Living in Sweden

Sweden is one of the Scandinavian countries in northern Europe, as well as the 5th biggest European country, and it has a population of 10,481,937 people (2022).

Year after year, Sweden is listed among the world’s best countries to live in, so it is not surprising that many expat workers want to find jobs in Sweden.

For example, a large international survey published by US News & World Report named Sweden the #1 best country for quality of life and #5 best country overall for 2022.

Why Sweden?

Skilled foreign workers and other immigrants are moving to Sweden for different reasons such as:

  • Quality of Life – Sweden was ranked #1 for quality of life in 2022 by US News & World Report.
  • Jobs in Sweden – There are jobs in Sweden for skilled immigrants, including English-speaking jobs.
  • Start a Business – Sweden is a good country for foreign entrepreneurs to launch a start-up business.
  • Freedom – Freedom House gave Sweden a perfect score of 100% in 2022 for civil liberties and political rights.
  • Peacefulness – The 2022 Global Peace Index ranked Sweden #26 for peacefulness out of 163 countries evaluated.
  • Equality – Men and women who live in Sweden enjoy equal rights in employment.
  • Social Insurance System – People living in Sweden have financial security during various circumstances of life.
  • Healthcare – All legal residents living in Sweden have access to the country’s universal healthcare system.
  • Education – Sweden’s education system is outstanding and students can earn a bachelor’s and master’s degree for free.
  • Scenery – Sweden has beautiful cities and is home to 100,000 lakes, pristine forests and 29 national parks.
  • Permanent Residency – After living in Sweden as a legal resident for 5 years, you can apply for a Permanent Residence Permit.
  • Citizenship – You can apply for citizenship after living in Sweden 5 years with a Residence Permit/Permanent Residence Permit.


NOTE: An immigrant who is at least 18 years of age and has lived a combined total of 5 years with a Residence Permit and/or Permanent Residence Permit, and who meets all other criteria, can apply to become a citizen of Sweden. Adults applying for citizenship in Sweden can include their children in their Swedish citizenship application.


Sweden is located between Finland and the Baltic Sea in the east and Norway and the North Sea in the west, while the Öresund Bridge connects Sweden with Denmark in the south.

The national capital and most populous city in Sweden is Stockholm, which has around 975,551 residents (2021) and is found in the southeast part of the country.

There are 25 provinces in Sweden which are grouped into three larger regions:

  • Norrland is the region of northern Sweden
  • Svealand is the region of central Sweden
  • Götaland is the region in southern Sweden

Sweden is also divided into 21 counties for administrative purposes which are governed by a County Administrative Board appointed by the Swedish government and by a County Council which is appointed by local voters in elections.

These are the 21 counties of Sweden listed from the northern region to the southern region of the country:

  • Norrbotten County
  • Västerbotten County
  • Jämtland County
  • Västernorrland County
  • Gävleborg County
  • Dalarna County
  • Värmland County
  • Västra Götaland County
  • Uppsala County
  • Västmanland County
  • Örebro County
  • Stockholm County
  • Södermanland County
  • Östergötland County
  • Jönköping County
  • Kalmar County
  • Gotland County
  • Halland County
  • Kronoberg County
  • Skåne County
  • Blekinge County

Sweden is a scenic and green country with beautiful mountains, forests, rivers, lakes, and beaches.

Much of western and northern Sweden is mountainous or hilly and Mount Kebne (2,111 meters) is Sweden’s tallest peak.

The major rivers in Sweden include the Klarälven, Torne älv, Kalix älv, Dalälven, Indalsälven, Ångermanälven, Kalix älv, and Lule älv.

Sweden has around 100,000 lakes, the largest of which are Vänern, Vättern, Mälaren, and Hjälmaren.

With its vast coastline, Sweden boasts many beautiful beaches, such as Langholmsbadet Beach and Smedsuddsbadet Beach in Stockholm; Ribersborg (Ribban) Beach in Malmö; Sandhammaren Beach near Simrishamn; Sudersand Beach on Fårö Island which is just north of Gotland Island; Tropical Beach in Helsingborg; as well as Skanör Beach and Falsterbo Beach south of Malmö.


Sweden has a strong and highly-competitive economy with an annual gross domestic product (GDP) of $567 billion USD (2022).

People living in Sweden are among the most prosperous in the world in regards to per capita GDP and there is generally a high standard of living in Sweden.

The economy of Sweden is fueled by manufacturing and exports, which include products related to the engineering, telecommunications, information technology, pharmaceutical, automotive, iron, steel, and timber industries.

Other key sectors of Sweden’s economy include education, public administration, defense, healthcare, transportation, accommodation and food services, wholesale trade and retail trade.

Sweden’s top trading partners include Germany, the United States, The Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Norway, Finland, Denmark and China.

The average salary for private sector jobs in Sweden is 456,000 Swedish Krona ($43,252 USD) per year, however, some workers earn more or less than the average salary.

Here are the average yearly salaries for business sectors that have many advertisements for jobs in Sweden:

  • Catering = 361,200 SEK ($34,256 USD)
  • Chefs = 334,800 SEK ($31,753 USD)
  • Construction = 443,653 SEK ($42,076 USD)
  • Education = 574,800 SEK ($54,525 USD)
  • Engineering = 457,200 SEK ($43,370 USD)
  • Finance and Accounting = 558,000 SEK ($52,932 USD)
  • Healthcare = 808,800 SEK ($76,723 USD)
  • Information Technology = 543,600 SEK ($51,566 USD)
  • Manufacturing = 369,600 SEK ($35,060 USD)
  • Marketing = 607,200 SEK ($57,599 USD)
  • Purchasing = 723,600 SEK ($68,640 USD)


Please note that these are the average annual salaries for several business sectors in Sweden and some workers earn more or less than the average salary, depending on their specific occupation, education, level of employment (entry level, mid-level, senior-level), years of experience, location of employment, or other factors.

NOTE: The SEK/USD exchange rate was as of February 4, 2023.

To learn which job-seeker visa option is right for you