The population of the Sweden was, according to an evaluation of December 1959, equal to 7,471,345 units and therefore from the 1940 census it had an increase of over one million residents; the improvement in demographic conditions does not seem to be due to the birth rate which in 1955 was 14.7% with a surplus of 5.34. More than anything else, the improvement must be attributed to the immigration policy for which 28,000 individuals entered Sweden in 1950, 31,600 in 1951, 19,089 in 1959. The largest group is constituted by the Finns who in 1951 were 12,800. Alongside the numbers of immigrants, we must also consider those of emigrants who in 1959 reached the total of 15,607. In 1955 the rural population represented 51% of the total, but only the fifth part of it was employed in an agricultural activity. All cities have registered a significant increase in population and in 1960 Stockholm had 807,909 residents, Gothenburg 400,814, Malmö 225,660; even if no other city reaches 100,000 residents, those with a population of over 20,000 have risen to over 35.
Economic conditions. – Despite the unfavorable soil and climate conditions, Swedish agriculture has aligned itself with that of Central and Western Europe; among cereals, oats are dominant and still occupy 40% of the cereal surface, constituting 30% of the total cereal harvest; in 1957 the harvest was 8,470,000 q. Wheat is not very important, however the salient fact that occurred after World War II is that the extension given to spring wheat has gradually become greater than that of winter wheat; in 1955 spring wheat occupied an area of 165,000 ha; this has led to an increase in yield, so much so that in favorable years the Sweden no longer imports wheat and the current average of the overall grain harvest is 8,400,000 q. The crops of the other main products in 1957 were potatoes with 14.980.000 q, and sugar beets, which gave 3.200.000 q of sugar. Cattle breeding par excellence is made up of 2,580,000 heads, most of which are dairy cows that support a thriving dairy industry, run by cooperatives; on average, 4,500,000 tons of milk, 100,000 tons of butter and 50,000 tons of cheese are produced annually. Pig farming, which is connected to the dairy industry for the use of processing residues as feed, underwent a further increase and in 1959 there were 2,192,000 head. The exploitation of the extensive forest wealth allowed in 1957 the production of 3,270,000 t of chemical pulp, 960,000 t of mechanical pulp, 969. 000 t of paper and 432,000 t of newsprint; these items are also of considerable importance in exports. The mining industry recorded in 1958 the extraction of 11,037,000 tons of crude iron, partly exported and partly processed to produce 1,323,600 tons of cast iron, 2,424,000 tons of steel. The very large hydroelectric potential recorded 32,526,000,000 kWh in 1959, produced by water energy. The other mechanical, chemical and rubber industries are also in progress. recorded in 1959 32,526,000,000 kWh, produced by water energy. The other mechanical, chemical and rubber industries are also in progress. recorded in 1959 32,526,000,000 kWh, produced by water energy. The other mechanical, chemical and rubber industries are also in progress.
Fishing, although not of considerable importance, makes an appreciable contribution to the national economy and its products, intended both for immediate consumption and to supply raw materials for industry, are easily absorbed by the market. In total, around 200,000 tonnes of fish are caught each year, half of which are herring.
Trade. – The trade balance is not in balance (see below). The items most represented in exports in 1955 were those of wood pulp 1566.9, lumber 1271.9, metal minerals 885.8, paper 805, electrical machinery 906.8; the countries to which exports were mainly directed were, in order of importance, England, West Germany, Norway; among the supplying countries are West Germany, England and the USA. Trade with Italy recorded an import surplus in 1957, 399,000,000 crowns, mainly represented by cereals, fruit, vegetables, against 353,000.000 export crowns, especially of timber and steel. Foreign trade takes place almost exclusively by sea and represents 40% of the traffic of the port of Stockholm.
Communications. – The merchant navy in 1959 had 1210 ships over 100 net tonnes for a total tonnage value of 3.626.423 tonnes. The length of the road network has not undergone many changes; it consists of 93,100 km; state railways went from 12,041 km in 1947 to 15,611 km, half of which electrified. Motor vehicles are gradually increasing: in 1959 there were 1,227,400, of which 1,098,700 cars.
