This is Sweden

Sweden is the third largest country in the European Union.
It has a landmass approximately the size of California and a population of 10.5 million—slightly higher than metropolitan Chicago. Sweden is a constitutional monarchy with a democratic parliamentary system of government and has the world’s oldest freedom of the press act. Sweden consistently ranks at the top of global indices measuring quality of life, education, health, democracy, equality, innovation and research, environmental sustainability, and creativity. Sweden’s free-market economic model is coupled with strong redistributive elements, including government-provided social-safety-net programs.
Photo of bridge in SwedenPhoto of bridge in Sweden
Photo: Per Pixel Petersson/
Photo: Per Pixel Petersson/


  • Almost 90% of the population lives in southern Sweden, where the three largest cities are located: Stockholm (the capital), Gothenburg, and Malmö.
  • Swedish is the official language, but almost all Swedes also speak English fluently. Sweden recognizes five minority languages: Finnish, Meänkieli, Romani, Sami, and Yiddish.
  • The Swedish right of public access (allemansrätten) gives everyone the right to roam freely in nature, no matter who owns the land. The basic principle is “don’t disturb, don’t destroy.” National parks and nature reserves cover a tenth of the country’s land area.
  • In most Swedish families, both parents work. Women and men are entitled to a total of 480 days of paid parental leave per child to be shared between the parents.
  • While few countries consume more energy per capita than Sweden, Swedish carbon emissions are low compared to other countries. More than half of the energy used in Sweden comes from renewable energy sources.
  • ​​​​​​​Sweden is a cultural giant and is home to several internationally acclaimed artists, designers, and authors.
  • Economy: Sweden is a knowledge-based economy and is well integrated into global value chains.
  • Gross domestic product (GDP) per capita (PPP adjusted): 56 632 USD (2019).
  • Labor force participation rate: 73%. Around 70% of those who work are employed in the private sector.
  • Trade: Exports account for almost half of Sweden’s GDP. The most important export goods are machinery and transport equipment, pharmaceuticals, and electronics and telecommunication. Important export services include business, telecommunications, computer, and information services.