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Swedish population and principal cities of Sweden
Photographic book Sweden

The population of Sweden was estimated at 9,031,088 in 2007. This gives the country an overall population density of 22 persons per sq km (57 per sq mi). Sweden as a whole is thinly populated, but regional population densities vary greatly. The vast majority of the population lives in the southern third of Sweden, especially in the central lowlands, the plains of Skåne, and coastal areas. It is especially dense around the cities of Stockholm, Göteborg, and Malmö. Large areas of the north are sparsely inhabited. About 83 percent of Sweden’s people live in urban areas.

Swedish people

Sweden’s population consists mainly of Scandinavians of Germanic descent. Sweden’s immigrant population and ethnic diversity have increased rapidly in recent decades. For many years, Sweden was a nation of emigrants. From 1860 to World War I, more than 1 million Swedes left the nation, mainly for the United States. Emigration declined significantly after 1930, as the nation industrialized and grew more prosperous. Sweden welcomed many refugees and displaced people after World War II. Since that time, immigration has accounted for nearly half of Sweden’s population growth. Many immigrants have come to Sweden as guest workers or as political refugees. Today, approximately one-fifth of the people are immigrants or have at least one foreign-born parent.

Swedish people
The largest immigrant groups in Sweden are from Finland and the neighboring countries of Norway and Denmark. About 17,000 Saami live mainly in Swedish Saamiland in the far north, although in recent decades many Saami have migrated south, especially to Stockholm. Sweden is also home to large numbers of immigrants who fled fighting in the former Yugoslavia, especially in Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina (see Wars of Yugoslav Succession); only Germany has received more refugees from that region. Other significant immigrant groups include people from Iran, Iraq, Hungary, Turkey, and Poland.
Principal cities of Sweden
Sweden's three largest and most important cities are Stockholm, the nation’s capital; Göteborg; and Malmö.Stockholm had a population of 761,721 in 2004. The city is located in east central Sweden on about 20 islands and a narrow strip of mainland between Lake Mälaran and the Baltic Sea. It is often compared to Venice because of its many bridges and waterways and its stately architecture. Stockholm’s famous historic quarter, the Old Town (Gamla Stan), located on three central islands in the city’s harbor, is home to the imposing Royal Palace, Stockholm’s city hall (the Stadshuset), and the Great Church, a part of which dates to the 13th century. Stockholm is Sweden’s financial, commercial, cultural, and administrative center.
Stockholm city picture
Swedish house. Picture of E. Buchot
Göteborg, Sweden's second largest city (478,055), is located on the Kattegat, a strait separating Sweden from Denmark. The city has an excellent harbor, the largest in Scandinavia, and is the country’s leading port. Göteborg is a transportation hub on the Göta Canal, and is home to an international airport. Although hard-hit by the closure of its shipyards since the 1970s, Göteborg remains an industrial city with plants producing automobiles, automobile parts, and telecommunications equipment. It is also a center for financial services, medical research and pharmaceuticals, and information technology. The city is home to the famous Göteborg Botanical Garden and to Liseberg, the largest amusement park in Scandinavia and one of Sweden’s most popular tourist attractions. Malmö (267,171) is Sweden’s third largest city. It is one of the country’s major ports and is also a rail, air, and highway hub. Malmö is the center of Sweden’s pharmaceuticals industry and its state-of-the-art fiber optic cable networks support a vigorous information technology sector. In 2000 a 16-km (10-mi) bridge and tunnel opened connecting Malmö with Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark, located just 24 km (15 mi) away across Öresund strait. The link, called the Øresundsbron (Øresund Bridge), makes it possible to travel between the two countries in just 15 minutes. Encarta
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