Sweden is a sparsely populated country, characterized by its long coastline, extensive forests and numerous lakes. It is one of the world’s northernmost countries. In terms of surface area it is comparable to Spain, Thailand or the American state of California. Sweden’s borders have been unchanged since 1905 and the country has not been at war since 1814.
 
Quick facts about Sweden
Area: 174,000 sq mi (450,000 km²), the third largest country in Western Europe
Longest north-south distance: 978 mi (1,574 km)
Longest east-west distance: 310 mi (499 km) 
Capital: Stockholm 
Population: 9.6 million inhabitants 
Languages: Swedish; recognized minority languages: Sami (Lapp), Finnish, Meänkieli (Tornedalen Finnish), Yiddish, Romani Chib 
Form of government: Constitutional monarchy, parliamentary democracy 
Parliament: The Riksdag, with 349 members in one chamber 
Religion: In practice, Sweden is very secularized. The Church of Sweden is Evangelical Lutheran; co-exists with many other beliefs
Life expectancy: Men 79 years, women 83 years