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Sweden Country Information
Welcome to Travel Guide 2 Sweden, the site about travel, tourism and vacations in Sweden.
The Kingdom of Sweden (Swedish: Konungariket Sverige) is a country in northern Europe in the Scandinavian peninsula. It shares land borders with Finland and Norway. Sweden has coasts on the Baltic Sea, Kattegatt, Oresund (Swedish: Öresund) and Skagerrak, and through these seas shares maritime borders with Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Russia. Additionally, the Swedish city of Malmö is connected by the Oresund bridge (Swedish Öresundsbron; Danish: Øresundsbroen), to Copenhagen in Denmark.
As of 2007, Sweden had an estimated population of 9,142,817. Approximately 1.9 million of the inhabitants live in the metropolitan area of Stockholm, and other large cities in Sweden include Gothenburg, (Swedish: Göteborg), Malmö, Uppsala, and Västerås.
Sweden is home to a modern market-based export-orientated economy. The country enjoys a good infrastructure, excellent internal and external communications, and a highly skilled labor force. Approximately 50% of Sweden's output comes from the engineering sector, and this sector is a major contributor to the country's exports too. Other important industries include the automotive industry, pharmaceuticals, and telecommunications.
Sweden has a reputation for high taxes and a large public sector. This reputation is not unjustified, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Sweden was in fact the only country (out of the 25 in the OECD) where tax represented more than 50% of the national income (as of 2005). Despite this, Swedish industry is overwhelmingly in private control - unlike some other Western industrialized countries such as Austria and Italy.
Sweden has been a member of the European Union since 1995. The accession treaty, which was approved by a national referendum, required that the country join the euro, however in a separate 2003 referendum purely on the currency question, Swedish voters rejected adopting the currency, and as a result Sweden currently remains outside both the euro and the European Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM). As some political parties continue to believe that it would be in the national interest to join a second referendum may be held in the next decade, and if voters approve the euro, it would be adopted a few years later. However, unless and until that transpires, the Swedish krona remains the national currency.
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