Thorbjorn Falldin, a pipe-smoking sheep farmer who became prime minister in Sweden's first non-socialist government after World War II, has died at the age of 90.

Falldin, who had led the Center Party, died on Saturday evening at his farm in eastern Sweden, Center Party leader Annie Loof said.

As head of the agrarian party, he led a center-right coalition to power in 1976, ending 40 years of Social Democratic rule.

Two years later the government collapsed amid disputes over nuclear power, which Falldin's party strongly opposed at the time.

Falldin was born on April 24, 1926, into a family of farmers in northern Sweden.

He is survived by his wife Solveig and three children.