12 Interesting and Fun Facts About Sweden

12 Interesting and Fun Facts About Sweden

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Sweden is one of the most impressive countries in the world that everyone should visit it at least once. Although it’s famously known for the Northern Lights, Sweden gave us Volvo cars and IKEA stores. What really makes this Scandinavian country stand out is how insanely progressive they are: an entire nation driven by a desire to change the world for the better. Today, Sweden is setting an example to the rest of the world through sustainability, social welfare, peace, and reducing waste. Today, we are going to take a look at some of the most interesting and fun facts about this Scandinavian country.

1. 70% of Sweden’s landscape is covered by forest.

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Image: Jon Flobrant

Although Sweden is one of the biggest exporters of lumber in the world, according to the World Bank, almost 70% of country is covered by forest. This is because Sweden grows more trees annually than it uses. They have a sustainable forestry model and using that model the annual growth stands at around 120 million forest cubic meters, and each year around 90 million forest cubic meters of that growth is harvested.

2. It is one of the cleanest countries on the planet.

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Image: Jessica Pamp

In Swedish culture and in Nordic countries in general, environmental consciousness runs deep. The country is one of the most sustainability-focused in the world, with an EPI score of 78.7. The country is tied with Australia for having the second-cleanest air in the world—and for its use of renewable energy sources.

3. Sweden imports waste – from Norway!

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Image: Peter van der Meulen

The Swedish people love to recycle. In fact, they recycle so much that only 1% of waste ends up in landfill with 50% being recycled or composted and 49% being incinerated for energy. This sounds amazing but in reality, Sweden recycles so well that they do not have enough waste left to keep the incinerators running. So, they have to import waste from Norway and the UK to keep the lights on. The countries actually pay Sweden to take the waste off their hands.

4. The Swedish Passport is among the world’s most powerful passports.

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Image: Mark König

As of 2022, Singapore and Japan are the top passport holders. While Sweden stands at the 4th place, Swedish citizens can rejoice because they hold one of the world’s most powerful passports. This ranking is based on The Henley Passport Index, and includes 199 different passports and 227 travel destinations. As of this year, Swedish citizens had visa-free or visa on arrival access to 188 countries and territories.

5. A land of Midnight sun and Northern Lights.

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Image: Peter van der Meulen

Due to its geographical position, the country goes from one end of the daylight spectrum to the other over the course of the year. At summer’s peak, the northernmost region of Sweden experiences a phenomenon known as the midnight sun, where the sun never sets – creating a unique, 24 hours of daylight. Further south this creates “white nights” – in places like Stockholm and Gothenburg, where the sun goes under the horizon but only just, so it’s never completely dark.

6. Stockholm’s metro doubles as an art gallery.

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Image: Max Avans

The Swedish capital has got to have one of the coolest public transport systems in the world. When you walk into a Stockholm metro station, it is said that you’re also entering the “world’s longest art exhibition”. Spanning over 110 kilometers (68 miles) long, 90 of the 100 stations have been decorated by over 150 artists in different themes and various forms.

7. Sweden has a large moose population.

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Image: Rebekah

It is estimated that between 300,000 and 400,000 moose roam freely in the country.

8. Sweden has an unusual right for its people that is called ‘the freedom to roam’.

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Image: Peter van der Meulen

The Swedish freedom to roam is a right protected by the law that allows you to sleep, eat and walk pretty much wherever you want. The only thing you however have to do is respect nature and the animals living there. The country allows its citizens the right to access all public and private land that is not cultivated. It also grants the right to pick berries and flowers without a permit.

9. In Sweden there are about 100,000 lakes.

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Image: Fredrik

Sweden, the largest country in the Scandinavian region of Northern Europe, has more than 97,500 lakes including Vänern and Vättern, which are also part of Europe’s largest lakes. According to Alfred Gabriel Narthorst, a Swedish geologist, Sweden has so many lakes due to glacial activity during the last ice age.

10. Some notable brands that originate from Sweden include Saab, Electrolux, IKEA, Ericsson, and Volvo.

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Image: Raphael Andres

Sweden is also responsible for the Tetra Pak, ball bearings and the heart pacemaker among many others.

11. The country features a hotel made entirely of ice that is constructed anew each winter.

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Image: Tobias Fischer

Located in the town of Jukkasjarvi, the ice hotel is constructed from blocks of ice as large as two tons that are cut from the local Torne river.

12. Sweden has one of the most generous parental leave systems in the world.

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Image: Timo Stern

Parents are entitled to stay at home with their newborn for a total of 480 days while receiving 80% of their salary.

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