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Sweden tenth most attractive nation — again

The Local · 20 Apr 2010, 14:15

Published: 20 Apr 2010 14:15 GMT+02:00

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The NBI study looks at six key areas: Governance, People, Business, Tourism, Culture and Talent Magnet. The latter gauges a country’s ability to attract talented people for studies, research and jobs.

The most interesting and dramatic change in the latest study is the greatly improved image of the USA, which has risen from seventh place to become the world’s most attractive brand – an effect of the favourable view taken of President Obama. Such major changes in the way people perceive other countries are rare, and reflect the fact that the USA is a superpower whose policies have a worldwide impact.

Rankings in the NBI study

(Previous year’s rankings in brackets)

1. USA (7)

2. France (2)

3. Germany (1)

4. UK (3)

5. Japan(5)

6. Italy (6)

7. Canada (4)

8. Switzerland (8)

9. Australia (9)

10. Sweden (10) and Spain (10)

For its size, modern Sweden occupies a strong position as a forward-looking, open country with a deep global commitment. However, it now faces a definite challenge. To a great extent, the country is living on past glories – our image abroad is outdated. People still tend to associate us with Palme, Abba, Bergman and Hammarskjöld. There’s nothing wrong with that, but contemporary Sweden definitely has other attractions as well, not least in the music, design and fashion fields.

An outdated image of Sweden risks becoming uninteresting, and our past achievements fade as new generations arrive. We find that Sweden’s reputation is slowly but surely weakening in regions where our image used to be very strong.

Swedish culture unknown – but rich in potential

Although “Millennium fever” is spreading around the world, Swedish culture is still the area in which we come off worst. Our principal handicap is that we are not thought to possess any interesting cultural heritage. We do better in terms of modern culture, but there, too, we are invisible in today’s world, with a few exceptions.

Sweden lacks a postcard motif

Sweden is also losing ground in terms of how we are perceived as a tourist destination. This is somewhat ironic, since the Swedish tourist industry is flourishing due to a rising influx of tourists from countries around us. In many parts of the world, people still think of Sweden as cold and dark, and we lack an instantly recognizable postcard motif such as the Eiffel Tower or the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao that could put us on the map as a place to visit.

Strong Swedish values

Sweden’s particular strength is governance. Sweden is seen as the home of a successful welfare model and a country that stands up for values like democracy and human rights and that takes its share of responsibility for global issues such as security and sustainability. Sweden is also looked upon as one of the countries to have emerged strongest from the global economic crisis.

No longer the environmental leader

However, we find that Sweden has forfeited its top place in the environment category. This is troubling, since a country’s ability to establish and retain an environmentally friendly profile is becoming increasingly important for its attractiveness in general. The few countries that are perceived as “green nations” are also considered more attractive as trade partners or as tourism or study destinations, and find it easier to make their voices heard in the international arena.

With the growing importance of sustainability as a global issue, competition in this sphere has become fiercer – more and more countries are investing heavily and joining the front runners. In previous studies, Sweden ranked first in the world in the environment category. This time, we have been overtaken by competitors such as Germany, Canada and Switzerland.

Sweden tomorrow

A relevant question is whether Sweden will be able to maintain its position as a country perceived as a relevant actor in global politics, an environmental model and a source of innovation that makes life better and safer for everyone. In many respects, Sweden is well equipped. We have the tools that should enable us to exploit the situation. But if we are to succeed, we must be able to put across how contemporary Sweden is relevant for today’s global citizens and talents.

Sweden’s image needs updating and Sweden needs to become more widely known – not least in new markets such as Asia, the Middle East and Africa.

Brief summary of Sweden’s NBI ranking

• Overall standing: Joint 10th place

• Best category: 3rd place for Governance

Story continues below…

• Best issues: 2nd place for “Open, tolerant society”* and “Behaves responsibly to help reduce world poverty”*

• Worst category: 14th place for Tourism and Culture

• Worst issue: 21st place for “This country is rich in historical buildings and monuments”*

• Most favourably disposed countries: Germany and France, followed by Poland and China

• Least favourably disposed countries: India and Egypt

Report on Sweden’s image 2010

The Swedish Institute’s mission is to work proactively with Sweden’s image abroad. The aim is to create interest, awareness, confidence and demand, and to establish relations, networks and partnerships around the world. For us, the key task is to constantly analyse Sweden’s position in the international environment – to determine how the country is perceived and to maintain a close understanding of our target groups abroad. This enables us to detect and interpret trends and shifts in the world at an early stage. You can read more about Sweden’s position worldwide in the SI report on Sweden’s international image, due to be published in April. The 2010 edition includes a new report on Sweden’s image in Africa.

Liselott Bergman, Brand Analysis Manager, Swedish Institute

*Statements that the respondents in the NBI study have to rank according to how well they suit the different countries.

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

18:56 April 20, 2010 by injusticeworld
Det är bra men jag tyckte att Sverige skulle ockupera fjärde eller femte rang
19:49 April 20, 2010 by Kevin Harris
Writing as a Londoner, how on earth did the UK get 4th place?
19:54 April 20, 2010 by rybo1
It must be the scenic strip malls, cathedral like shopping malls and eateries every two blocks that got the USA a number one ranking. It surely couldn't be culture, as I don't believe there is one. There once was a semblance of culture years gone by, but that ended with 24 hour shopping, 7 days a week and corporate rule. Yeah, they're #1.
20:53 April 20, 2010 by cwb
Can we get a second opinion here? Where is Anholt-GfK located? Oh...New York.

The title of this article should be called "Most Branded Nation"...not "Most Attractive Nation"- Did anyone at the local actually read the report? I know google translate can screw things up...but this is really poor reporting !! If the report was titled "Most attractive nation", I think the good old USA would have put Sweden at the top.
21:43 April 20, 2010 by americanska
Just goes to show all the America haters on here are the minority. they will keep living a miserable life until they see things for what they are hate.
23:08 April 20, 2010 by texasgubbar
The ratings must be based on convenience, cheap cost of living, the ease of gun ownership and prevelance of obesity. In these areas the US is truly #1, Go to any Walmart and witness all four.

The Swedish government would do well to promote the country within Ikea stores. No store is more well liked regardless of its location than Ikea. There should be a tourist bureau in each one. They should cross market with SAS, SJ and other travel related businesses.

I think things are changing, you now see commercials for Electrolux appliances in the states. There should be some hint of the home of Electrolux because the vast majority of Americans would have no idea that it is Swedish. (Of course Korea has the same problem with LG, which a majority of geographically illiterate brain dead Americans this is a fine USA brand.)

