A unique rocky archipelago in Bohuslän off the west coast of Sweden; deep virgin forests in Dalsland; plains rich in historical monuments in Västergötland. The friendly city of Göteborg has something for all tastes. This is Västra Götaland - a vast and varied county in the heart of western Sweden.
In the county there are 1,5 million inhabitants, which is 17 per cent of Sweden’s population. The 49 municipalities have a varied number of inhabitants, from Dals-Ed with fewer than 5,000 inhabitants to Göteborg with a population of more than 500,000.
Here you find the whole range, from a cosmopolitan city to medium-sized towns, villages and sparsely-inhabited rural areas. The population density is on average 65 inhabitants per square kilometre.
Västra Götaland County comprises all the landscape types of Sweden except for bare mountains. Forestland predominates and forestry is a major industry.
The plains round Lake Vänern, including Dalsbo Plain and Västgöta Plain, together with Falbygden, are Sweden’s most productive agricultural districts. The county also has a large number of biologically rich natural environments alongside the cultivated farmland - broad-leaved forests, mires, lakes teeming with birdlife, natural pastures and lush meadows.
Trade and industry
Västra Götaland County boasts a wide range of industries in both traditional and modern fields. Over the years a number of different profiles have evolved - trading, shipping, agriculture, forestry and manufacturing industries. All of them play a vital role in the county’s business life. These industries are pervaded by an international spirit, with cuttingedge competence in medicine, foodstuffs, vehicles, interior design, chemistry, textiles and telecommunications.
The county also provides advanced educational and research programs that complement the business and public sectors. There are six Universities and University Colleges in the county.
Culture, leisure and tourism
Its history and cultural heritage make Västra Götaland County an attractive region. It has many ancient monuments, not least from the Bronze Age and the early Middle Ages. Here the visitor has a wide range of interesting attractions and activities all year around.
For food and accomodation there is a wide range of well-tasting food experiences and unique accomodations. The Bohuslän archipelago, the great lakes of Vänern and Vättern, and the vast number of rivers and smaller lakes in Västergötland and Dalsland attract amateur fishermen and other water lovers. There are also the deep forests, the smiling open landscapes, the wilderness and the picturesque villages that offer plenty of leisure activities. The city of Göteborg offers a wide range of cultural activities, entertainments, exhibitions and events. he range of activities makes Västra Götaland County one of Sweden’s rost important tourist regions.
Trade and shipping
Today Göteborg is Sweden’s most international city measured in terms of seaborne imports and exports. A comparatively large percentage of foreigners live in the whole county and an increasing number of foreign visitors take part in trade fairs and congresses.
The history of Västra Götaland County is characterised by its many and varied international contacts. As early as the Middle Ages it had a lively exchange of goods and ideas, mainly with the countries round the North Sea. Later the Dutch brought their architecture and the Germans their business skills. Not least its contacts with Britain led to extensive trading with China under the auspices of the Swedish East India Company.
In Västra Götaland County the biggest port of Scandinavia is situated, Port of Göteborg. It handles 40 million tonnes of goods every year. With the Swedish Ship Götheborg as a platform modern business contacts are taken between Västra Götaland, Sweden and the world.
Västra Götaland - joining three counties for a more efficient administration
The joining of the counties of Göteborg and Bohus, Skaraborg and Älvsborg led to the creation of Västra Götaland County on 1 January 1998, which facilitated a more efficient administration of the county’s public services. The County Administrative Board and other state bodies represent national interest in the county. The Västra Götaland Region is responsible for, among other things, health services and regional development. The 49 municipalities and their co-operating bodies are responsible for services such as schools, old-age care and technical administration.
More facts about the county
You will find more information on the website vastragotaland.se. This site provides additional statistics relating to geography, the environment, business life, population etc., which are updated four times a year. Tourist information about the county is available at vastsverige.com.