The following texts are excerpts from the book Live and Work in Sweden. Be advised that any and all information therein is not necessarily provided in its original context and as such are only representative of the content of the book and should not be taken at face value. For the complete information please purchase the book. The reader bears the sole responsibility for any action or inaction which they may decide upon based on the information provided through the book or its excerpts.

Swedish Culture

Sweden has a long history of openness and innovation, which during the industrial revolution propelled it to a stable place among the world’s most highly developed countries. It has, through the years, attracted a large number of international companies and business people. Thanks to the Swedes high level of education and willingness to try new concepts and ideas Sweden has remained an important player
the international technology and design industries. Due to these factors the Swedish market has, in recent decades, become a favored destination for companies who want develop or market new goods and services. Sweden is a member of the European Union (EU) and the Schengen Agreement, which together form a large trade and labor market within Europe. In size Sweden is the third largest country within the EU in terms of land area and ranks fourteenth in population, making it ideal for companies
try out a new product or marketing strategy on a smaller scale before launching it on a larger scale on the international market.

The “Swedish Model

One of the most famous features of Swedish society is the so-called “Swedish Model”. It started out as a compromise made in Saltsjöbaden in 1938 between Svenska Arbetsgivarföreningen (the Swedish Employers Association) and Landsorganisationen i Sverige (the Swedish Trade Union Confederation, known as LO). The purpose of the original agreement was to end a long series of violent labor disputes between the socialistic trade unions and the liberal employer associations, but the term “Swedish Model” has since come to signify the whole Swedish philosophy regarding welfare, taxation, labor regulations and social interaction.


Swedes are very modest and they often refer to Sweden's informal code of modesty as Jantelagen (law of the Jante), which negatively portrays and criticizes individual success and achievement as unworthy and inappropriate. It states that one should not assume (nor claim) that they are special or better than others. In other words, bragging is a highly disliked behavior in Sweden, and Scandinavia as a whole. Nowadays many Swedes see this concept as close-minded and outdated. Even though most Swedes still value modesty, actual references to Jantelagen will therefore often be taken as an insult.

Despite such a sense of modesty, Swedes believe that Sweden is the best country to live in, and in this sense they can be described as very patriotic. There is a strong attachment to the Swedish culture and several national traditions are celebrated. Examples include the celebrations of Midsummer, Crayfish Party and Lucia.