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SWEDEN COUNTRY PROFILE

Sweden is the largest of the Nordic countries, with an area twice the size of Britain (approximately the same size as California), yet its population is low at just over 9 million people. It is a vast and breath-taking land of green forest, snow-capped mountains, vast wilderness and abundant wildlife.

One of Sandgrouse Travel’s favourite spots is Swedish Lapland in Northern Sweden. Referred to as the land of 8 seasons where it can be -40ºC in winter and +30ºC in summer, your midnight sun awaits. The Aurora Sky Station in the Abisko National Park is purpose built for viewing the greatest light show on earth, the Northern Lights – The Aurora Borealis. With so much to do for first timers from dog sledding, snow mobiling, hover crafting, ice sculpting, snow biking, ice fishing, snow shoeing, dinner on ice, cross country skiing, sledging, hiking, wildlife viewing, photography and city breaks, there is something for all travellers and every family member.

Accommodation in Swedish Lapland is fun and exciting with a range of lodges and hotels to capture your imagination. World-renowned names such as Tree Hotel and Ice Hotel are popular choices, with smaller boutique lodges such as Pine Bay Lodge offering great alternatives.

WHY VISIT SWEDEN? HOW ABOUT SOME OF THESE EXCITING IDEAS:

  • Snowmobile safari across the frozen pack ice of the Bothnian Sea and through the tranquil pine forests of Swedish Lapland.
  • Stay with the children in a UFO on the banks of the Lule River.
  • Have 'dinner on ice' with a crackling fire, candelbra and tented experience on the frozen sea ice.
  • Drive your own team of huskies across the frozen tundra with a professional guide.
  • See the northern lights dance across the night sky.
  • Stay in the Ice Hotel or have your wedding blessed at the Ice Church in a blessing ceremony.
  • Meet the local Sami reindeer herders and experience their way of life.
  • Savour Scandinavian cool in the Royal City of Stockholm.

     

Full Name: The Kingdom of Sweden

Population: 9,816,666 Million (2015 Estimate)

Capital: Stockholm

Area: 450,295 sq km (175,896 sq miles)

Density Population: 21.5/km sq

Life Expectancy: 80.2 (Men) 83.8 (Women)

Currency: Swedish krona (SEK)

GDP: Total - $483.724 billion (estimate)

Major Language: Swedish

Major Religion: Lutheran Christianity

International Dialing Code: +46

Time zone: UTC +1hrs

GEOGRAPHY

Sweden is situated in Northern Europe, west of the Baltic Sea and Gulf of Bothnia, forming the eastern part of the Scandinavian Peninsula. The Scandinavian mountain chain of Skanderna separates Sweden from Norway in the west and Finland is located to its north-east. Sweden shares maritime borders with Denmark, Germany, Poland, Russia, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. It is also linked to Denmark to the south-west by the Oresund Bridge. The border with Norway runs for 1,619 km in length and is the longest uninterrupted border within Europe.

Sweden is the fourth largest country in Europe and is one-tenth larger than California. In the north of Sweden are mountains and lakes. Kebnekaise 6,965ft (2,123m), the highest peak in Sweden is found in Swedish Lapland. The lowest elevation in Sweden is found in the bay of Lake Hammarsjon, near Kristianstad at -7.91ft (-2.41m). To the south and east of Sweden are central lowlands and south of them are fertile areas of forest, valley and plain. Along Sweden’s rocky coast, chopped up by bays and inlets, are many islands, the largest of which are Gotland and Oland.

CLIMATE

Despite its northern latitude (55 degrees and 70 degrees N), Sweden has a temperate climate, with four distinct seasons and mild temperatures throughout the year. The country can be split into 3 climate zones;

An oceanic climate in the southernmost part. A humid continental climate in the central part. A subarctic climate in the northernmost part. Due to the Gulf Stream, Sweden finds itself to be much drier and warmer than other places of a similar latitude. For example, central and southern Sweden finds itself having much milder winters in many parts than countries such as Russia, United States and Canada on the same latitude.

Temperatures vary greatly from north to the south. Southern and central parts have warm summers and hot winters with average highs between 20ºC and 25ºC (60ºF – 77ºF) in the summer and average temperatures between -4ºC and 2ºC (25ºF – 36ºF) in the winter.

PEOPLE

There are no official statistics on ethnicity, but according to Statistics Sweden around 1,921,000 (20.1%) of inhabitants of Sweden were of foreign background in 2012, defined as being born abroad, or born in Sweden to parents born abroad. Immigration has become a major source of population growth in recent years.

Germanic people have inhabited Sweden since prehistoric times. They emerged into history as Swedes and constituted the sea people known as Norsemen. 

DID YOU KNOW?

  • North of the Arctic Circle in Sweden, the sun never sets for part of each summer, and it never rises for part of each winter.
  • National Inventions: The Swedish 3 point seat belt is believed to have saved 1 million lives, since it was introduced by Volvo in 1959. It is currently in place in around 1 billion vehicles worldwide.
  • Other National Inventions: The pacemaker, ultrasound, safety match, astronomical lens, marine propeller, refrigerator, computer mouse
  • Between 300,000 and 400,000 moose roam the Swedish woods. Over 100,000 are shot during the annual hunt, and about 250,000 people participate in the hunt. The moose is considered the most dangerous animal in Sweden. Every year they cause approximately 6,000 road accidents.
  • Sweden has had 7 Nobel Prize winners in literature, including the first woman to be awarded it in 1909.
  • An average of 1,836,000 meatballs a day are eaten across Ikea’s 303 stores around the world.
  • Despite having a military, Sweden have not participated in a war for two centuries.
  • Sweden is one of the highest taxed countries in the world (51.4%).

SWEDEN IN 2016

ABBA, Sweden’s most famous music export won the Eurovision Song Contest in 1974. The Eurovision Song Contest 2016 will be the 61st Edition of the annual contest and will be held in Ericsson Globe, located in Stockholm, Sweden, following the country’s latest victory in the 2015 contest. 2016 is also an exciting year for Volvo, who on the 30th Anniversary of Volvo’s European Touring Car success now announce their return to World Touring Car Championship in 2016 under Polestar Cyan Racing banner, campainging two S60s. 2016 will also see Sweden leading the world stage for climate change, with the Swedish government’s recent announcement that their aim is to be one of the world’s first nations to end its dependence on fossil fuels. The country will be investing $564 (US Dollar) into climate change and renewable energy in their 2016 budget.