The municipalities of Sweden (Swedish: Sveriges kommuner) are its lower-level local government entities. There are 290 municipalities which are responsible for a large proportion of local services, including schools, emergency services and physical planning.
Public administration of Sweden
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The Local Government Act of 1991 specifies several responsibilities for the municipalities, and provides outlines for local government, such as the process for electing the municipal assembly. It also regulates a process (laglighetsprövning, "legality trial") through which any citizen can appeal the decisions of a local government to a county court.
Municipal government in Sweden is similar to city commission government and cabinet-style council government. A legislative municipal assembly (kommunfullmäktige) of between 31 and 101 members (always an odd number) is elected from party-list proportional representation at municipal elections, held every four years in conjunction with the national general elections. The assembly in turn appoints a municipal executive committee (kommunstyrelse) from its members. The executive committee is headed by its chairman, (Swedish: kommunstyrelsens ordförande). The chairman is often referred as Municipal Commissioner (Swedish: kommunalråd).
The first local government acts were implemented on January 1, 1863. There were two acts, one for the cities and one for the countryside. The total number of municipalities was about 2,500. The rural municipalities were based on the old parishes (socknar) and the then 89 cities/towns (städer) (which is the same in Swedish) were based on the old chartered cities. There was also a third type, köping or market town. The status of these was somewhere between the rural municipalities and the cities. There were only eight of them in 1863, rising to a peak of 96 in 1959.
Up until 1930, when the total number of municipalities reached its peak (2,532 entities), there were more partitions than amalgamations.
In 1943 more than 500 of Sweden's municipalities had fewer than 500 inhabitants, and the 1943 års kommunindelningskommitté ("Municipal subdivision commission of 1943") proposed that the number of rural municipalities should be drastically reduced.
After years of preparations the first of the two nationwide municipal reforms of the 20th century was implemented in 1952. The number of rural municipalities was reduced from 2,281 to 816. The cities (by then 133) were not affected.
Rather soon it was established that the reform of 1952 was not radical enough. A new commission, 1959 års indelningssakkunniga ("Subdivision experts of 1959") concluded that the next municipal reform should create new larger mixed rural/urban municipalities.
The Riksdag decided in 1962 that the new reform should be implemented on a voluntary basis. The process started in January 1964, when all municipalities were grouped in 282 kommunblock("municipal blocks"). The co-operation within the blocks should ultimately lead to amalgamations. The target year was 1971, when all municipalities should be of uniform type and all the remaining formal differences in government and privileges between cities and rural municipalities should be abolished.
The amalgamations within the "blocks" started in 1965 and more were accomplished in 1967 and 1969, when the number of municipalities dropped from 1006 to 848. The Riksdag, however, found the amalgamation process too slow, and decided to speed it up by ending the voluntary aspect. In 1971 the unitary municipality (kommun) was introduced and the number of entities went down to 464; three years later it was 278. In one case (Svedala Municipality) the process was not accomplished until 1977.
Most of the municipalities were soon consolidated, but in some cases the antagonism within the new unities was so strong that it led to "divorces". The total number of municipalities has today risen to 290.
The question of whether a new municipality will be created is at the discretion of the central Swedish government. It is recommended that the lower limit of a new municipality shall be 5,000 inhabitants.
Some municipalities still use the term "City" (Swedish: stad) when referring to themselves, a practice adopted by the largest and most urban municipalities Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö. 13 municipalities altogether, some of them including considerable rural areas, have made this choice, which is unofficial and has no effect on the administrative status of the municipality. The practice can, however, create some confusion as the term stad nowadays normally refers to a larger built-up area and not to an administrative entity.
The municipalities in Sweden cover the entire territory of the nation. Unlike the United States or Canada, there are no unincorporated areas. The municipalities in the north cover large areas of sparsely populated land. Kiruna, at 19 446 km², is sometimes held to be the world's largest "city" by area, although places like La Tuque, Quebec (28 421 km², official style Ville), Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, Alberta (63 343 km², official style "specialized municipality") and the Altamira in Northern Brazil (159 533 km²) are larger. (By comparison, the total area of the state of Lebanon is 10 452 km².) At any rate, several northern municipalities are larger than many counties in the more densely populated southern part of the country.
The municipalities are also divided into a total of 2 512 parishes, or församlingar (2000). These have traditionally been a subdivision of the Church of Sweden, but still have importance as districts for census and elections. Many of the parishes still correspond to the original socknar, but there have been a lot of partitions and amalgamations throughout the years.
