Every year, thousands of people from other countries come to Canada to start a new life. They come with many different talents and with the hope of contributing to their new society. Your interest in reading this cultural profile may be due to your involvement with the HOST Program, where you have the opportunity to meet people from Sweden and introduce them to life in Canada. You may have Swedish colleagues at work or Swedish students at your school.

Swedes began to migrate to Canada in the 1870s. Today, more than 100,000 Canadians are of Swedish descent. They live in all regions of Canada, but the largest numbers are in the Prairie Provinces and British Columbia.

The decision to make a new home in a different country is not an easy one. People must leave behind familiar surroundings. Although Canada may seem quite different from Sweden, there are also many similarities. Swedish immigrants will have many of the same questions that you would have if you moved to a new town or city. They will wonder how to find a job, which school their children should attend, where to find a doctor, where to shop and what their new community will be like. You will probably find that you have much in common with your Swedish friends and that you can learn from them too.

Although this cultural profile provides insight into some customs, it does not cover all facets of life. The customs described may not apply in equal measure to all newcomers from Sweden.

   Did you know?
Every year, the Nobel Prizes are awarded in Stockholm, Sweden. Alfred Nobel, who founded the prizes, was a Swedish manufacturer of armaments and explosives.
   Summary Fact Sheet

Official Name Kingdom of Sweden
Capital Stockholm
Type of Government Constitutional Monarchy
Population 9 million
Area 450,000 sq. km
Major Ethnic Groups Swedes, Saamis, Finns, Eastern Europeans, Arabs, Asians
Language Swedish
Religions Protestantism, Islam, Roman Catholicism
Unit of Currency Swedish Krona
National Flag A yellow cross against a light blue background