Sweden Basic Information

By | July 21, 2022

Basic information about the territory

Sweden Basic Information

Subchapters:

  • System of governance and political tendencies in the country
  • Foreign policy of the country
  • Population

The system of governance and political tendencies in the country

The official name of the state

  • Czech: Sweden
  • English: Sweden
  • Swedish: Sverige

Sweden is a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary democracy. The head of state has been King Charles XVI Gustaf of the Bernadotte dynasty since 1973. The Prime Minister is Magdalena Andersson, chairperson of the Social Democracy, from November 2021. The unicameral parliament (Riksdag) has 349 members.

The winner of the last election held on 9 September 2018 was the Social Democracy with 28.3% of the vote (down 2.8% from 2014) ahead of the opposition conservative Moderate Party which won 19.8% (down 3.5% ) and the national Sweden Democrats, who received 17.5% of the vote (an increase of 4.7%). Voter turnout reached 87.2%.

The current heavily minority Social Democratic one-party government today holds only 100 of the 349 seats in the Swedish parliament, making it Sweden’s weakest government since 1978.

The composition of the Swedish government is as follows:

  • Magdalena Andersson (soc.-dem.), Prime Minister
  • Annika Strandhäll (soc.-dem.), Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Climate and Environment
  • Mikael Damberg (soc.-dem.), Minister of Finance
  • Ann Linde (Soc.-Dem.), Minister of Foreign Affairs
  • Peter Hultqvist (soc.-dem.), Minister of Defence
  • Hans Dahlgren (Soc.-Dem.), Minister for the EU
  • Anna Hallberg (soc.-dem.), Minister of Foreign Trade and Nordic Affairs
  • Morgan Johansson (soc.-dem.), Minister of Justice and the Interior
  • Anders Ygeman (soc.-dem.), Minister for Integration and Migration responsible for sport
  • Thomas Eneroth (soc.-dem.), Minister of Infrastructure
  • Khashayar Farmanbar (Soc.-Dem.), Minister of Energy and Digitization
  • Karl-Petter Thorwaldsson (soc.-dem.), Minister of Business, Industry and Innovation
  • Anna-Caren Sätherberg (Soc.-Dem.), Minister for Rural Affairs
  • Anna Ekström (soc.-dem.), Minister of Education
  • Lina Axelsson Kihlblom (soc.-dem.), Minister of Education
  • Lena Hallengren (soc.-dem.), Minister of Social Affairs and Health
  • Ardalan Shekarabi (Soc.-Dem.), Minister for Social Insurance
  • Eva Nordmark (soc.-dem.), Minister for Employment and Gender Equality
  • Johan Danielsson (soc.-dem.), Minister for Housing and Deputy Minister for Employment
  • Max Elger (Soc.-Dem.), Minister for Financial Markets
  • Jeanette Gustafsdotter (soc.-dem.), Minister of Culture
  • Matilda Ernkrans (soc.-dem.), Minister for International Development Cooperation
  • Ida Karkiainen (soc.-dem.), Minister for Public Administration

A detailed breakdown of the competences and agendas of individual ministries can be found on the government ‘s website. Check computerminus to learn more about Sweden political system.

The next parliamentary elections are scheduled for September 2022. The Social Democrats are traditionally the strongest political party according to preferences. In second place are the centre-right Moderates and the third most popular party is the nationalist Sweden Democrats. Given that the right-wing opposition is currently demonstrating a greater degree of cooperation and gradual convergence of opinion compared to parties in the political center and the left, i.e. parties that traditionally support Social Democracy, there is a real possibility of a new center-right government after the elections.

Foreign policy of the country

Relations with other countries

Sweden’s foreign and security policy is based on cohesion in the EU and emphasizes cooperation on a broad front, from the Nordic and Baltic regions to the UN and OSCE. Sweden advocates a European security order based on international law and the UN Charter. It aims to strengthen democracy, human rights, gender equality and the rule of law and security. Non-participation in military alliances remains the basis of Swedish security policy, which contributes to stability and security in Northern Europe. Swedish foreign and trade policy contributes to achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement, to sustainable development and the green transition. A single market with freedom of movement and free trade is absolutely essential for Sweden. Check relationshipsplus for Sweden defense and foreign policy.

Cooperation with the UN

The basic pillar of Swedish foreign policy remains the UN. Sweden wants to remain an influential voice at the UN. The country is one of the largest providers of foreign development aid and supports the activities of the United Nations in dealing with humanitarian crises. In January 2021, the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons entered into force, and Sweden has already confirmed its interest in becoming an observer. Sweden is a strong supporter of international cooperation and is very active in promoting multilateral cooperation.

