'Skåningar' slowest in Vasaloppet
Vasaloppet took place in early March with two Norwegians winning (John Kristian Dahl and Laila Kveli). But from what Swedish county did the slowest skier come? The answer: Skåne. The 404 people from Skåne, Sweden’s southernmost province, had an average finishing time of 9 hours, 17 minutes and 56 seconds. Compare that to the fastest skiers (244 of them) from Jämtland, with 7 hours, 12 minutes and 10 seconds. This according to statistics from Alecta.

Sweden’s best restaurants
Close to 800 restaurants were tested and 589 ended up in the "food Bible,” the White Guide. Stockholm is Sweden’s main city also when it comes to food. The best of the best is Esperanto in Stockholm, for the second year in a row. The food at Esperanto collected 39 points, one point less than the maximum score. The motivation? ”For continued good work in perfecting one of Scandinavia’s most distinctive and possibly the most poetic gastronomy you can find west of Japan.” One of the founders of the White Guide stated that the restaurant culture in Sweden has begun to change and that restaurants now are becoming ”informal meeting places for those with a genuine interest in food.” And he added: 'It creates a new pattern, even in the gastronomy itself, where the new Nordic kitchen seems to be singing the last verse.” White Guide annually tests and presents close to 800 restaurants, and hosts a gala every year to celebrate the best restaurants.

Living on the beach
More than 40 percent of the coastal land in Stockholm and Skåne counties has been built on. These two counties have the highest proportions of exploited land near the beach, according to a survey by the County Administrative Board in Norrbotten. Blekinge and Västernorrland counties are also high up on the list.

Swedes are getting older
Many Swedes live to be 100 years old, and there are plenty of advantages to getting older. ”You get wiser, and it’s exciting to follow the development in society. If you’re healthy you can work longer,” says lifestyle professor Mai-Lis Hellénius. Life is easier today in general than it used to be, and people are healthier, thus they live longer. Last year there were 1,879 Swedes over the age on 100. ”One thing to look forward to with being 100, is that others are forced to be considerate toward you,” says Alice Östlund in Trollhättan. Alice is 107. ”They must adapt. I’m ancient, I can’t see, I have bad hearing, and cannot walk without support. But that’s OK, my brain works fairly well. It’s not boring to turn 107,” she says. The recipe to increase your chances of a long life won’t come as much of a surprise: healthy food, exercise and a moderate alcohol intake. But genes also play a part; however, they cannot be outsmartened by good habits, according to Hellénius. ”Even a person who is born with an increased risk of diabetes, cardiovascular diseases or have an easier time gaining weight, can erase the genetic risk by trading their lifestyle for a healthier one, and will gain just as much as a person who does not carry those genes,” she says. And Alice agrees. ”One should keep up and about and eat properly and at set times. Then you can deal with a lot.”

Civil burials more common
Statistics from the funeral home Fonus show the steadily increasing trend of having civil funerals continues. When Fonus first was surveyed in 2001, 4.3 percent of the funerals were civil; last year the percentage was 11.9. Even Sweden’s funeral associations have noted a similar trend. More and more Swedes prefer a civil, as opposed to a religious, burial.