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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Political, social and economic background and trends


1.Political, social and economic background and trends

Last update: 27 November 2023

Sweden is a monarchy and the present King, Carl XVI Gustaf, is Head of State. The Head of State does not participate in government meetings, but is kept informed on issues of national importance. In accordance with Sweden's representative and parliamentary democracy, the parliament (riksdagen) enacts the laws and makes the decisions, which the government (regeringen) and public authorities such as the Swedish National Agency for Education (Skolverket) and the Swedish Schools Inspectorate (Skolinspektionen) implement.

Sweden is divided into counties (län) and municipalities (kommuner). The land area is about 450 000 km2 with a distance between the extreme northern and southern points of almost 1 600 km. In the end of year 2021 the total population amounted to 10 452 326 inhabitants. Irrespective of where they live, all children and young people in Sweden must have equal access to the public education system. 

The official language, as well as the official school language, is Swedish. There are five official minority languages in Sweden: Sami and Tornedal Finnish (autochthonous languages) and Finnish, Romany and Yiddish (non-territorial languages). For the national minority languages, mother tongue tuition (modersmålsundervisning) can be given to children of minorities who do or do not speak the language at home every day. Children of Samis are able to attend the Sami school (Sameskolan) during the compulsory school years 1-6.