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The counties of Sweden
Sweden
(Swedish: Sveriges län) are the top-level geographic subdivisions of Sweden. Sweden
Sweden
is today divided into 21 counties; however, the numbers of counties has varied over time, due to territorial gains/losses and to divisions and/or mergers of existing counties. This level of administrative unit was first established in the 1634 Instrument of Government on Lord Chancellor Count Axel Oxenstierna's initiative, and superseded the historical provinces of Sweden
Sweden
(Swedish: landskap) in order to introduce a more efficient administration of the realm. At that time, they were what the translation of län into English literally means: fiefdoms. The county borders often follow the provincial borders, but the Crown often chose to make slight relocations to suit its purposes. In every county except Gotland
Gotland
there is a county administrative board (länsstyrelse) headed by a governor (landshövding), appointed by the government, as well as a separate county council (landsting). The aims of the county administrative board are to supervise local state administration (that is not otherwise assigned to other government agencies), and to coordinate political goals with the central government. The county council is the elected regional political assembly that oversees the municipal affairs of the county, primarily in regards to public healthcare, public transport, and culture. Several other government agencies are organised on a county basis, including the main bodies of the police, employment, social insurance, and forestry services.

Contents

1 List of counties 2 Map 3 History

3.1 Older subdivisions 3.2 Finland 3.3 Abolished counties

4 Proposed regions 5 Riksområden 6 See also 7 References 8 External links

List of counties[edit]

ISO-code Arms County (Län) Administrative centre Governor Area (km2) Population (2016)[1]

AB

Stockholm Stockholm Chris Heister 6,519.3 2,269,060

C

Uppsala Uppsala Göran Enander 8,207.2 361,373

D

Södermanland Nyköping Liselott Hagberg 6,102.3 288,097

E

Östergötland Linköping Elisabeth Nilsson 10,602.0 452,105

F

Jönköping Jönköping Anneli Wirtén (acting) 10,495.1 352,735

G

Kronoberg Växjö Ingrid Burman 8,466.0 194,628

H

Kalmar Kalmar Malin Almqvist (interim) 11,217.8 242,301

I

Gotland Visby Cecilia Schelin Seidegård 3,151.4 58,003

K

Blekinge Karlskrona Berit Andnor 2,946.4 158,453

M

Skåne Malmö Anneli Hulthén 11,034.5 1,324,565

N

Halland Halmstad Lena Sommestad 5,460.7 320,333

O

Västra Götaland Gothenburg Lars Bäckström 23,948.8 1,671,783

S

Värmland Karlstad Kenneth Johansson 17,591.0 279,334

T

Örebro Örebro Maria Larsson 8,545.6 294,941

U

Västmanland Västerås Minoo Akhtarzand 5,145.8 267,629

W

Dalarna Falun Ylva Thörn 28,188.8 284,531

X

Gävleborg Gävle Per Bill 18,198.9 284,586

Y

Västernorrland Härnösand Bo Källstrand 21,683.8 245,572

Z

Jämtland Östersund Jöran Hägglund 49,341.2 128,673

AC

Västerbotten Umeå Gunnar Holmgren 55,186.2 265,881

BD

Norrbotten Luleå Sven-Erik Österberg 98,244.8 250,570

Map[edit] With county codes, which were official until 1974.

AB: Stockholm County
Stockholm County
AC: Västerbotten County
Västerbotten County
BD: Norrbotten County
Norrbotten County
C: Uppsala County
Uppsala County
D: Södermanland County
Södermanland County
E: Östergötland County
Östergötland County
F: Jönköping County
Jönköping County
G: Kronoberg County
Kronoberg County
H: Kalmar County
Kalmar County
I: Gotland
Gotland
County K: Blekinge County
Blekinge County
M: Skåne County
Skåne County
N: Halland County
Halland County
O: Västra Götaland County
Västra Götaland County
S: Värmland County
Värmland County
T: Örebro County
Örebro County
U: Västmanland County
Västmanland County
W: Dalarna County
Dalarna County
X: Gävleborg County
Gävleborg County
Y: Västernorrland County
Västernorrland County
Z: Jämtland County
Jämtland County

Counties of Sweden

Comparison with the provinces of Sweden Bold lines represent county borders, colors represent provinces.