As far as being cold and dark... its true...
01:11 April 21, 2010 by cbeynch
How in heaven's name were these statistics compiled? And to say the USA has risen as result of Hussein Obama being our head-of-state, well that has to be a cruel joke! Oblahblah is out to destroy USA as we know it, and his election ought to have resulted in a nose dive. And for Sweden to end up as no 3 in `governance` must be a mistake. Even with this hoyty-toyty `Alliiiiaaaaaance` Sweden is still a socialist, union controlled, orwellian, arm pit. I agree that Sweden is good on environmental issues. I totally agree with a writer above who is demanding a second opinion. USA will rise again once we've re-saddled under a fresh, decent, Constitution supporting President. The current mistake in the White House is a disaster for western civilization!
01:46 April 21, 2010 by repat_xpat
America is on top because it should be on top. It was less in previous years because of the anti-Bush bias of those doing the study, no other reason. Sweden is fantastic, but largely uniform. Same is true for all EU countries. America has several great coast lines that rival Sweden's fantastic cost. America also has great northern woods and moose like Sweden. And if you want Swedish culture, go to northern Michigan or Minnesota, where Swedish people established their culture on American soil. Not only does the USA have landscape like Sweden, we also have the Rockies, which rival the Alps. We have the fantastic deserts and the best beaches in the world. It is a marvel. This is the real reason that Europeans are well traveled and most American's have only seen America. It's because Europeans have to travel from country to country to get the diversity you get in the US. Good or bad, Americans have a limited world view because they can.

Rybo1 diss American culture is uninformed. American culture is far more divers than any European country I have been in. From Minnesota, to New Orleans, to New York, to Alabama to LA, to Texas, and Alaska, all have diverse cultures that can be identified.

The USA is #1 because it is the product of all of the European cultures and Asian cultures. All this culture is spread over a land that is dynamic as the entire EU, not any just one EU country.
02:25 April 21, 2010 by Nordic Prince
USA is on top..... I can't beleive that !

I am just wondering what if USA respects human values and care about human beings (I mean: Non-Americans).

I think the world will worship them day and night not just make them #1 , Anyway, who cares .....

Länge leve Sverige!
02:52 April 21, 2010 by Greg in Canada
I hope nobody is taking this "study" seriously.
04:44 April 21, 2010 by scandaphile
Let the USA revel in it's favourite fantasy--- being #1.

My experience of Sweden is limited to Stockholm in winter and I'm absolutely sold.

It's the most beautiful city in the world, as far as I'm concerned. So much water, so much space, beautiful architecture and an atmosphere that cannot be described. It reeks of history at the same time it displays cutting edge modern.

Even as a visitor, you feel like a valued citizen when using the fantastic public transport system, especially in those wonderful tunelbana stations. Everywhere, there is evidence that people matter.

Somebody said to me when I came back and raved about Stockholm "You met a man!". "No, I said, "I met Stockholm. I met Sweden."
10:10 April 21, 2010 by fiqa
I am sad to see this. Not only because Sweden in lower than what it deserves but also that the countries on to dont deserve this.
10:18 April 21, 2010 by EtoileBrilliant
I won't add to the comments about the positioning of the US and the UK but there were some very interesting comments there. One in particular caught my eye and that was "Worst category: 14th place for Tourism and Culture".

In my view Sweden is a great place to live but a crappy place to visit. When are restaurants going to wake up to the fact that they must offer value. It seems to me that unless you're going to cater for the a very small "in-crowd" with their Wallpaper Guide to Stockholm, you're never going to please tourists with meals where there main course is SEK 250 and a bottle of house wine is SEK 300 and upwards. I travel to all the European capitals on business and would never dream of paying more than €30 per head for an two course dinner with wine (London excepted). There is so much in Sweden that is wonderful for tourism (climate, archipelago, designer furniture), it is sadly let down by a restaurant trade that can't find a price/value point to meet a tourist's basic needs.
10:50 April 21, 2010 by calebian22
Well said repat-expat.

Europe can be compared to the US, but individual countries in Europe will fall short. I always love the, "Americans are untravelled" criticism. Americans don't have to leave America, because everything is there. That sounds arrogant, but it is true. Is it so inferior to fly from Florida to Idaho for skiing, instead of Austria for example? Additionally in Idaho, you don't have to deal with arrogant Euros who think that a trip from Sweden to Austria for skiing makes them so well travelled.
11:31 April 21, 2010 by Swedeman
There are so many wonderful countries out there so it must be difficult to name the one that should go highest on the brandex index.

Might not be that significant but I think that we should build a new Marine Museum built around the Wasa ship and we should rescue some other already known old ships preserved by Östersjöns brackish (?) water. A new Nobel-museum and a Viking-museum also. Then better training for chefs and waiters in the restaurant-business.
11:34 April 21, 2010 by askin
Following criteria should be considered when rating a country:

Unemployment,Criminality, Loneliness,Housing shortage, Drug abuse, alcoholism, diseases should be really low.

Health insurance for everyone, social guarantees must exist.

Climate should be bearable. Environment clean.
11:35 April 21, 2010 by Swedeman
Plus we should build some more spectacular buildings. But being high up on an index can be of interest but only quite limited.
11:43 April 21, 2010 by DAVID T
" but contemporary Sweden definitely has other attractions as well, not least in the music"

Trouble is the scum keep downloading it illegaly so they are killing this as well
12:00 April 21, 2010 by Kevin Harris
If there is any truth to these rankings (which I doubt), poor George Bush should feel a bit sick when he learns he single handedly knocked USA down 7 places. He always said history would judge him. Well it has. As soon as he left, people suddenly like America alot again. It's a good job being POTUS is not a global popularity contest.
12:06 April 21, 2010 by Dr. Dillner
Kevin Harris: we should do some science to see if it is the Bush/Obama effect driving this. (Please) somebody take the Obama-guy and ship him to another county (maybe Sweden will take him) and see if the rankings change!!
12:09 April 21, 2010 by Twiceshy
I lived in Sweden for 6 month and although I love the Swedish people, Sweden itself does not deserve to be on the top 10. I study political sciences and the governance in Sweden is among the poorest I've seen in the West so far. Sweden actually face and will face so many problems in the future that its situation will constantly become worse....unfortunately. A lot of this posts also reflects the Swedish arrogance that I found so often when talking to Swedes about their own country. This is also one way to explain their unbelivable ignorance regarding their present and upcoming problems. Sad but true.
12:14 April 21, 2010 by Benzed
Those criteria clearly were NOT used if this is the list that comes out at the end. Where to start? Only Canada and Australia make sense in those positions in that list. USA, UK, Japan, comedy.
12:28 April 21, 2010 by Swedeman
Twiceshy, please elaborate on the point of governance "poorest".
13:52 April 21, 2010 by texasgubbar
'Plus we should build some more spectacular buildings.'

