Background: A military power during the 17th century, Sweden has not participated in any war for 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 and 2009 by the global economic downturns, but fiscal discipline over the past several years has allowed the country to weather economic vagaries. Sweden joined the EU in 1995, but the public rejected the introduction of the euro in a 2003 referendum.
Location: Northern Europe, bordering the Baltic Sea, Gulf of Bothnia, Kattegat, and Skagerrak, between Finland and Norway
Area land: 410,335 sq km
Area water: 39,960 sq km
Coastline: 3,218 km
Country name conventional long form: Kingdom of Sweden
Country name conventional short form: Sweden
Country name former: Kingdom of Sweden
Population: 9,088,728 (July 2011 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 15.4% (male 722,558/female 680,933); 15-64 years: 64.8% (male 2,982,268/female 2,910,135); 65 years and over: 19.7% (male 800,169/female 992,665) (2011 est.);
Population growth rate: 0.163% (2011 est.)
Birth rate: 10.18 births/1,000 population (2011 est.)
Death rate: 10.2 deaths/1,000 population (July 2011 est.)
Net migration rate: 1.65 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2011 est.)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.061 male(s)/female; under 15 years: 1.06 male(s)/female; 15-64 years: 1.02 male(s)/female; 65 years and over: 0.8 male(s)/female; total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2011 est.);
Infant mortality rate: total: 2.74 deaths/1,000 live births; male: 2.9 deaths/1,000 live births; female: 2.57 deaths/1,000 live births (2011 est.);
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 81.07 years; male: 78.78 years; female: 83.51 years (2011 est.);
Total fertility rate: 1.67 children born/woman (2011 est.);
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 0.1% (2009 est.);
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: 8,100 (2009 est.);
HIV/AIDS - deaths: fewer than 100 (2009 est.);
Nationality: noun: Swede(s); adjective: Swedish;
Ethnic groups: indigenous population: Swedes with Finnish and Sami minorities; foreign-born or first-generation immigrants: Finns, Yugoslavs, Danes, Norwegians, Greeks, Turks;
Religions: Lutheran 87%, other (includes Roman Catholic, Orthodox, Baptist, Muslim, Jewish, and Buddhist) 13%;
Languages: Swedish (official), small Sami- and Finnish-speaking minorities;
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write; total population: 99%; male: 99%; female: 99% (2003 est.);
GDP (purchasing power parity): $354 billion (2010 est.); $340.1 billion (2009 est.); $358.4 billion (2008 est.);
GDP (official exchange rate): $444.6 billion (2010 est.);
GDP - real growth rate: 4.1% (2010 est.); -5.1% (2009 est.); -0.6% (2008 est.);
GDP - per capita (PPP): $39,000 (2010 est.); $37,500 (2009 est.); $39,600 (2008 est.);
GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 1.7%; industry: 26.1%; services: 72.2% (2010 est.);
Population below poverty line: NA%;
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: 3.6%; highest 10%: 22.2% (2000);
Labor force: 4.93 million (2010 est.);
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 1.1%; industry: 28.2%; services: 70.7% (2008 est.);
Unemployment rate: 8.3% (2010 est.); 8.3% (2009 est.);
Budget: revenues: $230.1 billion; expenditures: $236.6 billion (2010 est.);
Industries: iron and steel, precision equipment (bearings, radio and telephone parts, armaments), wood pulp and paper products, processed foods, motor vehicles;
Industrial production growth rate: 8% (2010 est.);
Electricity - production: 144 billion kWh (2007 est.);
Electricity - consumption: 134.5 billion kWh (2007 est.);
Electricity - exports: 14.71 billion kWh (2008 est.);
Electricity - imports: 12.75 billion kWh (2008 est.);
Statistics: CIA World Factbook.
Displaying 1 to 4 of 5 items.
Nicola Cacace, writing for Rome's L'Unita, reacts to Sweden's rejection of the euro.
Oslo's Aftenposten comments on Sweden's rejection of the euro and the European Union.
Even after the murder of euro-friendly Foreign Minister Anna Lindh, nearly 60 percent of Swedes voted on Sept. 14 against joining the European Monetary Union. A deeply divided Europe is now emerging, where smaller states struggle to reach parity with larger countries.
PM Nilsson, of Stockholm's Expressen, pens a bitter reply to Paul Kagan's article claiming only the United States has the moral qualifications to lead the world.