A map of Sweden with ten cities marked out.
Map of Sweden with ten selected cities. Illustration: Kidler

Key facts about Sweden

Here are some need-to-know facts about Sweden.

Basic facts about Sweden

Capital: Stockholm

Population: 10,379,295 people , 0.13 per cent of the world’s population

Life expectancy: Men 80.6 years , women 84.29 years

Language: Swedish (main language); and five official minority languages: Sami, Finnish, Meänkieli (Tornedalen Finnish), Yiddish and Romani Chib

Religion: The Church of Sweden is Evangelical Lutheran, but there are also many other religions and faiths in the country

National Day: 6 June

Government

Form of government: Constitutional monarchy, with parliamentary democracy – political power lies with the parliament and government; the monarch has ceremonial functions

Parliament: Called ‘riksdag’ – 349 members of parliament in a single chamber

Head of state: His Majesty King Carl XVI Gustaf; heir to the throne is Crown Princess Victoria

Education and work

Education: Ten years of compulsory schooling, but most students continue to the three-year upper secondary school. Around one-third go on to higher education at universities and colleges throughout Sweden

Working hours: Standard work week is 40 hours, minimum paid holiday allowance is 5 weeks (25 working days)

Employment rate (20–64 years): Men: 69.8% ; women: 64.5% ; total: 67.2%

A view of wintry Swedish west coast archipelago.
Winter on the Swedish west coast. Photo: Per Pixel Peterson/imagebank.sweden.se

Geography and nature

Longest north–south distance: 1,572 km

Longest east–west distance: 499 km

Land area: 410,000 sq km

Total area: 528,447 sq km, the fifth largest country in Europe and roughly the same size as California
– Forests: 63% (69 % of the land area)
– Lakes and rivers: 9%
– Marshland: 6.5%
– Agricultural land: 7%
– Grasslands: 7%
– Urban and industrial land: 3%
– Exposed rock and mountains: 4.5%

Highest mountain: Kebnekaise (2,099 m)

Biggest lake: Vänern (5,650 sq km)

Number of lakes larger than 100m x 100m: 95,700

Biggest cities and their population:

  • Stockholm: 975,551
  • Göteborg: 583,056
  • Malmö: 347,949

Number of national parks: 30

Time zone: GMT +1

Money and trade

Currency: 1 krona (SEK) = 100 öre ≈ EUR 0.095

GDP: SEK 4,977 billion (2020)

Most important export goods: Vehicles and machines, pharmaceuticals/chemicals, electronics, minerals, wood products, energy, foods, shoes and clothes

Source: Statistics Sweden

Contacting Sweden

Calling code: +46

Internet code: .se

Useful links

scb.se – Statistics Sweden, official statistics about Sweden

ekonomifakta.se – facts related to Swedish economy

ec.europa.eu/eurostat – Eurostats, official statistics about the EU

data.worldbank.org – World Bank Open Data, official statistics about the world