Sweden tops world tax league

Louis Roper
Louis Roper - [email protected]

Sweden leads the world when it comes to national tax burdens, according to new figures from the OECD. For every kronor earned, Swedes pay more than anyone else in tax, and the figure has risen since 2004.


In fact, it's a good time to be a taxman in most OECD countries. Increasing incomes for private individuals and companies mean that the total amount of tax paid rose in 17 out of the 24 nations surveyed.

But nobody taxes like Sweden taxes. In 2005 the total tax revenue as a percentage of Sweden's GDP was 51.1 percent - up from 50.4 percent the year before.

The Scandinavian countries dominated the top five positions in the OECD league table. Denmark was ranked second, with a 49.7 percent tax burden, Norway fourth and Finland fifth. Belgium, where 45.4 percent of GDP is accounted for by tax, came third.

Almost 40 percent of Sweden's tax revenue comes from income and company profits, while around 25 percent is from social charges and about the same again from tax on goods and services.

The OECD rank

1. Sweden: 51.1%

2. Denmark: 49.7%

3. Belgium: 45.4%

4. Norway: 45.0%

5. Finland: 44.5%

6. France: 44.3%

7. Iceland: 42.4%

8. Austria: 41.9%

9. Italy: 41.0%

10. Czech Republic: 38.5%

11. Luxembourg: 37.6%

12. UK: 37.2%

13. Hungary: 37.1%

14. New Zealand: 36.6%

15. Spain: 35.8%

16. Germany: 34.7%

17. Canada: 33.5%

18. Turkey: 32.3%

19. Ireland: 30.5%

20. Switzerland: 30.0%

21. Slovakia: 29.4%

22. USA: 26.8%

23. Korea: 25.6%

24. Mexico: 19.8%


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