Stockholm ( Swedish pronunciation: ( listen) ) is the capital and the largest city of Sweden. It is the site of the national Swedish government, the Riksdag ( parliament), and the official residence of the Swedish monarch as well as the prime minister. Since 1980, the monarch has resided at Drottningholm Palace outside of Stockholm and uses the Royal Palace of Stockholm as his workplace and official residence. As of 2009, the Stockholm metropolitan area is home to approximately 22% of Sweden's population, and contributes 28% of Sweden's gross domestic product. Stockholm is the most populous city in Sweden with a population of 829,417 in the municipality (2009), 1.25 million in the urban area (2005), and 2 million in the metropolitan area (2009). Founded circa 1250, Stockholm has long been one of Sweden's cultural, media, political, and economic centres. Its strategic location on 14 islands on the south-central east coast of Sweden at the mouth of Lake Mälaren, by the Stockholm archipelago, has been historically important. Stockholm has been nominated by GaWC as a global city, with a ranking of Alpha-. In The 2008 Global Cities Index, Stockholm ranked 24th in the world, 10th in Europe, and first in Scandinavia. Stockholm is known for its beauty, its buildings and architecture, its abundant clean and open water, and its many parks. It is sometimes referred to as Venice of the North . Stockholm is the second most visited city in the Nordic countries, with around one million visitors in 2006.

Stockholm's location appears in Norse sagas as Agnafit, and in Heimskringla in connection with the legendary king Agne. The earliest written mention of the name Stockholm dates from 1252, by which time the mines in Bergslagen made it an important site in the iron trade. The first part of the name ( stock) means log in Swedish, although it may also be connected to an old German word ( Stock) meaning fortification. The second part of the name ( holm) means islet, and is thought to refer to the islet Helgeandsholmen in central Stockholm. The city is said to have been founded by Birger Jarl to protect Sweden from a sea invasion by foreign navies and to stop the pillage of towns such as Sigtuna on Lake Mälaren. Stockholm's core of the present Old Town ( Gamla Stan) was built on the central island next to Helgeandsholmen from the mid-13th century onward. The city originally rose to prominence as a result of the Baltic trade of the Hanseatic League. Stockholm developed strong economic and cultural linkages with Lübeck, Hamburg, Gdańsk, Visby, Reval, and Riga during this time. Between 1296 and 1478 Stockholm's City Council was made up of 24 members, half of whom were selected from the town's German-speaking burghers. The strategic and economic importance of the city made Stockholm an important factor in relations between the Danish Kings of the Kalmar Union and the national independence movement in the 15th century. The Danish King Christian II was able to enter the city in 1520. On 8 November 1520 a massacre of opposition figures called the Stockholm Bloodbath took place and set off further uprisings that eventually led to the breakup of the Kalmar Union. With the accession of Gustav Vasa in 1523 and the establishment of a royal power, the population of Stockholm began to grow, reaching 10,000 by 1600. The 17th century saw Sweden grow into a major European power, reflected in the development of the city of Stockholm. From 1610 to 1680 the population multiplied sixfold. In 1634 Stockholm became the official capital of the Swedish empire. Trading rules were also created that gave Stockholm an essential monopoly over trade between foreign merchants and other Swedish and Scandinavian territories. In 1710 the Black Death reached Stockholm. After the end of the Great Northern War the city stagnated. Population growth halted and economic growth slowed. The city was in shock after having lost its place as the capital of a Great Power. However Stockholm maintained its role as the political centre of Sweden and continued to develop culturally under Gustav III. The royal opera is a good architectural example of this era. By the second half of the 19th century, Stockholm had regained its leading economic role. New industries emerged and Stockholm was transformed into an important trade and service centre as well as a key gateway point within Sweden. The population also grew dramatically during this time, mainly through immigration. At the end of the century, less than 40% of the residents were Stockholm-born. Settlement began to expand outside the city limits. The 19th century saw the establishment of a number scientific institutes, including the Karolinska Institute. The General Art and Industrial Exposition was held in 1897. Stockholm became a modern, technologically advanced, and ethnically diverse city in the latter half of the 20th century. Many historical buildings were torn down, including the entire historical district of Klara, and replaced with modern architecture. Throughout the century, many industries shifted away from work-intensive activities into more hitech and service industry areas. The city continued to expand with the creation of additional districts such as Rinkeby and Tensta, some with high proportions of immigrants.


