What makes Sweden so special

Everything you need to know about Sweden! - Sweden - the country and people in Sweden

From a European perspective, Sweden is a small nation. 10,389,806 inhabitants (March 31, 2021) on an area of ​​449,964 km2. With this population, Sweden is one of the most sparsely populated countries in Europe. There is a simple explanation for this: the Nordic climate is so harsh and demanding that in earlier times it could not feed a larger population. It was only in modern times that people managed to "tame" nature with the help of technology and enable the population to live comfortably. The fact that as far north as in Scandinavia a significant civilization could emerge is due to the Gulf Stream in the Atlantic, which runs along the Norwegian west coast and warms the climate in all of Scandinavia. Other land areas at corresponding latitudes in other regions of the world are by and large uninhabitable, since the permafrost of the tundra does not allow agriculture and cattle breeding.

80 percent of Sweden is made up of vast forests, mountains, lakes, rivers, moors and wilderness. Large cities, including Stockholm, are also embedded in the unspoilt nature. The relationship between the size of nature and the smallness of humans still shapes the Swedish soul today. Access to unspoilt nature is a natural right for all Swedes. "Allemansrätten" is an ancient custom, the right to common use, which is anchored in legislation and guarantees anyone who behaves responsibly and considerately the right to move freely in nature without asking the landowner for permission. One through love but also for modern Swedish society one can almost be compared with a state religion. Nature's treasures made Sweden a rich, progressive nation. Caring for nature is deeply rooted in the Swedish consciousness. With great determination the Swedes defend and protect this national treasure, which becomes more unique and valuable as the world population increases. Fresh air, clean water, healthy forests, large open spaces and intact, unspoilt nature that is accessible to everyone.

Friendly, hardworking, orderly, upright, gullible, shy and reserved, stingy and a bit cumbersome - this is how the Swede is described by foreign observers and also by the Swedes themselves. Is this cliché true? Yes in many ways, for good as well as bad. Just over a century ago, Sweden was a primitive farming country, one of the poorest in Europe. In order to survive in the barren climate, one needed qualities such as diligence, patience, inventiveness and the ability to work together. Virtues that shaped the creation of today's Swedish society. Equality and collectivism are two key terms used to describe the Swedes. The conviction that no one person is worth another pervades the Swedish worldview. A Swede is expected to be dutiful about their affairs, work hard, and take responsibility for others. Elitist awareness, extravagance and lifestyles that deviate from the norm are still taboo for many Swedes.