I thnk the turning torso is quite spectacular.


as is the globen.

" Americans don't have to leave America, because everything is there."

The same can be said for Walmart....
14:02 April 21, 2010 by "green Swede"
@david t,

"scum" ? christ talk about overkill,l can't imagine how you'd feel about murderers,rapists,child molesters ect ect.perspective please!

@repat_expat @calebian 22

so you guys equate a trip to china town,little italy or even miami,for that matter to visiting china,italy or latin america etc,jeeze!!!
14:09 April 21, 2010 by futureishere
"There is so much in Sweden that is wonderful for tourism (climate, archipelago, designer furniture)" - Seriously? Who visits a foreign country for designer furniture?
14:50 April 21, 2010 by Swedeman
Every nation self-aggrandize but I think that people with a high population are more likely to self-aggrandize. The best poets, products, scenery they claim to have it all.
15:18 April 21, 2010 by Gamal
It only needs 3 years to integrate with the American society, whereas needs 3 generation to integrate with the Swedish society.
15:58 April 21, 2010 by GefleFrequentFlyer
If Stockholm is all you know, shame.
16:02 April 21, 2010 by Strecke
I don't understand how the US ranked #1. I am a US citizen and I agree with commenter "rybo1" that our culture disappeared with 24-hour shopping and corporate rule. About the best thing we have going is Obama, but he is struggling against Republicans who work only for the monied interests of the rich. We've become a nation of overweight and overworked people.
16:25 April 21, 2010 by calebian22
Green Swede,

Maybe I should qualify "everything." Obviously, visiting Italy is different than little Italy. However, as repat expat said, there is a lot available to see and do in the vastness of the US. Every climate that most people would want to visit are available year round. Additionally on average a trip from Sweden to Italy is a lot cheaper than a trip from the US to Italy. Most people have budgets.

I was just saying that of the people who say you have to go "international" to be well travelled, how many have actually left Europe? Europe has a lot to offer in regards to options for vacations, but if you pick one country in Europe to make your comparison to the US, the comparison, regarding the number of different options will come up in favor of the US.
16:37 April 21, 2010 by rybo1
RE: repat

I'm informed, I was born and grew up there.
17:11 April 21, 2010 by Catch
The US is vast. Different parts of the country will reveal to you, if you know to look, just about anything. Yes, there are ugly and soulless strip malls. There are also truly wonderful and fascinating urban areas. There are huge expanses of glorious, untracked wilderness. There are friendly small towns in the country, and not-so-friendly, as well. It has cold and dark and, if you prefer, it also has stiflingly hot and bright. As for culture, it's a not always perfect blend of the cultures of all those who have come here. Some people love it, and others hate it. There are valid reasons for both emotions. It seems somehow artificial to compare it with smaller countries having more coherent cultural histories.
17:15 April 21, 2010 by EtoileBrilliant
@futureishere - I can't speak for your family and friends. But shopping for lamps, chairs and other Swedish furniture (that can be shipped back) is usually on the top of my visitor's list.

Scandinavian furniture (especially from the 1960s) is one of the famous things about Sweden.
18:21 April 21, 2010 by raukey
10th place is OK. But title like

Swedish culture unknown - but rich in potential and

Strong Swedish values

are real funny.

I don't know if Sweden has a culture or there is any Swedish value (forget about strong). Somebody please educate me about this civilization! people seems to be just barking about non-issues here.
19:34 April 21, 2010 by tommycapes
for all you self righteous yanks. IF YOU LEAVE USA IT DOES NOT MAKE YOU WELL TRAVELLED.

big country,big influence but not respect. If i was american that would be the thing that hurts the most. you get no respect!
19:43 April 21, 2010 by randyt
" Americans don't have to leave America, because everything is there."

"The same can be said for Walmart...."

HA-HA I'm sorry to say that sums it up - American culture today is "Walmart."
22:07 April 21, 2010 by Lukestar1991
USA first, now that says everything.
01:02 April 22, 2010 by kenny8076
ya its funny how everyone bashes but every Swede ive ever met would love to move to america if they could. which is why most wealthy ones do! ya America has its bad places and so does Sweden and other countrys. Mälmo's like a mini middle eastern warzone!

and texasgubbar your an idiot...... why does not knowing where a product come from make you stupid or ''American''. Its too hard in our country because we offer too much for people to know such stupid detail. You can get more variety from a walmart than this entire country has to offer as a whole. Stupid to assume Swedes know where every product they use comes from.

randy is the same true about ''Swedens culture today is Ikea?'' whats your point? we still flourish and and have the world coming to us for help all the time so again whats your point? whats wrong with Walmart and Americans saving? Sweden could never have a walmark because your taxes dont allow you to save, theres no competition here because they cant, So just keep hating.
02:14 April 22, 2010 by repat_xpat
Note the tone of the pro-American and anti-American voices. The pro-American voices did not attack the other countries, they just stated what they loved.

Also note that there are many anti-American voices who are American's. There are many who can not find anything they love about their country, except Obama. This speaks volumes about them and their love for Obama.

Sweden is great and some parts of it are better than anything you can find in America, same is true for France, Germany, Italy, China, the list goes on. But Sweden and the US are not in the same class, so it is silly to equate them. The comparison must be between the EU and the US.
06:05 April 22, 2010 by Strecke
I've heard from time to time that Swedes are generally in favor of the high taxes they pay because the money is used to support a worthwhile system of social welfare. I've also heard that because taxes are scaled to income, there tends to be greater equality among citizens. If you're Swedish, please tell me, are these two statements correct?

I am an American, but I tend to admire the Swedish system of government more than our American system. Our system is full of (mostly republican) politicians who accept campaign money from corporations in exchange for creating policies that favor the rich. The results of this political greed have been devastating for working and middle class Americans who have little say in how our government is run. While our work hours get longer, our pay goes down and our costs increase. President Obama is a man of good character and intentions but he's competing against the deep pockets of corporate executives and greedy politicians in our congress.

