Sweden, or Kingdom of Sweden, a country of northern Europe. Its Swedish name is Sverige. Sweden is a long, narrow country occupying the eastern two-thirds of the Scandinavian Peninsula and lying at about the same latitude as Alaska. On the west, Sweden shares a long boundary with Norway; on the northeast is a much shorter border with Finland. Sweden's eastern shores face the Baltic Sea and its northern arm, the Gulf of Bothnia. On the southwest are the Skagerrak, Kattegat, and Öresund straits, beyond which lies Denmark.
The largest of the Scandinavian countries in area, Sweden is also the most populous. It is a major manufacturing and trading nation, and its people, well educated, healthy, and energetic, enjoy one of the world's highest standards of living. They take part in a comprehensive social welfare system that seeks to protect every citizen from poverty.
|Facts in brief about Sweden|
|Official language: Swedish.|
|Official name: Konungariket Sverige (Kingdom of Sweden).|
|Area: 173,732 mi2 (449,964 km2). Greatest distances—north-south, 977 mi (1,572 km); east-west, 310 mi (499 km). Coastline—4,700 mi (7,564 km).|
|Elevation: Highest—Mount Kebnekaise, 6,926 ft (2,111 m) above sea level. Lowest—sea level along the coast.|
|Population: Current estimate—9,179,000; density, 53 per mi2 (20 per km2); distribution, 84 percent urban, 16 percent rural. 2005 official government estimate—9,028,944.|
|Chief products: Agriculture—barley, beef cattle, dairy products, hogs, oats, potatoes, sugar beets, wheat. Forestry—beech, oak, pine, spruce. Manufacturing—agricultural machinery, aircraft, automobiles, ball bearings, diesel motors, electrical equipment, explosives, pharmaceuticals, plastics, precision tools, safety matches, ships, stainless steel goods, steel, telephones. Mining—copper, gold, iron ore, lead, silver.|
|National anthem: "Du gamla, du fria, du fjallhoga nord" ("Thou Ancient, Thou Free, Thou Mountain-Crowned North").|
|Flag and coat of arms: Sweden's flag has a yellow cross on a blue background. The colors come from the coat of arms. The flag, first used in the mid-1400's, was made official in 1663. The coat of arms features an ornate crown above a shield with three gold crowns that were added by King Albert in 1364. It was made official in 1908.|
|National holiday: Flag Day, June 6.|
|Money: Basic unit—Swedish krona. One hundred ore equal one krona.|