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Economic and Social Inequality in Sweden

Over the past decade poverty in Sweden has been on the rise.In 2003 384,000 households were under the poverty line compared to 704,000 households today. Poverty among women has increased faster then men, with 459,000 women under the poverty level in 2012. 120,000 more women are in poverty today then there were six years ago, and these women are forced to live off of only $1,586 a month. 1.1 million Swedes or 12 percent are effected by poverty in total. 6.7 percent of children in Sweden are under the poverty line, and 135,000 children in families received government financial assistance.[1]

Sweden1 charts.jpg[2]

While the income distribution in Sweden is quite equally distributed, the wealth distribution is not as dispersed. "27 percent of Swedish households in fact have more debts than wealth, compared to between 16 and 19 percent in the US. With middle class wealth formation being held back by high taxes, Sweden has ironically developed a more unequal wealth distribution than the US. The Gini coefficient for ownership is almost 0.9 in Sweden, compared to slightly above 0.8 in the US." [3]


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  1. "Poverty drops in Sweden: Report", The Local, March 16,2012. Retrieved April 17, 2012.
  2. Salmon, Felix,"Swedish inequality datapoint of the day", Reuters, March 25,2011. Retrieved April 17, 2012.
  3. Sanandaji,Nima, "Is Sweden a False Utopia?", New Geography, May 2,2010. Retrieved April 17, 2012.
  4. http://worthwhile.typepad.com/worthwhile_canadian_initi/2011/09/gini.html
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