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Sweden: nature and Scandinavian efficiency

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Sweden (Konungariket Sverige) is the largest country of Scandinavia and extends from south to north for about 1,500 km between 55 degrees north latitude in the southern part of Scania/Skåne and 69 degrees latitude north of Swedish Lapland.

The country is bordered to the west by Norway, from which it is separated by the Scandinavian Mountains, while to the north-east the Torne River and its tributary Muonio separate it from Finland. Sweden is governed by a parliamentary monarchy, which is a member of the European Union.


It is located along the eastern part of the Scandinavian Peninsula. Most of its coastline faces the Baltic Sea and the Gulf of Bothnia, but in the south-west the country is washed by the waters of the Kattegat, which is an extension of the North Sea.

Some large islands in the southern Baltic Sea belong to Sweden, in particular the island of Gotland with 2,994 km², the largest of Sweden, and the long and narrow island of Öland with 1,342 km².

Along the Baltic coast of the country, which often has deep inlets, lies the largest city of the country being the Swedish capital Stockholm. The most densely inhabited area of this vast and sparsely populated country is the southern part, where important cities such as Gothenburg and Malmö, all located along the west coast, looking to the North Sea, are to be found.

Almost 80% of Sweden is covered with forest. The southern part of Sweden is characterized by plains and hilly areas. There are large lakes, the largest being Lake Vänern with 5,650 km², located north of Gothenburg. The lakes are a geographical feature throughout the country dating back to the glacial period.


The higher areas of Sweden are located along the north-western border with Norway. Here are the Scandinavian Mountains, also called Scandinavian Alps, which in the far north exceed in some places two thousand meters above sea level. The highest mountain in Sweden is Mount Kebnekaise with 2,104 meters, located south of the Lapland town of Abisko.

The most important rivers in Sweden are the Torne, which runs on the border with Finland, the Lule River, which drains most of Swedish Lapland, the Ångerma, the Ume and the Indals. All these rivers have their source in the Scandinavian Alps and flow into the Baltic Sea.

The climate of Sweden.

Official site of the Swedish government.

English text correction by Dietrich Köster. 

  • Area: 449,000 sq km
  • Population: 9,000,000
  • State Capital: Stockholm
  • Official language: Swedish. Recognized minority languages are Sami (Lapp), Finnish, Meänkieli being Tornedalen Finnish, Yiddish and Romani Chib, a Gypsy language. Most Swedes are fluent in English.
  • Religion: 82% of the population belong to the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Sweden.
  • Currency: The monetary unit of Sweden is the krona, plural: “kronor”, (SEK).
  • Time: Central European Time UTC+1, Summer Daylight Saving Time UTC+2.



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