Aerial view of Stockholm, SwedenArea
449,964 sq km (173,732 sq miles).

Population
9,555,893 (2012).

Population Density
19.7 per sq km.

Capital
Stockholm. Population: 1,372,565 (2011).

Geography
Sweden is bordered by Norway to the west and Finland to the northeast, with a long Baltic coast to the east and south. Approximately half the country is forested and most of the many thousands of lakes are situated in the southern central area. The largest lake is Vänern, with an area of 5540 sq km (2140 sq miles). Swedish Lapland to the north is mountainous and extends into the Arctic Circle.

Language:
Swedish. Lapp is spoken by the Sámi population in the north. English is taught as the first foreign language from the age of nine.

Religion
Church of Sweden (Evangelical Lutheran), separated from the state in January 2000; other Protestant minorities.

Time
GMT + 1 (GMT + 2 from last Sunday in March to Saturday before last Sunday in October).

Electricity
230 volts, 3-phase AC, 50Hz. 2-pin continental plugs are used.

Telephone
Full IDD is available. Country code: 46. Outgoing international code: 00. Unlike in other European countries, telephones are not found in post offices but in special ‘Telegraph Offices’. There are three types of payphone: they take cash, phonecards or credit cards. Credit card phones (indicated by a ‘CCC’ sign) are widely available. Phonecards can be bought from newsagents’ shops or kiosks.

Fax
Widely available throughout the country.

Post Offices
Post offices are open during normal shopping hours (Mon-Fri 0900-1800; Sat 1000-1300). Some branches may be closed Saturday during July. Post boxes are yellow. Stamps and aerograms are on sale at post offices and also at most bookstalls and stationers. Airmail within Europe takes three to four days. Poste Restante facilities are widely available in post offices.