Country Briefs: Located in Northern Europe, the Nordic city in Scandinavia, bordered by Norway in the west, Finland in the northeast, the Skagerrak and the Kattegat Strait in the southwest, the Baltic Sea and the Gulf of Bothnia in the east is the charming country of Sweden that has more than a million reasons to be globally acclaimed.
The history of this country that spreads in an area of 449,964 square kilometers goes back to the decline of the ice age and beginning of the Stone Age when hunters and gatherers had accumulated and settled here.
According to the Roman historian Tacitus, Sweden got its name from the Sigtuna and the Birka tribe that had settled around the lake Malaren in the eastern Sweden.
During the 9th and 10th century Sweden was fully dominated by the Swedish Vikings who are believed to be quite different from their Norwegian and Danish counterparts in terms of their psyche and preferences.
During the Middle Ages Sweden like other European nations, too witnessed expansion of its territories. Sweden stretched from the northern Laplandia, the Scandinavian Peninsula and the present day Finland. From 1362 to 1809 Finland remained a part of Sweden.
In 1389 the Kalmar Treaty was signed. This treaty led to the unification of Sweden and Denmark under a single monarch. But after some time, in 1521 the King Gustav I of Sweden laid the foundation and successfully established a free nation state.
This act came to be known as foundation of modern Sweden. Gustav I therefore became a significant Swedish personality and is known as "Father of Nation" till date. Gustav I also declined Catholicism and encouraged Sweden towards Protestant Reformation.
Due to the active participation and laudable performance of Gustav II Adolph in the Thirty Years of War and of Charles X Gustav of Sweden in the Deluge of Poland, Sweden emerged as a great European power during the 17th century.
But soon in 18th century Sweden collapsed as Imperial Russia occupied entire northern Europe. In 1809 the eastern half of Sweden was taken to form the Grand Duchy of Finland.
After years of struggle and development finally in 19th century Sweden progressed to a certain extent. But still the country was gripped by poverty, unemployment, alcoholism etc. In this very century Parliamentary was re-introduced in Sweden and the country was democratized.
During the First World War and the Second World War though Sweden did not actively participate but it did supply Nazi Germany with iron ore in exchange of coal and many machines and fighting equipments for the Nazis were manufactured here.
After the war the Swedes Social Democratic Party governed Sweden. The Party has led to the establishment of a welfare state and relaxation of some of the socialist policies. In 1995 Sweden joined the European Union.
At present Sweden is one of the top nations in the world. Its population of around 9,006,405 has met with significantly appreciated and high standards of living.
The largest as well as capital city Stockholm is the hub for government and parliament of this country. Stockholm is also the biggest of all Scandinavian cities and a renowned holiday destination.
- HASC: Hierarchical administrative subdivision codes.
- ISO: Codes from ISO 3166-2; identical to länsbokstäver.
- FIPS: Codes from FIPS PUB 10-4.
- Lk: Länskoder (county codes). The counties are often sorted by länskod.
- NUTS: Level-3 NUTS code (Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics).
- Population: 1989 census.
- Swedish: Names of counties in Swedish.