General information: A powerful military power in the 17th century, Sweden did not fight for the last two hundred years and remained neutral in both world wars. The economic formula for Sweden’s continued success as a capitalist system with significant elements of social patronage has recently been discredited by high unemployment, rising cost of living, and the country’s deteriorating position in world markets. Indecision about the country’s role in the economic and political integration of Europe was the reason that Sweden joined the EU only in 1995 and refused to join the euro area in 1999.
Location: Northern Europe, coast of the Baltic Sea, the Gulf of Bothnia, the Kattegat and Skagerrak straits between Finland and Norway.
Geographic coordinates: 62° 00′ N. latitude, 15° 00′ E
Reference map: Europe.
Area: total: 449,964 km2; land surface area: 410,934 km2; water surface area: 39,030 km2
Comparative area: slightly larger than the state of California.
Land borders: total: 2,205 km; with neighboring states: with Finland 586 km, with Norway 1,619 km.
Coastline: 3,218 km.
Maritime claims: continental shelf: to a depth of 200 m or to the depth of field development; exclusive economic zone: agreed boundaries or median lines; territorial waters: 12 nautical miles (less in those places where part of the straits is recognized as belonging to the high seas outside the territorial waters).
Climate: temperate in the south with cold, cloudy winters and cool, sometimes cloudy weather; subarctic in the north.
Terrain: mostly flat or slightly rolling lowlands, mountains in the west.
Maximum and minimum heights: lowest point: Baltic Sea 0 m; highest point: Mount Kebnekaise 2,111 m.
Natural resources: zinc, iron ore, lead, copper, silver, timber, uranium, hydropower.
Land use: arable land: 7%; cultivated land: 0%; pastures: 1%; forests and plantations: 68%; others: 24% (1993 est.).
Irrigated land: 1,150 km2 (1993 est.).
Natural Hazards: Ice floes in the country’s surrounding waters, especially in the Gulf of Bothnia, can interfere with shipping.
Current environmental issues: acid rain damaging soils and lakes; pollution of the North and Baltic seas.
International agreements on environmental protection: contributor: Air Pollution, Air Pollution – Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution – Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution – Sulfur 1985, Air Pollution – Sulfur 1994, Air Pollution – Volatile Organic Compounds, Antarctica – Environmental Protection Protocol, Conservation of Marine Life in Antarctica, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate change, Desertification, Endangered species, Environmental change, Hazardous waste, Law of the sea, Marine pollution, Nuclear test ban, Ozone layer protection, Ship pollution, Tropical timber 1983, Tropical timber 1994, Water -wetlands, whaling; signed but not ratified: Kyoto Protocol.
Note to the section “Geography”: strategic position along the Danish Straits connecting the Baltic and North Seas.
Population: 8,875,053 (July 2001 est.).
Age structure: under 14: 18.19% (male 828,308; female 786,353); 15 to 64 years old: 64.53% (male 2,911,949; female 2,814,730); over 65: 17.28% (male 649,296; female 884,417) (2001 est.).
Population growth: 0.02% (2001 est.).
Birth rate: 9.91 newborns / 1000 people. (2001 est.).
Mortality: 10.61 deaths / 1000 people. (2001 est.).
Migration: 0.91 people / 1000 people (2001 est.).
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.06 male/female; up to 15 years: 1.05 male/female; from 15 to 64 years old: 1.03 male/female; over 65: 0.73 male/female; for the general population: 0.98 male/female (2001 est.);
Child mortality: 3.47 deaths/1000 newborns (2001 est.).
Life expectancy: for the general population: 79.71 years; men: 77.07 years; -S women: 82.5 years (2001 est.).
General birth rate: 1.53 children/wives. (2001 est.).
Proportion of adults infected with HIV: 0.08% (1999 est.).
Number of people infected with HIV: 3,000 (1999 est.).
AIDS deaths: less than 100 (1999 est.).
Nationality: noun: Swedish; adjective: Swedish.
Ethnic groups: indigenous people – Swedes and Finnish and Sami minorities; immigrants or born of immigrants – Finns, Yugoslavs, Danes, Norwegians, Greeks, Turks.
Believers: Lutherans 87%, Catholics, Orthodox, Baptists, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists.
Language(s): Swedish; note: small Sami and Finnish-speaking minorities.
