Boundaries. – Sweden is between 55 ° 20 ′ (Smyge huk) and 69 ° 4 ′ lat. N. (Cippo di Koltajaure) and between 10 ° 58 ‘and 24 ° 10’ long. E. The greatest length from north to south is km. 1574, the greatest width is about km. 500. Of the total surface area of the Scandinavian Peninsula (770,000 sq km), about sq km belongs to Sweden. 448,961, or roughly 58%, and of the total population (9 million), 6.2 million live in Sweden (70%). As a result of its northern position, the Scandinavian Peninsula is sparsely populated on the whole, but more densely than all other countries located at the same latitude. The southern parts of Sweden can already be compared to the countries of central Europe in terms of land cultivation and population density.
According to top-medical-schools, Sweden is surrounded to the East., to the South. and partly to the W. by seas or arms of the sea, namely the Gulf of Bothnia, the Baltic, the Sund (Öresund), the Kattegat and the Skagerrak. A land border separates it from Norway and Finland. Just as the Swedish people possess the privilege of an uncommon ethnographic unity, so too the country in general has good borders. The border line between Sweden and Norway (km. 1657) is for the most part – from the extreme north to the northernmost part of Värmland – a true natural border that runs along the watershed in the highest and most inaccessible part of the other lands Scandinavian. In the southernmost part, however, the border is the result of historical events: along this line, lively relations between Sweden and Norway have taken place since ancient times, and the border itself has in ancient times undergone repeated shifts in favor of one or the other of the two countries. The border of the kingdom towards Finland, which measures 536 km., Is constituted by the course of the rivers Muonio and Torne.
Coasts. – The coastal development is, according to the measurements of the Strelbitsky, of km. 7625. The coasts of Sweden are mainly characterized by well identified inlets (in Swedish fjordar and fjärdar) and by swarms of islets (skärgårdar) in all regions where the substratum of ancient rocks has undergone glacial modeling. The multitude of coastal islets is a peculiar feature of the provinces of Gothenburg and Bohus to the west, Södermanland, Uppland and Östergötland to the east. Famous for its natural beauty is especially the myriad of islets around Stockholm, which defend the entrance to the capital.
The current coastline of Norrland represents a very changing boundary due to the progressive elevation of the land, by virtue of which new parts of the seabed continually emerge. The river valleys continue below sea level; the islands, the swarms of islands and small coastal reefs are nothing but the outcropping peaks of mountains and submarine reliefs. More favorable climatic conditions mean that roughly south of Uppland on one side and the Norwegian border on the other, the islands best favored in terms of soil host richer and more varied vegetation, with tall trees and numerous herbaceous plants. This helps to give the island groups of southern Sweden a more varied and often more gay aspect than those of Norrland. The coast of Scania shows a completely different nature from those of the rest of Sweden. Alongside Gotland and Öland, Scania and southern Halland are the only parts of the country that are not fringed by clusters of islets. The rock in place, in almost horizontal layers, slowly descends into the sea forming a flat and open coast. Along the east and south coast of Scania, the waves exert their action freely and have formed, with the action of the wind, picturesque dune landscapes. On the Öresund, where the energy of the sea is less, wind and storms have accumulated masses of sand and clayey mud along the flat coast, giving rise here and there to fertile plains.
Fauna. – Terrestrial and freshwater fauna gradually immigrated after the glacial period depending on geographic and climatic conditions. When southern Sweden broke free from the mantle of ice, arctic fauna entered it from the south, and among other animals, reindeer and ptarmigan. When the climate improved and the tundra turned into a forest, this fauna had to yield to another richer variety that was composed, as well as certain animals now extinct, such as the aurochs, bison, wild boar, moose, deer, beaver and other rodents, bears and other beasts and many birds. Sweden currently has 54 species of land mammals. Of these, the beaver was re-imported, the hare, the wild rabbit and the fallow deer were imported for hunting purposes. Three species of seals live along the coasts (Halichoerus grypus, Phoca vitulina and Phoca hispida). About 240 bird species regularly nest in Sweden. Of these, however, only 60 winter there, the others emigrate totally or partially and about 20 species of birds regularly pass through Sweden during their migrations. Reptiles are few: three lonely species of lizards and as many snakes. Mountain lizards and vipers live as far as Lapland. Insects are estimated at 15,000 species, of which 4000 beetles. 38 species of fish live in the fresh waters of Sweden. The most widespread species in Sweden came from remote times; they are the perca, the pike, the eel, the rudd, the roach and others. Some freshwater fish also live in the Baltic, but marine fish that enter it decrease rapidly in the north due to decreased saltiness. With the tampering with nature made by man, some species have been favored, others threatened with destruction. In recent times, special protective measures have been taken for the fauna. Bears, lynxes, polar foxes and eagles enjoy immunity.
Education and school. – Teaching of all levels is of a state and confessional nature in Sweden: elementary education depends directly on the parishes, the universities of Upsala and Lund are controlled one by the archbishop, the other by the bishop of the respective dioceses. For both education and religious affairs, the minister is unique, assisted by a higher council for public education, made up of a director general and fourteen members. School districts have some freedom to adapt programs to local needs, within limits set by the central authority.
The first and second grade elementary schools are accompanied by fourteen teaching institutes (Folkskolerseminarier) with internship schools. The secondary schools are divided into two grades: a lower one, uniform (Realskolor), lasting six years, which with the Realskolexamen admits to technical professions, and the upper one (Gymnasium) divided into two branches, Realgymnasium and Latingymnasium (both lasting four years). Alongside this type of school, there is another one that combines lower and upper grades in a single school, called högre allmänna läroverk. Students are admitted to university with the Studentexamen. Alongside these schools that form the backbone of the Swedish educational system there are municipal supplementary schools to the elementary ones, a normal state school for young ladies, a college for the preparation of teachers, public high schools of popular culture.
The two universities, Upsala (founded in 1477) and Lund (1666; opened in 1668), are attended by an average of nearly three thousand students each, with a certain majority for Upsala. Next to them there are the faculties of science, mathematics and literature gathered in Stockholm, where there is also the Caroline Higher Institute, and in Gothenburg a detached faculty of literature (free universities). Stockholm is also home to the Royal Higher Polytechnic School which, together with the Gothenburg Polytechnic (non-state), the Higher Forestry School (Stockholm) and other specialized colleges, completes the picture of higher education. As you can see, apart from the elementary school, which is very well maintained and of a “polytechnic” type (the law for free and compulsory elementary education dates from 1842; the current system is the one established by the 1921 reform; there are 28,000 elementary schools of various types; 120 secondary schools), the Swedish school has a strong humanistic imprint.