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 members)
  • Membership of the EU: Since 1 January 1995
  • Membership of NATO: No
  • Head of State: King Carl XVI Gustaf
  • Head of Government (since October 2014): Prime Minister Stefan Löfven (Social Democrat)

The population of Sweden

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

  • Population 2020: 10,327,589
  • Population of the capital 2020: 2,389,923 in Stockholm (Greater Stockholm Region) 1)

The population of Sweden

The Swedish economy

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 krona (SEK)

The geography of Sweden

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

Almost 10% of the country consists of lakes and rivers. Despite  huge coniferous forests, it also 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 (with Finland = 586 km, with Norway = 1,619 km)
  • Inland ice and glaciers: 283 km²

The climate and environment in Sweden

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

Are you 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 learn more about Sweden and the other 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.

Would you like more statistics?

We have collated relevant Nordic data and statistics in the Nordic Statistics database. It 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 biggest lakes, but excluding the area from the coastline to the national border, 81,502 km².