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Fact File:

Capital-

Stockholm

Official languages-

None (Swedish de facto)

Area-

Total 449,964 km2

Population-

9,234,2094 (2009est)

Currency-

Swedish Krona

Country Profile: Sweden

TJC Global Translation & Interpreting Services since 1985

 Sweden, officially the Kingdom of Sweden, is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden has land borders with Norway to the west and Finland to the northeast, and it is connected to Denmark by the Öresund Bridge in the south.  Sweden is the third largest country in the European Union in terms of area, and it has a total population of over 9.2 million. Sweden has a low population density of 20 people per km² (52 per square mile), but is much higher in the southern half of the country. About 85% of the population live in urban areas.  Sweden is a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system of government and a highly developed economy. It ranks first in the world in The Economist's Democracy Index and 7th in the United Nation's Human Development Index. Sweden has been a member of the European Union since 1 January 1995.

Climate Change

 Most of Sweden has a temperate climate, despite its northern latitude, with four distinct seasons and mild temperatures throughout the year. The country can be divided into three types of climate; the southernmost part has an oceanic climate, the central part has a humid continental climate and the northernmost part has a subarctic climate.  Sweden has a very diverse climate, in late June there can be up to 18 hours of daylight, where as in December less than 6.  The global climate changes are also making this weather more extreme, in some cases for periods in the north, during the winter the sun may not even rise at all.  Sweden realises how serious these problems are and has taken the initiative towards research and studies to combat these global changes.

Justice and Law

 The Supreme Court of Sweden is the third and final instance in all civil and criminal cases in Sweden. Before a case can be decided by the Supreme Court, leave to appeal must be obtained, and with few exceptions, leave to appeal can be granted only when the case is of interest as a precedent. The Supreme Court consists of 16 Councillors of Justice or justitieråd which are appointed by the government, but the court as an institution is independent of the Riksdag, and the government is not able to interfere with the decisions of the court.

Law enforcement in Sweden is carried out by several government entities. The Swedish Police Service is a Government agency concerned with police matters. The National Task Force is a national SWAT unit within the National Criminal Investigation Department. Swedish Security Service's responsibilities are counter-espionage, anti-terrorist activities, protection of the constitution and protection of sensitive objects and people.

Economy

Sweden is an export-oriented market economy featuring a modern distribution system, excellent internal and external communications, and a skilled labour force. Timber, hydropower, and iron ore constitute the resource base of an economy heavily oriented toward foreign trade. Sweden's engineering sector accounts for 50% of output and exports. Telecommunications, the automotive industry and the pharmaceutical industries are also of great importance. Agriculture accounts for 2 percent of GDP and employment.  The 20 largest companies registered in Sweden are Volvo, Ericsson, Vattenfall, Skanska, Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications AB, Svenska Cellulosa Aktiebolaget, Electrolux, Volvo Personvagnar, TeliaSonera, Sandvik, Scania, ICA, Hennes & Mauritz, Nordea, Preem, Atlas Copco, Securitas, Nordstjernan, and SKF.  Sweden's industry is overwhelmingly in private control; unlike some other industrialized Western countries, such as Austria and Italy, publicly owned enterprises were always of minor importance.

Energy Infrastructure

Sweden's energy market is largely privatized. The Nordic energy market is one of the first liberalized energy markets in Europe and it's traded in Nord Pool. In 2006, out of a total electricity production of 139 TWh, electricity from hydropower accounted for 61 TWh (44%), and nuclear power delivered 65 TWh (47%). At the same time, the use of biofuels, peat etc. produced 13 TWh (9%) of electricity, while wind power produced 1 TWh (1%). Sweden was a net importer of electricity by a margin of 6 TWh.  Biomass is mainly used to produce heat for district heating and central heating and industry processes.On the other hand, Sweden has proposed ban gasoline fossil fuel-driven vehicles by 2025.

Public Reform Policy

Sweden has always provided solid support for free trade (except agriculture), free immigration, and strong property rights. After World War II a succession of governments increased the welfare state and the tax burden, and Sweden's GDP per capita ranking fell from the 4th to 14th place in a few decades.  Sweden started to move away from this model in the 1980s, and according to the OECD, Sweden has recently been relatively fast in liberalization compared to countries such as France. Deregulation-induced competition helped Sweden to halt the economic decline and restore strong growth rates in the 2000s.  The current Swedish government is continuing the trend to pursue moderate reforms, while growth has been higher than in many other EU-15 countries.

Language

The primary language of Sweden is Swedish, a North Germanic language, related and very similar to Danish and Norwegian, but differing in pronunciation and orthography. Norwegians have little difficulty understanding Swedish, and Danes can also understand it, with slightly more difficulty than the Norwegians.  Although Swedish is the dominant language, it is not an official language. Sweden Finns are Sweden's largest linguistic minority, comprising about 3 percent of Sweden's population and Finnish is recognised as a minority language. Four other minority languages are also recognised (Meänkieli, Sami, Romani and Yiddish). The issue of whether Swedish should be declared the official language has been raised and the parliament voted on the matter in 2005 but the proposal narrowly failed.

Future Outlook

Sweden will continue to grow because of the strength of its telecommunications industry as well as the strength of its renewable energy market industry.  They will continue to be the number one provider for cellular communications and look to expand their economy even further to be a dominant power in the European market.

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Some of the 180 languages for which we provide interpreters:
 
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For other languages, please visit our Multiple Language Services Translation page.

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