Literacy: definition: persons aged 15 and over who can read and write; for the general population: 99% (1979 est.); men: no data; women: no data.
Common long form: Kingdom of Sweden;
conventional short form: Sweden; local long form: Konungariket Sverige; i local short form: Sverige.
State structure: constitutional monarchy. See politicsezine.com to know more about Sweden Political System.
Administrative divisions: 21 counties: Blekinge, Värmland, Västerbotten, Västergötaland, Västernorrland, Västmanland, Gotland, Dalarna, Gävleborg, Jämtland, Sodermanland, Jönköping, Kalmar, Kronoberg, Norrbotten, Skane, Stockholm, Uppsala, Halland, Örebro, Östergötland.
Independence: from June 6, 1523 (Gustav VAZA elected king).
National holiday: Swedish Flag Day, 6 June.
Constitution: adopted January 1, 1975
Legal system: civil law with influence from customary law; subject to the compulsory jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice.
Suffrage: from the age of 18, universal.
chief of state: King CARL XVI GUSTAV (since 19 September 1973); legal heir Princess VICTORIA Ingrid Alice Desiree, daughter of the monarch (born 14 July 1977);
head of government: Prime Minister Goran PERSSON (since 21 March 1996)
government: the cabinet is appointed by the prime minister; elections: hereditary monarchy; the prime minister is elected by parliament; elections last held in September 1998 (next to be held in 2002); election results: Goran PERSSON re-elected prime minister with 131 out of 349 votes.
Legislature: unicameral parliament (Riksdag) (349 seats; members are elected by popular vote under a proportional system for 4 years); elections: last held 20 September 1998 (next to be held September 2002); election results: distribution of votes between parties: Social Democrats 36.5%, Moderates 22.7%, Left Party 12%, Christian Democrats 11.8%, Center Party 5.1%, Liberal Party 4.7%, Greens 4,5%; Party seat distribution: Social Democrats 131, Moderates 82, Left Party 43, Christian Democrats 42, Center Party 18, Liberal Party 17, Greens 16.
Judiciary: Supreme Court (Hogsta Domstolen), judges appointed by the Prime Minister and Cabinet.
Political parties and leaders: Center Party (Lennart DALEUS [Lennart DALEUS]); Christian Democratic Party (Alf SVENS-SON [Alt SVENSSON]); Communist Workers’ Party (Rolf HAGEL [Rolf HAGEL]); Green Party (there is no formal leader, but Briger SCHLAUG acts as the speaker of the party); Left party (former communist) (Gudrun SHIMAN [Gudrun SCHYMAN]); Liberal People’s Party (Lars LEIJONBORG); Moderate Party (Conservative) (Bo LUNDGREN [Vo LUNDGREN]); New Democratic Party (Vivian FRANZEN [Vivianne FRANZEN]); Social Democratic Party (Goran PERSSON).
Political influence groups and their leaders:
Participation in international organizations: AfDB, AsDB, Australia Group, BIS, CBSS, CCC, CE, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, ECE, EIB, ESA, EU, FAO, G-6, G-9, G-10, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, MINURSO, NAM (guest), NC, NEA, NIB, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OPCW, OSCE, PCA, PFP, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIKOM, UNITAR, UNMEE, UNMIBH, UNMIK, UNMOGIP, UNMOP, UNOMIG, UNTAET, UNTSO, UPU, WEU (observer), WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTrO, ZC.
Diplomatic representation in the USA: head of mission: Ambassador Jan ELIASSON (Jan ELIAS-SON); office: 1501 M Street NW, Washington, DC 20005-1702; phone:  (202) 467-2600; fax:  (202) 467-2699; Consulates General: Los Angeles and New York.
US Diplomatic Mission: Chief of Mission: Ambassador Lyndon Lowell OLSON Jr. (Lyndon Lowell OLSON, Jr.); n^-i-azhck: embassy: Dag Hammarskjolds VAG 31, SE-11589 Stockholm; mailing address: American Embassy Stockholm, Department of State, Washington, DC 20521-5750 (pouch); phone:  (8) 783 53 00; fax:  (8) 661 19 64.
Description of the flag: blue with a yellow cross that extends to the edges of the flag; the vertical part of the cross is shifted towards the pole (as on the Danish flag).