LIVING IN SWEDEN

Sweden is considered one of the most prosperous European countries with a high standard of living and social standards, a strong economy and advanced institutions of democracy, beautiful nature and happy people. Sweden's health care system is of outstanding quality and efficiency, placing it among the top 10 countries with the best medicine in the world.

The population of Sweden in 2022 is about 10.2 million people, with at least 20% of residents being of foreign origin. Most are from other Scandinavian countries – Finland, Norway, Denmark, as well as Poland, former Yugoslavia and regions such as Syria, Iraq and Somalia. The prices and costs of living, taxes, employment, wages, education, medicine, and the pros and cons of living in Sweden in 2022 are discussed below.

Living in Sweden

Pros and cons of living in Sweden

When planning a move to the Swedish Kingdom, you should consider that the northern location of the settlement, the harsher the climate there. By the way, not only the capital – Stockholm attracts immigrants. The best cities for life in Sweden – Stockholm, Malmo, Gothenburg, Uppsala and Lund.

Almost everyone knows the formerly popular Swedish music band ABBA, the quality car brand Volvo and Europe's largest clothing retailer H&M. But what are the pros and cons of life in Sweden, not many know. We'll highlight the main ones.

Pros of living in Sweden

  • In Sweden, a very high standard of living and an effective social security system.

  • A large, developed and stable economy with strong innovative potential opens up good prospects for creating your own business in Sweden and building a successful professional career. In the annual ranking of the agency Doing Business Swedish Kingdom ranks 10th out of 190 countries.

  • The lion's share of Swedish citizens are fluent in English. Even in higher education offers a huge number of courses in English. And not only in Master's degree programs, but also in Bachelor's degree programs.

  • The ecology, clean streets, perfect infrastructure and quality medicine is also excellent.

  • At first glance, the Swedes seem distant and cold, but after a short communication it becomes clear that they are very cheerful and friendly people who are always ready to help a foreigner.

Pros and cons of living in Sweden

Cons of living in Sweden

  • Sweden is a very expensive country.

  • In some Swedish cities (even in the south) there is a lack of heat and sunshine. At the same time the winter days are very short, and the summer days are excessively long.

  • The influx of migrants in recent years contributes to the fact that many locals are irritated with foreigners.

  • A difficult situation in the real estate market, including rent.

  • High taxes (especially for rich people).

Prices and costs of living in Sweden

Living in Sweden is very expensive. Especially when it comes to large population centers like Stockholm, Göteborg and Malmö, not small towns like Kalmar or Jönköping. The average monthly expense for a single person in Sweden is at least 12,410 kr (€1,210), and for a family of two 22,640 kr (€2,210).

Renting a studio apartment in central Sweden costs about 7,850 kr (765 euros) a month, while in remote areas it is about 5,545 kr (540 euros). The price of a square meter of real estate in the center is 58,825 kr (5,730 euros) and 33,380 (3,255 euros) in the countryside.

Prices in Sweden in 2022

  • Bread (500 g) – 22.09 kr

  • Milk (0.6 L) – 11.46 kr

  • Eggs (12 eggs) – 29.62 kr

  • Chicken Fillets (1 kg) – 87.54 kr

  • Potatoes (1 kg) – 11.79 kr

  • Swedish cheese (1 kg) – 84.33 kr

  • Bananas (1 kg) – 22.25 kr

  • Apples (1 kg) – 26.83 kr

  • Petrol (1 liter) – 15.48 kr

  • Cab (1 km) – 18 kr

  • Public transport fare – 32 kr

  • Monthly bus pass – 795 kr

  • Utilities (85 sq. m.) – 750.92 kr per month

  • Mobile Tariff Local (1 minute) – 1.16 kr

  • Internet – 296.82 kr per month

Note. Prices are quoted in local currency – Swedish krona (kr). Exchange rate of 1 kr today is equal to 0.1 US dollar and 0.1 euro.

Taxes in Sweden

Taxes in Sweden

In Sweden, a transparent, flexible and efficient fiscal system, but tax rates are among the highest in Europe. For example, if you consider the municipal and national income tax, then at an annual income of more than 540.7 thousand kr (51.7 thousand euros) the average rate is 32.12 and 20% respectively.

Tax rates in Sweden in 2022

Corporate income tax – 20.6% (as of January 1, 2021)

VAT. General rate – 25%, reduced rates – 12% (food, sale of personal artwork), 6% (printed publications, passenger transport) and 0% (prescription drugs or hospital sales; printing services; domestic and international passenger transport).

INCOME TAX

Annual income (SEK) National rate (%) Municipal rate (%)
From 0 to 540,700 0 32.12
More than 540,700 20 32.12

Income tax for non-residents – 20%

Dividends, interest, rents – 30%

Social contributions (charged to employer):

  • Pension insurance – 10.21%

  • Health insurance – 4,35%

  • Unemployment insurance – 2.64%

  • Pension insurance to support dependants – 0.7%

  • Maternity insurance – 2.6%

  • Accident insurance – 0.2%

  • Total payroll tax – 10.72%

Note. Employees in Sweden pay only pension contribution of 7%, and social contributions of self-employed persons amount to 28.97%.

According to the official information of Statistics Sweden, the highest taxes are in Dorothea municipality (35.15%) and the lowest in Welling (29.19%).

Jobs and wages in Sweden

Official employment in Sweden requires applicants from third countries to obtain special permission from the Swedish authorities. To formalize this document, the local employer must be very interested in the services of a foreign specialist. One important condition is that no Swedes or EU citizens can apply for the vacancy for at least 10 days.

The period of consideration of documents for a work permit in Sweden can stretch for 2-5 months. In the case of employment for more than 3 months, the foreigner is issued a residence card for a maximum of 2 years with the right of further extension. The professions in demand in Sweden are programmers, doctors, engineers, construction workers, teachers and seasonal workers in agriculture (picking berries and mushrooms).

There is no minimum wage in Sweden. The rates are fixed separately in each sector of the economy through collective bargaining agreements between unions and employers. According to the Swedish Statistical Office, the average salary in Sweden in 2022 is 39,675 kr per month (about 3,970 euros). After taxes, that leaves 2,800 euros. Working in Stockholm brings in an average of about 3,300 euros net.

Higher education in Sweden

Higher education in Sweden

Sweden has given the world three dozen Nobel Prize winners, including the founder of this prestigious prize, Alfred Nobel, who was born in Stockholm. According to QS World University Rankings 2022 eight higher educational institutions of this country are in the top 200 universities of the world. The most prestigious are considered to be Lund University, Royal Institute of Technology and Uppsala University.

Unfortunately, since the fall of 2011 free higher education in Sweden is available only to Swedes, as well as citizens of the European Union and Switzerland. Other foreigners have to pay an average of 7.8-17.5 thousand euros for one academic year. In addition, to obtain a residence permit in Sweden an international student must have for residence a sum not less than 8,370 kr a month.

Medicine in Sweden

Health care in Sweden is largely financed by taxes, which ensures that everyone has equal access to medical services. You pay 100 kr per clinic visit, and primary care services range from 100 to 300 kr, depending on the city.

In Sweden, patients must never pay more than 1,100 kr for medical consultations during the year. A similar figure is stipulated for prescription drugs. When visiting a doctor, the maximum fee is 400 kr.

In conclusion, the average life expectancy at birth in Sweden in 2022 is 82 years, with men living about 80 years and women 84.

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