Metrication in Sweden

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Sweden adopted the metric system in 1878, using a ten-year transition period from 1879 to 1888.[1]


The metric system was adopted by law on 22 November 1878.[1] This law stated that the introduction should take place progressively from 1879 to 1888, and that the metric system should be used exclusively from the beginning of 1889.

Current exceptions[edit]

  • Television sets and displays of any kind have their diagonal measured in inches.
  • Lumber and pipes are sold in metric length, but their width, thickness and diameter are measured in both inches and in metres.
  • Textile is normally sold in metres but the thread count is in threads per square inch.
  • Tire pressure is measured in both bar and Pascal.
  • The price of gold, is quoted in US dollars per ounce.
  • McDonald's sells its Quarter Pounder with cheese as Quarter Pounder Cheese
  • The number of teeth on a saw is measured in teeth per inch (TPI)
  • Hammers are measured in millimetres but weighed in ounces.
  • Watering hoses' length are measured in metres, but the diameter is measured in inches.
  • Sailing yachts are measured in feet.
  • Distances larger than 10 kilometres is informally given in mil (Swedish mile=10 km), however on road signs etc., km is used.
  • World oil price is quoted in US dollars per Barrels
  • The metric yardstick is called tumstock, instead of the recommended meterstock or måttstock
  • The power of fuel powered engines is given in horse power instead of watt, but electrical engines in watt.


  1. ^ a b Metersystemet in Nordisk familjebok (1913) (Swedish)