Sweden Country Profile Travel Guide Business Information

Sweden Country Profile Travel Guide Business Information

Sweden population Sweden religion Sweden history Sweden economy Sweden currency Sweden road travel and other Swedish national information

Related pages Sweden Consulate Office (UK) Stockholm Visitors Guide

Sweden Country Profile
Sweden Population The population of Sweden is 9 million with over 711k living in the capital Stockholm. 90% of the population are Swedes and 3% are Finns. O.15% are indigenous Lapps. Sweden Religion The main religion Lutheran is attributed to 87% of the population with the most prominent minorities being Roman Catholic & Orthodox. Other faiths followed followed include Baptists, Buddhist, Jewish and Muslim. Sweden LanguageThe official language is Swedish though English is very widely spoken. Sweden CurrencyThe official currency is the Swedish Krona SEK. Sweden Currency Regulations Visitors entering or leaving Romania with cash in any currency which exceeds 10,000€, must declare it to customs officials.

Sweden – Early Origins Recent History

Sweden Early History  Knowledge of the origins of human life in present day Scandinavia is very limited and often disputed. The earliest archaeological evidence of human life in the region (found in Denmark) is dated around 9500BC and there is a school of thought that then inhabitants of Denmark migrated northwards into Sweden and Finland. See also Finland history.

Around 4200BC farming settlements were established in Southern Scandinavia and several graves dated between 3300 and 2000BC have been uncovered in southern Sweden The early settlements were probably populated by hunting migrants from the Urals and Europe. Some historians believe that these settlers eventually became ‘traders or merchants’ with a comfortable social status as graves dated up to 500BC have contained various goods in them indicating status.

Documentary evidence written by the Roman historian Tacitus in 98AD refers to the Suiones (who he described as living out of the sea) who he viewed as a threat to the Roman Empire. This reference is thought to be refer to the Svear inhabitants of Eastern Sweden. In the following five centuries the southern part of Sweden was occupied by several tribes including the Svear, Geats and Beowulf. The northern area was dominated by the Sami.

From the 6th century the Svear dominated the southern part of Sweden and Finland. Western Sweden was increasingly under the influence of viking tribes from Norway and Denmark. In the 13th century Finland became part of the Swedish Crown.

In 1397 Sweden with Denmark and Norway became part of the Kalmar Union together with Norway and Denmark under the jurisdiction of the Danish Crown. In 1523 under King Gust Vasa it became an independent country.

Swedish History From 1520  In 1520 the Danish King ruling Sweden ordered the massacre of Swedish nobles in what was described as the ‘Stockholm Bloodbath’. These murders were the trigger for Swedish rebellion against Danish rule and in 1523 Sweden declared its independence led by Gustav Vasa who became King. He is often seen as been the father of the Swedish Nation. Under his rule Catholicism was replaced by Protestant Reformation.

By the 17th century Sweden had become the most powerful country in Northern Europe. It was economically stronger than its neighbours and its army though smaller than other states such as Russia was better equipped. In 1700 Sweden defeated the Russians in the Battle of Narva before embarking on a wider war with Russia in 1707. During this war they occupied half of Poland but the tactics of Peter the Great and the Russian winter resulted in Sweden suffering a major defeat in the 1709 Battle of Poltava. This battle, in which half the Swedish army was lost, was effectively the end of the Swedish Empire a point underlined in 1716 with a unsuccessful invasion of Norway.

Sweden Recent History  Following the Napoleonic Wars Norway was once again invaded by Sweden in 1814 and forced to remain part of Sweden until 1905. During WW1 & WW2 Sweden was officially a neutral country. During WW2 it was effectively cut off from the rest of Europe by blockades and has since had to withstand criticism for not joining the Allies in the war with Germany. It is recognised that towards the end of the war Sweden played a major role in offering humanitarian aid to refugees from Nazis occupied Europe. It was also a major player in getting aid to survivors of the concentration camps.

The policy of being a neutral country was maintained post war with Sweden not joining Nato. Similarly it did not join the European Union until the end of the cold war

Swedish Economy Business

The GDP (gross domestic product) of Sweden is over 352 billion USD. The annual growth rate of the economy is over 3.0% per year. Annual Inflation is around 1% with unemployment between 5-6%. Youth unemployment is the second only to Italy in the European Union. The Swedish Central Bank is Independent of government.

