Sweden

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Sweden ("Sverige" in Swedish) is a country in Scandinavia. Its inhabitants are called Swedes. The language spoken is Swedish. The aboriginal inhabitants of northern Sweden (the area called Sapmi by the locals) are the Saami.

The capital is Stockholm. Other important cities: Göteborg, Helsingborg, Malmö, Uppsala, Linköping, Norrköping, Lund, Visby (on Gotland), and Umeå.

Sweden is a monarchy and has been so for almost a millennium (see the Swedish Kings and Queens). Since 1975 the monarch does not have any political power. The goverment is at large mostly social democratic.

The Nobel Prize for Literature, Medicine, Chemistry and Physics are awarded each year since 1901 according to the last will of Alfred Nobel. The will does not mention a price for Economics, but The Bank of Sweden instituted The Bank of Sweden Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel in 1968.

Some examples of Swedish inventions are dynamite, safety matches, the adjustable spanner, ball bearings, and the propeller.

Some large Swedish companies are Volvo, Saab, Ericsson, Electrolux, Tetra PAK, Astra, H&M, SKF, and IKEA. Today, one of Sweden's largest exports is music (starting with ABBA in the mid-1970s).

Recent Swedish history has been peaceful. Sweden was neutral during World War I and World War II. War threatened to break out at the beginning of the 20th century when Norwegian nationalists wanted the country to break out of the union with Sweden. It was averted by the dissolution of the union in 1905.

Sweden has a wide mix of different religions. The majority belongs to the Swedish State Church (recently seperated from the state), which is Lutherian christian. There are also a number of muslims in Sweden, due to immigration. The Saami practice a nature religion. On a general basis, most Swedes are not believers, and the church has so many members only because until recently, Swedes became members of the State Church at birth.

From the CIA World Factbook 2000.