Sweden is a highly industrialized country and has one of the highest living standards in the world. Since 1940 there has been a great movement of workers from farms to cities; nevertheless, agricultural output has increased considerably with the application of scientific farming methods. In 2006 industry contributed about 28% of the annual national income and agriculture about 1%. Transportation, communication, and trade are also important. Farming is concentrated in the southern part of the country; the leading commodities produced are dairy products, grain (including fodder crops), sugar beets, and potatoes. Large numbers of poultry, hogs, and cattle are raised.
Sweden is one of the world's leading producers of iron ore; important mines are at Kiruna and Gällivare. Copper, lead, and zinc ores and pyrite are also extracted. The country's chief industrial centers are Stockholm, Göteborg, Malmö, Uppsala, Västerås, Helsingborg, and Norrköping. Food processing is important and the leading manufactures include iron and steel, machinery, precision equipment, forest products, chemicals, and motor vehicles. Sweden is known for its decorative and folk arts, fine glassware (made especially at Orrefors), and high-quality steel cutlery and blades. Much hydroelectric power is generated. The country's beautiful scenery and handsome towns and cities attract large numbers of tourists.
Sweden carries on a large foreign trade, and the value of exports usually slightly exceeds that of imports. The chief exports are machinery, motor vehicles, paper goods, pulp and wood, iron and steel products, and chemicals.The main imports are machinery, petroleum and petroleum products, chemicals, motor vehicles, iron and steel, foodstuffs, and clothing. The principal trade partners are Germany, Norway, Denmark, Great Britain, and Finland.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.