This article is an abbreviated collection of facts about Sweden and the Swedish people generally. It’s not filled with a lot of fluff as I just wanted to capture the essence of what I’ve learned about the country during the short period I’ve been here.
Sweden has a population of 10.2 million people as of 2020. But it sure doesn’t feel this way. It could be that I’m here during winter, but most places I’ve been to feel small. The restaurants, malls, and and even the city of Stockholm itself feel smaller than they should be.
And I say this rather surprisingly.
Stockholm as a city is one of the most expensive places I’ve ever lived.
As an example, my dinner tonight — an entree and a cola, cost me $35 dollars. Now maybe to some of you high rollers, that’s inexpensive, but I’d expect to pay around $20 dollars for the same meal in the U.S. That’s a fairly wide gap, but it’s just a small example of how costly things are here.
It’s hard to imagine how a place with so much wealth doesn’t have a larger population. So for now, I’m going to chalk this up to the short daylight hours and the cold wintry weather.
The 3 biggest cities in Sweden are:
- Stockholm, which has a population of 910,000, and accounts for approximately ⅓ of the country’s GDP.
- Gothenburg, which has a population of 581,000.
- Malmo, which has a population of 316,000.
The most popular broadband provider is Com Hem. If you lease an apartment on Airbnb you’ll likely have this internet service provider.
I’m not sure why you’d need to know this, but I thought it interesting. I had never heard of the company until moving here.
Successful internet companies from Sweden:
- Ericsson – 5G network provider; the Nordic countries are so advanced!
Major hosting providers in Sweden:
- Loopia – The biggest hosting provider by far in Sweden; it’s located west of Stockholm, approximately an hour away.
- Miss Hosting
Whenever I see a business name in Sweden, it’s always followed by AB, e.g. Spotify, AB.
So, as expected, AB is just the American version of LLC or Inc. I’m sure it’s a little more complicated than that, but we’re not being lawyerly here.
Aktiebolag (Swedish pronunciation: [ˈâktsɪɛbʊˌlɑːɡ], “stock company”) is the Swedish term for “limited company” or “corporation”. When used in company names, it is abbreviated AB (in Sweden), Ab (in Finland), or A/B (for some older companies), roughly equivalent to the abbreviations Ltd and PLC.
Common foods you’ll see on the menu in Swedish restaurants:
- Herring in mustard sauce
- Meatballs – I like them, but really, there’s nothing too special about any “meatball” dish I’ve had here. Try it once and you’re good, trust me.
- Lingonberries – They taste like a mix between a raspberry and a cranberry.
- Cracker Bread
- Swedish pastries – The cinnamon rolls are amazing, but I can’t say the same for the coffee you’ll have with your pastry. Maybe I just haven’t found the right place, but it certainly hasn’t been from a lack of trying.
- Blood pudding
- Potatoes – They’re the small, Swedish ones.
Swedish candy is also very popular here and it’s sold by the variety. Visit any 7eleven or grocery store and you’ll see dozens of choices. It’s one of my favorite things about Sweden!
Interesting Facts About Sweden
I came across the following information when Googling for information on Sweden and felt compelled to share.
Very interesting stuff.
- Sweden is the only country in the world where donations total more than 1% of its total GDP.
- 86% of the Swedes live in cities.
- The standard work week is 40 hours, and the minimum paid holiday allowance is 5 weeks.
- Only 1% of waste ends up in landfills — 50% is recycled or composted and 49% is incinerated for energy.
- Julmust and Påskmust are the same drink, but in a different bottle! You sneaky Swedes! 😉
- Sverige, the modern Swedish name for Sweden, literally means “Our kingdom.”
- With a tax rate of 51.4% of GDP, Swedes are one of the most highly taxed populations in the world.
- In 2012, Swedish dads used approximately 24% of the total parental leave.