Sweden is one of the most amazing nations in the world, and not just because of its great natural wonders such as the Northern Lights and the Midnight Sun, or even because of its Scandinavian culture. What really sets this Scandinavian country apart is how insanely progressive it is: an entire nation driven by a desire to improve the world for the better, setting an example for the rest of the world through sustainability, social welfare, peace, successful waste-reduction accomplishments, sheer creativity, and a culture steeped in sustainability.
Sweden, too, has a long history, with Viking conquests and a once-vast empire that included Caribbean islands. I’ve prepared a list of the most intriguing, eccentric, and lesser-known facts about Sweden in this post.
63% of Sweden is forest
Swedish forests encompass two-thirds of the country’s land area, making it one of the greenest nations in the world. Sweden is one of Europe’s largest countries with a tiny population, with 85 percent of the people living in urban areas, making it one of the greenest countries in the world.
In addition, the Scandinavian country has over 90,000 lakes and over 3,000 kilometers of coastline.
The 5th largest country in Europe
Despite having one of the lowest populations per square kilometer on the continent, Sweden is the sixth biggest country in terms of land size in Europe, with a total land area of 450,295km2 (173,860 square miles).
Birthplace of many global companies and iconic brands
A number of prominent design, manufacturing and tech companies were founded in Sweden, including IKEA, Ericsson, H&M, Volvo, Saab, Scania trucks and Electrolux, to name a few.
The Swedish Passport is among the world’s most powerful passports
The Swedish Passport is now ranked number 5 in the newest rating of the finest passports in the world, allowing Swedes to travel to 133 countries without the need for a visa.
Sweden’s Secular Society
The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Sweden is the country’s principal religion; however, it has been separated from the state since the millennium. Other Christian denominations and Buddhism are represented in Sweden, as is Islam, which is gaining popularity, and there is a sizable Jewish community.
A land of Midnight sun and Northern Lights
Sweden’s geographical location in the far north causes it to swing from one end of the daylight spectrum to the other throughout the year. The midnight sun is a phenomenon that occurs in the northernmost region of Sweden during the summer, when the sun never sets, creating a unique, 24-hour period of daylight.
Further south, this results in “white evenings” in cities such as Stockholm and Gothenburg, where the sun dips just beyond the horizon, never entirely darkening the sky. The north, meanwhile, is plunged into utter darkness throughout the winter, which produces ideal circumstances for the amazing Northern Lights phenomena.
The Swedish Vikings of the 8th-11th century AD, like their Norse and Danish neighbors, were a fierce race who were accomplished warriors and mariners. They swept over Northern and Eastern Europe, invading and settling.
Sweden is the 6th oldest country in Europe
The nation has a 1,000-year history as a sovereign state, making it Europe’s sixth oldest country and one of the world’s oldest sovereign republics.
Sweden has remained a neutral country since 1914
Sweden has remained neutral in all wars since 1814, including both World Wars, despite once being a great military power and empire. Despite the country’s peaceful nature, all Swedes over the age of 19 are required to serve in the military for 15 months.
One of the most progressive and peaceful countries in the world
After centuries of dynastic and catastrophic conflict and expansionism in Europe, Sweden has long distanced itself from armed aggression. As a result, Sweden has opted to act as a balancing force between the world’s ideological and political systems. As a result, Swedish leaders are frequently sought for to hold key posts at the United Nations.
IKEA, H&M, and Volvo spring to mind when we think about Swedish design. There’s no denying that Swedish design has influenced global culture over the last century. Design is intertwined into the fabric of everyday existence for the Swedes. The Swedes, who place a premium on sustainability and practicality in everything from architecture to textiles, like things to look nice while remaining simple.
There’s a hotel in Sweden made of ice
The famous ICE HOTEL is located in the town of Jukkasjärvi in Sweden’s Arctic Lapland area. Each year, the hotel is built from the ground up, using two-tonne slabs of ice from the neighboring Torne River. Builders and artists collaborate to create a one-of-a-kind hotel with sculpted ice furnishings and artworks, and the temperature inside is maintained at a constant -4C to preserve everything within.