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If you are considering emigrating to Sweden, we have prepared a lot of information for you about this beautiful country.
Sweden has a rich cultural world. Sweden is known for its nature and high quality of life, but also for its tradition, modernity and social commitment.
Tradition and modernity in harmony
Sweden has a long history, which can still be felt in many aspects today. The combination of tradition and modernity is central to Swedish culture. You will come across historical buildings and places in Sweden that bear witness to the country’s rich history. At the same time, Sweden is also a country that values innovation and progress. The famous Swedish design aesthetics and technological advances are an excellent example of this.
Quality of life and well-being
Swedish culture places great emphasis on quality of life and well-being. The concept of “lagom” is central to this – it means something like “just right” or “balanced”. Sweden is known for its strong social safety net, which provides a high level of security for every citizen. Working conditions are often flexible and allow for a good work-life balance. Nature and the many recreational opportunities also contribute to people’s sense of well-being in Sweden.
Sense of community and equality
Another important aspect of Swedish culture is the strong sense of community. Swedes place great value on equality and solidarity. Hierarchies tend to be avoided and decisions are often made by consensus. This is also reflected in the education system, which focuses on equal opportunities, and in the strong support for families and socially disadvantaged groups.
The Art of Fika
A cultural phenomenon that you should definitely get to know in Sweden is the “fika”. This is a kind of coffee break, but it means much more than just drinking coffee. The fika is an opportunity to meet with friends, colleagues or family, to share and enjoy the moment. It embodies the relaxed and convivial atmosphere that is highly valued in Swedish culture.
The importance of nature
Nature has a special place in Swedish culture. Most Swedes have a strong connection to nature and use it for activities such as hiking, skiing, fishing and berry picking. The vastness of the forests, the clarity of the lakes and the rugged beauty of the coasts contribute to the identity and way of life of the people.
The Swedish climate is very diverse and, as in very many countries, also varies according to geographical location. However, Sweden basically has a temperate climate which is influenced by its proximity to the coast and its extension from north to south.
North-south differences: The north of Sweden is in the subarctic climate zone and is therefore cooler and has longer winters with lots of snow. The south, on the other hand, has a more temperate climate with milder winters and warmer summers.
Winter: Winters in Sweden are cold, especially in the north. Average temperatures in the north can be well below freezing during the winter months. Winters are milder in southern Sweden, but it can still get quite cold.
Summer: Summers in Sweden are relatively mild to warm. Average temperatures in summer are usually between 20 and 25 degrees Celsius, but can vary depending on the region. The days are very long in summer, especially in the northern parts of the country where the sun hardly sets in June and July (midnight sun).
Rainfall: Sweden receives rainfall all year round, although the summer is often somewhat drier. However, rain is possible all year round. In autumn and spring, precipitation can occur in the form of snow.
Autumn and spring: The transition months can be variable, but generally Sweden experiences moderate temperatures with somewhat more unsettled weather in autumn and spring.
Coastal climate: Coastal areas tend to be milder than inland areas because ocean currents can regulate temperatures.
Swedish is, of course, the official language and thus also the most widely spoken language. Nevertheless, there are other languages as well as dialects.
Sámi: The Sámi languages are spoken by the indigenous Sámi population in the northern regions of Sweden. There are several Sámi languages, including Northern Sami, Southern Sami, Lulesami and Umesami.
Meänkieli (Tornedalian): Meänkieli is a language spoken in the Tornedalen valley in the northern parts of Sweden. It is related to Finnish and belongs to the Finno-Ugric language family.
Finnish: Due to its geographical proximity to Finland, Finnish is spoken by the Finnish-speaking minority in some areas in the north of Sweden.
Yiddish and Romani: These languages are spoken by the Jewish and Roma minorities in Sweden.
English: Due to the widespread knowledge of English in Sweden, especially among young people, English is often spoken as a second language. Most Swedes also speak English, especially in the cities.
The school system in Sweden is decentralised and consists of several levels focusing on the different age groups of pupils. Here are the main levels of the Swedish school system:
Pre-school (Förskola): The pre-school is for children aged 1 to 5 years. It is voluntary and is designed to develop children’s social and cognitive skills before they enter primary school.
Primary school (Grundskola): Primary school is compulsory for all children aged 6 to 16. It is divided into different levels:
Gymnasium: After completing primary school, pupils have the option of attending the Gymnasium, which lasts about three years and prepares them for higher education. The Gymnasium is not compulsory, but many pupils choose to attend it.
The Swedish school system emphasises the individual development of pupils and offers different educational pathways according to their interests and abilities. There are both academic and vocational orientations in the Gymnasium.
