• Sweden edition
 
More single parents living in poverty: report

More single parents living in poverty: report

Published: 12 Apr 2010 10:16 GMT+02:00
Updated: 12 Apr 2010 10:16 GMT+02:00

Every fourth single parent household in Sweden lives on less than 60 percent of the median income, which is 188,000 kronor ($26,300) according to Statistics Sweden (SCB) figures for 2008.

"This figures are depressing," said Ulla Andersson of the Left Party, which commissioned the report, to the Dagens Nyheter daily.

The Left Party asked RUT to look at changes in the group classified as poor since 2003, and at regional variations.

The report shows that residents of small industrial towns are worst hit with almost a third of single parents classified as poor, in comparison to less than 10 percent in 2003.

The figures refer to the measure of relative poverty applied across the EU, namely 60 percent of median household income. As average incomes increase so does the threshold for what is classified as poverty regardless of purchasing power or daily calorie intake, which is one of the measures applied by international organisations to measure absolute poverty.

Ulla Andersson argued that the report should be seen as a wake up call and proposes a legal right to child care even after normal working hours, the right to full time work, and an increase in maintenance support and housing allowances, which are currently paid to 260,000 and 120,000 child families respectively.

A broader SCB report published in March, detailing statistics up to 2008, shows that the economic standard for all of Sweden's households has increased dramatically since the turn of the century. This increase confirms however that the gains have not been equally shared by all groups.

The median value of Swedish household income increased by 32 percent from 1999 to 2008, with younger people enjoying greater gains than older, Swedish-born over foreign-born, and men more than women.

While children living with co-habiting parents enjoyed an increase in economic standard of 37 percent over the period, children living with single parents only saw their household incomes improve by 19 percent.

The Swedish government uses the term "low economic standard" to describe the relative poverty line, which currently applies to a disposable income figure of around 10,000 kronor per month.

According to the government budget proposal from October 2009, citing SCB statistics, 12 percent of the Swedish population fell under this classification in 2007, up from 7.5 percent in 1991.

Despite the fact that income differences in Sweden have increased over the past 15 years, Sweden compares favourably internationally, with only Denmark having a more equal division of income among countries included in OECD statistics from the mid-2000s.

The World Bank classifies absolute poverty in global terms as existing on less than $1.25/day (in terms of purchasing power parity) - no one in Sweden currently falls under that category.

Peter Vinthagen Simpson (news@thelocal.se)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

12:33 April 12, 2010 by dobermann
Swedish poverty line is a way higher than median salary in most countries...That's interesting
13:42 April 12, 2010 by calebian22
Dobermann,

Have you been shopping in Sweden lately? Everything is ridiculously overpriced. Anyone who thinks 99SEK for three pairs of socks is a sale, has obviously never left Sweden.
16:26 April 12, 2010 by 2394040
The World Bank has obviously lost touch with reality. Certainly no one affiliated with the World Bank has every had to live on $1.25 a day. If you could call that living, which only a bloody fool would.
17:45 April 12, 2010 by uunbeliever
@calebian22, yeah too bad we don't have the quality of Wal-Mart or Target here, boo hoo socks are expensive, how's your car insurance? Or medical? Or tuition? Or daycare? People who complain about sock prices obviously should leave Sweden.
18:50 April 12, 2010 by someoneonthenet
@2394040

World Bank poverty line is appropriate as it only considers people who are having difficulty surviving as poor. If you start considering standard of life, then that takes away focus from people who can't afford food to people who don't have enough money to achieve a good standard of life.

@calebian22

Have you traveled to any other country, prices in Sweden might be higher than most other countries but prices in Sweden are not more than 10% higher for most products.
19:49 April 12, 2010 by dobermann
Celebian22,

Please visit any of the baltic states (lithuania, latvia or estonia) and you will be very suprised how people can pay the same price for a fuel, almost the same price for food from their 2000-4000 SEK wage..
20:05 April 12, 2010 by calebian22
UUnbeliever,

I make all my decisions regarding where I live in the world based on sock prices. Doesn't everyone?

