Sweden has a population of over 10 million people, 24.1% of those people have a foreign background. Aside from its beauty, Sweden lays a great focus on its workers, citizens, and foreigners. Here are 15 of the many reasons why you should move to Sweden.
1. The benefits system is the best in the world
As a worker, you are entitled to 5 paid weeks of holiday, and this will increase with time.
Maternity and paternity leave is something we would dream of. Parents are entitled to 480 days of paid leave and they can share this between them.
The healthcare system is extremely affordable. Each visit to the doctor will cost about 100 to 250 SEK, with maximum spending of 1000 SEK. After this all of the visits are free. You will have to pay for mental health and the dentist.
2. You can see where your tax money goes
Taxes are higher than in many other countries in Europe. The normal income tax is 30% and the VAT is 25%. Any annual earnings under 18,880 SEK are not subject to taxes. If you earn over 433,000 SEK, you will have to pay 31%, plus an additional 20/25% tax.
While nobody is going to be excited about paying tax, at least in Sweden you can see the rewards in the education, healthcare and benefits system.
3. You get to appreciate 4 amazing seasons
Winters might be cold and card but this doesn’t stop them from being beautiful and crisp. You can ski (even just 20 minutes from Stockholm), cross-country skiing in the countryside and ice-skating. Treat yourself to a decent winter jacket as temperatures can drop below 20º.
Summer, on the other hand, can reach as high as 30º. You might not associate Sweden with beaches but Stockholm sets up temporary city beaches and free-swimming areas. You will have plenty of opportunities to enjoy the sunshine. If you can’t get enough of it, head north, where you can experience 24 hours of sunlight.
4. Fika and cakes
The Brits may have their Afternoon Tea, but the Swedes have Fika. Fika is fundamental in the daily routine of many and more so at the weekends. Along with your coffee, you can have a Kanelbullar (cinnamon bun) or a Kardemumabullar (cardamom bun). Taking this short break allows you a moment of socialization.
5. The Archipelago
If you want to get away from city life you can visit one (or several) of the 30,000 islands. There are boat trips and tours to see the stunning scenery Sweden has to offer. Just 45-minutes out and you will enjoy breath-taking views, while the furthest islands are 3 hours away.
6. The Internet
Not only is the Internet incredibly cheap in Sweden, but it is also ranked 4th fastest in the world. Even the mobile Internet is superior. You can use 4G on the underground and out in the islands. Swedes take advancements in technology very seriously.
7. Public Transport
Many people are happy not to have a car in Stockholm, as the SL (transport network) is good and extensive. Throughout the week you can use public transport between 5.30 am and midnight. There is a 24-hour service over the weekend.
There is a travel system card, similar to London’s Oyster Card. It is probably the cheapest way to travel. You can top up for a day trip or for longer periods of time like 7/30/90 days. The train system isn’t great so it’s best to stick to the buses. If you really need to drive somewhere, Car2Go rents small cars by the minute.
8. Relaxing Lifestyle
The underlying theme is Sweden is no stress! It’s about leading a comfortable life with plenty of time for friends and family. Improving communication and personal skills are the key to the Swedes’ success.
9. Food and snacks
With so many foreign people living in Sweden, you will be able to experience a range of cuisines from across Europe, the Mediterranean, Asia, and the Middle East. Don’t forget to make the most of traditional Swedish food like meatballs, Sil, Lórdagsgodis, and Snaps
10. Free education
This is such an amazing plus for the country. Education for all EU citizens is free. You may want to learn Swedish or study for a master’s degree, you won’t have to pay. Those coming from outside the EU will have to pay so double-check as part of your planning.
Laugh, cry or shake your head in shame, Eurovision is huge in Sweden. You will be able to take part in Melodifestivalen, a festival running up to the contest where the Swedish entry is chosen. Be prepared to back the Swedish song with pride!
Ice hockey, football, and handball are all great sports to watch. Ice rinks are larger in Sweden and many players are selected by top NHL teams. In football, the game is more about skill and moving up the Allsvenskan league rather than which team has the most money.
13. Work Conditions
In a number of cultures, we are used to people trying to get ahead of the rest, with an idea that they are better. In Swedish culture, they drive forward the idea that nobody is better than anyone else (Jantelagen). It is popular in Sweden, particularly among foreigners, but others believe it restricts creativity.
Sweden is also ahead of the times for experimenting with working hours. Cities like Kiruna and Gothenburg has been trying out 6-hour working weeks!
In a drive to crack down on alcoholism, Systembolaget was introduced in 1955. If you want to buy alcohol over 3.5% you have to do so in a government-controlled store. They are only open till 6 or 7 pm on weekdays, at 2 pm on Saturdays and they are closed on Sundays. Opening hours aren’t great but they do have the best selection of quality alcohol.
15. Swearing isn’t seen as that bad
We are all used to the 9 pm watershed where there isn’t a single swearword on the TV or radio. This rule doesn’t exist in Sweden so you might find TV shows have a more relaxed and casual style.
This is just a general overlook of Sweden. Once you start looking at specific cities you will find many more reasons to fall in love with the country.