SWEDEN TO CONTINUE TO THRIVE

By Henry Jeanneret

Although well known for Ikea, Abba, and its delicious meatballs, Sweden is really a thriving country due to numerous factors. The Kingdom of Sweden will continue to thrive in its years ahead due to its centered median age, its decrease of debt and unemployment rate, and the increase of education enrollment.

Debt

On a worldwide ranking, Sweden ranks as number 18 with the greatest external debt, compared to the United States, at the very top. Despite their large financial crisis of the 1990's, Sweden is making great strides to lower their debt. Their external debt as decreased by $91.7 billion (USD) in the last year and is persistently decreasing. In fact, it has decreased by nearly 1% in the last month alone. Additionally, the central government debt of Sweden has decreased by 2% within the last month. These great accomplishments were made possible through Sweden's big steps into creating a dynamic economy. For example, in 2007 the country founded the Swedish Fiscal Policy Council committee of experts that evaluate the government’s policy decisions regarding public finances and aims to ensure that they remain consistent with their goals of employment, growth, and long-term financial tenability. Sweden remains one of the most fiscally responsible countries in all of Europe. The country's annual budget proposals have also kept them on top of better controlling their debt.

Population Distribution in Regard to Natural Disasters

Although nearly 70% of Sweden’s land consists of forests, they are not greatly populated. This could be due to the concern of forest fires. In July 2014, a wildfire, later known as the “Västmanland Fire" (named after the area in which is occured, which can be seen in the above photo) broke out from unknown causes and burned over 30,000 acres of land in less than two weeks. However, a forest fire of that size is extremely rare and was the biggest in over 40 years. Most forest fires in Sweden blaze a few square miles at most. Still, nearly every year Sweden is affected by floods that cause damage. These can be limited through preventative measures, planning and effective response operations during floods. Although floods are more common in areas close to bodies of water, they are still highly populated. Additionally, according to the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency, the Swedish government currently allocates 40 million Swedish kronor per year for especially serious mishaps.

General Climate

Sweden and the Fight with Climate Change

Since the 1960’s, Sweden has had a great reputation as an environmental pioneer. It was the first country to establish an environmental protection agency. It is also regarded as one of the most innovative countries in regard to environment related technology. The country also creates great public awareness when it comes to environmental issues. The country has created a plan called “Roadmap 50” which is goal to reduce GHG emissions compared with 1990 by 40 per cent by the year 2020. They also aim to have a vehicle fleet completely rid of fossil fuels by 2030 are making huge strides stones to their overarching goal of a country with no net GHG emissions by the year 2050 (thus the name “Roadmap 50”).