Homeschooling and online school
In principle, homeschooling is possible in Sweden, but it is subject to certain requirements for parents, as in most countries.
Homeschooling: Parents who wish to homeschool their children must apply for permission from the local municipality (Kommun). The municipality reviews the education plan and the parents’ qualifications to ensure that appropriate educational standards are met. It is important that the education curriculum is in line with the national curriculum.
Qualification of parents: As a rule, parents must prove that they have the skills and knowledge to adequately teach their children. This may be through educational training, relevant experience or other appropriate qualifications.
The municipality monitors pupils’ progress and may require regular testing or assessment to ensure that educational standards are met.
Online schooling: In Sweden, there is also the possibility of online schooling, where students can follow courses or lessons via the internet. This can be a supplement to traditional school attendance or an alternative for certain groups of pupils. This could, for example, be also be an option for immigrants if the children do not speak the language well enough.
The health system in Sweden is based on a strong principle of universal health coverage and is largely publicly funded. It aims to ensure quality health care for all citizens. Here are some important features of the Swedish health system:
Universal health care: Everyone in Sweden has the right to medical care and treatment under the public health system, regardless of their financial status or origin.
Regional responsibility: Responsibility for the organisation and provision of health services lies with the 21 regions (Landsting or Regioner) in Sweden. These regions finance and operate hospitals, clinics and other medical facilities.
Health insurance: Sweden has a state-funded health system where costs are largely covered by taxes. Swedish residents have a health insurance card, which serves as an access authorisation for medical services.
Fees: Although most medical services are free, there are some minor charges that may apply for doctor visits, prescribed medicines and hospitalisation. However, these fees are limited and there is a cap to ensure that no one has to bear disproportionately high costs.
Health promotion and prevention: The Swedish health system places great emphasis on health promotion and prevention to improve the health of the population and prevent diseases.
With regard to possible differences between natives and immigrants in the health system, there are some aspects to consider:
Equality of access: The Swedish health system strives for equality of access to health care for all residents, regardless of their origin. However, it should be noted that language barriers or cultural differences can affect communication and access to health care.
Health information: The Swedish health authorities strive to provide information about the health system in different languages to ensure that immigrants are informed about their rights and access to health care.
Immigrant health screening: In some cases, special health screening or programmes may be offered to immigrants to ensure that their health needs are adequately addressed.
If you wish to immigrate to Sweden, vaccinations and medical certificates may be required, depending on your country of origin and the applicable entry regulations. Sweden, like other countries, has certain health requirements for immigrants to protect public health.
The specific vaccinations and medical certificates required may vary, but in general the following may be required:
Vaccinations: Sweden may require vaccinations against certain diseases to ensure that you and other residents are protected from disease. These could be vaccinations against diseases such as measles, mumps, rubella, hepatitis, tuberculosis and others. It is important to be aware of the current vaccination requirements that apply to your immigration situation.
Health check: Some immigrants may be required to undergo a medical examination to ensure that they do not have any contagious diseases that could pose a risk to public health.
Medical documentation: You may be asked to provide medical documentation or evidence of your health to ensure that you do not have any diseases or conditions that could pose a threat.
The tax system in Sweden is characterised by a high tax burden, progressive income tax and extensive social security. Here are some of the main features of the Swedish tax system:
Progressive income tax: Income tax in Sweden is progressive, which means that higher incomes are taxed at higher rates. Tax rates can vary considerably depending on the level of income.
Level of tax burden: Sweden has one of the highest tax burdens in the world. Income tax rates for higher incomes can be over 50%. These high taxes finance a large part of public services and social benefits.
Social security contributions: In addition to income tax, employees and employers also pay social security contributions, which are used to finance social benefits such as health insurance, pensions and unemployment benefits.
Value Added Tax (Moms): Sweden levies VAT on the sale of goods and services. The regular rate is usually 25%, but there are also reduced rates for certain goods and services.
Municipal taxes: Municipalities in Sweden have the right to set their own income tax rates. This leads to regional differences in the tax burden.
Wealth tax: Sweden has levied a wealth tax in the past, but this has largely been abolished. However, some forms of assets, such as real estate, can still be taxed.
Corporate taxation: Corporate tax in Sweden is relatively high compared to many other countries. However, there are also various tax reductions and incentives for companies.
Tax benefits: Sweden offers a number of tax benefits and deductions for certain expenses, such as household services, commuting to work and childcare costs.
Income redistribution: The high level of taxation in Sweden allows for comprehensive social protection, including free education, health care and social benefits. The country aims to reduce income inequality and achieve a high level of social equality.