So America is a good country but there's much work to do if we're ever to be great again.
06:18 April 22, 2010 by silly t
hahahaha.guys stop kidding. America is great because she is good,and if America ceases to be good,she ceases to be great. If America doesn't deserve the first position then Sweden should not even feature in the nominations.hear all the rubbish you vomit about America and Obama...that goes to confirm why Sweden's position could not change....racist country.. and would definitely drop in the next years.America has accepted all of the world's culture...Sweden needs to learn from this..first by dropping its monarchy and this elitist language called Svenska....guys wake up...drop racism and may be you would remain 10th in the next ranking...
07:43 April 22, 2010 by Jimk
This Article is pointless...
09:25 April 22, 2010 by PonceDeLeon
The US is a "Talent Magnet", is the point being missed. Just look at the Nobel Prize winners of the past. They come from all over the world to do their research in the US. I suspect there are many reasons why the brightest make this choice. The US is and will always be a land of opportunities. Of course it will always be a land with flaws and failures. The difference being, you are not defined by failure, in the US you are defined by your success...
09:45 April 22, 2010 by homestead
@Strecke, "Our system is full of (mostly republican) politicians who accept campaign money from corporations in exchange for creating policies that favor the rich."

It's one thing to have an opinion but it's another to disseminate completely false information. It's no wonder that many Europeans criticize Americans for not know about the rest of the world when some Americans, such as yourself, know so little about your own country.

This is a list of major political donors to U.S. polticials in the 2010 cycle, along with the percentage given to Republicans. With the exception of the greedy Wall Street corporation, Goldman Sachs, which really seems to favor Democrats, the corporations on the list hedge their bets by giving about the same to both parties. Contrary to your statement, the list is dominated by big unions and leftist groups who donate millions to those 'greedy' politicians you speak of.

1 AT&T Inc 50%

2 American Fedn of State, County & Municipal Employees 0%

3 National Assn of Realtors 43%

4 Intl Brotherhood of Electrical Workers 1%

5 American Assn for Justice 3%

6 Goldman Sachs 31%

7 National Education Assn 12%

8 Laborers Union 4%

9 Service Employees International Union 0%

10 Teamsters Union 1%

11 Carpenters & Joiners Union 9%

12 Citigroup Inc 50%

13 Communications Workers of America 2%

14 American Federation of Teachers 0%

15 American Medical Assn 45%

11:03 April 22, 2010 by Rebel
Sweden has strong values? In what...choosing the right booze to get plastered with on weekends?

Now as for traditions, I do find it odd that Swedes tend to ignore the Viking past. People outside Sweden see Vikings as a major Swedish asset -- behind Swedish porn of course. I think Swedish schools need to spend more time teaching about the more exciting part of the past.

As for the future? Who knows. With the Swedish birth rate as low as it is I think the #1 question is whether Sweden will someday be Shia or Sunni.
11:05 April 22, 2010 by silly t
Good homestead, The US remains great.If you can't beat them,join them
11:08 April 22, 2010 by "green Swede"
@calebian 22

I agree with some of your points,am happy to say that the u.s geographically is very impressive and quite interesting in other ways too but for me where you guys drop the ball is culture,granted you're a "new" country but I dont think that the influx of many mini cultures can be said to equal an american culture,and for me thats one of the first things I look for in a holiday destination.
11:31 April 22, 2010 by cogito
@Strecke, "Our system is full of (mostly republican) politicians who accept campaign money from corporations in exchange for creating policies that favor the rich."

Obama got just short of one million dollars from Goldman Sachs. It's a record.

About the article: you'd think with all the taxpayer money the Swedish Institute spends on branding Sweden, the country would have come out higher on the list.
12:19 April 22, 2010 by Elton John
"Sweden is seen as the home of a successful welfare model". Sweden, 1st place in exporting lies.
13:04 April 22, 2010 by americanska
That guy up there that said America gets no respect.

that's funny - not sure you would put the effort into constantly bashing us if that were true. Maybe YOU don't respect us, but you obviously recognise that the world does.

Would you like to be Nazi or Soviet right now? If the US knew how this generation of Europeans would turn out to be - maybe we woudn't have saved you.
13:23 April 22, 2010 by Jaffo1970
It is true that America should be ranked as #1 I guess, but how to you compare a country like the U.S. with Sweden? We have every topography available to us,all the best and brightest people of the world coming here, and wealth that just can't be competed with. I mean, our budget defecit surpasses most countries' GDP.

Best USA achievement? Saving EU from Hitler and Stalin! As an American I am soooooo proud of that. We have done so much for the world in the past.

but UNFORTUNATELY, like some of the posts about Sweden, we too are still

living on our past achievements.

I am so glad to see that we are #1 again, because we will soon be a 3rd world country. We have lived way beyond our means, we are broke, and we have no way out of our financial mess. Soon the dollar will collapse and we will not be able to get the oil our economy so desparetly needs to run on.

So I apologize to the rest of the world for my country's greed and arrogance, because hard times will come to all when we go down. Just please remember that we the people never intended for this to happen, we truly wanted to spread freedom to everyone. Just, somehow, greed and the power of a very small %

of our people that have caused this mess. I know alot of people blame us, the citezens of the USA, for allowingn thisn tonhappen and electing the people that do these things! But please realize, we do not have so called free elections here. We usually only have one more choice to vote for then the Soviets did. Our presidents are hand picked for us, Obama somehow excluded. I still don't know where this guy came from.

Oh well, again "tack" for the #1 and our apologies for the last 30 years. Maybe we will truly become the greatest nation on earth again and help the world instead of pillage it.

P.S. I am coming to Stockholm soon, can hardly wait, might even change my citizenship if I like it as much as I think I will.
13:57 April 22, 2010 by Steggles
Ther'e a misprint....... the poll is upside down.
14:01 April 22, 2010 by peropaco

Sweden has many interesting things(landscape, lakes, educated workforce,english, honest cabbies etc) but you cannot say one of them is its architecture. Have you been to Rome, Paris, Madrid, Buenos Aires, Barcelona? Sweden has some of the nastiest looking buildings in the world. Take a drive into any corner of this country and you will see an array of ugly architecture all around. It seems as if the entire country were constructed in the 60's

Go USA. Country to modern literary brilliancy.
14:23 April 22, 2010 by calebian22
Greene Swede,

Cultural immersion is fine, but really be honest. In a two week vacation are you emphasizing culture, or is having fun, like skiing, swimming, sun bathing, just relaxing, etc more the emphasis? It is easy to say culture is the emphasis even if skiing, for example, is the intent when a Swede flys to Austria for a winter vacation. An American flying to Austria for the culture/skiing is certainly more expensive than flying to some ski destination in the US. A flight from Sweden to Austria is comparable to an internal flight in the US. Why don't more Swedes fly to the US for ski trips? The same reason Americans don't generally fly to Austria for ski trips. Cost is almost always a factor unless one happens to be wealthy.

