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From Abba to IKEA: 10 Interesting Facts About Sweden

Facts about Sweden

This Scandinavian country is not only famous for IKEA and ABBA, but also for one of the most advanced data societies in the world. In Sweden, AI is used to run trains, control traffic lights, and identify emotions in photos. There are even AI-based start-ups that help doctors diagnose cancer better or create music tracks based on their moods.

Sweden has been a world leader in gender equality for more than 30 years. Sweden’s first woman prime minister was elected in 1995 and the country has a female head of state. In fact, Sweden has been praised for the high level of women in politics, with 54% of parliamentarians being female – the highest proportion in Europe.

The number of women on corporate boards also reached a record high at 36%, and Sweden is ranked fourth place globally on closing the gender pay gap. Sweden is also one of just four EU countries to have rape laws which apply to both genders.

Read on for more interesting insights.

Facts about Sweden

1 The northernmost point of Sweden experiences 56 days of straight sunlight in the summer and 32 days of utter darkness in the winter.

2 Sweden was the first country in the world to ban the smacking of children, with 42 other countries following suit after 1979.

3 Sweden is Europe’s leader in McDonald’s per capita, yet only comes to about half of the United States’ total per capita.

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4 Its elongated geographical location has led to a wide variety of temperatures; the highest recorded temperature has been 38 degrees Celsius while the lowest comes in at -53 degrees Celsius.

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5 The Swedish unemployment rate as of April 2015 is hovering around 8%.

6 Sweden legalized homosexual relations in 1944 before even the end of World War 2.

7 Sweden became the first country to grant suffrage to women in 1862, though in limited fashion, women had to be married, and it was only legal in local elections.

8 It’s a country littered with lakes; 95,700 lakes comprise 9% of Sweden’s surface area.

9 There have been 567 Nobel Prizes awarded to people of Swedish heritage.

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10 Sweden is highly urbanized, with 85% of its population living inside cities.

11 June 6 is a big day for Sweden, as men take to the streets to wave flags and celebrate their National Day. The celebration is in recognition of the famous King Gustav Vasa being elected in 1523, as well as the adoption of a new constitution on the same date in 1809.

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