Kingdom of Sweden
King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden
Crown Princess of Sweden: Victoria
Prime minister: Stefan Löfven
Government: Parliamentary system, Representative democracy, Constitutional monarchy, Unitary state, Hereditary Monarchy.
The main political parties are grouped into two blocs: a left-of-centre bloc consisting of the Social Democrats, the Left Party and the Green Party; and the centre-right bloc consisting of the Moderate Party, the Centre Party, the Christian Democrats and the Liberal Party.
Sweden's parliament is called the Riksdag, to which members are elected every four years.
Sweden has three levels of government: national, regional and local. In addition, there is the European level which has acquired increasing importance following Sweden's entry into the EU.
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There are 10 million people in Sweden, of whom about 2 million are under the age of 18. Eighty-five percent of them live in cities.
Swedish is the official language of Sweden. The vast majority of Swedes also speak English, and generally to a very high level. Many Swedish multinational organisations have English as their corporate language, and a large number of university degree programmes and courses are taught in English. Sweden is home to five official national minority languages, and countless other languages are spoken by Sweden's diverse population. The largest, after Swedish, are Finnish, Serbo-Croatian, Arabic, Kurdish, Spanish, German and Farsi
Sweden is a country in Northern Europe on the Scandinavian Peninsula. It borders Norway to the west; Finland to the northeast; and the Baltic Sea and the Gulf of Bothnia to the south and east.
The capital of Sweden, Stockholm, is also the country's largest city, with more than 930,000 inhabitants. Other large cities are Gothenburg, in western Sweden (population 550,000), and Malmö (population 300,000) in the south. Uppsala and Lund are well-known university cities.
Less than three per cent of Sweden's land area is built up and forests cover 69 per cent of the country. Sweden is long – some 1,574 kilometres from top to bottom – and can be divided into three major regions: Götaland in the south, Svealand in the middle and Norrland in the north.
Sweden has achieved an enviable standard of living with its combination of free-market capitalism and extensive welfare benefits. Sweden remains outside the euro zone largely out of concern that joining the European Economic and Monetary Union would diminish the country's sovereignty over its welfare system. Timber, hydropower, and iron ore constitute the resource base of an economy heavily oriented toward foreign trade.
Sweden's economy experienced modest growth in 2014-16, with real GDP growth above 2%, but continues to struggle with deflationary pressure.
Sweden is a very secular country, but most of the world's religions are represented here – and all are welcome. The national church, the Church of Sweden, is Lutheran, but Catholicism and other Christian denominations are also widespread. Islam is one of the largest religions in Sweden, and Judaism and Buddhism are also well-established.
The biggest Swedish holidays include Midsummer, Christmas and Easter.
Nine years of schooling is compulsory in Sweden, but most students also complete upper secondary school.
The Swedish healthcare system is financed by a social insurance that provides all citizens with subsidised healthcare through the government. There are both public and private providers of healthcare. If you have obtained a Swedish personal identity number, or are a holder of the European Health Insurance Card, you are entitled to healthcare at the standard patient fee, with some exceptions depending on tax payer status.
For fees when visiting a physician or hospital, please visit this page
Dental care is not fully subsidised and therefore relatively expensive in Sweden. Depending on your policy dental care might be covered by your medical insurance, or you might need to purchase separate dental insurance.