Sweden is located in northern Europe with a central position in Scandinavia. The population of Sweden is 9.4 million, of which 1.4 million live in the capital, Stockholm. The population is expected to increase to 10.6 million by 2030, and the proportion of people aged over 65 increasing from 28% to 37% over the same period. Swedish is the official language, although many Swedes speak English. The principle religion is Lutheran. The Swedish Krona is the official currency, worth approximately €0.11. The standard rate of VAT is 25%.

 Sweden                               Capital: Stockholm



9.4 million à 10.6 million (2030)

Proportion of people over 65 is 28% à 37% (2030)




Mostly Lutheran

GDP / head

€ 41,000   (EU average: € 25,100)


Krona (€0.11)



GDP growth (volume)



0.7% in 2012 (f)

2.1% in 2013 (f)

Unemployment rate

(Feb 2012)

7.5%   (EU average: 10.2%)

Inflation rate

1.4%   (EU average: 3.1%)


Figures relate to 2011, except where indicated.                                      Source: Eurostat, Searce (2012)


Sweden has a GDP per capita of €37,000, compared to the EU average of €24,400 in 2010. According to the OECD, the Swedish economy grew by 4.1% in 2011, and is expected to grow by 1.3% in 2012 and by 2.3% in 2013 (compared to the Eurozone average growth of 1.6%, 0.2% and 1.4% respectively). The inflation rate was 0.4% in 2011, compared to 3% in the EU. The unemployment rate was 7.4%, compared to 9.8% in the EU as a whole in 2011.

Sweden is an egalitarian society and the people tend to be self-effacing rather than boastful. Moderation is preferred to excess. Business meetings tend to be quite formal. Punctuality is very important but decisions are often not taken at meetings. The approach to decision-making is consensual.