Sweden has a market economy strongly regulated by the state, which has been known as the Swedish model and presented as an example of the socio-economic proposal of the European social democracy. Mainly oriented to exports, it has a modern distribution system, sufficient external and internal communications and a specialized workforce. Wood, hydropower and iron constitute the base of its economy highly focused on international trade. Engineering contributes 50% of production and exports. Telecommunications and the automotive and pharmaceutical industries are also of great importance. Agriculture accounts for 2% of GDP and employment.
Almost all Swedish industrial production is carried out by private companies, a fact that contrasts with other industrialized countries, such as Austria and Italy, where state companies have a greater presence.
The economically active population (EAP) is about 4.5 million people, of which about a third have higher education studies. The country’s economy is growing at a rate of 2% per year. The average worker receives 40% of his salary after collecting taxes and social security contributions. Tax pressure in Sweden is high, compared to other developed countries, reaching 51.1% of GDP in 2007, almost double that of countries such as the United States or Ireland. Public employees make up nearly a third of the workforce, a higher rate than most countries. GDP growth has accelerated since reforms in the 1990s, especially in the manufacturing sector.
Sweden exports automobiles, engineering products, steel, electronic devices, telecommunications equipment and products from the paper industry.
Sweden rejected the euro as a currency through popular vote and currently the country’s official currency is the Swedish krona (SEK). The Swedish Central Bank (Sveriges Riksbank) – founded in 1668 making it the oldest central bank in the world – takes care of price stability, keeping inflation at 2% per year, one of the lowest among countries. Europeans since the mid-1990s. The countries with which it does most of its financial activity are Germany, the United States, Norway, the United Kingdom, Denmark, and Finland.
According to andyeducation, Swedish culture is typically perceived as egalitarian, straightforward, and open to influences from other countries. The country has received cultural influence from other countries and institutions: the Catholic Church and Germany during the Middle Ages, France during the 18th century, again Germany in the 19th century, and the countries of the Anglosphere after World War II.
Another internationally outstanding cultural aspect is the awarding of the Nobel Prize, instituted by Alfred Nobel. This award has been awarded each year since 1901 to individuals who have done outstanding research, invented revolutionary techniques or equipment, or notable contributions to society, although its award has been full of controversy and disagreement on numerous occasions.
Sweden was the birthplace of several world-renowned writers including August Strindberg, Astrid Lindgren, and Nobel Prize winners Selma Lagerlöf and Harry Martinson. In total, seven Nobel Prizes for Literature have been awarded to Swedish writers. Among the country’s best-known artists are painters such as Carl Larsson and Anders Zorn, and sculptors Tobias Sergel and Carl Milles.
ABBA was one of the first Swedish musical groups to become famous around the world, and they are still among the most successful artists, with nearly 370 million records sold. With ABBA, the music of Sweden enters a new era, in which Swedish pop gained international prominence. Other bands that became world famous are Roxette, which is discussed later, Ace of Base, Europe The Cardigans and Mando Diao, among others.
Several Swedish actors have been important in the development of cinema for years and have become famous Hollywood stars, among which we can highlight: Ingrid Bergman, Greta Garbo, Viveca Lindfors, Max von Sydow, Dolph Lundgren, Lena Olin, Stellan Skarsgård, Peter Stormare, Izabella Scorupco, Pernilla August, Ann-Margret, Anita Ekberg, Alexander Skarsgård, Harriet Andersson, Bibi Andersson, Ingrid Thulin, Malin Akerman, and Gunnar Björnstrand. Ingmar Bergman, Lukas Moodysson, and Lasse Hallström are some of the Swedish directors who have made world-class films.