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The county is the second largest (in terms of population) of Sweden's counties and it is subdivided into 49 municipalities (kommuner). Its population of 1,590,000 amounts to 17% of Sweden's population. The capital and governmental seat of Västra Götaland County is Gothenburg.
Sweden's counties are generally of greater importance than its provinces. The counties are the main administrative units for politics, population counts.
Due to its size and young age, the Västra Götaland County has no common inheritance. Of cultural and historical significance are the provinces that Västra Götaland County consists of: Västergötland, Bohuslän and Dalsland. There is also an insignificant part of the province Halland within the county.
In addition, the previous counties that were abolished in 1999 had been in use since the 17th century, and therefore have some cultural and historical significance.
Västra Götaland County borders to the counties of Värmland, Örebro, Östergötland, Jönköping and Halland. It is also bounded by the Norwegian county of Østfold, lakes Vättern and Vänern, as well as the strait of Skagerrak.
Västra Götaland was created in 1998 by a merger of the three former counties of Gothenburg and Bohus County, Älvsborg County and Skaraborg County. The seat of residence for the Governors or Landshövding is Gothenburg, while the seat of political administration and power is Vänersborg. The Governor is the head of the County Administrative Board or Länsstyrelse.
The Västra Götaland Regional Council or Västra Götalandsregionen is an evolved County Council that for a trial period has assumed certain tasks from the County Administrative Board. Similar trial councils are applied for Skåne County and Gotland County.
The arms for the County of Västra Götaland was granted in 1999 when the county was formed. It a combination of the provincial arms of Västergötland, Bohuslän and Dalsland with the arms for the city of Gothenburg. When the arms is shown with a royal crown it represents the County Administrative Board, which is the regional presence of (royal) government authority. Blazon: "Quartered, I. the arms of Gothenburg, II. the arms of Bohuslän, III. the arms of Dalsland turned in courtoisie, IV. the arms of Västergötland."
References and notes
- List of Västra Götaland Governors
- Region Västra Götaland
- Västra Götaland County Administrative Board
- Gothenburg Regional Association of Local Authorities
- Sjuhärad Regional Association of Local Authorities
- Skaraborg Regional Association of Local Authorities
- Fyrbodals Regional Association of Local Authorities