politics, which has continued through modern times with modern Agrarian party (now called the Centre Party).[61] Between 1870 and 1914, Sweden began developing the industrialised economy that exists today.[62]

    Strong grassroots movements sprang up in Sweden during the latter half of the 19th century (trade unions, temperance groups, and independent religious groups), creating a strong foundation of democratic principles. These movements precipitated Sweden's migration into a modern parliamentary democracy, achieved by the time of World War I. As the Industrial Revolution progressed during the 20th century, people gradually moved into cities to work in factories and became involved in socialist unions. A communist revolution was avoided in 1917, following the re-introduction of parliamentarism, and the country was democratised.

    World War I and World War II

    Sweden was officially neutral during World War I. However, under pressure from the German Empire, they did take steps which were detrimental to the Allied powers – most notably, mining the Øresund channel, thus closing it to Allied shipping, and allowing the Germans to use Swedish facilities and the Swedish cipher to transmit secret messages to their overseas embassies.[63] Sweden also allowed volunteers to fight alongside the Germans for the White Guards against the Red Guards and Russians in the Finnish Civil War, and briefly occupied Åland in cooperation with the German Empire.

    As in the First World War, Sweden remained officially neutral during World War II, although its neutrality has been disputed.[64][65] Sweden was under German influence for much of the war, as ties to the rest of the world were cut off through blockades.[64] The Swedish government unofficially supported Finland in the Winter War and the Continuation War by allowing volunteers and materiel to be shipped to Finland. However, Sweden supported Norwegian resistance against Germany, and in 1943 helped rescue Danish Jews from deportation to Nazi concentration camps.

    During the last year of the war, Sweden began to play a role in humanitarian efforts, and many refugees, among them several thousand Jews from Nazi-occupied Europe, were rescued thanks to the Swedish rescue missions to internment camps and partly because Sweden served as a haven for refugees.[66] The Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg and his colleagues ensured the safety of tens of thousands of Hungarian Jews.[67] Nevertheless, both Swedes and others have argued that Sweden could have done more to oppose the Nazis' war efforts.[66]

    Post-war era  Tage Erlander (left), Prime Minister under the ruling Swedish Social Democratic Party from 1946 to 1969.

    Sweden was officially a neutral country and remained outside NATO and Warsaw Pact membership during the Cold War, but privately Sweden's leadership had strong ties with the United States and other western governments. Following the war, Sweden took advantage of an intact industrial base, social stability and its natural resources to expand its industry to supply the rebuilding of Europe.[68] Sweden received aid under the Marshall Plan and participated in the OECD. During most of the post-war era, the country was governed by the Swedish Social Democratic Party largely in co-operation with trade unions and industry. The government actively pursued an internationally competitive manufacturing sector of primarily large corporations.[69]

    Sweden was one of the founding states of the European Free Trade Area (EFTA). During the 1960s the EFTA countries were often referred to as the Outer Seven, as opposed to the Inner Six of the then-European Economic Community (EEC).[70]

    Like many industrialised countries, Sweden entered a period of economic decline and upheaval following the oil embargoes of 1973–74 and 1978–79.[71] In the 1980s several key Swedish industries were significantly restructured. Shipbuilding was discontinued, wood pulp was integrated into modernised paper production, the steel industry was concentrated and specialised, and mechanical engineering was robotised.[72] Swedish GDP per capita ranking declined during this time.[69]

    Recent history  Sweden joined the European Union in 1995, and signed the Lisbon Treaty in 2007.

    A bursting real estate bubble caused by inadequate controls on lending combined with an international recession and a policy switch from anti-unemployment policies to anti-inflationary policies resulted in a fiscal crisis in the early 1990s.[73] Sweden's GDP declined by around 5%. In 1992, a run on the currency caused the central bank to briefly increase interest rates to 500%.[74][75]

    The response of the government was to cut spending and institute a multitude of reforms to improve Sweden's competitiveness, among them reducing the welfare state and privatising public services and goods. A referendum passed with 52.3% in favour of joining the EU on 13 November 1994. Sweden joined the European Union on 1 January 1995. In a 2003 referendum the Swedish electorate voted against joining the Euro currency.