Sweden’s main industries are Forestry mining and agriculture. The manufacture of high tech engineering telecommunication products are engineering tools, and automobiles are also very prominent industries. Sweden’s main trading partners are Germany, UK & US. Sweden is regarded by many as being one of the most IT literate countries in the EU

Sweden & European Union Sweden joined the EU in 1995. In 2003 in a national referendum 56% of Swedes decided not join the euro zone with 42% voting in favour of joining. The Swedes are often viewed as being euro sceptics but this has to viewed against their tradition of being politically neutral which was evident . throughout the cold war. Even today they are not members of NATO.

Tourism In Sweden Tourism to Sweden is well established with the capital Stockholm and its second largest city Gothenburg popular destinations. Northern Sweden is famous for winter sports even though the highest mountain in the country Kebnekaise is only 2111 metres high. The downhill ski resorts at Are and Vemdalen are very popular and there are numerous cross country skiing resorts – Vasaloppet every March feature the world’s longest cross country ski race

General Infomation About Sweden

Emergency Medical Treatment In Sweden  Sweden has a very high standard of healthcare and arrangements with several countries including the UK nationals for the provision of emergency medical treatment. If you are travelling from the EU you will need a European Health Card More. Chemist / pharmacies are open normal working hours and Saturdays for a short while. They do not open Sundays

Cautionary: Medical Precautions If you are going to coastal areas take medical advice about inoculations against tick-borne encephalitis. This problem is especially prevalent around the Stockholm Archipelago.

Crime In Sweden Sweden is one of Europe’s safest countries to live with the crime rate much lower than in other European countries. Petty crime in the main cities increase during the summer when pick-pockets target tourists for cash and passports.

Bird Flu – Avian Influenza In recent years this has been found in several places in Sweden in ducks. No human infections have contracted the disease. Avoid live animal markets, poultry farms and with domestic, caged or wild birds. Thoroughly cook any egg and poultry dishes.

The Northern Lights aurora borealis  Kiruna in northern Sweden is an ideal place to see this phenomen which is most frequently visible as the sun rises between September – October and March to April

The Ice Hotel Since 1990 the Village of Jukkasjarvi Kiruna has every December to April offered visitors accommodation in its Ice Hotel (left) which is made entirely of ice. The hotel is rebuilt yearly from ice is sourced from Tome River. Accommodation is available on a room or suite basis. The hotel also has a bar church and reception area – all offering visitors a warm welcome.

 

Travel In Sweden

Road Travel In Sweden  Throughout Sweden’s roads are well maintained and generally traffic levels are light. Drivers in Sweden must be 18, have a valid driving licence from their country of residence with a photograph, the current insurance covering them whilst driving in Sweden and the original registration documents for the vehicle. If the vehicle does not belong to them they should carry written consent for their use of the car from its owner along with relevant contact details.Children under 7 are only permitted to be carried in a car if they are wearing a seat belt adapted for young children. Seat Belts must be worn at all times.

Dipped headlights must be used at all times and drivers must be equipped with a warning triangle for use In the event of a an accident or breakdown placed a minimum of 50metres behind the vehicle. Visiting drivers who are not Swedish are expected to use winter tyres from 1st December to 31st March but should note that snow in November is highly likely. Swedish residents have to adhere a rigid winter tyre criteria .

In Sweden drinking and driving is not tolerated and the limit of alcohol in the blood is .02 per cent is less than half a pint of weak beer or less than half a small of wine. Anyone found breaking this law risk imprisonment. Heavy on the spot fines are payable for breaking traffic regulations. In Sweden speed limits are generally 50KPH in built up areas, 90KPH in rural areas and 110 KPH on motorways.

In Sweden payment for petrol cannot always be made using credit cards and debit cards. Many stations operate on an automatic pre-payment basis using 20KR & 100KR notes.

Driving In Winter In Sweden  At times the weather in Sweden can be very severe with heavy snow and very low temperatures – see the euromost city guide for Stockholm.  Motorists travelling in Sweden during the winter are advised to check the weather forecast and road conditions before setting out. They are also advised to carry mobile phones for use in an emergency along with emergency supplies of food and warm drinks especially when going on a long journey.

Useful Words For Drivers In Sweden  Parking – parkering / Exit – aufart / Entrance – entre / Detour – omvag Hospital – lasarett / Police – polis Police station – polis station Emergency Help 112 / (Fire Police Ambulance)

Rail Travel In Sweden  Rail travel in Sweden is dependable and comfortable at any time of the year. Inter city services as a rule of thumb run hourly. For more information on Swedish rail services see the links on the euromost European rail page.

For information on coach travel in Sweden see the euromost European coach page.

Travelling With Children In Sweden If you are travelling with children who are not yours you must carry a letter from the child’s parent or guardian giving you consent to have them accompany you. The letter should also have contact telephone for the person giving the consent.

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