Each county region contains a number of municipalities (kommuner), the existence of which is partly at the discretion of the central government. Since 2004 their number has been 290, thus an average of 13.8 municipalities per county. (See Municipalities of Sweden) Until 1968, the City of Stockholm
Stockholm
had its own "county code" A, which is still used interchangeably with AB in some contexts, and County of Stockholm
Stockholm
had county code B. L was for Kristianstad County
Kristianstad County
and M was for Malmöhus County
Malmöhus County
but since they were merged to form Skåne County, M is usually used. O used to stand for Gothenburg
Gothenburg
and Bohus County but has been used for Västra Götaland County
Västra Götaland County
since it was merged with Skaraborg County
Skaraborg County
(R) and Älvsborg County (P). History[edit] Older subdivisions[edit] Sweden's provinces, or landskap, and the "lands", or landsdelar, lack political importance today but are common denominations culturally and historically. The provinces had their own laws and justice systems and could have large cultural and religious differences. Note that the province of Småland
Småland
(literally small land) historically was several provinces with its own laws. Here burial tradition in the era before the Viking age
Viking age
could differ significantly from province to province. The province of Norrbotten
Norrbotten
is a relatively recent creation; it was part of Västerbotten
Västerbotten
which extended all the way to Österbotten into today's Finland
Finland
before 1809. Finnish and Swedish Lappland was also one province until 1809. Historically, the provinces were grouped in three lands: Götaland, being southern and western Sweden; Svealand
Svealand
being eastern and south-eastern, and Norrland
Norrland
being the entire northern half. The names of the first two refer to ancient tribes, and the third is a geographical reference. They are still commonly used as geographical references. The boundaries have changed over time, with the most significant in 1658 (the cession of provinces from Denmark-Norway to Sweden) and 1812 (due to the loss of Finland
Finland
to Russia
Russia
in 1809). In 1812 some provinces were moved from Götaland
Götaland
to Svealand. Finland[edit] After the Finnish War, Sweden
Sweden
was forced to cede the counties in Finland
Finland
to Russia
Russia
following the Treaty of Fredrikshamn
Treaty of Fredrikshamn
in (1809). However, the counties were upheld in Finland
Finland
until a reform in 1997. They are still in use in Sweden, 370 years later. The counties in Finland
Finland
established in 1634 were: Turku and Pori County, Nyland and Tavastehus County, Viborg and Nyslott County, Ostrobothnia County
Ostrobothnia County
and Kexholm County. Over time the number of subdivisions in Finland
Finland
increased to twelve, until a reorganization in 1997 reduced their number to six provinces, while keeping the administrative model intact. The counties in Finland
Finland
were abolished in 2010. Abolished counties[edit] Abolished counties in current-day Sweden proper
Sweden proper
were:

Skaraborg County
Skaraborg County
+ Gothenburg
Gothenburg
and Bohus County + Älvsborg County (merged as Västra Götaland County
Västra Götaland County
in 1998) Kopparberg County
Kopparberg County
(became Dalarna County
Dalarna County
in 1997) Malmöhus County
Malmöhus County
+ Kristianstad County
Kristianstad County
(merged as Skåne County
Skåne County
in 1997) Norrland
Norrland
County (in 1645 divided into Västerbotten
Västerbotten
County, Hudiksvall County and Härnösand
Härnösand
County) Nyköping
Nyköping
County, Gripsholm County
Gripsholm County
and Eskilstunahus County
Eskilstunahus County
(united in 1683 to become Södermanland County) Närke County (became Örebro
Örebro
County) Härnösand
Härnösand
County (1645–1654, formed Västernorrland County) Hudiksvall County
Hudiksvall County
(1645–1654, formed Gävleborg County) Stockholm
Stockholm
Överståtshållarämbete (1634–1967, united with Stockholm
Stockholm
County) Svartsjö County
Svartsjö County
(1786–1809, united with Stockholm
Stockholm
County) Öland County
Öland County
(1819–1826, united with Kalmar
Kalmar
County)

Counties in Swedish-ruled Finland
Finland
were:

Turku and Pori County
Turku and Pori County
(1634–1809) Nyland and Tavastehus County
Nyland and Tavastehus County
(1634–1809) Ostrobothnia County
Ostrobothnia County
(1634–1775) Viborg and Nyslott County
Viborg and Nyslott County
(1634–1721) Kexholm County
Kexholm County
(1634–1721) Kymmenegård and Nyslott County
Kymmenegård and Nyslott County
(1721–1747) Savolax and Kymmenegård County
Savolax and Kymmenegård County
(1747–1775) Vasa County
Vasa County
(1775–1809) Oulu County
Oulu County
(1775–1809) Kymmenegård County
Kymmenegård County
(1775–1809) Savolax and Karelia County
Savolax and Karelia County
(1775–1809)

Proposed regions[edit]

Six or nine new administrative regions.