EU

The EU is the most important arena of Swedish foreign policy. A well-functioning EU in the areas of a common voice for peace, democracy, human rights and the rule of law is a prerequisite for Sweden’s well-being. The government is interested in deepening the cooperation of Sweden and the EU with the United Kingdom. Cooperation in the Nordic region is important, but it is undergoing severe tests during the pandemic. Another area of ​​Swedish interest is cooperation with the Baltic states. Sweden will preside over the Council of the EU from January 2023 and will follow on from the presidency of the Czech Republic.

NATO

The Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 and the subsequent ongoing war had immediate effects on the fundamental debate about Swedish defence. Swedish defense cooperation, i.e. defense cooperation with other Nordic and European states, as well as with the United States, very quickly came to the center of domestic political debates after the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The traditionally controversial topic of Swedish and Finnish membership in NATO has become the most politically and publicly discussed topic within a few weeks. Subsequently, Sweden together with Finland applied for NATO membership in the first half of 2022.

Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and the Eastern Partnership

The Swedish government supports the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine. Russia’s aggression against Ukraine and the illegal annexation of Crimea are unacceptable for Sweden. Sweden is concerned about negative trends in human rights and civil society in Russia, as well as fraudulent elections and violence in Belarus. The EU’s engagement in the region through the Eastern Partnership is more important than ever.

United States of America

Sweden is convinced that there are many areas in which cooperation with the US can be renewed and deepened, including security policy and multilateralism, trade, green transition, new technologies, democracy and gender equality.

Middle East

Sweden is working with the EU to resume meaningful negotiations between Israel and Palestine and to find a solution based on international law. Preserving the Iran nuclear deal is critical to non-proliferation and to maintaining security in the Middle East.

Africa

Sweden is interested in maintaining peace, democracy and further development in Africa. The security situation in the Sahel is of great concern and Sweden contributes to security and development in the region.

Asia

The growing importance of Asia means opportunity for trade and investment, green technology and innovation. The Swedish government is developing cooperation with India, Japan and South Korea. The coup in Myanmar is unacceptable for Sweden and the government condemns it. China’s international importance is increasingly affecting Sweden’s interests. Together with the EU, Sweden sees global challenges – climate change, health and a functioning and fair free trade order – that can only be faced together with China. The government positively assesses the strengthening of trade cooperation and welcomes the comprehensive investment agreement between the EU and China. The Swedish government is concerned about the shrinking democratic space in Hong Kong.

Population

Population

  • Population: 10,452,326 (at the end of 2021), annual population growth: 0.7% (73,031 people)
  • Population density: 2inhabitants/km²
  • Share of the economically active population (15-74 years): 73.7%
  • Largest cities: Stockholm (978,770, agglomeration 1,679,050), Gothenburg (587,549), Malmö (351,749), Uppsala (237,596), Upplands Väsby-Sollentuna (122,928), Västerås (156,838), Örebro (156 987), Linköping (165,527), Helsingborg (150,109).

Average annual growth and its demographic composition

The population increase of 73,031 people (0.7%) in 2021 was due to 30% more births than deaths and 58% more immigration than emigration. Sweden is one of the countries with the longest living population, with an average life expectancy of 8years for women and 80.6 years for men, which ranks it 13th in the world. By 2021, foreigners make up a total of 880,826 of the country’s total population of 10,452,326 (i.e. 8.4%). In 2021, 89,000 people were granted Swedish citizenship, which is 11% more than in 2020. At the same time, migration to Sweden decreased by 9.8%. Up to 20% of the population is born outside Sweden.

The most numerous minority groups in terms of country of origin as of 2020 are citizens of Syria, Poland, Afghanistan, Eritrea, Finland, Norway, Germany, Denmark, India and Somalia. In 2021, Sweden registered 12% fewer asylum applications compared to the previous year. The highest increase in applications for Swedish citizenship is attributed to immigrants from Syria, Poland, Norway, as well as from Romania, Germany and Greece. Due to the protracted conflict in Ukraine, the number of refugees from this country is growing, reaching values ​​of approximately 35,814 people (May 2022).

By 2021, the number of citizens originating from the Czech Republic was estimated at 2,599 people. The number of citizens from the former Czechoslovakia is estimated at 4,498.

Religious composition

According to the Swedish Statistical Office, this data is not monitored with regard to the protection of personal data. Other data sources state that approximately 30.4% of Sweden’s population has no religion and the remaining 69.6% profess some faith.

Believer:

  • Church of Sweden (Lutheran) 56.4% of the population
  • Islam 7%
  • Roman Catholic Church 1.7%
  • Eastern Orthodox Church 1.5%
  • Judaism, Hinduism and Buddhism – less than 0.2%