|Show timeline of Sweden|
|Sweden is about the same size as California.
(SSFC, 10/9/05, Par p.27)
Long and narrow, the Scandinavian nation sits on Europe's northern fringe and covers nearly 411,000 square kilometers (158,000 square miles), about the size of California. It is bounded by Norway, Finland and the Baltic Sea.
POPULATION: In 2006 was about 9 million, of whom nearly one in five is an immigrant or has at least one immigrant parent. Some 85 percent of Swedes nominally are members of the Lutheran Church of Sweden, although only about 5 percent attend church regularly. Literacy is virtually 100 percent, life expectancy is among the world's highest, 76.7 years for men, 81.8 for women, and the United Nations Development Program says Sweden has the world's smallest percent-age of poor residents.
GOVERNMENT: Constitutional monarchy, but the king is a figurehead. The government is led by a prime minister who is elected by a 349-seat single-chamber parliament, the Riksdag. The ruling Social Democratic party has had support in parliament from the ex-communist Left Party and the Green Party, with four parties in opposition. 42.7 percent of the members of parliament are women.
The nyckelharpa is a keyed fiddle from Sweden.
(NH, 6/97, p.66)