Stockholm is located on Sweden's south-central east coast, where Lake Mälaren meets the Baltic Sea. The central parts of the city consist of fourteen islands that are continuous with Stockholm archipelago. The geographical city centre is situated on the water, in the bay Riddarfjärden. Over 30% of the city area is made up of waterways and another 30% is made up of parks and green spaces; in 2009, Stockholm was awarded title of first European Green Capital by the European Commission. For details about the other municipalities in the metropolitan area, see the pertinent articles. North of Stockholm Municipality: Järfälla, Solna, Täby, Sollentuna, Lidingö, Upplands Väsby, Österåker, Sigtuna, Sundbyberg, Danderyd, Vallentuna, Ekerö, Upplands-Bro, Vaxholm, and Norrtälje. South of Stockholm: Huddinge, Nacka, Botkyrka, Haninge, Tyresö, Värmdö, Södertälje, Salem, Nykvarn and Nynäshamn.

Stockholm Municipality
Stockholm Municipality is an administrative unit defined by geographical borders. The semi-officially adopted name for the municipality is City of Stockholm ( Stockholms stad in Swedish). As a municipality, the City of Stockholm is subdivided into district councils, which carry responsibility for primary schools, social, leisure and cultural services within their respective areas. The municipality is usually described in terms of its three main parts: Innerstaden ( Stockholm City Centre), Söderort (Southern Stockholm) and Västerort (Western Stockholm). The districts of these parts are:

The modern centrum Norrmalm, (concentrated around the town square Sergels torg), is the largest shopping district in Scandinavia. It is the most central part of Stockholm in business and shopping. Östermalm is the most affluent district of Stockholm.

Stockholm has a humid continental climate or maritime (between Cfb and Dfb according to the Köppen climate classification). Due to the city's high northerly latitude, daylight varies widely from more than 18 hours around midsummer, to only around 6 hours in late December. Despite its northernly location, Stockholm has relatively mild weather compared to other location at similar latitude, or even further south. The city enjoys 1,981 hours of sunshine annually. Summers are warm and pleasant with average daytime high temperatures of 20–22 °C (68–72 °F) and lows of around 13 °C (55 °F), but temperatures could reach 30 °C (86 °F) on some days. Winters are cold, and sometimes snowy with average temperatures ranging from -5 to 1 °C (23 to 34 °F), and rarely drop below −15 °C (5.0 °F). Spring and autumn are generally cool to mild. The highest temperature ever recorded in Stockholm was 36 °C (97 °F); the lowest was −32 °C (−25.6 °F). Annual precipitation is 539 mm (21.2 in) with around 170 wet days and light to moderate rainfall throughout the year. Snow mainly occurs from December thru March with some winters could bring plenty of snow, while others are milder with more rain than snow.

Politics and government
Municipalities are responsible for government-mandated duties, and elections for the municipal council are held every four years, parallel to the general elections. Following the 2006 municipal elections, the seats are divided in the following way:

The Mayor of Stockholm is as of April 2008 Sten Nordin from the Moderate Party.

