Sweden’s rich ‘are richer than we thought’

The richest one percent of people in Sweden own up to 40 percent of the country's personal wealth, according to a report due to be released soon.

The report’s authors, from the Research Institute of Industrial Economics in Stockholm, say that the richest one percent of Swedes have a combined fortune of 1,800 billion kronor ($281 billion). The figure corresponds to about 32 percent of private wealth in the country.

The study’s results differ markedly from official figures. Statistics Sweden’s calculations put the size of the fortune controlled by the richest one percent at 19 percent. The difference is due to the fact that the official figures do not include wealth tied up in family-owned companies, according to Dagens Nyheter.

If the wealth of Swedes who live abroad is counted the proportion controlled by the richest one percent rises to 40 percent. Under this model, the wealth of people such as Ikea founder Ingvar Kamprad and the Rausing family of Tetra Pak fame can be counted. When Swedish billionaires abroad are counted, the combined wealth of the top 1 percent rises to 2,700 billion kronor.