Key Facts Sweden

by World Grain Staff
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Capital: Stockholm

Population: 9 million (July 2007 est.)

Religions: Lutheran 87%, other (includes Roman Catholic, Orthodox, Baptist, Muslim, Jewish, and Buddhist) 13%

Location: Northern Europe, bordering the Baltic Sea, Gulf of Bothnia, Kattegat, and Skagerrak, between Finland and Norway

Government: Constitutional monarchy; Chief of State: King Carl Gustaf XVI (since Sept. 19, 1973); Head of government: Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt (since Oct. 5, 2006) Economy: Aided by peace and neutrality for the entire 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. 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 only 1% of GDP and 2% of employment. The government’s commitment to fiscal discipline resulted in a substantial budgetary surplus in 2001, which was cut by more than half in 2002 due to the global economic slowdown, declining revenue and increased spending. The Swedish central bank (the Riksbank) focuses on price stability with its inflation target of 2%. Growth remained sluggish in 2003 but picked up during 2004-06. Presumably because of generous sick-leave benefits, Swedish workers report in sick more often than other Europeans. In September 2003, Swedish voters turned down entry into the euro system due to concern about the impact on the economy and sovereignty.

GDP per capita: $32,200 (PPP2006 est.); inflation 1.4%; unemployment 5.6% (2004 est.)

Currency: Krona; 6.33461 Kronors equal 1 U.S. dollar (Nov. 16, 2007)

Exports: $153.7 billion f.o.b. (2006 est.); machinery 35%, motor vehicles, paper products, pulp and wood, iron and steel products, chemicals

Imports: $132.8 billion f.o.b. (2006 est.): machinery, petroleum and petroleum products, chemicals, motor vehicles, iron and steel; foodstuffs, clothing

Major crops/agricultural products: Barley, wheat, sugar beets; meat, milk

Agriculture: 1.4% of GDP and 2% of the labor force

Internet: Code. .se; 3.318 million hosts and 6.981 million users

Source: CIA World Factbook