Judging by all of the Apollo commercials in Sweden, I would guess money is a factor in Sweden also. It is easy to claim one is better cultured, when one can take a discount flight 500 miles to another culture.
14:30 April 22, 2010 by texasgubbar
The US is ''great' for 3 reasons.

Its a large country with vast natural resources

It was created and developed in geographic isolation with relatively small land borders, so in its short history it has had very few conflicts with neighbors as compared to the countries and civilizations during long history of Europe. The indigenous people were wiped out before the US declared human rights so important.

The industrial base of the US wasnt wiped out multiple times during world wars. This gave it a huge leg up, especially in the 50's and 60's. That was a truly supreme time for the US, When the US went to the moon and everyone in the world watched and admired it. Someone mentioned how great the US is because of defeating Hitler, Stalin. The word should be WAS.

Now the US uses 30 year old relics to hoist toilets to a space station and it is having trouble defeating a band of bronze age tribal militias in the middle east.... So much for progress....

Now that language and geographic isolation are no longer barriers, it will be interesting to see in the next 20-30 years how things develop.
15:03 April 22, 2010 by cogito
@Jaffo 1970

Your apology-for-the-USA tour will make you immensely popular. Swedes love to hear people bash their country of origin.

Once you are here, when groveling and pandering, do remember to repeat at frequent intervals that Sweden is best in the world at everything.
15:40 April 22, 2010 by Kooritze
What a riveting read.........I,m British.....and that comment is sarcastic!

Best thing about Sweden is it,s nature and uncrowded landscape, truly peaceful, clean. Warm good standard housing is up there too. As for having a good laugh and letting your hair down or anything to do with connecting and socialising with people........the society is steeped in a morose atmosphere, a paranioa of standing out from the crowd leading to a lack of creativity, and widespread bland souless modernistic design. A comfortable functional country but culturally and architecturally totally boring. You might think I,m Sweden bashing.......but I do like it here.......I just know what it is and what it lacks too. As for the UK being No4.........I,m suprised, I can think of a huge number of places to go that are more interesting. USA No1.........How very, very interesting......Yawn!
16:38 April 22, 2010 by texasgubbar
10th isnt bad considering that from Dec - Mar it is the worst....

"a paranioa of standing out from the crowd leading to a lack of creativity"

"widespread bland souless modernistic design"

I remember flying into Manchester and noticing the first recognizable building you see from the air is... Ikea..... When the Brits have a worldwide leading powerhouse retailer selling british designs then you can make a comment about Swedish lack of creativity...

BTW hows those Tata made Jaguars and Land Rovers doing????
19:40 April 22, 2010 by cwb
Can't we all just have a big hug?

I sure wish the politicians in the USA as well as Sweden would say these things....I think we would all feel better if everything was just out on the table. I think we can agree that both countries have their own issues.

I think America has shown it's underwear to the world over the last 18 months....but Sweden, you had better be damn worried about your own real estate bubble...(I live in Sweden)...1% interest rates and real estate prices that are more inflated than most places in the USA (prior to the bubble). I sure hope you Swedes know what you are doing.....partying like it's 1999 while America and the rest of the west struggles!?!?!?! Sure you did not over build, but it does not mean that you turn your head and what just happened to the rest of the world. America has had it's wake up call and it is probably going to get even worse before it gets better....but Sweden....get out of the fantasy land and start practicing what you have been preaching.

Both continents had better come together soon or our grandkids will all be speaking Chinese.

Here are some of the things I think we can agree upon. The USA does not lack culture at all, it lacks class. Europe does not lack class, it lacks a voice that speaks out against what is wrong. Europe lacks customer service and places like Wallmart to drive real competition. The USA lacks a strong middle class (mainly due to places like Wallmart) and a lifestyle that is healthy for families. The USA is not fat. They are really really Fat. Europeans don't get a lot of vacation....they get a hell of a lot of vacation.

Other things I think we can agree upon. 1. Swedish women are good looking 2. Swedish women are demanding 3. American women do get a little hefty when they stay at home after having kids and this causes men to start looking at their secretary. 4. American's think the Swedish bikini team is a sport in Switzerland. 5. American's pay a smaller amount of tax, but get very little for it. 6. Swedes pay a lot of tax and actually get a fair amount for it. 7. Sweden is a beautiful country and so is the USA. and last....don't we all wish we could take the best from each of our countries?
20:35 April 22, 2010 by texasgubbar
I would say compared to the states, Sweden has underbuilt tremendously. Part of this must be the building codes. In the US you can put up houses and apartments which are no much more than sticks and drywall. Just looking at Eriksberg, the new construction there is reenforced concrete that could probably withstand a volcano across the road. It seems to take 5x the time to build in Sweden (probably expenses as well). There also seems to be limits in Sweden on what the USA is #1 at.... sprawl.... which also constrains housing.
21:30 April 22, 2010 by "green Swede"

Indeed money for 99% of people will always be a factor but apart from that the beauty of europe is that you have 30-40 distinct cultures in a smaller land area than the continental USA,many of them going back millenium,and if it costs a hundred dollars/euros to vist them,well that's not a bad thing right?maybe i'm a little bit impartial as I'm a european and for me one of the corner stones of any culture is it's history and here is were the US come's in a far second for obvious reasons,not to say that the history that does exist is not interesting.Your skiing comparasion...you must agree that it would cost a european the same amount to visit aspen as it would a yank to visit say salzberg,and when the skis are not being used it's the home of mozart that will have a lot more to offer from a historical,cultural,culinary and possibly even scenic point of view.
06:20 April 23, 2010 by Strecke
Astounding! Homestead your inability to use written language to make your point, if there is one, tends to negatively impact your credibility on the matters you try to discuss.

That said; let me help you out by making a few corrections:

The first thing you need to understand - and this is important - is that the unregulated, predatory activity of Goldman Sachs was a major contributor to the financial crisis that brought our economy to its knees. And, by the way, it's the Democrats, not Republicans who are now pushing for government regulation and oversight of institutions such as Goldman Sachs. This hopefully, will make it clear to you that there's absolutely no way Goldman Sachs would do anything to favor Democrats.

