Stad (Swedish: "town; city"; plural städer) is a Swedish term that historically has used for urban centers of various sizes. Since 1971, stad has no administrative or legal significance in Sweden.
The status of towns in Sweden was formerly granted by a royal charter, comparable to the United Kingdom's status of borough or burgh before the 1970s or city status today. Unless given such town privileges, a municipality could not call itself stad. To receive the privileges, there were several requirements a municipality needed to fulfill, like being of a certain size, and to have certain facilities. The criteria varied over time as they were at the discretion of the Riksdag or the monarch, but they could included a permanent town council hall and a prison.
In the majority of cases, before a town received its charter, it would have previously been given the status of köping or "merchant town". Exceptions to this would be when a town was founded under Royal supervision, in which case it would often bear the name of the monarch, such as Kristianstad or Karlskrona (named after kings Christian IV of Denmark and Karl XI of Sweden).