The vast majority of Stockholmians work in the service industry, which accounts for roughly 85% of jobs in Stockholm. The almost total absence of heavy industry makes Stockholm one of the world's cleanest metropolises. The last decade has seen a significant number of jobs created in high technology companies. Large employers include IBM, Ericsson, and Electrolux. A major IT centre is located in Kista, in northern Stockholm. Stockholm is Sweden's financial centre. Major Swedish banks, such as Swedbank, Handelsbanken, and Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken, are headquartered in Stockholm, as are the major insurance companies Skandia and Trygg-Hansa. Stockholm is also home to Sweden's foremost stock exchange, the Stockholm Stock Exchange ( Stockholmsbörsen). Additionally, about 45% of Swedish companies with more than 200 employees are headquartered in Stockholm. Famous clothes retailer H&M is also headquartered in the city. In recent years, tourism has played an important part in the city's economy. Between 1991–2004, annual overnight stays increased from 4 to 7.7 million. The largest companies by number of employees:

Research and higher education in the sciences started in Stockholm in the 18th century, with education in medicine and various research institutions such as the Stockholm Observatory. The medical education was eventually formalized in 1811 as the Karolinska Institutet. The Royal Institute of Technology ( Kungliga Tekniska Högskolan, or KTH) was founded in 1827 and is currently Scandinavia's largest higher education institute of technology with 13,000 students. Stockholm University, founded in 1878 with university status granted in 1960, has 52,000 students as of 2008. It also incorporates many historical institutions, such as the Observatory, the Swedish Museum of Natural History, and the botanical garden Bergianska trädgården . The Stockholm School of Economics, founded in 1909, is one of the few private institutions of higher education in Sweden. In the fine arts, educational institutions include the Royal College of Music, which has a history going back to the conservatory founded as part of the Royal Swedish Academy of Music in 1771, the Royal University College of Fine Arts, which has a similar historical association with the Royal Swedish Academy of Arts and a foundation date of 1735, and the Swedish National Academy of Mime and Acting, which is the continuation of the school of the Royal Dramatic Theatre, once attended by Greta Garbo. Other schools include the design school Konstfack, founded in 1844, the University College of Opera (founded in 1968, but with older roots), the University College of Dance, and the Stockholms Musikpedagogiska Institut (the University College of Music Education). The Södertörn University College was founded in 1995 as a multidisciplinary institution for southern Metropolitan Stockholm, to balance the many institutions located in the northern part of the region. Other institutes of higher education are: Military Academy Karlbergin 1662.
  • Military Academy Karlberg, the world's oldest military academy to remain in its original location, inaugurated in 1792 and housed in Karlberg Palace.
  • Ersta Sköndal University College
  • The Stockholm School of Theology ( Teologiska Högskolan, Stockholm)
  • The Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences ( Gymnastik- och idrottshögskolan , or GIH)

The Stockholm region is home to around 22% of Sweden's total population, and accounts for about 28% of the gross domestic product. The geographical notion of "Stockholm" has changed throughout the times. By the turn of the 19th century, Stockholm basically consisted of the area today known as City Centre, roughly 35 km 2 (14 sq mi) or 1/5 of the current municipal area. In the ensuing decades several other areas were incorporated (such as Brännkyrka Municipality in 1913, at which time it had 25,000 inhabitants, and Spånga in 1949). The municipal border was established in 1971 – with the exception of Hansta, in 1982 purchased by Stockholm Municipality from Sollentuna Municipality and today a nature reserve. Of the population of 765,044 in 2004, 370,482 were men and 394,562 women. The average age is 39.8 years; 40.5% of the population is between 20 and 44 years. 309,480 people, or 40.4% of the population, over the age 15 were unmarried. 211,115 people, or 27.5% of the population, were married. 85,373, or 11.1% of the population, had been married but divorced. 37.5% of residents have immigrant or minority heritage and background. Residents of Stockholm are known as Stockholmers. Some of the suburbs have large populations of immigrants. Some languages spoken in Greater Stockholm beside Swedish, Finnish and English due to large numbers of immigrants are Bosnian, Syriac, Arabic, Turkish, Kurdish, Persian, Spanish, Serbian and Croatian.

