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WEALTH

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.

EUROPEAN UNION

Stockholm in top ten of EU’s richest regions

Stockholm has been named among the top ten richest regions in the European Union according to a new study published in the Svenska Dagbladet daily on Sunday.

Stockholm in top ten of EU's richest regions

The list, by EU statistics body Eurostat, is calculated based on GDP figures from 2010, with an index based on the union average of €24,500 ($31,800) and adjusted for purchasing power parity.

Stockholm is the only Nordic city claiming a place in the top ten, coming in ninth on 168 percent of the EU average.

Furthermore wealth in Sweden is more evenly distributed than in many other EU countries, with regions in northern Sweden as wealthy as southern Sweden (107 percent).

Western Sweden meanwhile has an indexed score of 117 percent.

The Eurostat list is topped by inner-city London with 338 percent, Luxembourg with 266 percent and Brussels with 223 percent.

Copenhagen and Helsinki make the top twenty, at 15th and 17th, with 157 and 154 percent respectively.

The contrast between wealthy northern European cities and their southern and eastern European counterparts is stark.

Romania and Bulgarian remained the poorest countries in the European Union with 47 and 44 percent respectively.

As the statistics are based on GDP figures from 2010 there will have been some changes however, with Cyprus for example still doing fairly well in the report with a GDP at 97 percent of the European Union average.

TT/Peter Vinthagen Simpson

Follow Peter on Twitter here.

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