Sweden, officially the Kingdom of Sweden (Swedish: ), is a Scandinavian country in Northern Europe. Sweden borders Norway and Finland, and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Øresund.
At , Sweden is the third-largest country in the European Union by area, with a total population of about 9.6 million. Sweden has a low population density of with the population mostly concentrated to the southern half of the country. About 85% of the population live in urban areas. Sweden's capital city is Stockholm, which is also the largest city. Since the early 19th century Sweden has generally been at peace and has largely avoided war.
Today, Sweden is a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary democracy form of government and a highly developed economy. Sweden has the world's eighth-highest per capita income. In 2013, it ranked second in the world on the Democracy Index, seventh (tied with Ireland) on the 2013 United Nations' Human Development Index (third on the inequality-adjusted HDI), second on the 2013 OECD Better Life Index and fourth on the 2013 Legatum Prosperity Index.
In 2012, the World Economic Forum ranked Sweden as the fourth-most competitive country in the world. According to the United Nations, it has the third-lowest infant mortality rate in the world. In 2010, Sweden also had one of the lowest Gini coefficients of all developed countries (0.25), making Sweden one of the world's most equal countries in terms of income. Sweden's wealth, however, is distributed much less equally than its income, with a wealth Gini coefficient of 0.85, which is higher than the European average of 0.8.
In 2013, The Economist declared that the Nordic countries "are probably the best-governed in the world," with Sweden in first place, and Sweden placed second on the Reputation Institute's 2013 rankings for the world's most reputable countries, in which over 27,000 Group of Eight (G8) citizens were surveyed.
How places in Sweden are organized
Prior to 1634, Sweden was divided into provinces. In 1634 the provinces were replaced by counties. although the regions remain in informal use. The counties have been relatively stable since then, although a couple of county mergers took place in 1997 and 1998. The standard at WeRelate is to title Swedish place pages according to the county they belonged to in the early 1900's, with also-located-in links to the current county if it is different.
In the context of Geneaology, Swedish place names are typically recorded in the following fashion: "Location, Parish, Municipality, County, Sweden", where "Location" is a village, town, farm or in bigger cities the name of the block. The exception is Gotland, where the municipality and county (and indeed the region) is one and the same, so there you write "Location, Parish, Gotland, Sweden". You may also encounter a shorthand, especially when it's implied that the location is Sweden of just writing "Parish (X)" where X is a letter signifying which county the parish is located in.
A project is underway to put places into their proper municipality. If you have some knowledge in this area, please help!
All places in Sweden
Further information on historical place organization in Sweden
The most useful source of information for Swedish geneaology are the church records, recording births, deaths, marriages and migrations. They were stipulated by law in 1686, and lthough there are missing records they often stretch to the early 18th century, and in some cases as far back as the 16th century.
Images of these books are available online with subscriptions from
* Arkiv Digital - High resolution color imaging of most of Swedens church records. * Ancestry.se - Black and white images of the Utah microfilm copies of Swedish church records. Often very poor quality. This same database is also available from Genline, but that subscription is for unknown reasons slightly more expensive even though Ancestry.se owns Genline.se.
There are efforts to make the records available in textual form so they are searchable. These databases are very incomplete, but can still be useful starting points when looking for people:
* FamilySearch - Note though that Familysearch seems to have a lot of women with patronymic last names like "Andersson", when they should be "Andersdotter". * Släktdata - In Swedish