Facts about Sweden

Johannes Jansson/norden.org
Sweden is the largest country in the Nordic Region and has the biggest population. For many people, it is synonymous with flat-pack furniture, innovation, iron and steel. The country spends 3% of GDP on research and development.

Sweden shares land borders with Norway in the west and Finland in the northeast. It also has coasts facing Denmark, Norway, Åland and Finland.

Politics in Sweden

Sweden is a constitutional monarchy. King Carl XVI Gustaf has no real political power, and the parliament, Riksdagen, is the country's highest authority.

Sweden is a member of the EU, but has retained the krona as its currency. It is not a member of NATO.  

National day: June 6 (National Day)

Form of government: Constitutional monarchy

Parliament: Riksdagen (349 MPs)

Membership of the EU: Since 1 January 1995

Membership of NATO: No

Head of State: King Carl XVI Gustaf

Head of Government (October 2014): Prime Minister Stefan Löfven (Social Democrats)


Sweden has the biggest population in the Nordic Region at 10.3 million. Nearly 2.4 million of them live in and around Stockholm. The northern part of the country is sparsely populated.

Population 2020: 10,327,589

Population, the capital 2020: 2,389,923 in Stockholm (Greater Stockholm Region) 1)

Population trend


Sweden is a major exporter of goods and services. Its largest exports are electronics, machinery, cars, paper, iron and steel.

Per capita GDP: €38,200 (2020)

Currency: Swedish crown (SEK)


Historically, Sweden was divided into Svealand, Götaland and Norrland.

Almost 10% of the country consists of lakes and rivers. It also has huge coniferous forests, but despite this has 27,000 km² of arable land.

Total area: 447,435 km² 2)

Lakes and rivers: 40,124 km2

Agricultural land and horticulture: 25,970 km2

Forest and plantations: 280,640 km2

Largest lake: Vänern 5,648 km2

Highest point: Kebnekaise – 2,106 m

Mainland coastline: 11,530 km

Borders: 2,205 km (border to Finland: 586 km, Norway: 1,619 km)

Ice cap and glaciers: 283 km²

Climate and environment

The climate reflects Sweden’s geography. Large parts of the country have a temperate climate, but the mountainous area in the north has a sub-Arctic climate.

Average temperature, Stockholm (2018): 8.8°C (max. 33.6°C, min. -13.8°C)

The average temperature in Stockholm

Languages in Sweden

Official language: Swedish (main language)

National minority languages: Finnish, Meänkieli, Sami, Romani and Yiddish

Interested in moving to Sweden?

If you are interested in moving to Sweden, contact Info Norden, the Nordic Council of Ministers’ information service.

Do you want to know more about Sweden and the rest of the Nordic countries?

The biennial report State of the Nordic Region provides a comprehensive and unique insight into the Nordic countries, drawing on statistical data on demographics, the labour market, education and the economy in the Region.

Interested in more statistics?

We have collated relevant Nordic data and statistics in the Nordic Statistics database. The database covers multiple subject areas and all of the Nordic countries.


1) Stockholm, Upplands Väsby, Vallentuna, Österåker, Värmdö, Järfälla, Ekerö, Huddinge, Botkyrka, Salem, Haninge, Tyresö, Upplands-Bro, Nykvarn, Täby, Danderyd, Sollentuna, Södertälje, Nacka, Sundbyberg, Solna, Lidingö, Vaxholm, Norrtälje, Sigtuna, and Nynäshamn.

2) Incl. the largest lakes, but excluding the area from the coastline to the territorial boundary, 81,502 km².