The cost of living in Sweden is quite high, though it is showing signs of easing. Stockholm, the country's capital city, is by far the most expensive place in the country. In fact, Stockholm ranked 95 out of 227 cities in the 2023 Mercer Cost of Living survey, a significant drop from its 2022 ranking of 87th. The other side of the coin, though, is that Stockholm salaries tend to be far higher than in the rest of the country. 

As in most major cities, it's cheaper to live in Stockholm’s suburbs than in the inner city, and the standard of living is just as high. After housing, goods such as food and clothing will account for a big chunk 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. 

Cost of accommodation in Sweden

Accommodation in Sweden is fairly pricey. In Stockholm, rent for a three-bedroom apartment in an upmarket location can be exorbitant. That said, prices generally decrease sharply once one goes outside the inner-city area of Stockholm. 

Cost of transport in Sweden

Transport is surprisingly expensive in Sweden. Expats living close to the city are unlikely to need a car thanks to the excellent and extensive public transport network. Still, this can be a pricey option, but is generally cheaper than owning and maintaining a car. 

Expats can purchase an SL Access travel card, which makes public transport slightly more cost effective. Children, students and senior citizens will often receive discounts. 

Cost of schooling in Sweden

The cost of education in Sweden is low if children attend a public school. There are quite a few international schools in Stockholm, where there are many expat families compared to the rest of Sweden. Tuition at these can be rather steep, though, with high annual fees as well as extra costs such as textbooks, uniforms, extra-curricular activities and school excursions all adding up to a hefty bill at the end of the day.

Cost of healthcare in Sweden

The good thing about high taxes in Sweden is that much of one's healthcare needs are subsidised by the government. A large percentage of the cost of prescription medication and medical procedures and needs are taken care of. A visit to a doctor may require a minimal co-payment or, in some cases, even when seeing a specialist, can be free. 

Cost of living chart

Prices are for Stockholm in January 2023. Note that prices may vary depending on product and service provider.

Accommodation (average monthly rental)

Three-bedroom apartment in city centre

SEK 23,400

Three-bedroom apartment outside of city centre

SEK 16,600

One-bedroom apartment in city centre

SEK 14,600

One-bedroom apartment outside of city centre

SEK 10,900

Food and drink

Milk (1 litre)

SEK 15.23

Dozen eggs

SEK 40

White bread 

SEK 29

Rice (1kg)

SEK 29

Chicken fillets (1kg)

SEK 123

Pack of cigarettes (Marlboro)

SEK 69

Public transportation

City centre bus/train fare

SEK 39

Taxi rate per km

SEK 24

Petrol (1L)

SEK 21.96

Eating out

Big Mac Meal

SEK 90

Coca-Cola (330ml)   

SEK 24


SEK 42

Local beer (500ml)

SEK 70

Three-course meal for two at a mid-range restaurant

SEK 800


1 min prepaid mobile tariff 

SEK 1.43

Internet (uncapped ADSL per month)

SEK 356

Utilities (average per month for a standard household)

SEK 1,113

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