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Sweden

Quick facts about Sweden

World-class education

Sweden is ranked as one of the top 5 countries in the world when it comes to providing higher education. Swedes also have a very high proficiency in English as a second language.

Innovation

Ranked as the second most innovative nation in the world, Sweden also has a large number of global companies per capita. Globally recognised trademarks from Sweden include IKEA, Ericsson, Volvo, Tetra Pak, ABB, H&M, Atlas Copco, Astra Zeneca, SKF, Vattenfall and Spotify, to name a few.

Innovation rankings – Global Innovation Index website

Prestige and creativity 

Home of the Nobel Prize, the world's most prestigious academic distinction, Sweden enjoys great international respect for innovative and creative thinking and for encouraging close cooperation between academia and industry.

The Nobel Prize – official Nobel Prize website

Focus on sustainability

Sweden is a modern, eco-conscious country ranked as the second most sustainable country in the world by Robecosam. For most Swedes, sustainability is a way of life, for instance 99% of all municipal waste is recycled and Swedish businesses have a long history of active sustainable business practices.

Sustainability rankings – Robecosam website

An equal, multicultural society

Equality and transparency along with a strong social safety net are key factors in Swedish society. Democratic principles shape not only the way Sweden is governed, but all levels of society – from preschool to the workplace.

Sweden is an open multicultural society with over 200 nationalities represented in the country. Around 20 percent of the population has roots in other countries.

The Swedes have worked hard to build a society that promotes equality between the sexes, tolerance and inclusiveness, and it is therefore no surprise that Sweden is among the top countries in the international ranking lists for equality.

Full religious freedom is legally guaranteed in Sweden, which gives every individual the right to belong to the church or the religion of his or her choice. In international terms, Sweden stands out as one of the most secularised countries in the world.

More facts on the official website of Sweden – sweden.se

Geography

Sweden is located in the Scandinavia region of Northern Europe. It borders Norway to the north-west, Finland to the north-east and Denmark to the south, via the connecting Öresund bridge.

By size, Sweden is one of Europe’s largest countries, comparable to Spain or France. In terms of population it is a small country, however, with circa 10.5 million inhabitants. Southern Sweden is much more densely populated than the northern part of the country.

Key facts

  • Area: 528 447 square kilometres, the fifth largest country in Europe
  • Capital: Stockholm
  • Population: nearly 10.5 million
  • Language: Swedish (main language) and five official minority languages: Sami, Finnish, Meänkieli (Tornedalen Finnish), Yiddish and Romani Chib. English is widely spoken.
  • Form of government: constitutional monarchy, parliamentary democracy  
  • Life expectancy: men 81.2 years; women 84.8 years
  • Time zone: GMT+1