Sweden is currently leading the EU in statistics measuring equality in the political system and equality in the education system. The Global Gender Gap Report 2006 ranked Sweden as the number one country in terms of gender equality. In 2010, the World Economic Forum ranked Sweden as the second most competitive country in the world, after Switzerland.
Total Area: 449,964 km2 (173,745 sq. miles)
Population: 9,415,295 (2011 census)
Officially known as the Kingdom of Sweden, and more commonly known as Sweden, is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden borders with Norway and Finland, and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel (Oresund Bridge) across the Øresund, the strait that separates the Danish island Zealand from the southern Swedish province of Scania.
Sweden is a constitutional monarchy, in which King Carl XVI Gustaf is head of state, but where his royal power has long been limited to official and ceremonial functions.The Economist Intelligence Unit, while acknowledging that democracy is difficult to measure, listed Sweden in fourth place in 2010 in its index of democracy assessing 167 countries.
Sweden is a unitary state, currently divided into twenty-one counties: Stockholm, Uppsala, Södermanland, Östergötland, Jönköping, Kronoberg, Kalmar, Gotland, Blekinge, Skåne, Halland, Västra Götaland, Värmland, Örebro, Västmanland, Dalarna, Gävleborg, Västernorrland, Jämtland, Västerbotten and Norrbotten. Each county has a County Administrative Board or länsstyrelse, which is a board appointed by the Government. With reference to year 2004, each county further divides into a number of municipalities or kommuner, with a total of 290 municipalities. The municipalities are divided into a total of 2,512 parishes, or församlingar. These have traditionally been a subdivision of the Church of Sweden but still have importance as districts for census and elections. There are older historical divisions, primarily the twenty-five provinces and three lands, which still culturally retain their very own significance.
The nation's legislative body is the riksdag (Swedish Parliament), with 349 members, which chooses the Prime Minister. Parliamentary elections are held every four years, on the third Sunday of September.
Sweden is the third largest country in the European Union by area. Sweden has a low population density of 21 inhabitants per square kilometre (54 /sq mi) with the population mostly concentrated to the southern half of the country. About 85% of the population live in urban areas. Sweden's capital city is Stockholm, which is also the largest city.
Sweden also has a long history of participating in international military operations, including most recently, Afghanistan, where Swedish troops are under NATO command, and in EU sponsored peacekeeping operations in UN protectorate Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Cyprus. Sweden held the chair of the European Union from 1 July to 31 December 2009.
About 15% of Sweden lies north of the Arctic Circle. Southern Sweden is predominantly agricultural, with increasing forest coverage northward. Around 65% of Sweden's total land area is covered with forests. The highest population density is in the Öresund Region in southern Sweden, along the western coast up to central Bohuslän, and in the valley of lake Mälaren and Stockholm. Gotland and Öland are Sweden's largest islands; Vänern and Vättern are its largest lakes. Vänern is the third largest in Europe, after Lake Ladoga and Lake Onega in Russia.
Sources: Wikipedia, Europa.eu, GGP report (2006)
Despite its northern latitude, Sweden -for its greater part- offers a temperate climate, with four distinct seasons and mild temperatures throughout the year. The country can be divided into three types of climate; the southernmost part has an oceanic climate, the central part has a humid continental climate and the northernmost part has a subarctic climate. However, Sweden is much warmer and drier than other places at a similar latitude, and even somewhat farther south, mainly because of the Gulf Stream. In a way of example, central and southern Sweden has much warmer winters than many parts of Russia, Canada, and the northern United States. Because of its high latitude, the length of daylight varies greatly. North of the Arctic Circle, the sun never sets for part of each summer, and it never rises for part of each winter. In the capital, Stockholm, daylight lasts for more than 18 hours in late June but only around 6 hours in late December. Sweden receives between 1,100 to 1,900 hours of sunshine annually.
Temperatures vary greatly from north to south. Southern and central parts of the country have warm summers and cold winters, with average high temperatures of 20 to 25 °C (68 to 77 °F) and lows of 12 to 15 °C (54 to 59 °F) in the summer, and average temperatures of -4 to 2 °C (25 to 36 °F) in the winter, whilst the northern part of the country experiences shorter, cooler summers and longer, colder and snowier winters, with temperatures that often drop below freezing from September through May.
Sources: Wikipedia, infoplease
Sweden is an export-oriented mixed economy featuring a modern distribution system, excellent internal and external communications, and a skilled labour force. Timber, hydropower and iron ore constitute the resource base of an economy heavily oriented toward foreign trade. Sweden's engineering sector accounts for 50% of output and exports. Telecommunications, the automotive industry and the pharmaceutical industries are also of great importance. Agriculture accounts for 2% of GDP and employment. Income is relatively flatly distributed, Sweden has the lowest Gini coefficient (0.23) of any country.
In terms of structure, the Swedish economy is characterised by a large, knowledge-intensive and export-oriented manufacturing sector, an increasing, but comparatively small, business service sector, and by international standards, a large public service sector. Large organisations both in manufacturing and services dominate the Swedish economy.
The World Economic Forum 2009–2010 competitiveness index ranks Sweden the 4th most competitive economy in the world. In the World Economic Forum 2010–2011 Global Competitiveness Report, Sweden climbed two positions, and since then ranked 2nd in the world.
Sweden's energy market is largely privatized. The rail transport market is privatized, but while there are many privately owned enterprises, many operators are still owned by state.
Sweden maintains its own currency, the Swedish krona (SEK), a result of the Swedes having rejected the euro in a referendum. The Swedish Riksbank -founded in 1668 and thus making it the oldest central bank in the world- is currently focusing on price stability with an inflation target of 2%. According to the Economic Survey of Sweden 2007 by the OECD, the average inflation in Sweden has been one of the lowest among European countries since the mid-1990s, largely because of deregulation and quick utilisation of globalization and gradual but firm deregulation of local markets. The largest trade flows of Sweden are with Germany, the United States, Norway, the United Kingdom, Denmark and Finland.