Don't be ridiculous. It is called, an example. My car insurance was lower in the US. My medical insurance was top notch. My wife didn't have to work, so no daycare, because my service engineering job was high paying. I got a 4 year scholarship for fotbol to university so tuition was free. However, I married a Swede who got homesick, so here I am.

So far, after two years I am not impressed. Most consumer prices here are anywhere from 20-50 percent higher than in the US and the quality is no better than Walmart or Target. If you can convince my wife to do so, I would gladly leave Sweden.
20:36 April 12, 2010 by Swedesmith
calebian: You're one of the lucky ones. Have you been to the US lately? A lot of high paying jobs have gone by the wayside. Maybe you would be singing a different song if you had been downsized.
20:57 April 12, 2010 by wxman
Calebian, I'd recommend coming back in, oh I don't know, 2 1/2 years? Things will be much better then.
21:08 April 12, 2010 by calebian22
Swedesmith,

Probably not, since I am still in contact with my old bosses and business is good. I would love to work as a remote operator here in Sweden, but my industry just doesn't exist here, because, ding, ding, ding, tell em what they have won Bob! It is too expensive. Industry and manufacturing is on the decline in the US, but it is in it's death throws here in Sweden.
22:42 April 12, 2010 by uunbeliever
well calebian22 you got me there, another American that knows the US is better. Typical bull that it is better because YOU were better off. Go back to the US and enjoy your hard earned cash. By By!
23:18 April 12, 2010 by kenny8076
Calebian i have to agree with the price for quality here in Sweden. I moved here last December so its only been a few months, but everything is more expensive and you get less of EVERYTHING. My father is mailing essentials all the time. I refuse to pay for a Mach 3 shaver for 170SEK ($25) with only one razor, when there 9 bucks back home with 3 razors. hell go to cosco and you can get 5 for $40!!! And uunbeliever I'm tired of you Europeans talking about your free this and that, ITS NOT FREE, you pay some of the highest taxes in the world for certain things, and again the quality isn't ''great'', this site was reporting a few months back about swedes going to Norway to get MRI's because the lines at hospitals here were too long lol!!! So you go and buy that $2000 36inch flat screen at siba and we will go and get one at Best Buy for $700(as soon as we can snap our Sambos of this need to be around family)...... and I'm not sure what car insurance is here because i also refuse to pay $400 or 500 to get a license, but mine was $52 a month in VA!
00:28 April 13, 2010 by here for the summer
This is a political slanted story and essentially a statistical lie put on the people to support more tax and income redistribution in Sweden . If i read this correctly household income on a per person basis is virtually equal. 19 times 2 equals 38 percent, one percent more than a household with two wage earners. Here's the quote from the article.

'While children living with co-habiting parents enjoyed an increase in economic standard of 37 percent over the period, children living with single parents only saw their household incomes improve by 19 percent.'"
01:37 April 13, 2010 by Frobobbles
Relative poverty means that people that live relatively rich in a rich country gets to be counted as poor. Hooray... it is such a dumb concept.
06:25 April 13, 2010 by för30årseden
What the heck is an "average median income?" I guess that's like the old George Carlin question: "What's a guest host?" Maybe the local has become serious journalism -- like "real journalists" they use important sounding words that the don't understand.
07:37 April 13, 2010 by Byggare Bob
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Median_household_income
08:38 April 13, 2010 by calebian22
Uunbeliever,