Historical population
Population in the city of Stockholm from 1570 to present

In the last century, the population of nearby municipalities in Stockholm County has become relevant to mention as well as the population of Stockholm Municipality, as many municipalities form part of the Stockholm urban area and as such are often considered part of the general term "Stockholm". As of 2005, Stockholm urban area has a population of 1,252,020; Huddinge 90,182; Järfälla 62,342; Solna 61,717; Sollentuna 60,528; Botkyrka 77,553; Haninge 72,956; Tyresö 41,476; Sundbyberg 33,868; Nacka 82,421; Danderyd 30,492). In the entire Stockholm metropolitan, with its 26 municipalities, the population reaches more than 2 million inhabitants. A 360 degree panorama of Stockholm inner quarters taken from the City Hall tower. From left to right: Riddarfjärdenwith Södermalmin the background, Kungsholmen, Klara sjö, Norrmalmwith the central station in the foreground, Stockholms ström, Riddarholmenwith the Old Town, and again Riddarfjärden with Södermalm

Royal Dramatic Theatre, One of Stockholm's many theatres Apart from being a large city with an active cultural life, Stockholm, as Sweden's capital, houses many national cultural institutions. There are two UNESCO World Heritage sites in the Stockholm area: the Royal Palace Drottningholm (within Ekerö Municipality) and the Skogskyrkogården (The Woodland Cemetery). Stockholm was the 1998 European City of Culture.

Authors connected to Stockholm include the poet and songwriter Carl Michael Bellman (1740–1795), novelist and dramatist August Strindberg (1849–1912), and novelist Hjalmar Söderberg (1869–1941), all of whom made Stockholm part of their works. Other authors with notable heritage in Stockholm were the Nobel Prize laureate Eyvind Johnson (1900–1976) and the popular poet and composer Evert Taube (1890–1976). The novelist Per Anders Fogelström (1917–1998) wrote a popular series of historical novels depicting life in Stockholm from the 19th to the mid-20th century.

Stockholm Palace, the official seat of the Swedish King Main article: Culture in Stockholm The city's oldest section is " Gamla Stan" (Old Town), located on the original small islands of the city's earliest settlements and still featuring the medieval street layout. Some notable buildings of Gamla Stan are the large German Church ( Tyska kyrkan) and several mansions and palaces: the Riddarhuset (the House of Nobility), the Bonde Palace, the Tessin Palace and the Oxenstierna Palace. The oldest building in Stockholm is the Riddarholmskyrkan from the late 13th century. After a fire in 1697 when the original medieval castle was destroyed, Stockholm Palace was erected in a baroque style. Storkyrkan Cathedral, the episcopal seat of the Bishop of Stockholm, stands next to the castle. It was founded in the 13th century but is clad in a baroque exterior dating to the 18th century. As early as the 15th century, the city had expanded outside of its original borders. Some pre-industrial, small-scale buildings from this era can still be found in Södermalm. During the 19th century and the age of industrialization Stockholm grew rapidly, with plans and architecture inspired by the large cities of the continent such as Berlin and Vienna. Notable works of this time period include public buildings such as the Royal Swedish Opera and private developments such as the luxury housing developments on Strandvägen. In the 20th century, a nationalistic push spurred a new architectural style inspired by medieval and renaissance ancestry as well as influences of the Jugend/ Art Nouveau style. A key landmark of Stockholm, the Stockholm City Hall, was erected 1911-1923 by architect Ragnar Östberg. Other notable works of these times are the Stockholm Public Library and the Forest Cemetery, Skogskyrkogården. Söder Torn, an 86 meter tall building in Södermalm. Strandvägen as seen from the island of Djurgården. View from the harbour of Skeppsbron. In the 1930s modernism characterized the development of the city as it grew. New residential areas sprang up such as the development on Gärdet while industrial development added to the growth, such as the KF manufacturing industries on Kvarnholmen located in the Nacka Municipality. In the 1950s, suburban development entered a new phase with the introduction of the Stockholm metro. The modernist developments of Vällingby and Farsta were internationally praised. In the 1960s this suburban development continued but with the aesthetic of the times, the industrialised and mass-produced blocks of flats received a large amount of criticism. At the same time that this suburban development was taking place, the most central areas of the inner city were being redesigned, known as Norrmalmsregleringen . Sergels Torg, with its five high-rise office towers was created in the 1960s, followed by the total clearance of large areas to make room for new development projects. The most notable buildings from this period is the ensemble of the House of Culture, City Theatre and National Bank at Sergels Torg, designed by architect Peter Celsing. In the 1980s the planning ideas of modernism were starting to be questioned, resulting in suburbs with a denser planning, such as Skarpnäck. In the 1990s this idea was taken further with the development of and old industrial area close to the inner city, resulting in a sort of mix of modernistic and urban planning in the new area of Hammarby Sjöstad. The municipality has appointed an official "board of beauty" called " Skönhetsrådet" to protect and preserve the beauty of the city. Stockholm's architecture provided the inspiration for Japanese director Hayao Miyazaki as he sought to evoke an idealized city untouched by World War. His creation, called Koriko, draws directly from what Miyazaki felt was Stockholm's sense of well-established architectural unity, vibrancy, independence, and safety. One of the most unusual pieces of "architecture" in Stockholm is the Jumbohostel , housed in a converted Boeing 747 located at Stockholm-Arlanda Airport.

