Stockholm aerial view, Sweden.
Country name: Kingdom of Sweden (local: Konungariket Sverige).
Government type: Constitutional monarchy.
Administrative divisions: 21 counties (lan, singular and plural); Blekinge, Dalarnas, Gavleborgs, Gotlands, Hallands, Jamtlands, Jonkopings, Kalmar, Kronobergs, Norrbottens, Orebro, Ostergotlands, Skane, Sodermanlands, Stockholms, Uppsala, Varmlands, Vasterbottens, Vasternorrlands, Vastmanlands, Vastra Gotalands.
Terrain: mostly flat or gently rolling lowlands; mountains in west.
Total area: 449,964 km².
Coastline: 3,218 km.
Highest point: Kebnekaise 2,111 m.
Climate: Temperate in south with cold, cloudy winters and cool, partly cloudy summers; sub arctic in north.
Ports and harbors: Gavle, Goteborg, Halmstad, Helsingborg, Hudiksvall, Kalmar, Karlshamn, Lulea, Malmo, Solvesborg, Stockholm, Sundsvall.
Note: ice floes in the surrounding waters, especially in the Gulf of Bothnia, can interfere with maritime traffic.
A military power during the 17th century, Sweden has not participated in any war in almost two centuries. An armed neutrality was preserved in both World Wars.
Sweden's long-successful economic formula of a capitalist system interlarded with substantial welfare elements was challenged in the 1990s by high unemployment and in 2000-02 by the global economic downturn, but fiscal discipline over the past several years has allowed the country to weather economic vagaries. Indecision over the country's role in the political and economic integration of Europe delayed Sweden's entry into the EU until 1995, and waived the introduction of the euro in 1999.
Visby Cathedral, Gotland, Sweden.
Copyright © Geographic Guide - Travel and Tourist guide
Population: 9.0 million (July 2004 est.).
Religions: Lutheran 87%, Roman Catholic, Orthodox, Baptist, Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist.
Ethnic groups: indigenous population: Swedes and Finnish and Sami minorities; foreign-born or first-generation immigrants: Finns, Yugoslavs, Danes, Norwegians, Greeks, Turks .
Language: Swedish (note: small Sami- and Finnish-speaking minorities).
Per Pixel Petersson