    On 28 September 1994, the MS Estonia sank as the ship was crossing the Baltic Sea, en route from Tallinn, Estonia, to Stockholm, Sweden. The disaster claimed the lives of 852 people (501 of them were Swedes[76]), being one of the worst maritime disasters of the 20th century.[77]

    Until recently Sweden remained non-aligned militarily, although it participated in some joint military exercises with NATO and some other countries, in addition to extensive cooperation with other European countries in the area of defence technology and defence industry. However, in 2022, in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Sweden moved to formally join the NATO alliance.[78] On 10 July 2023, after opposing the Swedish NATO application for 14 months, president Erdogan agreed to send the Swedish NATO application to the Turkish parliament for ratification.[79]

    Swedish-exported weaponry was also used by Coalition militaries in Iraq.[80] Sweden has a long history of participating in international military operations, including in Afghanistan, where Swedish troops were under NATO command, and in EU-sponsored peacekeeping operations in Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Cyprus. Sweden also participated in enforcing a UN mandated no-fly zone over Libya during the Arab Spring. Sweden held the chair of the European Union from 1 July to 31 December 2009.

     Second day of the Stockholm Husby riots. The picture shows three cars on fire in the Stockholm suburb of Husby, 20 May 2013.

    In recent decades Sweden has become a more culturally diverse nation due to significant immigration; in 2013, it was estimated that 15% of the population was foreign-born, and an additional 5% of the population were born to two immigrant parents. The influx of immigrants has brought new social challenges. Violent incidents have periodically occurred[81][82] including the 2013 Stockholm riots.[83] In response to these violent events, the anti-immigration opposition party, the Sweden Democrats, promoted their anti-immigration policies, while the left-wing opposition blamed growing inequality caused by the centre-right government's socioeconomic policies.[84]

    Sweden was heavily affected by the 2015 European migrant crisis, eventually forcing the government to tighten regulations of entry to the country.[85] Some of the asylum restrictions were relaxed again later.[86]

    On 30 November 2021, Magdalena Andersson became Sweden's first female prime minister.[87][88] The September 2022 general election ended in a narrow win to a bloc of right-wing parties.[89] On 18 October 2022, Ulf Kristersson of the Moderate Party became the new Prime Minister.[90]

