Municipalities of Sweden

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NUTS:SE
ISO 3166-2:SE

The Municipalities of Sweden (Kommuner) represent the local level of self government in Sweden. Each municipality belongs to one of the 21 Counties of Sweden (Län).

Municipalities can be further divided into boroughs (stadsdelsnämnder or kommundelsnämnder). The existence of such divisions are at the discretion of the municipality itself, and they also decide whether there is a need for a borough to secede and form a separate municipality. However the question of whether a new municipality will be created is at the discretion of the Swedish Government.

Municipal communites have existed in Sweden for centuries. In the middle of the 20th century several municipal reforms were implemented, which successively and drastically reduced their numbers to the current 290 municipalities (2004). The last major reforms in 1971-1974 abolished the formal term city of Sweden and made every city the center of a municipality.

The cities often trace their history back several centuries, and are still referred to as cities by common people, but are no longer formally so. The metropolitan areas of Stockholm (pop 1,200,000) , Gothenburg (pop 750,000) and Malmö (pop 275,000) have the suffix "city" after their name, but are municipalities in a formal sense. Often in those cases, towns from other municipalities have grown together with the city and become suburbs, and are thereby considered part of city area eventhough they are part of another municipality.

The municipalities in the north cover large areas but are scarsely populated. On the other hand, municipalites around Mälaren in midth-Sweden (around Stockholm), on the west coast (around Gothenburg) and municipaities in southern Sweden (in the province of Scania) are densely populated and often small by area.

The municipalities are also divided into a total of 2,512 parishes, or församlingar (2000), which have an importance for census and elections. There are also a total of 1,936 urban centres, or tätorter (2000), which have an impact on statistics.


Municipal government in Sweden belong to the council-manager government variety.

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