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Total tax collected by Sweden as a percentage of its GDP peaked at Overall, GDP growth has been fast since reforms—especially those in manufacturing—were enacted in the early s.
Sweden is the fourth-most competitive economy in the world, according to the World Economic Forum in its Global Competitiveness Report — The book compiled an index to measure the kind of creativity it claims is most useful to business—talent, technology and tolerance. Sweden maintains its own currency, the Swedish krona SEK , a result of the Swedes having rejected the euro in a referendum. According to the Economic Survey of Sweden by the OECD, the average inflation in Sweden has been one of the lowest among European countries since the mids, largely because of deregulation and quick utilisation of globalisation.
Financial deregulation in the s impacted adversely on the property market, leading to a bubble and eventually a crash in the early s. Commercial property prices fell by up to two thirds, resulting in two Swedish banks having to be taken over by the government. In the following two decades the property sector strengthened.
By , legislators, economists and the IMF were again warning of a bubble with residential property prices soaring and the level of personal mortgage debt expanding. Sweden's energy market is largely privatised. At the same time, the use of biofuels , peat etc. Sweden was a net importer of electricity by a margin of 6 TWh. The oil crisis strengthened Sweden's commitment to decrease dependence on imported fossil fuels.
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Since then, electricity has been generated mostly from hydropower and nuclear power. The use of nuclear power has been limited, however. Voters rejected right-hand traffic in , but after the Riksdag passed legislation in changeover took place on 3 September , known in Swedish as Dagen H. The Stockholm metro is the only underground system in Sweden and serves the city of Stockholm via stations. The rail transport market is privatised, but while there are many privately owned enterprises, the largest operators are still owned by state.
The counties have financing, ticket and marketing responsibility for local trains. For other trains the operators handle tickets and marketing themselves. Most of the railways are owned and operated by Trafikverket. Most tram nets were closed in , as Sweden changed from left-side to right-side driving. A new tram line is set to open in Lund in The largest airports include Stockholm—Arlanda Airport The most used airport for a large part of Southern Sweden is Kastrup or Copenhagen Airport which is located only 12 minutes by train from the closest Swedish railway station, Hyllie.
Copenhagen Airport also is the largest international airport in Scandinavia and Finland. Sweden also has a number of car ferry connections to several neighbouring countries. Trelleborg is the busiest ferry port in Sweden in terms of weight transported by lorry.
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There are over seventy departures a day each way; during peak times, a ferry departs every fifteen minutes. Sweden has two domestic ferry lines with large vessels, both connecting Gotland with the mainland. Sweden has one of the most highly developed welfare states in the world. During this period Sweden's economic growth was also one of the highest in the industrial world.
A series of successive social reforms transformed the country into one of the most equal and developed on earth. The consistent growth of the welfare state led to Swedes achieving unprecedented levels of social mobility and quality of life—to this day Sweden consistently ranks at the top of league tables for health, literacy and Human Development—far ahead of some wealthier countries for example the United States.
However, from the s and onwards Sweden's GDP growth fell behind other industrialised countries and the country's per capita ranking fell from 4th to 14th place in a few decades. Sweden began slowing the expansion of the welfare state in the s, and even trimming it back.
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Sweden has been relatively quick to adopt neoliberal policies, such as privatization , financialization and deregulation ,   compared to countries such as France. Also since the mids, Sweden has had the fastest growth in inequality of any developed nation, according to the OECD. This has largely been attributed to the reduction in state benefits and a shift toward the privatisation of public services. According to Barbro Sorman, an activist of the opposition Left Party, "The rich are getting richer, and the poor are getting poorer.
Sweden is starting to look like the USA. Sweden adopted free market agricultural policies in Since the s, the agricultural sector had been subject to price controls. In June , the Riksdag voted for a new agricultural policy marking a significant shift away from price controls. As a result, food prices fell somewhat. However, the liberalisations soon became moot because EU agricultural controls supervened.
Since the late s, Sweden has had the highest tax quota as percentage of GDP in the industrialised world, although today the gap has narrowed and Denmark has surpassed Sweden as the most heavily taxed country among developed countries. Certain items are subject to additional taxes, e. In [update] , total tax revenue was State and municipal employees total around a third of the workforce, much more than in most Western countries.
Spending on transfers is also high.
In and , 69 per cent of the employed workers is organised in trade unions. Sweden has a relatively high amount of sick leave per worker in OECD: the average worker loses 24 days due to sickness.
The unemployment rate was 7. In the 18th century Sweden's scientific revolution took off. Previously, technical progress had mainly come from mainland Europe. Many of the companies founded by early pioneers still remain major international brands. Alfred Nobel invented dynamite and instituted the Nobel Prizes. Lars Magnus Ericsson started the company bearing his name, Ericsson, still one of the largest telecom companies in the world.
The traditional engineering industry is still a major source of Swedish inventions, but pharmaceuticals, electronics and other high-tech industries are gaining ground. Tetra Pak was an invention for storing liquid foods, invented by Erik Wallenberg. Losec , an ulcer medicine, was the world's best-selling drug in the s and was developed by AstraZeneca.
Welcome to the official site of Sweden. Discover the facts and stories of our country.
A large portion of the Swedish economy is to this day based on the export of technical inventions, and many large multinational corporations from Sweden have their origins in the ingenuity of Swedish inventors. Swedish inventors held 47, patents in the United States in [update] , according to the United States Patent and Trademark Office. As a nation, only ten other countries hold more patents than Sweden. Combined, the public and the private sector in Sweden allocate over 3. As a percentage of GDP, the Swedish government spends the most of any nation on research and development.
In , the decisions to construct Sweden's two largest scientific installations, the synchrotron radiation facility MAX IV and the European Spallation Source, were taken. The European Spallation Source , costing some SEK 14 billion to construct,  will be operational in and will give an approximately 30 times stronger neutron beam than any of today's existing neutron source installations. Both facilities have strong implications on material research. Every Swedish resident receives a state pension.
Swedish Pensions Agency is responsible for pensions. People who have worked in Sweden, but relocated to another country, can also receive the Swedish pension. There are several types of pensions in Sweden: national retirement, occupational and private pensions.
Sweden - Wikipedia
A person can receive a combination of the various types of pensions. The total resident population of Sweden was 10,, on 31 August The population density is The mountains and most of the remote coastal areas are almost unpopulated. Between and , approximately 1. There are more than 4. There are no official statistics on ethnicity, but according to Statistics Sweden, around 3,, The official language of Sweden is Swedish,   a North Germanic language, related and very similar to Danish and Norwegian , but differing in pronunciation and orthography.
Norwegians have little difficulty understanding Swedish, and Danes can also understand it, with slightly more difficulty than Norwegians. The same goes for standard Swedish speakers, who find it far easier to understand Norwegian than Danish. The dialects spoken in Scania , the southernmost part of the country, are influenced by Danish because the region traditionally was a part of Denmark and is nowadays situated closely to it.