    ^ Eric Delson; Ian Tattersall; John Van Couvering (2004). Encyclopedia of Human Evolution and Prehistory (Second ed.). Routledge. p. 569. ISBN 978-1-135-58228-9. Archived from the original on 5 October 2023. Retrieved 16 December 2020. ^ Theron Douglas Price (2015). Ancient Scandinavia: An Archaeological History from the First Humans to the Vikings. Oxford University Press. p. 43. ISBN 978-0-19-023197-2. Archived from the original on 5 October 2023. Retrieved 16 December 2020. ^ Elisabeth Elgán; Irene Scobbie (2015). Historical Dictionary of Sweden. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. p. 5. ISBN 978-1-4422-5071-0. Archived from the original on 5 October 2023. Retrieved 16 December 2020. ^ Mitzi M. Brunsdale (2016). Encyclopedia of Nordic Crime Fiction: Works and Authors of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden Since 1967. McFarland. p. 368. ISBN 978-0-7864-7536-0. Archived from the original on 5 October 2023. Retrieved 16 December 2020. ^ Christopher McIntosh (2019). Beyond the North Wind: The Fall and Rise of the Mystic North. Red Wheel Weiser. pp. 71–72. ISBN 978-1-63341-090-9. Archived from the original on 5 October 2023. Retrieved 16 December 2020. ^ Nora Berend (2007). Christianization and the Rise of Christian Monarchy: Scandinavia, Central Europe and Rus' c.900–1200. Cambridge University Press. p. 174. ISBN 978-1-139-46836-7. Archived from the original on 5 October 2023. Retrieved 16 December 2020. ^ Janet L. B. Martin; John D. Martin (1995). Medieval Russia, 980–1584. Cambridge University Press. p. 2. ISBN 978-0-521-36832-2. Archived from the original on 5 October 2023. Retrieved 16 December 2020. ^ Quoted from: Gwyn Jones. A History of the Vikings. Oxford University Press, 2001. ISBN 978-0-19-280134-0. Page 164. ^ Hadenius, Stig; Nilsson, Torbjörn; Åselius, Gunnar (1996). Sveriges historia: vad varje svensk bör veta [History of Sweden: what every Swede should know] (in Swedish). Bonnier Alba. ISBN 978-91-34-51784-4. ^ a b Sawyer, Birgit; Sawyer, Peter (1993). Medieval Scandinavia: from Conversion to Reformation, Circa 800–1500. University of Minnesota Press. pp. 150–153. ISBN 978-0-8166-1739-5. ^ Bagge, Sverre (2005). "The Scandinavian Kingdoms". In McKitterick, Rosamond (ed.). The New Cambridge Medieval History. Cambridge University Press. p. 724. ISBN 978-0-521-36289-4. Swedish expansion in Finland led to conflicts with Rus', which were temporarily brought to an end by a peace treaty in 1323, dividing the Karelian peninsula and the northern areas between the two countries. ^ Ivars, Ann-Marie; Hulden, Lena, eds. (2002). När kom svenskarna till Finland?. Studier utg. av Svenska Litteratursällskapet i Finland 646. ^ Meinander, Carl Fredrik (1983). "Om svenskarnes inflyttningar till Finland". Historisk Tidskrift för Finland (3). ^ Tarkiainen, Kari (2008). Sveriges Österland: Från forntiden till Gustav Vasa. Finlands svenska historia 1. Skrifter utgivna av Svenska litteratursällskapet i Finland 702:1. Svenska litteratursällskapet i Finland; Stockholm: Atlantis. ^ Scott, Franklin D. (1977). Sweden: The Nation's History. University of Minnesota Press. p. 58. ISBN 978-0-8166-0804-1. ^ Westrin, Theodor, ed. (1920). Nordisk familjebok: konversationslexikon och realencyklopedi. Bd 30 (in Swedish) (New, rev. and richly ill. ed.). Nordisk familjeboks förl. pp. 159–160. Archived from the original on 20 June 2017. Retrieved 17 September 2014. ^ Scott, p. 55. ^ Scott, pp. 55–56. ^ Scott, pp. 56–57. ^ Scott, p. 121. ^ a b "The history of the Riksdag". Riksdag. Archived from the original on 20 May 2014. Retrieved 9 June 2013. ^ Hoyt, Robert S.; Chodorow, Stanley (1976). Europe in the Middle Ages. Harcourt, Brace & Jovanovich, Inc. p. 628. ISBN 978-0-15-524712-3. ^ Wolfe, John B. (1962). The Emergence of European Civilization. Harper & Row Pub. pp. 50–51. ^ a b Scott, p. 52. ^ Scott, p. 132. ^ Scott, pp. 156–157. ^ Worthington, David (2010). British and Irish Emigrants and Exiles in Europe, 1603–1688. BRILL. ISBN 978-90-474-4458-9. Archived from the original on 5 October 2023. Retrieved 29 October 2020. ^ "the cambridge modern history". CUP Archive. 2019. Archived from the original on 5 October 2023. Retrieved 29 October 2020. ^ Davies, Norman (2005). God's Playground A History of Poland: Volume 1: The Origins to 1795. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-925339-5. Archived from the original on 5 October 2023. Retrieved 29 October 2020. ^ Frost 2000, p. 102. ^ a b c Frost 2000, p. 103. ^ "A Political and Social History of Modern Europe V.1./Hayes..." Hayes, Carlton J. H. (1882–1964), Title: A Political and Social History of Modern Europe V.1., 2002-12-08, Project Gutenberg, webpage: Infomot-7hsr110. Archived 17 November 2007 at the Wayback Machine ^ However, Sweden's largest territorial extent lasted from 1319 to 1343 with Magnus Eriksson ruling all of the traditional lands of Sweden and Norway. ^ "Gustav I Vasa – Britannica Concise" (biography), Britannica Concise, 2007, webpage: EBConcise-Gustav-I-Vasa. ^ "Battle of Kircholm 1605". Kismeta.com. Archived from the original on 14 June 2009. Retrieved 25 August 2010. ^ "Finland and the Swedish Empire". Library of Congress Country Studies. Archived from the original on 26 December 2016. Retrieved 17 September 2014. ^ Ewan, Elizabeth; Nugent, Janay (2008). Finding the family in medieval and early modern Scotland. Ashgate Publishing. p. 153. ISBN 978-0-7546-6049-1. Archived from the original on 5 September 2015. ^ Frost 2000, p. 156. ^ Frost 2000, p. 216. ^ Frost 2000, p. 222. ^ Frost 2000, p. 232. ^ Frost 2000, p. 230. ^ Frost 2000, p. 272. ^ Frost 2000, p. 290. ^ Frost 2000, p. 286. ^ Frandsen, Karl-Erik (2009). The Last Plague in the Baltic Region. 1709–1713. Museum Tusculanum Press. p. 80. ISBN 978-87-635-0770-7. ^ Engström, Nils Göran (1994). "Pesten i Finland 1710" [The plague in Finland in 1710]. Hippokrates. Suomen Lääketieteen Historian Seuran Vuosikirja. 11: 38–46. PMID 11640321. ^ Frost 2000, p. 295. ^ Frost 2000, p. 296. ^ Ericson, Lars (2004). Svenska knektar (in Swedish). Historiska media. p. 92. ^ Baten, Jörg (2016). A History of the Global Economy. From 1500 to the Present. Cambridge University Press. p. 22. ISBN 978-1-107-50718-0. ^ Jutikkala, Eino; Pirinen, Kauko (2003). A History of Finland. p. 287. ISBN 978-951-0-27911-3. ^ Schäfer, Anton (2002). Zeittafel der Rechtsgeschichte. Von den Anfängen über Rom bis 1919. Mit Schwerpunkt Österreich und zeitgenössischen Bezügen (in German) (3 ed.). Edition Europa Verlag. p. 137. ISBN 978-3-9500616-8-0. ^ Ottosen, Morten Nordhagen (25 November 2015). "Mossekonvensjonen". Norges historie (in Norwegian). University of Oslo. Archived from the original on 3 July 2019. Retrieved 9 December 2019. ^ "Sweden and Norway celebrate peace treaty". The Local Europe AB. 14 August 2014. Archived from the original on 3 July 2019. Retrieved 9 December 2019. ^ Tore Frängsmyr, "Ostindiska Kompaniet", Publisher- "Bokförlaget Bra Böcker", Höganäs, 1976. (No ISBN to be found), backside overview and ^ a b Einhorn, Eric; Logue, John (1989). Modern Welfare States: Politics and Policies in Social Democratic Scandinavia. Praeger Publishers. p. 9. ISBN 978-0-275-93188-9. Though Denmark, where industrialization had begun in the 1850s, was reasonably prosperous by the end of the nineteenth century, both Sweden and Norway were terribly poor. Only the safety valve of mass emigration to America prevented famine and rebellion. At the peak of emigration in the 1880s, over 1% of the total population of both countries emigrated annually. ^ Einhorn, Eric and John Logue (1989), p. 8. ^ Koblik, Steven (1975). Sweden's Development From Poverty to Affluence, 1750–1970. University of Minnesota Press. pp. 8–9. ISBN 978-0-8166-0766-2. In economic and social terms the eighteenth century was more a transitional than a revolutionary period. Sweden was, in light of contemporary Western European standards, a relatively poor but stable country. ...It has been estimated that 75–80% of the population was involved in agricultural pursuits during the late eighteenth century. One hundred years later, the corresponding figure was still 72%. ^ a b Koblik, pp. 9–10. ^ Koblik, p. 11: "The agrarian revolution in Sweden is of fundamental importance for Sweden's modern development. Throughout Swedish history the countryside has taken an unusually important role in comparison with other European states." ^ Koblik, p. 90. "It is usually suggested that between 1870 and 1914 Sweden emerged from its primarily agrarian economic system into a modern industrial economy." ^ Siney, Marion C. (1975). "Swedish neutrality and economic warfare in World War I". Conspectus of History. 