The Swedish Parliament celebrated democracy in 2018-2022

During a four year-long democracy centenary, the Swedish Parliament commemorated the advent of democracy in Sweden from 2018 to 2022.

A hundred years ago, the Swedish Parliament decided to introduce universal and equal suffrage. During a four-year period, the Swedish Parliament has commemorated the advent of democracy in Sweden. The purpose of the centenary has been to increase knowledge of the history, meaning and significance of democracy and to arouse interest in the significance of democracy both today and in the future.

The centenary activities have taken place in the Riksdag and all over Sweden as well as on the Riksdag website and social media.

Happy people in clothing characteristic of the period waving flags.
Photo: Melker Dahlstrand

The Riksdag's celebrations of the democracy centenary kicked off on 17 December 2018 when the exhibition "Celebrate Democracy - 100 years" was inaugurated at Mynttorget in Stockholm.



Along Mynttorget and Västerlånggatan in the Old Town in Stockholm, an exhibition has been in place since 2018 which gives form to and displays various parts of the democratisation process. The exhibition was opened on 17 December 2018, one hundred years to the day that the first agreements on universal and equal suffrage were reached in the Riksdag in 1918. The exhibition remains in place even after the centenary.

In addition to the Old Town, an additional exhibition about the advent of democracy was put in place in the Grand Gallery in the Riksdag building. Several of the exhibits toured the county museums and other places in Sweden up until 2022. The Speaker or one of the Deputy Speakers inaugurated the exhibitions at the district museums.

The poster exhibition Celebrate Democracy tells the story behind the decision on universal and equal suffrage. This was a reform which led to the advent of democracy in our country. The exhibition can be downloaded and displayed anywhere: in the classroom, in libraries or at the workplace.

Order the poster exhibition

Study material

On our website and in a magazine for use in upper-secondary schools, you can read about how the Riksdag took the decision to introduce universal and equal suffrage, about Sweden’s popular movements and how developments in technology expedited the process.

In study material for Years 4–6, pupils were given the opportunity to explore democracy using a timeline with an associated teachers’ guide and exercises. The study material and magazine can be ordered or downloaded.

Order study material

Anthologies about democracy

On 17 December in 2018, two anthologies with articles on the development of democracy and democratic processes today and in the future were published. Ten researchers write about their views on democracy and democratic challenges such as digitisation, globalisation and political participation in the anthology The Future of Democracy. The editors are Sören Holmberg and Katarina Barrling and it is published by the Swedish Parliament. The anthology can be both ordered and downloaded.

Order the Future of Democracy

Riksbankens Jubileumsfond, an independent foundation, sponsors the anthology A Hundred Years of Universal Suffrage. Within it, around thirty researchers gather and present the latest research on equal suffrage in the lead up to the centenary celebrations for the advent of democracy. The editors are Ulrika Holgersson and Lena Wängnerud.

About the centenary of equal suffrage on the Riksbank website

Meetings and public arenas

Over the years, the Riksdag has participated in events such as Politician’s Week in Järva and Almedalen and the Gothenburg Book Fair. Other activities that were carried out were culture nights, Democracy Days and inaugurations. Several members of the Riksdag visited schools in their constituencies to discuss the emergence, development and future of democracy. 

Gala performance

Gala performance

The gala performance Celebrate Democracy – 100 Years was aired 100 years after the first women took their seats in the Riksdag. The performance showcased the path to democracy up until today through well-known pieces of music, singers and dancers with an orchestra and choir. The gala performance was broadcast on SVT.

The work of art from the front, with two women carrying a tray with the busts of the first five women in the Riksdag.
©Astrid Göransson/Bildupphovsrätt 2023. Photo: Melker Dahlstrand

The work of art depicts two women who are carrying forward the first five women along a newly laid path which leads to the entrance of the Riksdag.

Work of art

The work of art Come as you are! was inaugurated on Riksplan outside the Riksdag in June 2022. The artist’s name is Astrid Göransson and the project is a collaboration between the Swedish Parliament and the National Public Art Council.

The work of art Come as you are!


In 2013, the Riksdag decided to commemorate and celebrate 100 years passing since the advent of democracy in Sweden, following a private member's motion from the then member of the Riksdag Leif Pagrotsky (Social Democratic Party). The Riksdag Board decided that the celebrations should take place during 2018–2022 and appointed a cross-party committee led by the Speaker. The committee proposed a number of activities to be carried out during the centenary period: exhibitions, written publications for upper-secondary schools, mobile information points and a website.

Timeline of all democracy centenary activities between 2013 and 2022, in swedish (pdf, 9 MB)

The centenary  in pictures

Poster exhibition on the bridge across Sergels torg with Stockholm House of Culture in the background.
Photo: Anders Löwdin

The poster exhibition about the pioneers of universal suffrage was shown at Sergels torg in Stockholm in January 2021.

1 / 22


The Democracy Centenary Secretariat is part of the Riksdag Administration's Communications Division. Head of Secretariat is Helena Martinsson.

The Riksdag Administration Press Service

  • Telephone: +46 8 786 62 00.


About the page