You were the one that asked how is "your" health insurance , car insurance, tuition, etc with the expectation that my experience would be the same as yours. I just answered your questions anecdotally. For me the US was better. I moved to Sweden for love not because Sweden is better than the US.
09:45 April 13, 2010 by wifey
Interesting article, funny that there was no mention of the high bidrag single parents in Sweden receive, alimony and lowered dagis or fritids.... A single parent can get as much as 50% of housing costs from bostadsbidrag!
11:51 April 13, 2010 by here for the summer
The other thing the report miss represents is the regional variations in costs of living. The smaller industrial towns have much lower housing costs than the bigger cities so regional variations in income are expected and can't be directly translated. Housing is cheaper salaries are lower in these smaller cities. The left party asked for this report to support their position not to find facts.
21:18 April 13, 2010 by Coalbanks
Poverty inspires people to work hard & succeed. Just look how well it has worked in Canada, USA, UK, Ok , bad examples, how about Russia, Italy, France, hm? no better, eh? , well how about China? - they don't make $26000/yr & see how sussessful they are, they can afford to buy Swedish cars!
10:19 April 15, 2010 by kateland
Nobody has brought up the issue of why there are so many single parents to begin with. I think that people need to be more responsible about their choices and use protection if they aren't ready to properly support a child instead of leeching off of the system. And if a relationship does not work out and a couple splits up (it happens), does this automatically make this child a single parent child? Or does the other parent have no responsibility to pay child support?

I find it hard to believe that all of the financial burden would be left with the parent who has full custody and that the government wouldn't require the other parent to pay monthly support payments to the "single parent".

At least in the US dead-beat parents are required to pay support if the other parent seeks a court order.

How does it work here?
09:54 April 16, 2010 by Kronaboy
It is interesting that in the UK most single unemployed parents tend to fair substantially better than couples with children with only one partner working. I sat down and did the sums a couples of years ago when I was earning around £17K (and being told by social services that I was entitled to nothing because I was stupid enough to get up for work each morning) I calculated that taking into account paying rent to blood sucking leeches, community tax etc... I would need to be earning around £31K to have the same level of disposable income????
10:11 April 16, 2010 by Kronaboy
Median is how much the majority of the population actually earn as opposed to the mean average which is distorted because the majority of capital is in the hands of a minority elite; hence allowing the UK Government to boast how the average income is now around £36K when the reality is the average man, i.e. shop worker, the waiter, is probably earning around £15K, and hence is forced to work in other part time jobs to make ends meet.
15:59 April 16, 2010 by Icarusty
The way poverty measured is flawed. Because the majority of earners get a payrise, all of a sudden thousands more enter poverty, just like that? Malnutrition, no power, no clean water, no heating. That's poverty.
23:49 April 16, 2010 by catvox
Swedes don't know the meaning of poverty. Come to South Africa and you will understand what it means.
13:02 May 16, 2010 by steve_38
Same as in UK too many bleeding hearts around single parents.

Yes of course the ones I feel sorry for are the ones who were in solid decentrelationships and then split up (But make sure the ex partners pay proper child maintenance).

But why so many Girls getting pregnanat with no thought as to who is going to pay to bring the child up !!!!!!!!!.

No responsibility or accountability.

My 18 year old daughter and her boyfriend both work on very low wages, she would be better off getting pregnant and kicking him out and claiming benefits as a single parent. She would never do this and will end up paying for the scum who do do this.

Also why do single parents have so may kids if its so hard ?.

Also with the above comments

Houses in Sweden are dirt cheap anywhere (Stockholm as well).

Most other things more expensive.

Tax is barmy beyond belief.

But no one works hard.

So its about balance.
Today's headlines
Preschool teacher arrested for child rape
Photo: Hasse Holmberg/TT

Preschool teacher arrested for child rape

A man has been arrested on the suspicion of raping a child at the preschool where he is employed. READ  

Police arrest 17 people after fatal shooting
Police at the scene. Photo: Niklas Luks/TT

Police arrest 17 people after fatal shooting

Seventeen people were arrested during the early hours of Tuesday after a man was shot dead in central Sweden. Several of the suspects were already known to the police for gang crimes. READ  

Cops find 15kg cocaine stash in woman's car

Cops find 15kg cocaine stash in woman's car

A 35-year-old woman faces charges for aggravated narcotic crimes after police found 15 kilogrammes of unusually high-concentrated cocaine in her car. READ  

Opinion
The top six ways the US and Sweden differ

The top six ways the US and Sweden differ

Back home in the US and with a solid Swedish stint under his belt, contributor Steven Schier has listed what he thinks are the six biggest differences between Sweden and the states. READ  