Main article: List of museums in Stockholm Stockholm is one of the most crowded museum-cities in the world with around 100 museums, visited by millions of people every year. The most renowned national museum is the Nationalmuseum, [ Stockholm City Centre Söderort Västerort
  • Kungsholmen
  • Norrmalm
  • Södermalm
  • Östermalm
  • Enskede-Årsta-Vantör
  • Farsta
  • Hägersten-Liljeholmen
  • Skarpnäck
  • Skärholmen
  • Älvsjö
  • Bromma
  • Hässelby-Vällingby
  • Rinkeby-Kista
  • Spånga-Tensta
Climate data for Stockholm Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year Record high °C (°F) 11 (52) 12 (54) 18 (64) 26 (79) 29 (84) 33 (91) 36 (97) 36 (96) 29 (84) 20 (68) 14 (57) 12 (54) 36 (97) Average high °C (°F) -1 (30) -1 (30) 3 (37) 9 (48) 16 (61) 21 (70) 22 (72) 20 (68) 15 (59) 10 (50) 5 (41) 1 (34) 10 (50) Average low °C (°F) -5 (23) -5 (23) -3 (27) 1 (34) 6 (43) 11 (52) 13 (55) 13 (55) 9 (48) 5 (41) 1 (34) -3 (27) 3.6 (38) Record low °C (°F) -32 (-26) -30 (-22) -26 (-14) -14 (6) -7 (20) 0 (32) 4 (40) 2 (36) -3 (26) -9 (16) -18 (0) -23 (-9) -32 (-26) Precipitation mm (inches) 39 (1.54) 27 (1.06) 26 (1.02) 30 (1.18) 30 (1.18) 45 (1.77) 72 (2.83) 66 (2.6) 55 (2.17) 50 (1.97) 53 (2.09) 46 (1.81) 539 (21.22) Avg. precipitation days 18 15 13 11 11 12 15 14 15 14 17 18 173 Source: World Weather Information Service 2008-01-06 The governing parties Parties in opposition
  • The Moderate Party 41
  • The Liberal People's Party 10
  • The Christian Democrats 3
  • The Centre Party 1
  • The Social Democrats 27
  • The Left Party 9
  • The Green Party 10

Year Population 1570 9,100 1610 8,900 1630 15,000 1650 35,000 1690 55,000 1730 57,000 1750 60,018 1770 69,000 1800 75,517 1810 65,474 1820 75,569 1830 80,621 1840 84,161 1850 93,070 1860 113,063 1870 136,016
Year Population 1880 168,775 1890 246,454 1900 300,624 1910 342,323 1920 419,429 1930 502,207 1940 590,543 1950 745,936 1960 808,294 1970 740,486 1980 647,214 1990 674,452 2000 750,348 2005 771,038 2007 795,163 2008 810,120 2009 829,417 2010 841,612