Northern European state. At the 1990 census, the resident population was 8,587,353, rising to 9,016,000 at a 2006 estimate. The natural movement is negative (the birth rate and death rate in 2006 were 10.27 and 10.31 ‰ respectively), however, thanks to the positive migration balance (1.66 ‰), the population registers even minimal growth (0.4 % in the period 2000-2005). Moreover, the birth rate marked a recovery compared to that recorded in the mid-1990s, when an economic crisis caused the suspension of part of the social security and family policy support, causing a sharp demographic decline. Immigration comes mainly from Eastern Europe, the Balkans and the Middle East: in particular, the presence of the Iranian component is strong. In 2004 the urban population of the Sweden reached 83 % of the total and the metropolitan area of the capital, Stockholm, alone accounted for over a fifth of the total population.
During the first five years of the 21st century. the country’s economy recorded a moderate trend and in the 2004-05 period the growth rate (3.6 %) was higher than the euro area average (around 2.5 %). The primary sector, despite the attempts made in order to relaunch the competitiveness of enterprises, contributes to the formation of the GDP with only 1.8 % (2004); the secondary one, after having gone through a long period of production stagnation, contributes about 28 %; the tertiary sector, especially the services sector, weighs around 70 %, just under a third of which is attributable to the public sector.
Foreign trade is very dynamic and exports have been one of the main drivers of Swedish development. Particularly active is the automobile and telecommunications sector: in 2004 the strong progress of exports, combined with a decrease in imports, led to a trade surplus estimated at 8 % of GDP. Private consumption grew, favored by particularly favorable social measures and historically among the lowest interest rates, while inflation stabilized at minimum levels (0.8 % in 2005). Thanks to constant growth, the country has managed to maintain its welfare state , fueled by taxes and contributions that represent 50.6 % of GDP, the highest figure among the OECD states. To keep the productivity of the public sector high, the number of employees was reduced and reform lines were launched in some sectors, in particular the health sector. On the other hand, the level of unemployment is worrying, which in April 2005 was equal to 5.8 %, a figure which, moreover, does not include the unemployment hidden by social measures. For Sweden 2007, please check extrareference.com.
As regards the various productive activities, the primary sector, as already mentioned, represents a minimal part of the country’s GDP and occupies just 2.1 % (2004) of the active population. Agriculture, practiced on a small part of the territory, has a very high profitability thanks to the widespread use of advanced technologies, but the discreet cereal crops are not sufficient to cover the internal needs. The forestry heritage is important, rationally exploited on the basis of a restrictive environmental protection legislation, as well as breeding (in particular pigs and cattle), which provides two thirds of the total product of the primary sector. Manufacturing activities are traditionally linked to the steel sector (5.7 million tons of steel produced in 2005), metallurgical (aluminum, copper, lead, zinc), mechanical, chemical, wood. Sweden is, of all industrial countries, the one that invests the most in research and development. This strategy has led the country to a greater expansion of innovative high-tech sectors, including biotechnology and electronics and telecommunications sectors: Stockholm is home to one of the world’s leading research centers in the field of telecommunications. However, like many other developed countries, the Sweden is threatened by an increasingly pressing process of production relocation: it is estimated that, after 2001, relocations have led to the suppression of 90,000 in the industrial sector.jobs for the benefit of countries where labor costs are lower, while in mid- 2004 about forty production units with more than 500 employees were threatened with closure or staff reductions.
The Sweden is poor in energy resources (there is no oil completely and modest quantities of coal are extracted from Scania, where there are also large deposits of peat); consequently, more than half of the energy needs are guaranteed by nuclear power, a sector which nevertheless does not fail to pose problems, especially in a country like Sweden sensitive to environmental problems. In May 2005 the government has announced the closure of the second reactor of the Barsebäck nuclear power plant, which for decades has fueled heated debates and cracked relations with neighboring Denmark. However, especially after the increase in the price of crude oil on international markets, the question posed by Swedish industries regarding energy supplies and costs remains open despite the prospect of creating an energy system that is not focused on fossil sources.
The well-articulated road and rail network benefits from an excellent level of maintenance, as well as air transport, both domestic and international. On 1 July 2000, the large road and railway bridge over the Øresund, which connects the country to Denmark, was inaugurated. The flow of visitors that annually enter the country is discreet (7.7 million), whose main attractions are represented, in addition to the city of Stockholm, by the lakes, the forests, the ‘midnight sun’ in the areas north of the circle. polar arctic.