According to law, the municipalities are responsible for:
Many municipalities in addition have services like leisure activities for youths and housing services to make them attractive in getting residents.
Alingsås Municipality (Alingsås kommun) is a municipality in Västra Götaland County in western Sweden. Its seat is located in the city of Alingsås.
The present municipality was formed in 1974 then the former City of Alingsås (itself a municipality of unitary type since the subdivision reform of 1971) was amalgamated with Bjärke and Hemsjö.Borås Municipality
Borås Municipality (Borås kommun) is a municipality in Västra Götaland County in western Sweden. Its seat is located in the city of Borås.
In 1971 the City of Borås was made a municipality (kommun) when the unitary type of local government unit was introduced in Sweden. Three years later a lot of surrounding municipalities were amalgamated with Borås. In 1995 the western part was split off, creating Bollebygd Municipality.
In the 1990s the municipal assembly (kommunfullmäktige) decided to use the name Borås stad or City of Borås whenever possible, for the whole municipality, including rural areas. This decision is purely nominal and has no effect on the legal status of the municipality.Burlöv Municipality
Burlöv Municipality (Burlövs kommun) is a municipality in Skåne County in South Sweden in southern Sweden, just north of Malmö. Its seat is located in Arlöv, a community which for geographical and statistical purposes is seen as a part of Malmö (Malmö tätort).
The municipality is one of only a few in Sweden, and the only one in Scania, which still contains only the original municipal entity created from the old parish in 1863 (cf history of municipalities in Sweden) and has not been amalgamated. It is the second smallest municipality by area in the country (after Sundbyberg Municipality).Danderyd Municipality
Danderyd Municipality (Danderyds kommun; Swedish pronunciation: [²danːdɛˌryːd] (listen)) is a municipality north of Stockholm in Stockholm County in east central Sweden. It is one of the smallest municipalities of Sweden, but the most affluent. Its seat is located in Djursholm.
The "old" rural municipality Danderyd was split up during the early 20th century, when Djursholm and Stocksund broke away in 1901 and 1910 respectively. Since 1971 Danderyd Municipality is reunified in approximately the old boundaries.
The four districts making up Danderyd are: Danderyd, Djursholm, Stocksund within Stockholm urban area and Enebyberg.Falköping Municipality
Falköping Municipality (Falköpings kommun) is a municipality in Västra Götaland County in western Sweden. Its seat is located in the town of Falköping.
The present municipality consists of more than 50 original local government units, joined together in two structural reforms carried out in 1952, when the number was reduced to eight, and during the period 1971-1974. In 1971 the former Town of Falköping was made a unitary municipality and three years later amalgamated with the surrounding municipalities.Herrljunga Municipality
Herrljunga Municipality (Herrljunga kommun) is a municipality in Västra Götaland County in western Sweden. Its seat is located in the town of Herrljunga.
The local government reform of 1952 formed two municipalities, Herrljunga and Gäsene, in the area. Before that the number was 22. In 1974 they were merged to form the present entity.Karlsborg Municipality
Karlsborg Municipality (Karlsborgs kommun) is a municipality in Västra Götaland County in western Sweden. Its seat is located in the town of Karlsborg.
The present municipality was formed in 1971 when "old" Karlsborg was amalgamated with Mölltorp and Undenäs.
The area has been dominated by Karlsborg Fortress and military activity throughout the last centuries.
Tiveden National Park is partly situated within the municipality. The Flugebyn airfield, home of the Västergötland Skydiving Club (Västergötlands Fallskärmsklubb) also lies in the municipality.Lerum Municipality
Lerum Municipality (Lerums kommun) is a municipality in Västra Götaland County in western Sweden, situated just east of Gothenburg. Its seat is located in the town of Lerum.
In 1969 the municipality got its present size when "old" Lerum was amalgamated with Skallsjö and Stora Lundby.
In 2007, Lerum Municipality launched a new logotype to be used instead of its official municipal coat of arms which features the head of an ox and three oak leaves. Municipal officials and PR staff felt the coat "outdated". Although no longer used, the coat of arms still has official status. The new logotype features a multi-coloured weaving pattern.Lidköping Municipality
Lidköping Municipality (Lidköpings kommun) is a municipality in Västra Götaland County in western Sweden. Its seat is located in the city of Lidköping.
Lidköping sometimes refers to itself as "Lidköping by Vänern", possibly to distinguish itself from the namewise (and historically) similar city of Linköping in eastern Sweden.Skara Municipality
Skara Municipality (Skara kommun) is a municipality in Västra Götaland County in western Sweden. Its seat is located in the city of Skara.