The 20 largest (by turnover in 2007) companies registered in Sweden are Volvo, Ericsson, Vattenfall, Skanska, Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications AB, Svenska Cellulosa Aktiebolaget, Electrolux, Volvo Personvagnar, TeliaSonera, Sandvik, Scania, ICA, Hennes & Mauritz, IKEA, Nordea, Preem, Atlas Copco, Securitas, Nordstjernan and SKF. Sweden's industry is overwhelmingly in private hands; unlike some other industrialised Western countries, such as Austria and Italy, publicly owned enterprises have always been of minor importance in Sweden and largely neglected as types of enterprise.
Some 4.5 million residents are working, out of which around a third has tertiary education. GDP per hour worked is the world's 9th highest at 31 USD in 2006, compared to 22 USD in Spain and 35 USD in United States. GDP per hour worked is growing 2½ per cent per year for the economy as a whole and the trade-terms-balanced productivity growth is 2%. According to OECD, deregulation, globalisation, and technology sector growth have been key productivity drivers. Sweden is a world leader in privatised pensions and pension funding problems are relatively small compared to many other Western European countries.
Sources: Wikipedia, cia factbook, infoplease
Sweden received 4,678,000 overseas visitors in 2009 (an increase of about 3% as per 2008) with similar numbers in 2010. As per 2008 it’s the 43th most popular country in tourist arrivals (Source: World Tourism Rankings). However, (according to “thelocal.se” in March 2012) there are indications to show that figures relating to 2012, are disappointing, both in arrival numbers and proceeds.
Tourism is Sweden’s fastest growing sector, offering the Arctic wilderness of the far north, ultra-cool urban fashion shows in the cities and five-star culinary adventures all over the country.
"Nature tourism" remains Sweden’s biggest attraction, with visitors from around the world drawn by the country’s stunning nature and untouched wilderness. At the top of many travelers’ wish list is Lapland, with its unique scenery and once-in-a-lifetime experiences such as the midnight sun, the northern lights (aurora borealis), winter’s Arctic chill and a mystical silence.
The largest Swedish airports include Stockholm-Arlanda Airport (16.1 million passengers in 2009) 40 km (25 miles) north of Stockholm, the other one being Gothenburg-Landvetter Airport (4.3 million passengers in 2008), and as a third, the Stockholm-Skavsta Airport (2.0 million passengers). Sweden hosts the two largest port companies in Scandinavia, Port of Göteborg AB (Gothenburg) and the transnational company Copenhagen Malmö Port AB.
Sources: sweden.se, Wikipedia, thelocal.se, tradingeconomics report 2009 (publ. 2010)
Car Hire in Sweden with MisterHire.Com
When visiting Sweden, what would immediately strike anyone exploring the country, would be the contrasting solitude of the north, as opposed to the buzz and bright lights of Sweden’s cities, more obvious down south. The attraction of the Swedish lakes is unsurpassed, promising idyllic afternoons and a feeling of being closer to nature. The Swedish capital of Stockholm has long been famed for its idyllic setting - spread across 14 islands - and its rich cultural heritage. The city has also built a reputation as a global center of cutting-edge fashion, dynamic design and innovative cuisine, as well as being most productive in the arts of music and culture.
A bustling cosmopolitan Malmö lying in the far south of Sweden, is linked to the Danish capital of Copenhagen via the Öresund Bridge. Together, they make a thriving metropolitan region which spans a great distance. On the west coast, Sweden’s second largest city, Gothenburg, has plenty to offer with its vibrant entertainment scene and multitude of cultural experiences. A few of the world’s top 50 restaurants operate in Sweden, so they would be a lovely treat for any visitor wishing in widening his/her culinary horizon.
So not wanting to surpass many interesting places, monuments and restaurants which would be of interest to visit at your own time during your holiday vacation, our dedicated purchasing team compares prices across all the main suppliers such as Hertz, Sixt, Europcar, Budget, Avis and others, in order to find you the best car rental rates possible, 24/7 all year round, anywhere in Sweden. Visit any of our car hire search pages and receive a concise and inclusive (airport charges and other hidden fees/insurances included, as per our Rate details) car rental quotation today and see how much can be saved on your next hire car in Sweden by simply using our services. Opting for an (optional) GPS unit, or an in-built Sat Nav system with your rental car would be ideal for Sweden; this can be ordered Online via our booking process and subject to local availability, its fee payable on the spot.
Rather than making a direct reservation with any of the household names and spend precious time comparing rates and offerings across the board, the rates we secure for our customers for pre-bookings Online from branded and trusted suppliers, are most attractive due to the volume and reliability of our fully settled and confirmed bookings year after year. You save more on each rental, hence we are allowed to negotiate at least the same, or even better (or more inclusive) car hire rates the following year due to the purchasing power you provide us, each time you book with us, whether that’s Sweden or anywhere else in the world! It’s that simple.
Speed limits in Sweden are as follows:
30-60 km/h (18-36 mph) - in built-up areas
70-100 km/h (44-62 mph) - on single carriageway roads
110-120 km/h (68-75 mph) - on motorways
The Alcohol Limit indication should not exceed 0.2 mg per ml in Sweden (as currently in Norway & Poland, 2012), if you are to be breathalised. Sweden is a strict country when it comes to drink and driving, so please take all necessary measures to either avoid or limit drinking to acceptable levels whilst there.
Also be advised that 0.5mg is equivalent to one small beer, so just like mainland Europe, nowhere in Sweden there is much tolerance for drinking.
Sources: Wikipedia, aboutsweden