Swedish expert slams Norway terror alert
Terrorism expert Ranstorp and a policeman in Norway. Photos: TT

Swedish expert slams Norway terror alert

A Swedish terrorism expert has come forward criticizing the way Norway has handled its recent terror threat, saying the day the threat began was a "total problem in intelligence". READ  

Swedish nurse reported for patient 'death wave'

Swedish nurse reported for patient 'death wave'

A nurse in southern Sweden has been reported for abuse at a senior care centre after she allegedly waved to a colleague with the hand of a recently-dead resident. READ  

Pandas Plopp and Polly born in Swedish zoo
Plopp and Polly, the offspring of Pandora the panda. Photo: Kolmården

Pandas Plopp and Polly born in Swedish zoo

A pair of red panda cubs have been born in central Sweden, a wildlife park announced on Monday. READ  

Green Party ranked 'most gay friendly' in Sweden

Green Party ranked 'most gay friendly' in Sweden

The Green Party's views are 88.6 percent "LGBT-friendly", a Swedish LGBT rights group claimed on Monday, making the Greens the most gay-friendly of all Sweden's parliamentary parties. READ  

Man held on suspicion of murdering wife
Police on the scene. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Man held on suspicion of murdering wife

Updated: Police arrested a man in Copenhagen on the suspicion of killing his wife, whose body was found at the couple's home in southern Sweden during the weekend. READ  

Arlanda, Stockholm
Lightning bolt grounds flight to New York

Lightning bolt grounds flight to New York

Swedes bound for New York learned on Monday morning that their plane had been cancelled after it was hit by lightning during Sunday's thunderstorm. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Gallery
People-watching, June 26th - 28th. Get inside Stockholm's hottest nightclubs
Gallery
Top ten Swedish taboos
Society
Seven-year-old Swede cycles to Berlin
Politics
'Gaza conflict needs help, not empty rhetoric'
Society
Swedes voted 'most beautiful' in the Nordics
Blog updates

27 July

Approaching Stockholm (Around Sweden in a kayak) »

"I woke up in the comfort of my own little cabin on Eva and Rolf’s boat, it was 7:30am and I was feeling a bit groggy after a couple of beers with all the lovely locals the night before. The previous day had really taken its toll on my body and I was very stiff and..." READ »

 

24 July

Sharing our Pride: Celebrating Love & the LGBT Community! (Stockholm in my American Heart) »

"It’s mid- July in Stockholm, and with much of the city on vacation, things can seem a little quiet – the streets, the bus, and the grocery store. One thing that has not paused for a summer break, though, is preparation for Stockholm’s Pride Festival, which will take place from July 28 to August 2...." READ »

 
 
 
Business & Money
Sweden demands EU clarity on Bitcoin tax
National
Swedish organic sales enjoy 'amazing' growth
Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT
Society
What's On in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching July 23
National
Swedish cops elect not to shoot 'angry elks'
Business & Money
New alcohol retail rules threaten micro-breweries
Gallery
People-watching Båstad
Business & Money
Sweden falls to third in global innovation index
Society
Swedish ornithologists keep webcam watch
Photo: Andreas Nordström/Image Bank Sweden
Gallery
Top ten Swedish beach hot spots
Tech
Swedish Wiki vet sets new content record
Photo: Fastighetsbyrån
Lifestyle
In Pictures: The Local's Property of the Week
Photo: Finest.se
Gallery
People-watching July 15-16
Photo: Ola Ericson/Image Bank Sweden
Society
What's On in Sweden
Photo: Lisa Mikulski
National
Hope springs eternal for expat pet shop owner
Gallery
Princess Estelle steals limelight at mum's birthday
National
Swedes risk infants' lives by covering up prams
National
Swede runs for office just using Bitcoin funds
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Your finances in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Housing in Stockholm
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

729
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
If you want to drink, that’s your business.
If you want to stop, we can help.

Learn more about English-language Alcoholics Anonymous in Sweden. No dues. No fees. Confidentiality assured.
AA-EUROPE.ORG/SWEDEN
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se