There are 12 million people in Sweden – 85 % of them live in cities. Sweden is a very multicultural country: 15 % of Swedes were born in another country while about 1 in 5 children in Sweden has a family with roots in another country.
The capital of Sweden, Stockholm, is also the country’s largest city, with more than 950.000 inhabitants. Other large cities are Gothenburg, in western Sweden (population 570.000), and Malmö in the south population 340.000). Uppsala and L und are well-known university cities.
Less than 3 % of Sweden’s land area is built up and forests cover 69 % 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.
Swedish is the official language of Sweden. The majority of Swedes also speak English, and generally to a very high level. Many Swedish multinational organizations have English as their corporate language, and a large number of university degree programmes and courses are taught in English.
Sweden is a parliamentary democracy and it is called Riksdag and members are elected every four years.
The Swedish head of state since 1973 is King Carl XVI Gustav. He has no political power but represents the country and performs ceremonial duties.
Swedes study and work hard but they also take their rest and relaxation seriously. So the fika – a coffee break that normally consists of coffee or tea, cookies or sweet buns, but can also include soft drinks, fruits and sandwiches – is a social institute and an important part of the national culture. You can fika (it’s a verb as well as a noun) with your family or on your first date.
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.