Swedish Language Blog

Facts about Sweden Posted by on Jun 25, 2012 in Culture

We all spend a lot of time speaking, reading, and writing in Swedish as we try to teach and learn the language. But sometimes, it’s nice to get away from some of the grammar and vocab. So this post is going to be a simple one – just some fun facts about Sweden (if you want an impressively detailed country report go to the World Factbook where many of these facts came from).


  • As of April 30, 2012, the population of Sweden was 9,500,478 according to Statistiska centralbyrån,
  • 99% of the population can read.
  • The average life expectancy is just over 81 years of age.
  • The unemployment rate as of May 2012 was 8.1%,
  • The unemployment rate as of May 2012 for people between the ages of 15 and 24 was 28%.


  • Carl XVI Gustaf is King of Sweden.
  • Fredrik Reinfeldt of the Moderate party is the current prime minister.
  • Sweden’s parliament is called the Riksdag and has 349 members.
  • As of July 1, 2010, Sweden’s military is a completely voluntary force.
  • The national anthem is titled “Du Gamla, Du Fria.”
  • Sweden’s national day is June 6th, but you already knew that, remember? Sveriges nationaldag – National Day of Sweden.
  • The official language of Sweden is, you guessed it, Swedish.


  • At 450,295 square kilometers (nearly 174,000 square miles), Sweden is the fourth largest country in Europe (France is the largest, then Ukraine, then Spain) and just a bit bigger than the state of California.
  • Stockholm, the capital of Sweden, is almost on the same latitude as Anchorage, Alaska.
  • Sweden is a constitutional monarchy.
  • The highest mountain in Sweden is Kebnekaise at 2,111 meters (6,926 feet).
  • The largest lake is Vänern at 5,655 square kilometers (2,183 square miles).


  • Some of Sweden’s main agricultural crops include barley, wheat, and sugar beets.
  • Some of Sweden’s main industries include, iron and steel, wood pulp and forestry, as well as motor vehicles.
  • Sweden’s main airport is called Arlanda and is located just outside of Stockholm.


  • Sweden’s national hockey team is known as Tre Kronor.
  • The men’s national soccer team has never won the World Cup, finishing second in 1958 when they hosted the tournament and lost to Brazil.
  • The women’s national soccer team has never won the World Cup, finishing third in 1991 and again in 2011.

I’m sure many of you knew quite a few of these facts already, if not, hopefully you learned something new!

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About the Author: Marcus Cederström

Marcus Cederström has been writing for the Transparent Swedish Blog since 2009. He has a Bachelor's Degree in Scandinavian Studies from the University of Oregon, a Master's Degree in Scandinavian Studies from the University of Wisconsin–Madison, and a PhD in Scandinavian Studies and Folklore from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. He has taught Swedish for several years and still spells things wrong. So, if you see something, say something.