Sweden

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PAGE LAST UPDATED ON NOVEMBER 15, 2011
Flag of Sweden
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Location of Sweden
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Map of Sweden
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OF SWEDEN
 

Introduction

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A military power during the 17th century, Sweden has not participated in any war for almost two centuries. An armed neutrality was preserved in both world wars. Sweden's long-successful economic formula of a capitalist system interlarded with substantial welfare elements was challenged in the 1990s by high unemployment and in 2000-02 and 2009 by the global economic downturns, but fiscal discipline over the past several years has allowed the country to weather economic vagaries. Sweden joined the EU in 1995, but the public rejected the introduction of the euro in a 2003 referendum.
 
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Geography

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Northern Europe, bordering the Baltic Sea, Gulf of Bothnia, Kattegat, and Skagerrak, between Finland and Norway
 
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62 00 N, 15 00 E
 
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total: 450,295 sq km
country comparison to the world: 56
land: 410,335 sq km
water: 39,960 sq km
 
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slightly larger than California
 
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total: 2,233 km
border countries: Finland 614 km, Norway 1,619 km
 
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3,218 km
 
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territorial sea: 12 nm (adjustments made to return a portion of straits to high seas)
exclusive economic zone: agreed boundaries or midlines
continental shelf: 200 m depth or to the depth of exploitation
 
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temperate in south with cold, cloudy winters and cool, partly cloudy summers; subarctic in north
 
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mostly flat or gently rolling lowlands; mountains in west
 
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lowest point: reclaimed bay of Lake Hammarsjon, near Kristianstad -2.4 m
highest point: Kebnekaise 2,111 m
 
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iron ore, copper, lead, zinc, gold, silver, tungsten, uranium, arsenic, feldspar, timber, hydropower
 
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arable land: 5.93%
permanent crops: 0.01%
other: 94.06% (2005)
 
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1,600 sq km (2008)
 
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179 cu km (2005)
 
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total: 2.68 cu km/yr (37%/54%/9%)
per capita: 296 cu m/yr (2002)
 
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ice floes in the surrounding waters, especially in the Gulf of Bothnia, can interfere with maritime traffic
 
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acid rain damage to soils and lakes; pollution of the North Sea and the Baltic Sea
 
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party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Sulfur 85, Air Pollution-Sulfur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
 
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strategic location along Danish Straits linking Baltic and North Seas
 
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People and Society

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noun: Swede(s)
adjective: Swedish
 
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indigenous population: Swedes with Finnish and Sami minorities; foreign-born or first-generation immigrants: Finns, Yugoslavs, Danes, Norwegians, Greeks, Turks
 
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Swedish (official), small Sami- and Finnish-speaking minorities
 
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Lutheran 87%, other (includes Roman Catholic, Orthodox, Baptist, Muslim, Jewish, and Buddhist) 13%
 
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9,088,728 (July 2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 90
 
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0-14 years: 15.4% (male 722,558/female 680,933)
15-64 years: 64.8% (male 2,982,268/female 2,910,135)
65 years and over: 19.7% (male 800,169/female 992,665) (2011 est.)
 
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total: 42 years
male: 40.8 years
female: 43.1 years (2011 est.)
 
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0.163% (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 183
 
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10.18 births/1,000 population (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 189
 
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10.2 deaths/1,000 population (July 2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 50
 
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1.65 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 44
 
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urban population: 85% of total population (2010)
rate of urbanization: 0.6% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
 
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STOCKHOLM (capital) 1.279 million (2009)
 
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at birth: 1.061 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.8 male(s)/female
total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2011 est.)
 
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5 deaths/100,000 live births (2008)
country comparison to the world: 169
 
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total: 2.74 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 220
male: 2.9 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 2.57 deaths/1,000 live births (2011 est.)
 
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total population: 81.07 years
country comparison to the world: 16
male: 78.78 years
female: 83.51 years (2011 est.)
 
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1.67 children born/woman (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 171
 
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9.9% of GDP (2009)
country comparison to the world: 30
 
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3.583 physicians/1,000 population (2006)
country comparison to the world: 26
 
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improved:
urban: 100% of population
rural: 100% of population
total: 100% of population (2008)
 
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improved:
urban: 100% of population
rural: 100% of population
total: 100% of population (2008)
 
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0.1% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 158
 
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8,100 (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 107
 
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fewer than 100 (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 133
 
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12% (2009)
country comparison to the world: 49
 
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6.6% of GDP (2007)
country comparison to the world: 21
 
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definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 99%
male: 99%
female: 99% (2003 est.)
 