What to consider for you as an immigrant in terms of taxation
If you emigrate to Sweden and register there, you will also be subject to Swedish tax. They must also pay social security contributions to finance social benefits such as health insurance, pensions and unemployment insurance.
Sweden has double taxation agreements with many countries to avoid double taxation and ensure that your income is not taxed in both countries. These treaties can regulate the taxation of income from various sources, such as salary, capital gains and real estate income.
If you are unsure how your income tax is calculated in Sweden or which tax aspects are relevant to you, you can apply to the Swedish tax authorities (Skatteverket) for a so-called “advance tax ruling”. This is an individual assessment of your tax situation.
Due to the complexity of the Swedish tax system, it is advisable to seek professional tax advice before moving to Sweden. Especially if you are emigrating to Sweden with a company, it is certainly advisable to contact a Swedish tax advisor.
The Swedish economy is diverse and well developed, with different sectors contributing to value creation. Here are some main components of the economy in Sweden:
The Swedish economy is characterised by a high level of innovation, a strong export orientation, a well-developed social infrastructure and a high quality of life. However, it is important to note that a country’s economy can be diverse and complex, and this answer only provides a general overview of the main sectors of the Swedish economy.
Like many countries, Sweden is currently in an economic slump. High inflation, which necessitates a tightening of monetary policy, is also weighing on the economy in Sweden. According to the GTAI, a decline of -0.5 to -1.0 percent is expected for 2023.
The situation in the construction sector is very difficult. Here, too, the cause is the high interest rate policy. It is estimated that in the first quarter of 2023 there will be only half as many building permits or building projects. construction starts as in the previous year.
The price level in Sweden is generally higher than in Germany. Sweden is one of the countries with one of the highest costs of living in Europe. There are several factors that contribute to this higher price level:
The actual cost also depends on your individual preferences, lifestyle and personal expenses. If you need an accurate assessment of the price level for certain goods and services, it is advisable to carry out up-to-date price comparisons or cost analyses. For this, we recommend the Cost of Living website.
The price level for real estate in Sweden is generally relatively high, especially in larger cities such as Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö. Here is some information on the property price level in Sweden compared to other European countries:
It is important to note that property prices can vary greatly in different regions and countries. They depend on factors such as location, economic situation, interest rate level, population density and supply and demand. If you are looking for specific information, click here for our real estate offers.
When it comes to starting a business in Sweden, there are many opportunities for both locals and immigrants. Sweden offers a business-friendly environment that encourages innovation and entrepreneurship. If you are thinking about starting your own business in Sweden, there are some important aspects and options you should consider.
Starting a business in Sweden: Basic steps
Regardless of whether you are a native or an immigrant, the basic steps to starting a business in Sweden are similar. Here are some important steps to follow:
Entrepreneurial opportunities in Sweden for all
In Sweden, there are equal opportunities for natives and immigrants to start their own businesses. The country encourages innovation and provides a transparent environment for business creation. Whether you want to develop a breakthrough technology, open a restaurant or provide a service, Sweden is a place that values and supports entrepreneurship. No matter where you come from, your entrepreneurial spirit is welcome here and has the opportunity to flourish.
For EU citizens:
As an EU citizen, you do not need a visa. You can stay in Sweden for up to 3 months without any special formalities. After 3 months, regardless of whether you are studying, working or living off your savings there, you must register with the Swedish authorities. This includes registering with the Skatteverket (Tax Administration Authority) and in some cases applying for a residence permit. You do not need a special work permit, nor do you need a separate permit if you want to start a business.
Non-EU citizens must follow Swedish immigration rules if they wish to immigrate to Sweden:
As immigration regulations are always subject to change and are also very individual depending on your nationality, your reason for immigration and your intended length of stay, we recommend that you consult the official sources of the Swedish government or embassies.
Sweden is often considered one of the safest countries in the world. The crime rate is relatively low in international comparison. However, in Sweden, as in any other country, there are occasional cases of crime, demonstrations and riots. Here is some information on these topics:
Crime: The crime rate in Sweden is generally low, especially in relation to more serious crimes such as violent crime. The Swedish police are well trained and well equipped to deal with different situations. However, theft, pickpocketing and minor incidents can occur in tourist areas or in cities, so it is important to take general safety precautions, such as not leaving valuables unattended.
Demonstrations and riots: Sweden is a country that respects the right to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression. Demonstrations are not uncommon in Sweden and can be held on various social or political issues. As a rule, these demonstrations are peaceful. However, there have been isolated cases of rioting related to demonstrations in the past, especially in neighbourhoods with social challenges. It is advisable to find out about planned demonstrations before travelling and to approach crowds with caution.