MVP Sustainability Map
GDP Per Capita
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Even with a high per capita consumption level, Sweden with its modest population in relation to its natural resources is currently sustainable.
Sweden’s environmentally conscious culture is attributed by many to the fact that more than 80 percent of its citizens live within 3 miles of a national park, nature reserve or other conservation area. The country has positioned itself as one of the most progressive countries on environmental issues in the world. The Arctic Institute reports with 99% of its solid waste recycled or used to produce biogas, Sweden was the first country to establish an environmental protection agency in 1967. Despite its reputation, Sweden has surprisingly light forestry laws, and often leaves decisions about logging to timber companies. The result of such lax regulation is the loss of large swaths of biologically-rich boreal forests in the North to clear cuts that remove up to 95% of the trees, leave deep tire tracks, and are often re-planted with lodgepole pine, a species imported from North America. The Word Wildlife Fund has reported that two thousand forest-dwelling species are threatened in Sweden. Mining in Sweden’s northern county of Lapland, in particular iron ore, has also led to environmental concerns over waste materials, heavy metal leaching, water contamination, and habitat destruction.(1) In October of 2022, the new Prime Minister reorganized the Ministry of Environment removing its stand alone department with its own minister in the cabinet to working under the Minister of Energy.
Sweden has had below replacement fertility rates since the mid 1990s. With fewer native births the country has opened its borders. The past decade sweden has averaged roughly 100,000 new immigrants annually. Its net migration makes up about 70% of the country’s overall population growth. At the expense of its long term sustainability, Sweden has recently attempted to reverse its downward fertility trend through inducements to promoting larger families.