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total: 16 years
male: 15 years
female: 16 years (2008)
 
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total: 25%
country comparison to the world: 29
male: 26.3%
female: 23.7% (2009)
 
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Government

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conventional long form: Kingdom of Sweden
conventional short form: Sweden
local long form: Konungariket Sverige
local short form: Sverige
 
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constitutional monarchy
 
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name: Stockholm
geographic coordinates: 59 20 N, 18 03 E
time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October
 
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21 counties (lan, singular and plural); Blekinge, Dalarna, Gavleborg, Gotland, Halland, Jamtland, Jonkoping, Kalmar, Kronoberg, Norrbotten, Orebro, Ostergotland, Skane, Sodermanland, Stockholm, Uppsala, Varmland, Vasterbotten, Vasternorrland, Vastmanland, Vastra Gotaland
 
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6 June 1523 (Gustav VASA elected king)
 
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Swedish Flag Day, 6 June (1916); National Day, 6 June (1983)
 
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1 January 1975
 
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civil law system influenced by Roman-Germanic law and customary law
 
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accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
 
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18 years of age; universal
 
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chief of state: King CARL XVI GUSTAF (since 19 September 1973); Heir Apparent Princess VICTORIA Ingrid Alice Desiree, daughter of the monarch (born 14 July 1977)
head of government: Prime Minister Fredrik REINFELDT (since 5 October 2006); Deputy Prime Minister Jan BJORKLUND (since 5 October 2010)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the prime minister
(For more information visit the World Leaders website Opens in New Window)
elections: the monarchy is hereditary; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or the leader of the majority coalition usually becomes the prime minister
 
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unicameral Parliament or Riksdag (349 seats; members are elected by popular vote on a proportional representation basis to serve four-year terms)
elections: last held on 19 September 2010 (next to be held in September 2014)
election results: percent of vote by party - Social Democrats 30.7%, Moderates 30.1%, Greens 7.3%, Liberal People's Party 7.1%, Center Party 6.6%, Sweden Democrats 5.7%, Christian Democrats 5.6%, Left Party 5.6%, others 1.3%; seats by party - Social Democrats 112, Moderates 107, Greens 25, Liberal People's Party 24, Center Party 23, Sweden Democrats 20, Christian Democrats 19, Left Party 19
 
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Supreme Court or Hogsta Domstolen (judges are appointed by the prime minister and the cabinet)
 
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Center Party [Maud OLOFSSON]; Christian Democratic Party [Goran HAGGLUND]; Environment Party the Greens [no formal leader but party spokespersons are Maria WETTERSTRAND and Peter ERIKSSON]; Left Party or V (formerly Communist) [Lars OHLY]; Liberal People's Party [Jan BJORKLUND]; Moderate Party [Fredrik REINFELDT]; Social Democratic Party [Mona SAHLIN]; Sweden Democrats [Jimmie AKESSON]
 
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Children's Rights in Society; Swedish Confederation of Professional Employees or TCO; Swedish Federation of Trade Unions or LO
other: media
 
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ADB (nonregional member), AfDB (nonregional member), Arctic Council, Australia Group, BIS, CBSS, CD, CE, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, EIB, ESA, EU, FAO, FATF, G-9, G-10, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IGAD (partners), IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, MONUSCO, NC, NEA, NIB, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OPCW, OSCE, Paris Club, PCA, PFP, Schengen Convention, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNISFA, UNMISS, UNMOGIP, UNRWA, UNTSO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC
 
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chief of mission: Ambassador Jonas HAFSTROM
chancery: The House of Sweden, 2900 K Street NW, Washington, DC 20007
telephone: [1] (202) 467-2600
FAX: [1] (202) 467-2699
consulate(s) general: New York
 
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chief of mission: Ambassador Matthew W. BARZUN
embassy: Dag Hammarskjolds Vag 31, SE-11589 Stockholm
mailing address: American Embassy Stockholm, US Department of State, 5750 Stockholm Place, Washington, DC 20521-5750
telephone: [46] (08) 783 53 00
FAX: [46] (08) 661 19 64
 
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blue with a golden yellow cross extending to the edges of the flag; the vertical part of the cross is shifted to the hoist side in the style of the Dannebrog (Danish flag); the colors reflect those of the Swedish coat of arms - three gold crowns on a blue field
 
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three crowns; lion
 
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name: "Du Gamla, Du Fria" (Thou Ancient, Thou Free)
lyrics/music: Richard DYBECK/traditional
note: in use since 1844; the anthem, also known as "Sang till Norden" (Song of the North), is based on a Swedish folk tune; it has never been officially adopted by the government; "Kungssangen" (The King's Song) serves as the royal anthem and is played in the presence of the royal family and during certain state ceremonies
 
