‘One million Swedes’ dependent on state handouts

The equivalent of just over one million Swedes lived entirely on social welfare benefits last year, down three percent on 2005.

Every year Statistics Sweden measures the total of all state handouts. These include, for example, sickness benefits, economic assistance and unemployment benefits.

The resultant data is then used to calculate the equivalent number of people aged between 20 and 64 who could survive on benefits alone. For 2006, this amounted to 1,022,168 people.

The number of people receiving social welfare benefits increased by almost 60 percent between 1990 and 1994, according to Statistics Sweden. Despite dropping steadily since then, the number of people on state benefits remains considerably higher than it was at the beginning of the 1990s.