Sweden is in Northern Europe, bordering the Baltic Sea, Gulf of Bothnia, Kattegat, and Skagerrak, between Finland and Norway. Temperate in south with cold, cloudy winters and cool, partly cloudy summers; subarctic in north. Mostly flat or gently rolling lowlands; mountains in west. The official language is Swedish. It is closely related to Norwegian and Danish, which many Swedes can understand. English is widely spoken; German and French are less common. Attempting a few polite phrases in Swedish will be appreciated. The main religion is Christianity. The economy of Sweden is an export-oriented mixed economy featuring a modern distribution system, excellent internal and external communications, and a skilled labour force. Timber, hydropower, and iron ore constitute the resource base of an economy heavily oriented toward foreign trade. Sweden's engineering sector accounts for 50% of output and exports. Telecommunications, the automotive industry and the pharmaceutical industries are also of great importance. The security risk for expatriates in Sweden is low. Risks include low levels of petty crime and the underlying threat of terrorism. The population in Sweden is 9.4 Mil (2014 est.), while the inflation rate is 0.2% (2014 est.).
Cost Of Living
The cost of living for expatriates in Sweden as at 1 January 2015 is very high in comparison to other places in the world. In Sweden, the cost of each basket, based on local prices, compared to the international average in USD, is categorized follows: 1) Alcohol (where available) & Tobacco: High 2) Clothing: Very High 3) Communication: Low 4) Education: Very High 5) Furniture & Appliances: Average 6) Groceries: High 7) Healthcare: Very High 8) Household Accommodation: High 9) Miscellaneous: Very High 10) Personal Care: Very High 11) Recreation & Culture: Very High 12) Restaurants Meals Out and Hotels: Very High 13) Transport: Very High Sweden is for example 27.2% more expensive than Uruguay for groceries, 40.3% more expensive for household costs than South Africa, and 51.1% more expensive for transport costs than Greece. Sweden is ranked as a minimal hardship location. Hardship (also know as quality of living) refers to the degree of hardship an expatriate and their family are likely to experience in the host location. Hardship pay is compensation to encourage people to move, in particular to less desirable locations. In determining the amount of hardship premium payable, factors such as economic, political, religious, infrastructure, environment/climate, personal safety, health, education, and transportation factors are considered. The hardship premium for Sweden for an expat from Switzerland, is for example 0%, i.e. host location (Sweden) premium of 10% minus home (Switzerland) location premium of 10%. Xpatulator.com has been created to assist subscribers calculate expatriate pay using the online calculators and extensive database of cost of living and hardship indexes, for 780 international locations. Want to know more about cost of living, hardship or expat pay in Sweden? Register subscribe to your home location and Sweden and run your personalised reports.