Under the aegis of the Swedish government, Ansvarskommittén has been investigating the possibilities of merging the current 21 counties into 6 to 9 larger regions. These proposals are from their final report, delivered in 2007:[2]

Norra Sverige: Norrbotten County
Norrbotten County
+ Västerbotten County
Västerbotten County
+ Jämtland County + Västernorrland County
Västernorrland County
+ Nordanstig and Hudiksvall Bergslagen: the rest of Gävleborg County
Gävleborg County
+ Dalarna County
Dalarna County
+ Örebro County + Värmland County Mälardalen: Stockholm County
Stockholm County
+ Uppsala County
Uppsala County
+ Södermanland County + Västmanland County
Västmanland County
+ Gotland
Gotland
County Västra Götaland: Västra Götaland County
Västra Götaland County
+ Halland County Östra Götaland: Östergötland County
Östergötland County
+ Jönköping County
Jönköping County
+ Kronoberg County
Kronoberg County
+ Kalmar
Kalmar
County Södra Götaland: Skåne County
Skåne County
+ Blekinge County

Norra Sverige: Norrbotten County
Norrbotten County
+ Västerbotten County
Västerbotten County
+ Örnsköldsvik Mellannorrland: Jämtland County
Jämtland County
+ Västernorrland County
Västernorrland County
(except Örnsköldsvik) + Nordanstig and Hudiksvall Dalarna-Gävleborg: Dalarna County
Dalarna County
+ Gävleborg County
Gävleborg County
(except Nordanstig and Hudiksvall) Västra Svealand: Värmland County
Värmland County
+ Örebro
Örebro
County Mälardalen: Stockholm County
Stockholm County
+ Uppsala County
Uppsala County
+ Södermanland County + Västmanland County
Västmanland County
+ Gotland
Gotland
County Västra Götaland: Västra Götaland County
Västra Götaland County
+ Halland County Östergötland: Östergötland County
Östergötland County
+ Västervik Småland: Jönköping County
Jönköping County
+ Kronoberg County
Kronoberg County
+ Kalmar
Kalmar
County (except Västervik) Södra Götaland: Skåne County
Skåne County
+ Blekinge County

A model for this comes from the merger of some counties into Skåne County and Västra Götaland County
Västra Götaland County
in 1997 and 1998, respectively, which is now considered a success. The counties are discussing the proposal. An obstacle is that Stockholm County
Stockholm County
does not want to merge with any other county, while its neighbours want to merge with Stockholm. After this discussion the following proposal has in 2016 emerged:

Norrbotten, Västerbotten, Västernorrland and Jämtland county Dalarna, Gävleborgs, Södermanlands, Uppsala, Västmanland and Örebro
Örebro
county Östergötland, Jönköping, Kalmar
Kalmar
and Kronoberg county Gotland
Gotland
and Stockholm
Stockholm
county Halland, Värmland and Västra Götaland
Götaland
county Blekinge and Skåne county

The main difference is that the proposed Berglagen is divided to other counties, and Stockholm
Stockholm
is on its own (plus the small Gotland
Gotland
which has air connections to Stockholm) Riksområden[edit] Main article: National Areas of Sweden

Current statistical regions (riksområden).

The counties in Sweden
Sweden
correspond to the third level of division in the European Union's system of Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics. For the purpose of creating regions corresponding to the second level, counties have been grouped into eight Riksområden, or National Areas: Stockholm, East Middle Sweden, North Middle Sweden, Middle Norrland, Upper Norrland, Småland
Småland
and the islands, West Sweden and South Sweden. See also[edit]

Ranked list of Swedish counties ISO 3166-2 codes for Sweden Subdivisions of the Nordic countries

References[edit]

^ Statistics Sweden. ""Folkmängd i riket, län och kommuner 31 december 2016 och befolkningsförändringar 1 oktober–31 december 2016"". Statistics Sweden. Statistics Sweden. Retrieved 18 March 2017.  ^ [1]

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Counties of Sweden.

The Swedish County Administrative Boards Official site of the Swedish government National Atlas of Sweden
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(searchable)

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