Another very important thing you need to know is that unions are no match for powerful American corporations. Unions haven't even a penny for each dollar those American corporations use in lobbying for their special interests. This is common knowledge in America.

Another thing: Those unions on your list are not donating to the Republican Party but it's quite possible - even likely- that they're donating to the Democratic Party. You see Republicans don't care much for unions. Democrats, however, do like unions. That's why our current administration is pushing for the American Free Choice Act.

I'm amazed whenever I come into contact with people of the Republican persuasion who take interest in news websites of Socialist nations. You see, the progressive Socialist system in Sweden is the antithesis of American Republican ideology.

Maybe I shouldn't be so amazed though. After all, presidential hopeful, John McCain had the audacity to use ABBA's "Take a Chance on Me." during his campaign for election. My God, what was he thinking anyway? Peace.
07:57 April 23, 2010 by Adam116
Stop comparing America to Sweden. Compare Sweden to a state in America. 1 of the 50. Let's go with southern Alaska. There is no comparison unless you want to add the rest of Europe in your argument.

America has great skiing, great beaches, a desert, amazing scenary, and great food and cultures. If you want to spend then you can, if you want to stay cheap then you can.

America has everything. Sweden doesn't, but it's still a nice country to live in. However, the summers are cold and the only way to get your spirits up is to fly to some hot country ( I suggest Egypt) for a vacation. Too bad the closest tropical countries are so far away.

America's got a whole land of tropical countries just a short flight to the south:)
08:30 April 23, 2010 by seagull
Much as I am not a fan of most of the US culture that invades the rest of the world... Fast food chains, obesity, Arrogance, religious idiocy, etc, I can see how they would be number 1. As has been said, they have an amazing, varied landscape, natural wonders, etc, etc, and they still have the (probably slightly false) allure of "the land of opportunity".

For me though I'd take the (generally) modest and calm swedes over the loud and annoying yanks anyday.

And @Adam 116, It isn't very far to fly to Spain. Rather warm there most of the year around, especially in the south.
09:01 April 23, 2010 by hardonforswedes
Swedes were always good at PR
09:30 April 23, 2010 by Kronaboy
What I want to know is why is that the only two decent countries to live in the EU have been ranked 10th? Lets take the UK as an example, if you so much as set foot on anywhere with a decent view you will probably get arrested for trespass which is now a criminal offence.
10:01 April 23, 2010 by cogito
Strecke. don't know what your rant has to do with the subject, but if you're going to rant, get your facts right:

"Democrats, not Republicans are now pushing for government regulation and oversight of institutions such as Goldman Sachs."

Not. It's theatre. The farcical regulation in fact gives authority for unlimited bailouts for G.S.. It's quid-pro-quo. GS gave Obama $1 million. GS and O are in the sewer together.

"the unregulated, predatory activity of Goldman Sachs was a major contributor to the financial crisis that brought our economy to its knees."

True, but it festered under Clinton in the 1990s. See the whole sordid story by Matt Taiibi in Rolling Stone (hardly a right wing publication).

12:08 April 23, 2010 by sleepinacoffin
I completely believe that sweden is the most attractive country for refugees
12:36 April 23, 2010 by oldlmomster
Is Sweden still holding the Johansson child that they kidnapped as the parents were moving to India?

Does Sweden believe that they are allowed to take a child from its parents because they decide to homeschool?
14:32 April 23, 2010 by dsc
Jaffo1970's post ( #52) is one excellent post.

Much of the rest is too prejudiced and adulterated with baseless national pride and can most accurately be compared to kids arguing about whose dad is greater.
15:20 April 23, 2010 by calebian22

That was precisely my point. It doesn't cost that much for a Euro to visit a variety of different cultures due to proximity. It is convenient for Euros to say Americans are uncultured when it costs a quarter of the price of what it would cost an American to fly across the pond to the same location.

No argument that Salzburg has more historical significance than Aspen, but is that worth 2 or 3 years of vacation flights based on ticket costs when the trip is primarily for skiing? The scenic and culinary comparison are totally subjective, but if you go by the obesity rates, maybe the US has the edge in the culinary category. mmmmm, Krispy Kremes. ;-)
16:49 April 23, 2010 by "green Swede"
calebian 22

we could go back and forth all month,disagreeing,agreeing and partially both,it's interesting to be able to do so in a civil and somewhat mature manner,you don't get a great deal of that on the local these days,so have a nice weekend and watch out for the colonel(if only)you don't have to be a yank to love the KFC.slainte!
16:58 April 23, 2010 by Angstrom_Ludwig
According to this 'study', Sweden has fallen behind Canada on environmental issues. How can that be? Canada, which actually has managed to increase its emissions since the 1990s even as most developed economies have lowered it. And Canada, which is gunning for the Arctic with all its got. And Canada, with its American-dependence and taste for large cars.

Comparing Sweden as a tourist destination is less interesting, since to me it's greatest strength is its (more) equal, fair and just society (not that the Stockholms skärgården is not magical beyond anything in the summer). It does not get everything right (integrating immigrants comes to mind), but I would rather put my trust in Scandinavian governance or bring up a child among its values (for full disclosure, I am an America that lives in Britain but is married to a Swede). And that includes the price you must pay for it in tax, etc
17:47 April 23, 2010 by calebian22
Green Swede,

Have you checked out the Colonel's latest edition to culinary high society? It's the Double Down. Kind of disgusting, but frankly it calls to me from across the pond. Have a good weekend.
18:15 April 23, 2010 by Swedeman
I appreciate my own country but is not convinced that it's better than America or Switerland or Canada for example. Some people writing above have an overly positive picture of their own country and a very negative one of other countries. Seems to be unbalanced to me. Where does this negativism come from?
18:39 April 23, 2010 by americanska
Gud välsigne Amerika
03:38 April 24, 2010 by Weekend_warrior
As someone who was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area and has lived in Sweden, both in Stockholm and in Lund....traveled around a bit and now lives in New York City. I can say I am not surprised by any of this. If you can consider the areas they are judging.

I mean London, which has Tower Bridge, the London Eye, so, so, so much history and a great Theater district. France and the Eiffel Tower, all those vineyards (Bordeaux for the win), etc...America has New York City, and my home of San Francisco. These two cities, along with many others like Boston, Los Angeles, really carry the United States. These are very popular destinations. I love listening to Latin Americans playing music in the park, on the streets, in the subways. Street kids from Harlem doing crazy dancing while a train car is moving....Or walking across the Golden Gate Bridge...Why not check out the Grand Canyon and then head to Las Vegas?

