Cost of Living in Sweden

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Cost of living in Sweden
The cost of living in Sweden is quite high and Stockholm, its capital city, is the most expensive place in the country. The average monthly income in Sweden is around 25,000 SEK, but it is often the case that in Stockholm salaries can be higher than in the rest of the country. However, many goods and expenses are higher there as well, especially the cost of housing.
Housing will take the biggest portion of an expat’s salary in Sweden. It’s good to anticipate that it could be about 30 percent. Most expats will find themselves in Stockholm and the positive thing is that expats may find that their salaries are a bit higher in Stockholm than in their countries of origin. If they are sponsored by their company to relocate, they may get a great deal of help in securing housing. Otherwise, it can be quite difficult and expensive to find and secure housing. It is easier and cheaper to live in Stockholm’s suburbs rather than the inner city, and as the standard of living is quite high in both areas, the suburbs are quite a nice option. 
After housing, goods such as food and clothing will account for a big part of an expat’s expenses. Alcohol and services, such as haircuts, are also quite expensive in Stockholm, even compared to the rest of the country. 
The currency used in Sweden is the Swedish Kronor (SEK) which is divided into 100 ore. Notes are available in denominations of 20, 50, 100, 500 and 1,000 SEK. Coins come in denominations of 1, 5 and 10 SEK.  
An average monthly budget for food, clothing and other expenses, excluding rent, could be about 7,000 SEK. This could vary depending on where you are living and the lifestyle you lead. 

Cost of accommodation and utilities in Sweden

Accommodation in Sweden is quite expensive. A three-bedroom apartment in an upmarket location in the city in Stockholm can cost between 15,000 and 25,000 SEK per month, excluding utilities. However, prices decrease steeply once one goes outside the inner city area of Stockholm. 
Utilities can cost anywhere between 700 SEK and 1,200 SEK per month, while a high-speed internet connection will set you back about 300 SEK per month. With certain deals, you may be able to pay 200 SEK with limited features. 

Transport costs in Sweden

Transport is expensive in Sweden. Petrol costs about 15 SEK per litre and expats could probably purchase a small car for about 160,000 SEK. 
A taxi ride from Stockholm-Arlanda Airport to the city centre will cost around 500 SEK, while an express train will cost 280 SEK, and an express bus 100 SEK. 
A three kilometre taxi ride within Stockholm will cost around 120 SEK and a subway ride can cost anywhere between 30 SEK and 50 SEK. Expats who want an all-day travel card that is valid on all public transport will have to part with 115 SEK. 
Expats can also purchase an SL travel card which makes public transport slightly more cost effective. With an SL card a 24-hour pass costs 115 SEK, a 72-hour pass coasts 230 SEK and a seven-day pass costs 300 SEK. Children, students and senior citizens receive a discount. 

Cost of schooling in Sweden

The cost of education in Sweden is low if children attend a public school. In Stockholm, where there are many expat families compared to the rest of Sweden, there are quite a few international and private schools. These can be very expensive with annual tuition upwards of 44,000 SEK. 

Cost of food and clothing in Sweden

Cost of food and clothing in Sweden
The cost of groceries in Sweden is high and eating out at restaurants even more so. The difference between Stockholm and most of the rest of the country is noticeable. An average weekly grocery shop for one person will cost around 650 SEK.
For example, one kilogram of apples costs about 17 SEK, one kilogram of chicken breasts is about 80 SEK, one litre of milk costs 10 SEK and a dozen eggs costs 25 SEK. 
Clothing can be very expensive in Sweden, a pair of men’s branded jeans costs about 760 SEK and a women’s summer dress costs around 350 SEK. 

Cost of entertainment in Sweden

Eating out at restaurants in Sweden can take a big chunk out of one’s budget. A coffee in a café in Stockholm costs about 26 SEK, a fast food meal is about 62 SEK and a meal out for two at an average restaurant costs around 520 SEK.
Alcohol in Sweden is especially expensive as it is sold by a government-run monopoly called Systembolaget. An averagely-priced bottle of wine costs about 68 SEK and a bottle of local beer is around 13 SEK.
A cinema ticket will set expats back about 110 SEK and a gym membership goes for around 300 to 500 SEK per month, depending on the gym one decides to join. 

Cost of healthcare in Sweden

The good thing about high taxes in Sweden is that much of one’s healthcare needs are subsidized by the government. A large percentage of the cost of prescription medication and medical procedures and needs are taken care of.  The average cost of a visit to a doctor may be around 150 SEK, or in some cases, even when seeing a specialist, free. 

Our Sweden Expert

CorinnePearce's picture
Stockholm, Sweden
Corinne is an American, from California, who came to Sweden to get her masters degree from Lund University. She fell in love...

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