Finances. – After an increasing development, starting from 1953, exports registered a contraction in 1958-59, a contraction that had a depressive effect on the Swedish economy given the high incidence with which foreign trade participates in the formation of national income (about 20%). But already at the beginning of 1959 the resumption of exports of wood, paper and base metals contributed to the renewal of the production momentum.
The series of current account deficits in the balance of payments was more than offset by the inflow of foreign capital (especially short-term to Swedish banks). Therefore, the stock of foreign exchange reserves increased continuously from 1952 onwards. With the exception of the 1951-52 financial year, the state budget closed in deficit throughout the remainder of the period. The high state investment spending, which has tripled over the past decade, contributed to this. Correspondingly, the state’s financial needs increased significantly, leading not only to an increase in public debt, but also to a scarcity of capital on the financial market. This situation has limited the withdrawal of funds by private companies.
The Swedish banking system includes, in addition to the Central Bank (Sveriges Riksbank), 16 commercial banks (with over 1150 branches), 450 savings banks and several special credit institutions.
The official parity declared to the International Monetary Fund in November 1951 is 5,173 Swedish kronor per US dollar. Similarly to other European currencies, the krona was declared convertible for non-residents in December 1958. For Sweden 2008, please check payhelpcenter.com.
History. – Succeeded, only among the countries of northern Europe, to stay out of the Second World War, Sweden was also the only one of these countries – excluding Finland, which was in a particular position – to remain faithful, in the post-war period, to line of neutrality, rejecting the invitation to be part of the Atlantic Pact and constantly scrupulously maintaining a position of equidistance between the blocks. A confirmation of his neutralist commitment came on the occasion of the debate at the UN from January 20 to February 1, 1951, on the Chinese intervention in Korea: the Swedish delegate abstained from voting on the motion condemning Communist China as an aggressor state. The firmness of the Social Democratic government on the policy of neutrality never failed, despite the pressure and criticism of the liberal opposition, conservative and agrarian who, while also opposed to formal alliances, was in favor of more flexible positions and greater collaboration with Western countries, and despite the periodic reasons for friction between the Swedish government and the Soviet one (shooting down of two Swedish planes in the June 1951, cases of espionage, controversy over the extension of territorial waters in the Baltic, announcement by Moscow on the death in a Soviet prison in July 1947 of the Swedish diplomat Wallemberg who disappeared in Budapest in 1945). The only grouping of states to which Stockholm joined was the Nordic one, where moreover, after the establishment of the Nordic Council in 1952, it endeavored to ensure that the internationally “committed” member governments accentuated their cautious and reserved attitude as much as possible,
The neutralist orientation in foreign policy was the condition that the Social Democratic Party – which had been in constant government since 1931 – set for a government coalition, in October 1951, with the agrarians, to whom as a consideration it gave the inclusion, in the program of government, of a point relating to the protection of the prices of agricultural products. The program of the coalition government, which put an end to the single-color Social Democratic government with a relative majority established after the elections of 9 September 1948, had as its first point the maintenance of neutrality, subsequently providing for the fight against inflation, the strengthening of the country’s defense., a full employment policy, the balance of trade. The coalition between the Social Democrats and the Agrarian League, under the presidency of Tage Erlander, it was confirmed after the elections of 21 October 1952, in which the Social Democrats lost two seats (from 112 to 110) and again after the elections of 16 September 1956 in which the relative majority party lost another 4 seats and the seven agrarians (respectively from 110 to 106 and from 26 to 19, out of the 230 seats available). Social Democratic thesis for the introduction of the compulsory pension for wage earners over 67 years of age collected 46.4 per cent of the votes against the proposals based on the principle of voluntariness supported by conservatives and agrarians. With the exit of the agrarians from the coalition, they returned to the one-color social democratic government. The interim solution could only lead to new elections; these were decided when, on April 25, 1958, the government was placed in a minority Storting on the bill for the introduction of compulsory pension by a coalition of liberals, conservatives and agrarians. In the elections of June 1, 1958, the Social Democrats won 112 seats: the pension reform was approved on May 13, 1959, with a single vote. In the elections of September 18, 1960, the Social Democrats won 114 seats, the Liberals 40, the Conservatives 39, the Agrarians 34 and the Communists 5. The Social Democrat Tage Erlander remained in power.