There is definitely a lot of culture and appeal in the United States. As an American I have never been treated poorly anywhere I have traveled. I understand why the USA makes number one, and why it ranked 7 the year before. And I have always accepted that many people actually like the American people, and visiting America, for Disneyland or whatever. This is a fun place to be. That does not mean you have to like our government or the way we try and do what we think is right...We're not asking you to live here..but you definitely want to walk down 5th Avenue and buy a fake Prada purse, or see the Adirondacks of New York, Grand Canyon of Arizona, etc...
08:59 April 24, 2010 by Mr. Puppy
Sweden needs to update its image by legalizing cannabis and subsidizing high-quality porn (gay and straight)... the only things that ever propel a nation to the top are revolutionary innovations and changes. The U.S. gained its position on the conveyor belt and WWII... but if it doesn't come up with new revolutionary innovations it will just slide slowly into oblivion.

The same goes for Sweden - they mentioned in the article that Sweden has gained its position by the various things that came in the past... now they need to do new exciting, world-changing things to stay up there or move further up the list.
02:44 April 25, 2010 by Leo Danial
Dear Liselott

I am happy that U mentioned that The Universal Swedish Image (USI) is really old & outdated.

since I came 2 Sweden 3 years ago, I discovered that:

Swedish people R very closed, basically shy, not open to strangers

There is nothing in Sweden like great Litrature in novels, drama or poetry .. somthing that is universally valuable or important

The same goes in arts, cultural & entertainment industries ... nothing recognizable or universally accepted.

Of course, I adored Abba, Bergman, Palme, Borg ...& Swedish Erotica!

A strong politacal trend that I can define as a Swedish Feminist Chauvinism (SFC) rules Swedish life, which leads to a low contribution of needed different efforts from males & strangers

U R very objective & don't tend to glorify Sweden & Swedish brands, while most of Swedish people think that Sweden is the greatest country in the world ... Just like Borat's Kazakhistan!

There is a national pride here, but with no content!

I agree the that the welfare system & the social guarantees R the most important thing in the Sweden ... they R highly admired universally

What I really think is the main problem ... is not the USI ... It is more the SFC!

In my humble 3rd world conservative ( compared 2 U guys) idea: thinking about the image is a more 'women's sensitivity ... while shifting the focus towards more internal things & efficiencies is a more 'men's thing.

The main problem I think is the failure to creat more jobs .... jobs R costy here! Unemployment is cheaper than working ... Non working people includes plenty of educated, qualified, & talented people ... but the system failed to integrate them in working force.

This also is connected with the transformation of Sweden from an industrialist country to a post-industrialist ( Services, finance & talents). While Sweden had done bad as a post-industrialist country ... the Swedish famous industries had suffered very badly from this transformation.

I am studying economy & business ... but the focus is not on the ordinary people's lives & jobs ... it is on consumption, firms, innovations & strategies that minimize jobs. Sending the people to the social services is cheaper & easier than employing them in respectful ways. Finding a job becomes day after day like winning the American Idol contest !

Again I find it very strange that we can't see so many foreign businesses in Sweden ... this means less jobs & opportunities ... is there some hidden protectionist policies being applied under curtains!

I love Sweden ... I wish all the best 4 the Swedish people ... I was accepted here easily when I lost my homeland to invaders & terrirosts!


20:35 April 25, 2010 by suckfist
If only this study was actually based off physical appearance!

Then Sweden and likely all other Scandinavian countries would occupy the top ranks. Let's do a REAL "most attractive nation" study!
15:06 April 26, 2010 by Great Scott
19:49 April 20, 2010 by Kevin Harris

Writing as a Londoner, how on earth did the UK get 4th place?

It says UK not London, you need to look outside the M25.
02:52 April 27, 2010 by repat_xpat
Man, look at all the posts. Nothing pisses off a Swede like America coming up on top of some survey.
22:29 April 27, 2010 by planet.sweden
@Leo Danial

"This also is connected with the transformation of Sweden from an industrialist country to a post-industrialist ( Services, finance & talents)."

You talk as if this is both desirable and inevitable, it is neither. Sweden remains one of the great industrial engineering success stories of Europe. It shouldn't even think of giving this up for an economy based on theme parks, hotels, media and overpaid bankers.
10:32 April 28, 2010 by PonceDeLeon
The numbers look right from where I'm sitting. Surprised and happy to see that Sweden cracked the top ten.

I don't see a long line of people banging on the door to get into Sweden. Most immigrants come to Sweden because of a significant other or to escape some man made chaos. Most prople have to go outside the country in order to have any kind of economic success.

I agree, the sky is blue, the grass is green, the sun shines one third of the year. All well and good. If you need to put bread on the table, you may have better luck in the other top nine on the list...
17:50 April 28, 2010 by 2394040
I think surveys of this sort are rather pointless. Who can say that someone wasn't able to "buy" the results in these surveys. haveI lived in the USA for over 60 years, and I can understand why it would be considered No. 1. At the same time, I have noticed that it is also a nation in decline. Greed and dishonesty currently rule, and this will lead to a continued decline as long as it is tolerated. However, I would say that greed and dishonesty, to a degree, rule anywhere in the world.
13:20 April 29, 2010 by flintis
Time to make it less attractive, should reduce the influx.
09:18 May 1, 2010 by darrenj
I have agree with the article. Living in this country for almost eleven years and as a teacher of social sciences it is apparant that Sweden has no " post card" appeal. Albiet the views of the tiny streets if Old Town Stockholm, though beautiful, can be mistaken for any European historic village. Being tenth does show lots of potential. Good welfare and working social network is difficult to transfer into an exciting way. It may attract more immigrants than tourists.

But the old Swedish cultures and traditions are being observed by mainly, well swedes! And some foriegn men intoctrinated by their Swedish wives or girl friends.
10:47 May 1, 2010 by cogito
"Good welfare and working social network is difficult to transfer into an exciting way. It may attract more immigrants than tourists."

