Scenes From Sweden

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

One of the countries we are building a bridge to
Sweden, officially the Kingdom of Sweden (Swedish: Konungariket Sverige (help·info)), is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. It has been a member of the European Union since 1995. Its capital city is Stockholm.

At 449,964 km² (173,720 square miles), Sweden is the third largest country in Western Europe. Sweden has a low population density except in its metropolitan areas; 84% of the population lives in urban areas, which take up only 1.3% of the total land area.[1] The citizens enjoy a high standard of living and the country is generally perceived as modern and liberal,[2] with an organizational and corporate culture that is non-hierarchical and collectivist compared to its Anglo-Saxon counterparts.[3] Nature conservation, environmental protection and energy efficiency are generally prioritized in policy making and embraced by the general public in Sweden.[4][5]

Sweden has a long tradition as a major exporter of iron, copper and timber. Improved transportation and communication allowed more remote natural assets to be utilized on a larger scale, most notably timber and iron ore. In the 1890s, universal schooling and industrialization enabled the country to develop a successful manufacturing industry and by the twentieth century, Sweden emerged as a welfare state, consistently achieving a high position among the top-ranking countries in the UN Human Development Index (HDI). Sweden has a rich supply of water power, but lacks significant oil and coal deposits.