Mostly flat or gently rolling lowlands; mountains in west
Temperate in south with cold, cloudy winters and cool, partly cloudy summers; subarctic in north
Population: 9,647,386 (July 2013 est.)
Languages: Swedish (official), small Sami- and Finnish-speaking minorities
Lutheran 87%, other (includes Roman Catholic, Orthodox, Baptist, Muslim, Jewish, and Buddhist) 13%
Aided by peace and neutrality for the whole of the 20th century, Sweden has achieved an enviable standard of living under a mixed system of high-tech capitalism and extensive welfare benefits. It has a modern distribution system, excellent internal and external communications, and a highly skilled labor force. In September 2003, Swedish voters turned down entry into the euro system concerned about the impact on the economy and sovereignty.
Contemporary housing is basically similar throughout the country, and it features building materials and styles similar to those in the United States. Many empty country houses are now used as summer homes. Fewer than 50 percent of Swedes live in detached single homes, and about one-third live in or near the country's three largest cities. Sweden's extensive system of social insurance pays for medical and dental care.
US Military Presence/Support