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Economy

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Aided by peace and neutrality for the whole of the 20th century, Sweden has achieved an enviable standard of living under a mixed system of high-tech capitalism and extensive welfare benefits. It has a modern distribution system, excellent internal and external communications, and a skilled labor force. In September 2003, Swedish voters turned down entry into the euro system concerned about the impact on the economy and sovereignty. Timber, hydropower, and iron ore constitute the resource base of an economy heavily oriented toward foreign trade. Privately owned firms account for about 90% of industrial output, of which the engineering sector accounts for 50% of output and exports. Agriculture accounts for little more than 1% of GDP and of employment. Until 2008, Sweden was in the midst of a sustained economic upswing, boosted by increased domestic demand and strong exports. This and robust finances offered the center-right government considerable scope to implement its reform program aimed at increasing employment, reducing welfare dependence, and streamlining the state's role in the economy. Despite strong finances and underlying fundamentals, the Swedish economy slid into recession in the third quarter of 2008 and growth continued downward in 2009 as deteriorating global conditions reduced export demand and consumption. Strong exports of commodities and a return to profitability by Sweden's banking sector drove the strong rebound in 2010.
 
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$354.7 billion (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 33
$336.1 billion (2009 est.)
$355.1 billion (2008 est.)
note: data are in 2010 US dollars
 
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$455.8 billion (2010 est.)
 
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5.5% (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 62
-5.3% (2009 est.)
-0.6% (2008 est.)
 
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$39,100 (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 23
$37,100 (2009 est.)
$39,300 (2008 est.)
note: data are in 2010 US dollars
 
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agriculture: 1.9%
industry: 26.6%
services: 71.5% (2010 est.)
 
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4.961 million (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 75
 
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agriculture: 1.1%
industry: 28.2%
services: 70.7% (2008 est.)
 
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8.4% (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 98
8.3% (2009 est.)
 
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NA%
 
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lowest 10%: 3.6%
highest 10%: 22.2% (2000)
 
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23 (2005)
country comparison to the world: 140
25 (1992)
 
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17.9% of GDP (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 146
 
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revenues: $241.5 billion
expenditures: $243.1 billion (2010 est.)
 
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53% of GDP (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 16
 
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-0.3% of GDP (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 47
 
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39.7% of GDP (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 70
42.8% of GDP (2009 est.)
 
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1.3% (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 36
-0.3% (2009 est.)
 
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5.5% (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 140
0.5% (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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3.386% (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 186
2.38% (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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$235.6 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 17
$207.7 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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$298.8 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 30
$267.3 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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$705.4 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 20
$625.9 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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$581.2 billion (31 December 2010)
country comparison to the world: 21
$432.3 billion (31 December 2009)
$252.5 billion (31 December 2008)
 
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barley, wheat, sugar beets; meat, milk
 
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iron and steel, precision equipment (bearings, radio and telephone parts, armaments), wood pulp and paper products, processed foods, motor vehicles
 
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8.7% (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 36
 
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129.4 billion kWh (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 27
 
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132.1 billion kWh (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 24
 
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9.085 billion kWh (2009 est.)
 
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4.686 billion kWh (2009 est.)
 
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4,833 bbl/day (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 94
 
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351,100 bbl/day (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 37
 
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243,200 bbl/day (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 47
 
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546,500 bbl/day (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 22
 
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0 bbl (1 January 2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 194
 
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0 cu m (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 193
 
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1.626 billion cu m (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 82
 
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0 cu m (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 183
 
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1.626 billion cu m (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 50
 
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0 cu m (1 January 2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 194
 
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$28.74 billion (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 14
$29.03 billion (2009 est.)
 
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$160.4 billion (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 28
$134.2 billion (2009 est.)
 
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machinery 35%, motor vehicles, paper products, pulp and wood, iron and steel products, chemicals
 
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Germany 10.5%, Norway 9.8%, UK 7.8%, Denmark 6.9%, Finland 6.5%, US 6.4%, Netherlands 5.2%, France 5.2%, Belgium 4.3% (2010)
 
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$149.5 billion (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 29
$121.2 billion (2009 est.)
 
