Meet the Johanssons: Sweden’s average family

Many Swedes will tell you that there's only one law in Sweden that matters, and that's the mythical Law of Jante, which promotes the idea that being average is the most desirable of personal qualities. It is also a cherished stereotype that Swedes are sticklers for scientific accuracy.

Many will therefore no doubt be thrilled by the news that state-run Statistics Sweden has compiled a scientific profile of the average Swede.

Meet the Johanssons: mother Anna and father Lars, aged 42 and 39 respectively, with their two children Johan and Emma. They drive a very lagom Volvo and go on vacation once a year. They are Sweden’s typical family according to a new study by Statistics Sweden.

Anna and Lars live in a detached house in an urban area. The couple married in 1990, when Anna was 27.

Both the Johanssons have a full high school education, but did not go to university. They both work full time – Anna in healthcare, Lars in a manufacturing industry.

Lars earns 28,100 kronor a month, Anna 21,800, leaving the family with a disposable income of 32,000 kronor a month. The family spends an average of 31,300 a month, of which a quarter goes on living expenses.

This being Sweden, the couple drive a silver-grey Volvo from 2000, with 170,000 kilometres on the clock. They have a home PC and Internet access, but do not own a dog.

The pair have a fairly healthy lifestyle. Neither Anna nor Lars smokes. Lars is a bit overweight, but Anna is not. She, however, suffers from neck pain. Anna spends three times what Lars spends on underwear and six times as much on personal hygiene.

The couple together drink a litre of wine, with the family eating 1.2 kilos of candy and 1 kilo of pastry every week.

The Johansson children were both born in April – Johan in 1990 and Emma in 1993. Both have their own bedrooms and own mobile phones. They both play sports regularly. Emma has a pet, but Johan does not. Johan has a television in his room, but Emma does not.

Both children spend one or two hours a week on homework. Emma gets 150 kronor a month in pocket money. As the older of the two, Johan gets a little more – 250 kronor a month.

Exactly where the mythical Johansson family might live depends on how you look at it. Stockholm is the largest city, while Hallsberg is ‘Sweden’s demographic centre-point,’ meaning that it is the municipality that most accurately represents the characteristics of the average Swedish town.