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Sweden

Watch the film clip 'This is Sweden' on YouTube

Quick facts about Sweden

World-class education

Sweden is ranked as the fifth best country in the world when it comes to providing higher education and the Swedes have the second highest proficiency in English as a second language in the world.

Read more on the Universitas 21 website about the ranking of higher education systems

Read more on the Education First website about the English proficiency levels

Innovation

Ranked as the 2nd most innovative nation in the world, Sweden also has the largest 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, Absolut Vodka and Saab to name a few.   

Read more about the The Global Innovation Index

Presitge 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. Sweden is ranked among the leading creative countries in the world.

Read more about the Nobel Prize on the official Nobel Prize website

Visit World Economic Forum's website for information about the world's most creative countries

Sustainability focus

Sweden is a modern, eco-conscious country with a great global reputation in sustainability, being named top in the country sustainability rankings. For most Swedes, sustainability is a way of life, for instance 99% of all rubbish is recycled and Swedish businesses have a long history of active sustainable business practices.  

Visit the Robecosam website to view the country sustainability ranking

Equal and multicultural

Equality and transparency are key factors in Swedish society along with a strong social safety net. Sweden spends more of its gross domestic product (GDP) on social services than any other country in the world, according to recent OECD statistics. Democratic principles shape not only the way Sweden is governed, but all levels of society — from preschool to the workplace.

As one of the highest ranked nations for integration in a recent EU study, Sweden is an open multicultural society with roughly 200 nationalities represented in the country. Almost 20 per cent 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 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 quick facts on the official site of Sweden

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. But in terms of population it is small and has only 10 million inhabitants. Nearly 90% of the population lives in the southern part of the country.

Key facts

  • Area: 450 000 km² (174 000 sq miles), the third largest country in Western Europe
  • Capital: Stockholm
  • Population: 10 million
  • Language: Swedish (English is widely spoken)
  • Form of government: Constitutional monarchy, parliamentary democracy  
  • Life expectancy: Men 79 years, women 83 years
  • Time zone: GMT+1
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