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machinery, petroleum and petroleum products, chemicals, motor vehicles, iron and steel; foodstuffs, clothing
 
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Germany 18.3%, Norway 8.5%, Denmark 8.3%, Netherlands 6.2%, UK 5.7%, Finland 5.4%, China 4.9%, Russia 4.9%, France 4.7% (2010)
 
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$48.3 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 33
$47.29 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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$1.016 trillion (30 June 2011)
country comparison to the world: 15
$853.3 billion (30 June 2010)
 
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$348.6 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 15
$332.1 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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$336.1 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 14
$347.5 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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Swedish kronor (SEK) per US dollar -
7.5077 (2010)
7.6529 (2009)
6.4074 (2008)
6.7629 (2007)
7.3731 (2006)
 
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Communications

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5.014 million (2010)
country comparison to the world: 31
 
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10.65 million (2010)
country comparison to the world: 67
 
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general assessment: highly developed telecommunications infrastructure; ranked among leading countries for fixed-line, mobile-cellular, Internet and broadband penetration
domestic: coaxial and multiconductor cables carry most of the voice traffic; parallel microwave radio relay systems carry some additional telephone channels
international: country code - 46; submarine cables provide links to other Nordic countries and Europe; satellite earth stations - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean), 1 Eutelsat, and 1 Inmarsat (Atlantic and Indian Ocean regions); note - Sweden shares the Inmarsat earth station with the other Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, and Norway)
 
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publicly-owned television broadcaster operates 2 terrestrial networks plus regional stations; multiple privately-owned television broadcasters operating nationally, regionally, and locally; about 50 local TV stations; widespread access to pan-Nordic and international broadcasters through multi-channel cable and satellite TV systems; publicly-owned radio broadcaster operates 3 national stations and a network of 25 regional channels; nearly a hundred privately-owned local radio stations with some consolidating into near national networks; an estimated 900 community and neighborhood radio stations broadcast intermittently (2008)
 
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.se
 
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4.396 million (2010)
country comparison to the world: 20
 
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8.398 million (2009)
country comparison to the world: 33
 
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Transportation

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249 (2010)
country comparison to the world: 26
 
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total: 152
over 3,047 m: 3
2,438 to 3,047 m: 12
1,524 to 2,437 m: 76
914 to 1,523 m: 25
under 914 m: 36 (2010)
 
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total: 97
914 to 1,523 m: 5
under 914 m: 92 (2010)
 
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2 (2010)
 
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gas 786 km (2010)
 
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total: 11,633 km
country comparison to the world: 20
standard gauge: 11,568 km 1.435-m gauge (7,567 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 65 km 1.000-m gauge (65 km electrified) (2010)
 
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total: 572,900 km (includes 1,855 km of expressways)
country comparison to the world: 12
note: (includes 98,400 km of state roads, 433,500 km of private roads, and 41,000 km of municipal roads; 215,700 km of these are open to public traffic) (2009)
 
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2,052 km (2010)
country comparison to the world: 42
 
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total: 163
country comparison to the world: 39
by type: bulk carrier 4, cargo 20, carrier 1, chemical tanker 31, passenger 5, passenger/cargo 37, petroleum tanker 12, roll on/roll off 32, vehicle carrier 21
foreign-owned: 46 (Denmark 15, Estonia 3, Finland 16, Germany 3, Ireland 1, Italy 5, Norway 3)
registered in other countries: 194 (Antigua and Barbuda 1, Bahamas 6, Barbados 6, Bermuda 17, Cook Islands 3, Cyprus 5, Denmark 16, Faroe Islands 5, France 6, Germany 1, Gibraltar 12, Isle of Man 1, Italy 1, Liberia 10, Malta 3, Netherlands 18, former Netherlands Antilles 1, Norway 33, Panama 1, Portugal 6, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 2, Singapore 9, UK 25, US 5, unknown 1) (2010)
 
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Brofjorden, Goteborg, Helsingborg, Karlshamn, Lulea, Malmo, Stockholm, Trelleborg, Visby
 
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Military

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Swedish Armed Forces (Forsvarsmakten): Army (Armen), Royal Swedish Navy (Marinen), Swedish Air Force (Svenska Flygvapnet) (2010)
 
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18-47 years of age for male and female voluntary military service; service obligation: 7.5 months (Army), 7-15 months (Navy), 8-12 months (Air Force); the Swedish Parliament has abolished compulsory military service, with exclusively voluntary recruitment as of July 2010; conscription remains an option in emergencies; after completing initial service, soldiers have a reserve commitment until age 47 (2010)
 
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males age 16-49: 2,065,691
females age 16-49: 1,996,764 (2010 est.)
 
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males age 16-49: 1,709,055
females age 16-49: 1,650,432 (2010 est.)
 
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male: 54,960
female: 52,275 (2010 est.)
 
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1.5% of GDP (2005 est.)
country comparison to the world: 97
 
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Transnational Issues

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none
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