1 (2). Archived from the original on 5 October 2023. Retrieved 12 May 2014. ^ a b Koblik, pp. 303–313. ^ Nordstrom, p. 315: "Sweden's government attempted to maintain at least a semblance of neutrality while it bent to the demands of the prevailing side in the struggle. Although effective in preserving the country's sovereignty, this approach generated criticism at home from many who believed the threat to Sweden was less serious than the government claimed, problems with the warring powers, ill feelings among its neighbours, and frequent criticism in the postwar period." ^ a b Nordstrom, pp. 313–319. ^ "Raoul Wallenberg". Jewishvirtuallibrary.org. Archived from the original on 5 December 2014. Retrieved 28 August 2014. ^ Nordstrom, pp. 335–339. ^ a b Globalization and Taxation: Challenges to the Swedish Welfare State. By Sven Steinmo. ^ "Finland: Now, the Seven and a Half". Time. 7 April 1961. Archived from the original on 4 November 2011. Retrieved 18 July 2009. ^ Nordstrom, p. 344: "During the last 25 years of the century a host of problems plagued the economies of Norden and the West. Although many were present before, the 1973 and 1980 global oil crises acted as catalysts in bringing them to the fore." ^ Krantz, Olle; Schön, Lennart (2007). Swedish Historical National Accounts, 1800–2000. Almqvist and Wiksell International.[page needed] ^ Englund, P. 1990. "Financial deregulation in Sweden." European Economic Review 34 (2–3): 385–393. Korpi TBD. Meidner, R. 1997. "The Swedish model in an era of mass unemployment." Economic and Industrial Democracy 18 (1): 87–97. Olsen, Gregg M. 1999. "Half empty or half full? The Swedish welfare state in transition." Canadian Review of Sociology & Anthropology, 36 (2): 241–268. ^ Swisher, Kara (18 September 1992). "Sweden's 'Crazy' 500% Interest Rate; Fails to Faze Most Citizens, Businesses; Hike Seen as Short-Term Move to Protect Krona From Devaluation". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on 15 February 2011. Retrieved 3 August 2010 – via Highbeam.com. ^ Jonung, Lars; Kiander, Jaakko; Vartia, Pentti (2009). The Great Financial Crisis in Finland and Sweden. Edward Elgar Publishing. ISBN 978-1-84844-305-1. Archived from the original on 5 September 2015. ^ "Sweden pays tribute". thelocal.se. Archived from the original on 5 October 2023. Retrieved 4 September 2023. ^ Henley, Jon; correspondent, Jon Henley Europe (23 January 2023). "Estonia ferry disaster inquiry backs finding bow door was to blame". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 5 October 2023. Retrieved 4 September 2023. ^ Erlanger, Steven; Shear, Michael D. (29 June 2022). "NATO formally invites Finland and Sweden to join the alliance". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 30 June 2022. Retrieved 30 June 2022. ^ "Turkey's Erdogan to back Sweden joining Nato". Archived from the original on 10 July 2023. Retrieved 10 July 2023. ^ "New Swedish weapon in Iraq". The Local. 7 February 2006. Archived from the original on 29 April 2013. Retrieved 10 June 2013. ^ "Rioting breaks out in Malmö suburb". The Local. Archived from the original on 26 July 2013. Retrieved 30 June 2013. ^ "Fires and rioting after Malmö suburb unrest". The Local. Archived from the original on 5 February 2013. Retrieved 30 June 2013. ^ "Sweden Riots Put Faces to Statistics as Stockholm Burns". Bloomberg News. Archived from the original on 8 July 2013. Retrieved 30 June 2013. ^ Higgins, Andrew (26 May 2013). "In Sweden, Riots Put an Identity in Question". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 31 May 2013. Retrieved 1 June 2013. ^ Bilefsky, Dan (5 January 2016). "Sweden and Denmark add border controls to stem flows of migrants". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 7 January 2016. Retrieved 9 January 2016. ^ "Immigration: Sweden rolls back strict rules on family reunification". 19 June 2019. Archived from the original on 17 July 2019. Retrieved 7 August 2019. ^ Johnson, Simon; Pollard, Niklas (29 November 2021). "Sweden's first female premier returns days after quitting". Reuters. Archived from the original on 14 December 2021. Retrieved 1 December 2021. ^ "Magdalena Andersson: Sweden's first female PM returns after resignation". BBC News. 29 November 2021. Archived from the original on 29 November 2021. Retrieved 1 December 2021. ^ "Magdalena Andersson: Swedish PM resigns as right-wing parties win vote". BBC News. 15 September 2022. Archived from the original on 14 September 2022. Retrieved 21 October 2022. ^ Sweden, Radio (18 October 2022). "Ulf Kristersson names ministers in his three-party government". Sveriges Radio. Archived from the original on 18 October 2022. Retrieved 18 October 2022.
    Read less
Stay safe
  •  
    Stay safe
     