Sweden attracts especially the kind of immigrants who come for the welfare handouts.
12:14 May 1, 2010 by darrenj
"Sweden attracts especially the kind of immigrants who come for the welfare handouts"

If we can some how turn this into a short term appeal. "Social Tourism"

"All inclusive 200 USD, two weeks at the Stockholm Marriot and we make sure your kids get free bracers and eye check ups and glasses"
11:33 May 2, 2010 by Zeina
but how about the weather of Sweden ??!!!

a country famous for being too cold and sun deprived can't be an attractive country if i wanted to have a touristic country i would go to Espana
16:16 May 2, 2010 by darrenj
I may have to rephrase some of the things I wrote after reading the other posts in more detail. Unlike most English expats I have seen the length and bredth of this country thanks to my Swedish " sambo". ( I could be wrong in my assumption) Winter in the north and summers in Stockholm. We almost never leave Sweden in the summer, despite " swedish summer being the best day of the year" I still love it. Bright, clean and warm( relatively). I think the Stockholm Islands or the west coast will make perfect postcards. Let the USA have their number one, Sweden is my idyllic lifestyle, I would not live any where else at the moment. My response might be relative to where I came from in relation to other english speaking expats ( Trinidad and Tobago) not USA, England or Canada. I am a firm believer of taxation leading to welfare, although not perfect, there are very few other systems that are. I think that is attractive in a country or society.
01:11 May 3, 2010 by homestead
@Strecke, "Astounding! Homestead your inability to use written language to make your point, if there is one, tends to negatively impact your credibility on the matters you try to discuss."

In your first post, you said that it is mostly Republicans who accept campaign donations from corporations to create policies that favor the rich. I simply posted a list to refute your statement by showing that the top corporate donors, except for Goldman Sachs, gave evenly to both parties while unions gave exclusively to Democrats. The list also shows that political money from big donors strongly favors the Democrats.

@Strecke, "This hopefully, will make it clear to you that there's absolutely no way Goldman Sachs would do anything to favor Democrats."

Goldman Sachs only gave 31% of their political donations to Republicans but 69% to Democrats.

@Strecke, "Unions haven't even a penny for each dollar those American corporations use in lobbying for their special interests."

I'll have to do the math on that one but in the mean time, I'd like to point out that lobbying expenditures went from $2.6 billion to $3.5 billion in the three years since Democrats took control. I doubt that money is being wasted on Republicans since they can't do anything. In all fairness, it also went up when Republicans had control but the Democrats are supposed to be better than that, right?

@Strecke, "Another thing: Those unions on your list are not donating to the Republican Party but it's quite possible - even likely- that they're donating to the Democratic Party."

Yeah. I said in my post that the number listed after the donor name was percentage given to Republicans. The Electrical Workers Union (#4 on the list), for example, only gave 1% to Republicans so, yes, I think it's safe to conclude that the unions like Democrats.

@Strecke, "I'm amazed whenever I come into contact with people of the Republican persuasion who take interest in news websites of Socialist nations."

I live in Sweden. What websites should I be visiting?

Besides, Sweden still has a lot of Socialist policies but it's less Socialist than it used to be. The top marginal tax rate today is a whopping 57% but it was around 90% in the '80s. And Sweden has actually has a better corporate tax rate than the U.S. (28% vs. 34%-39%).
20:14 May 4, 2010 by rehan814
Sweden is not a good country for students.. no jobs .. and even if you get one then even swedish people pay very less..

swedish is a must for all types of jobs .. they don't have a international culture..

every thing sucks you .. when everything is in swedish..

and last but not the least.. they have the rules for others .. but for them selves they have favors.. huh sweden :-x
23:14 May 4, 2010 by Just_Kidding
@ EtoileBrilliant: Maybe tax is high on restaurants, and government could improve its image by lowering the tax... I am not sure if the restaurant owners are pocketing much money.

By the way, what is the benefit of a better international rank? more immigration?
11:39 May 5, 2010 by sebastian02006
I should quote him "The title of this article should be called "Most Branded Nation"...not "Most Attractive Nation" and as you can see he is right. Looking for jobs and struggling with Swedish companies to understand that they really need professionals people from outside is just too much for me to understand how big is the mistake I have done to come here...500 e-mails I sent already and still not having a real job but just working on my own as a freelancer. Discrimination, professional mistreatment and ignorance is on top in Sweden. Sorry to say but these kind of statistics or tops do not stay in real life. All it is a diversion and a very good branded government work to attract people and investors to come in Sweden and push their money into Nordea bank. The offer back...GO HOME! And we all do...
15:33 May 5, 2010 by schweinefettmann
branding has a huge influence on attraction, i would say.. just because some of us here know what it is to like to live here in sweden doesn't mean that people who haven't been here cannot be attracted by it.

PR, marketing and all that play a huge role in making things attractive.

im just surprised that denmark didn't make the top 10.
04:17 May 9, 2010 by repat_xpat
This post is still going? Get over it Swedes, Sweden is cool, but America is way better. Its not even close, its not even worth the time to compare the two. A better debate would be Wisconsin vs Sweden. Now that would be close (though Wisconsin would still win -- partially because its filled with all of the best of Sweden already).
12:00 May 9, 2010 by scandaphile
Some time ago there was a discussion about which city is the capital of Scandinavia -- Stockholm or Copenhagen. As a visitor to both, I say Stockholm, without a doubt.

Copenhagen, also a great city, should market itself as the gateway to Scandinavia,which is what is seems when you arrive from the other side of the world.
00:38 May 10, 2010 by schweinefettmann

sorry what? stockholm is the capital of scandanavia? yikes... having lived in both cities for about a year each, stockholm has nothing on copenhagen. from bike paths to architecture, city design, transport, size, culture, everything is better in copenhagen... and that doesn't even include frederiksberg in the equation...

the big difference i guess to people who've only visited the two places is that the danes are content people, and they dont need to brag to know that they got it best... the swedes on the other hand, are like the younger brother, always crying for attention...

example: the swedes have koenigsegg which makes good cars, but the danish zenvo is better by a whole category, but no one has heard of em!
11:28 May 11, 2010 by stephenjohnson87
I always thought of Sweden as cold boring and somewhere I had to go when my girlfriend wanted to visit her parents.

Tenth most attractive country to visit, I was tempted to write WHAT A LOAD OF RUBBISH, then I conducted a little of my own research. :-)

Check it out - http://bit.ly/aPoRSz
10:26 May 12, 2010 by darrenj
Best thing about Sweden is it,s nature and uncrowded landscape, truly peaceful, clean. Warm good standard housing is up there too. As for having a good laugh and letting your hair down or anything to do with connecting and socialising with people........the society is steeped in a morose atmosphere, a paranioa of standing out from the crowd leading to a lack of creativity, and widespread bland souless modernistic design. A comfortable functional country but culturally and architecturally totally boring. You might think I,m Sweden bashing.......but I do like it here.............Yawn

A perfect description I could not have written myself!
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