Even when Sweden is searching for a new balance between a commitment to globalization and maintain its recognition of society’s needs for roots, the country manages to be an amazing country. Read on to find more about why Sweden is such an amazing country.
In global rankings, Sweden frequently appears at or near the top. With a comparatively high quality of life, strong infrastructure, and the best system of healthcare and education, a large number of people continue moving to Sweden. As of 2015, there were roughly 200 different nationalities represented in Sweden, who make up 14 percent of the country’s total population.
Survey after survey show that Sweden has been voted the Best Country in the World, some stating that the Swedish people are the nicest people on the planet. But can this last? Bernie Sanders, the American left’s presidential candidate said once that Sweden was an ideal of “democratic socialism”. Maybe so, but this has a prize and now Sweden is set to implement a new combination of a globalized economy and more restrictive policies toward immigration.
Doing Business in Sweden
However, it’s still easy to do business in Sweden. In 2007, Sweden ranked no 17, but since then country has climbed slowly to the top of places to do business. Sweden is also home to plenty of tech inbnovations and to “some of the most venerable, well-known brands in the world, including Volvo, Electrolux, Ericsson, IKEA and H&M.
The country’s most venerable powerhouses were the product of the first age of globalization before the First World War. Ericsson, a telecoms giant, started selling phones in China in the 1890s. Axel Johnson Group, a food conglomerate, has constructed its headquarters in the shape of a ship, with galley-like stairs between floors and a bridge on top, to commemorate its origins trading with Argentina. They have been joined during the second great age of globalization by a new generation of internet-based giants such as Spotify Technology SA. Its reputation for egalitarianism notwithstanding, Sweden has one billionaire for every 250,000 people, one of the highest rates in the world, with their total wealth accounting for a quarter of GDP.
Historically, Sweden has combined the best practices of German and American capitalism. German influenced Swedish companies dominate global niches through a combination of engineering excellence, high-quality training and constant innovation. Sandvig AB, for instance, has created the worl’s fastest drills.
The Swedish society is at large remarkably pro-business. The government allows private companies to run bits of the state such as schools and hospitals. The Swedish stock market is Europe’s largest, with 950 listed companies (mighty Germany comes second with around 800).
Half the adult population has savings in the Swedish mutual fund account. Sweden has more venture capital investment as a share of GDP than any other European country, much of it drawn from America, and venture capital-funded investment is thought to have increased GDP by six percentage points since 2005.
The European Commission’s European Innovation Scoreboard 2021 states that Sweden continues to be the best performer in the EU. Other Innovation Leaders are Finland, Denmark, the Netherlands, and Belgium.
Innovation performance is measured by average performance on 25 indicators. Sweden leads in human resources – the availability of a high-skilled and educated workforce – and quality of academic research.
Low levels of corruption
Sweden has a low level of corruption and ranks 4th in Transparency International’s latest Corruption Perceptions Index, which measures the perceived levels of public sector corruption in 186 countries.
High quality of Life
Sweden performs favorably in several measures of well-being, as indicated by the fact that it ranks above most countries in the Better Life Index. If you are living in Sweden, you will have a central heating system and fast speed broadband internet everywhere. You will see safety regulations that are placed in all buildings.
However, Swedes don’t close their eyes. They talk obsessively about the spate of shootings and riots in “troubled areas,” and about the rise in crime. And they miss the old Sweden of social cohesion and low crime, with hospital waiting times among the worst in Europe, and the decline of educational standards across the board.
Excellent social welfare system
With the well-developed health care system and free education, Sweden has the best social welfare in the world. You can enjoy free education in world’s best universities. In comparison with other developed countries, Sweden is the biggest spender on the social welfare sector in relation to its GDP.
The social welfare system has, however, been put to trial. Immigrants with minimum wages negotiated at two-thirds of the median wage have created a combination of geographical isolation with low skills in a high-wage economy. It has proved toxic. Parallel societies based on clan and religious ties developed. Young people were recruited by criminal gangs. Drug-related crime and violence exploded.
But Sweden is still a great place to grow old. Sweden ranks third overall in the Global AgeWatch Index 2020, which measures the quality of life for older people. Sweden’s strengths lie in the capability of its older generation – they have above average employment rates (73.6%) and levels of educational attainment (68.7%).
Older people are highly satisfied with safety (73%), civic freedom (94%) and public transport (65%). Sweden also ranks high on the income security domain (7), with 100% pension income coverage and an old age poverty rate (5.3%) that is 3% below the regional average.
We must, however, not forget that unemployment among the foreign-born immigrants is more than three times what it is for native-born Swedes. It takes about eight years for half the new arrivals to start working even part time. High immigration has imposed net costs on the wider society. The Central Bank calculates that the 2015 immigration shock, when Sweden took in the equivalent of 1% of the population, led to a reduction in GDP per capita of 1.7% and an increase in aggregate unemployment of 2.2%.
Sweden is strikingly cosmopolitan. Most Swedes speak excellent English. Stockholm offers Thai and Japanese food as well as herring and meatballs. Sweden was the world’s third biggest international aid donor in proportional terms after Norway and Luxembourg, spending 0.92 of its gross national income on official development assistance. One in five residents was born abroad.
Everyone understands English in Sweden. One of the biggest advantages of living in the country is that you will not feel a stranger as everyone can understand and speak English. If you compare it to other European countries, such as Germany, France and Italy, Sweden is a very friendly country for foreigners.
A powerful passport
The power of a passport is defined as how many countries the holder has unfettered access to. Germany and Sweden top the list, with only one country between them. This makes the Swedish passport the second most powerful in the world.
The ranking, compiled by Henley & Partners, a citizenship and planning firm, takes into account how many countries can be visited without applying for a visa. German passport holders can travel to 177, out of a possible 218, while Swedes can visit 176.
The 2022 IMD World Digital Competitiveness Ranking found that Denmark excels in ranking that measures how well the country’s economies are exploring new tech. However, Sweden remains in the 3rd place. World Economic Forum states that “the labor market functions reasonably well and Sweden has a high employment rate, with a high level of women’s participation in the workforce.”
If you have no car, don’t worry. Sweden has one of the best public transport systems in Europe. Buses and trains are available till midnight. You can travel as much as you can with you transport card.
Good gender equality
Sweden is placed 5th on the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Index 2022, after Iceland, Finland, Norway and New Zealand. Sweden has recently seen an increase in female legislators, senior officials and managers, and has reached parity in the number of women in ministerial positions.
Sweden was the first country to allow transgender persons to change their legal gender after reassignment surgery.
Protected human rights
Whether you are a student, immigrant, or working in Sweden, if someone is violating your rights, government will be on your side. The chances of experiencing discrimination on the base of class, skin color, gender or religion are very small.
A beautiful country
Nature reserves and national parks cover a tenth of Sweden’s land area. According to many surveys, Sweden is one of the least polluted countries in the world.
A sweet country
In comparison with other parts of the world, European chocolate is very tasty. Sweden is very famous among other European countries for its unique taste of chocolates. So, if you are living in Sweden you can enjoy it’s delicious chocolate as well.
Summary – Why Sweden is such an Amazing Country
Sweden is like any country a great place for some people, but not so great for others. It always depends on your mindset and ability to adjust to new cultures.
Why Sweden is Such an Amazing Country, compiled by Tor Kjolberg