     
    Swedish police car.
     
     
    Swedish security officer.

    Sweden is generally a safe place to travel. Mind that it is likely that your home country is less safe than Sweden, so heed whatever warnings you would do in your own country and you will have no worries. A notable risk factor is drunk brawls at weekend nights. While gang crime has become an issue in some Swedish cities, visitors are unlikely to be affected. There have been some incidents in Malmö in which Jewish men wearing kippot have been verbally abused.

    Although there is a significant police presence in the city centres, especially on weekend nights, the countryside is quite weakly policed; especially Norrland, where the nearest patrol car – and the nearest ambulance – might be a hundred kilometres away.

    ...Read more
     
    Stay safe
     
     
    Swedish police car.
     
     
    Swedish security officer.

    Sweden is generally a safe place to travel. Mind that it is likely that your home country is less safe than Sweden, so heed whatever warnings you would do in your own country and you will have no worries. A notable risk factor is drunk brawls at weekend nights. While gang crime has become an issue in some Swedish cities, visitors are unlikely to be affected. There have been some incidents in Malmö in which Jewish men wearing kippot have been verbally abused.

    Although there is a significant police presence in the city centres, especially on weekend nights, the countryside is quite weakly policed; especially Norrland, where the nearest patrol car – and the nearest ambulance – might be a hundred kilometres away.

    Knife carrying in public areas is criminalised in Sweden (except blunt or very small knives) unless needed for work, outdoor life, or other activities. Packing down a knife with camping equipment is legitimate.

    Pickpockets usually work in tourist-frequented areas, such as airports, rail stations, public transportation, shopping areas and festivals. Most Swedes carry their wallets in their pockets or purses and feel quite safe while doing it. Still, almost all stores and restaurants accept most major credit cards, so there is no need to carry a lot of cash around. If you have a bike, do lock it or you may lose it. While organized crime exists in some Swedish neighbourhoods, it causes no trouble to lawful visitors.

    Authorized security officers carry a grey uniform labelled Ordningsvakt, and have the authority to use force. They patrol nightclubs, shopping malls, festivals and city centres. Security staff without special authority have the badge väktare.

    While Swedish police are helpful to well-behaving people, detention laws are rather harsh, and do not allow bailout. Police can detain overly intoxicated people overnight if they endanger others or themselves, and relocate people who behave disorderly, even without suspicion of crime. A suspect of crime can be jailed until trial, if the court sees a risk of flight. Prostitution is illegal in Sweden, and Sweden was the first country to make it criminal offence to engage a prostitute, but not illegal to be a prostitute.

    Be sure to watch for cars in the road junctions. There is a law in Sweden called "The Zebra law" which means that cars must stop at zebra crossings. Many Swedes believe that all the drivers do that. By watching for cars you may save not only your life but also a friend's, since reported injuries have increased because of the law. If you do drive then follow the law, police cars may not be seen everywhere but you never know when they appear.

    In case of emergency

    112 is the emergency phone number to dial in case of fire, medical or criminal emergency. It does not require an area code, regardless of what kind of phone you're using. The number works on any mobile phone, with or without a SIM card, even if it's keylocked (without SIM, you will be asked to press "5" before the call will be answered).

    Swedish police are stretched thin across the country. Officers are rarely on patrol, and might be too busy to head out for minor crimes. To report a theft or getting in contact with the police in general, there is a national non-emergency phone number 114 14 that will bring you in contact with an operator at a police station (usually nearby, but not always).

    Predators

    Brown bear (brunbjörn), wolf (varg), lynx (lo) and wolverine (järv) roam the Swedish wilderness, though they are unusual to sight. Contrary to popular belief abroad, there are no wild polar bears in Sweden. Bears are most likely to attack if they are injured, provoked by a dog, going to hibernate or protecting their cubs. Bears in Sweden have killed no more than a handful of people since 1900. Though wild wolves might attack pets and livestock, they avoid people.

    Animal collisions

    Animal collisions are a serious risk factor on the road, especially at dusk. Elk (älg), deer (hjort) and wild boar (vildsvin) are common, the latter only in southern Sweden. Reindeer (ren) is common in Lappland. Many national roads (riksväg) and most European routes (europaväg) have long sections with wildlife fences (viltstängsel) to keep large animals away. A traffic sign usually warns when the wildlife fence ends with the text: Viltstängsel upphör. In mountanious Lappland it is common that heards of reindeers takes up the road, and it is not uncommon that a rock ptarmigan (fjällripa) suddenly decides to cross the road.

    Read less

Phrasebook

Hello
Hallå
World
Värld
Hello world
Hej världen
Thank you
Tack
Goodbye
Adjö
Yes
Ja
No
Nej
How are you?
Hur mår du?
Fine, thank you
Bra tack
How much is it?
vad kostar det?
Zero
Noll
One
Ett

Where can you sleep near Sweden ?

Booking.com
479.991 visits in total, 9.173 Points of interest, 404 Destinations, 203 visits today.