Norrbotten is a sparsely populated county in the north. Thanks to the harsh weather, grains and crops only grow here in the two or three months of summer.
Sami and Finnish tribes have preserved their customs and way of life, even after attempts by the Swedes in centuries past to Christianize them and introduce them to the modern way of living. Norrbotten has a high unemployment rate, and most residents are considered poor.
The dialects spoken here are old Swedish and Finnish dialects that are not familiar to most Swedes. The capital of Norbotten is Luleå, a city overlooking a bay that meets the Gulf of Bothnia. Several communications and technology companies are located in the city.
Near Luleå is Gammelstad, which was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site because it is the best-preserved example of a northern Scandinavian church village—a community of houses centred around the local church.