Is Sweden a Good Place To Live?

A Scandinavian Nordic country, Sweden offers excellent living standards for its citizens. Most Swedes live comfortable lives, and people can make a living with a reasonable work-life balance.

Most Swedes rated their satisfaction with life at 7.3 out of 10, according to the Better Life Index. [1]

Sweden is a good place to live for those employed with a valid work permit who can find houses.

The cost of living is high, so a person’s salary must be high enough to meet their expenses.

For those who can pay high taxes and have disposable income, Sweden is a great place to live.

This article will examine the pros and cons of living in Sweden and Swedish attitudes to foreigners.

It will also look at the cost of living, which is a huge factor in whether or not a person can make a life for themselves in Sweden. 

Keep reading to learn more.

Also, see a list of 190 Swedish Surnames to learn more.

Pros and Cons of Living in Sweden

It is difficult to be objective when determining what qualifies as the pros and cons of living in a country.

People have different thresholds for what they find acceptable, so the following pros and cons are a generalized list. 

Pros of Living in Sweden

One of the major reasons why people like living in Sweden is that the country has a strong economy.

Governmental policies are designed to ensure long-term economic growth in a stable and sustainable manner. [2]

Most adults in Sweden are employed sustainably, and most households are able to set aside a significant chunk of their salaries as disposable income despite the high taxation and rents.

Work-life balance is important to Swedes, and the country has made significant progress in enforcing gender equality in the workplace. 

The “Swedish Model” of a welfare state has been incredibly successful in all but eliminating poverty. [3]

Welfare benefits like healthcare, education, and elderly care are largely taxpayer-funded and accessible to citizens and immigrants to varying degrees. [4]

Guided by the values of innovation, sustainability, and equality, workplaces in Sweden are great places to be, as most people find their work fulfilling and exciting. 

Most Swedish people also have a strong sense of community and participate actively in performing their civic duties like elections.

The people have a sense of faith in each other and their government to support them in times of trouble. 

A lot of Swedish food is fresh and organic, and Swedish people put a lot of stock into living a life that is close to nature.

Sweden has incredibly low levels of pollution, so the air and water quality of the country also contribute to the high quality of life enjoyed by Swedish residents. 

Cons of Living in Sweden

Despite the many advantages of living in Sweden, there are a few cons, as well. 

Sweden’s extensive social welfare benefits come at a high cost – a staggering taxation rate.

Since everything from education to pensions and healthcare are taxpayer-funded, the taxes are extremely high to ensure that all of these benefits are funded. 

In addition to the high taxes, the cost of living is fairly high since living in Sweden is about 1.5 times more expensive than living in other countries in the world. [5]

While rent control has been implemented to help manage the costs of living, there is a general lack of affordable housing.

Nearly 88% of municipalities in the country reported a shortage of housing. [6]

Finding a house in Sweden is extremely difficult due to the high demand and expensive construction.

Land, labor, and materials are all extremely expensive in Sweden, so the rate of construction is not keeping up with the demand for housing in the country. 

For those who choose to move to Sweden, finding a house will be one of the biggest challenges they will face, which is a major con of living in Sweden. 

Finding a job in Sweden is difficult since the Swedes are all well-educated and offer stiff competition to foreigners who might be hoping to find a job in the country.

Work permits have varying processing times, and employers have to justify why a foreigner is being hired, which is a lot of effort. 

Additionally, most job postings in Sweden are communicated through connections.

So finding a job commensurate with one’s experience is only feasible if that person has an established network. 

When it comes to the weather – Sweden is more or less temperate.

However, winters are extremely cold and long and are a major adjustment for people who aren’t used to extreme temperatures. 

Is Sweden Friendly to Foreigners? 

Sweden is a beautiful country, and the government welcomes foreigners coming into the country to develop their business or even people visiting for pleasure. 

Sweden is friendly to foreigners, but Swedish people tend to be more reserved, which makes them appear reticent.

Additionally, Sweden espouses a culture of independence, which means that people tend to appear more aloof. 

Like all countries, Sweden has its extreme elements and associated issues.

Foreigners who are visiting the country intending to do business or as tourists are easily welcomed. Immigrants may be seen as competition, which makes it difficult for expats. 

Culturally, people are more independent and are not reliant on a spouse for rent or childcare, thanks to the welfare government. [7]

This, combined with the natural reticence of the Swedes, means that expats find it difficult to build a social circle, make friends, or date.

In Sweden, building a social circle takes a lot of time and concerted effort. 

What Are the Requirements to Live in Sweden?

Sweden is a great place to live because of the incredible benefits offered, but in order to access these benefits, certain requirements must be fulfilled. 

The requirements to live in Sweden include having a residence and work permit, a work contract, and an ID card from the Swedish Tax Agency.

Having a house or place to stay is also imperative. While learning Swedish is not an urgent need, knowing the language increases one’s employability. 

Typically, the work permit is something that the employer will take care of, but it is each individual’s responsibility to ensure that they have a valid residence permit and an ID card.

The identity card will ensure that they’re able to pay taxes and access the social welfare benefits in the country. 

Most Swedish people speak English fluently, but all expats are encouraged to learn Swedish.

Knowing the language makes it easier to build a social circle and a network and thereby access better job opportunities as well.

Christian Christensen

Christian started Scandinavia Facts to explore his family heritage, raise awareness of one of his academic interests as a professor, and civilly promote the region. Please see the About page for details.

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