The area of the municipality consists of 16 original local government entities. The municipal reform of 1952 grouped them into four new entities. In 1971 the City of Skara was amalgamated with the rural municipalities to form the present unit.Solna Municipality
Solna Municipality (Swedish: Solna kommun or Solna stad, IPA: [²soːlna]) is a municipality in Stockholm County in Sweden, located just north of the Stockholm City Centre. Its seat is located in the town of Solna, which is a part of the Stockholm urban area.
The municipality is a part of Metropolitan Stockholm. None of the area is considered rural, which is unusual for Swedish municipalities, which normally are of mixed rural/urban character. Solna is the third smallest municipality in Sweden in terms of area.
Solna borders Stockholm Municipality to the south, southeast and northwest; to Sundbyberg Municipality to the west; to Sollentuna Municipality to the north; and finally to Danderyd Municipality to the northeast. The boundary with Danderyd Municipality is delineated by the Stocksundet sea strait.
There are two parishes in Solna Municipality: Råsunda (population 29,677) and Solna (population 28,317).
Solna is divided into eight traditional parts with no administrative functions: Bergshamra, Haga, Hagalund, Huvudsta, Järva, Råsunda, Skytteholm and Ulriksdal. The largest districts are Råsunda, Hagalund and Huvudsta, with the Solna Centrum in between them.
With few exceptions, Solna's built-up areas have a suburban character, but there are also several large parks and Friends Arena, Sweden's new national football stadium adjacent to the Solna station of Stockholm commuter rail.
The final matches of both the 1958 FIFA (men's) World Cup and the 1995 FIFA Women's World Cup were played at Råsunda Stadium, the national football stadium from 1937 to 2012 (demolished in 2013).
Solna has very low tax rates and has attracted a wide range of companies and authorities, making it a major place of work in Stockholm. Among the most important employers are the medical university Karolinska Institutet and the Karolinska University Hospital. The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) are also located in Solna.Sotenäs Municipality
Sotenäs Municipality (Sotenäs kommun) is a municipality in Västra Götaland County in western Sweden. Its seat is located in the town of Kungshamn, with around 3,500 inhabitants.
The present municipality was created in 1974 through the amalgamation of previous units. The name was taken from the old Sotenäs Hundred.Strömstad Municipality
Strömstad Municipality (Strömstads kommun) is a municipality in Västra Götaland County in western Sweden. Its seat is located in the city of Strömstad.
The municipality got its present boundaries in 1967, when the City of Strömstad was merged with the two adjacent rural municipalities Tjärnö and Vette. Vette had been created in 1952 out of four older entities.Tanum Municipality
Tanum Municipality (Tanums kommun) is a municipality in Västra Götaland County in western Sweden. Its seat is located in the town of Tanumshede, with 1,600 inhabitants.
The present municipality was formed in 1971 through the amalgamation of three former units. Before the subdivision reform of 1952 there were seven entities in the area.Tibro Municipality
Tibro Municipality (Tibro kommun) is a municipality in Västra Götaland County in western Sweden. Its seat is located in the town of Tibro.Uddevalla Municipality
Uddevalla Municipality (Swedish: Uddevalla kommun) is a municipality in Västra Götaland County in western Sweden. Its seat is located in the city of Uddevalla.
The present municipality was created in 1971 when the City of Uddevalla (which had absorbed the rural municipality Bäve in 1945) was amalgamated with the surrounding municipalities Forshälla, Lane-Ryr, Ljungskile, Skredsvik and parts of Skaftö.Ulricehamn Municipality
Ulricehamn Municipality (Ulricehamns kommun) is a municipality in Västra Götaland County in western Sweden. Its seat is located in the city of Ulricehamn.
The present municipality was created in 1974 when the former City of Ulricehamn was merged with three former rural municipalities (themselves established through amalgamations of minor units in 1952).Vara Municipality
Vara Municipality (Vara kommun) is a municipality in Västra Götaland County in western Sweden. Its seat is located in the town of Vara.
The present municipality consists of 25 original local government entities (as of 1863). Between 1974 and 1982 the territory of present Essunga Municipality was also included.Vänersborg Municipality
Vänersborg Municipality (Vänersborgs kommun) is a municipality in Västra Götaland County in western Sweden. Its seat is located in the city of Vänersborg.
The present municipality was created during the local government reform in the early 1970s. In 1971 the City of Vänersborg became a municipality of unitary type and three years later it was amalgamated with three surrounding municipalities. The number of original local government entities (as of 1863) is eight.
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