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Rich getting richer in Sweden

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Rich getting richer in Sweden
14:33 CET+01:00
It pays to build a family in Sweden—and being young with a high income doesn't hurt either.

According to new figures from Statistics Sweden (SCB), the standard of living for Swedish households is expected to increase by 13 percent between 2005 and 2008.

However, there are significant differences in the level of improvement depending on age, sex, income, and type of household.

Incomes of those in the highest bracket are set to rise by 21 percent, compared with an increase of only 6 percent for households in lowest income bracket.

On average, cohabitating couples and families will see a higher increase in their standard of living (13 percent) in comparison to singles (10 percent).

And men appear to be faring twice as well as women in terms of earning power.

According to SCB's numbers, men can expect an average income boost of 12 percent by the end of 2008, whereas women's incomes will go up by only 6 percent.

The outlook is less rosy for seniors, particularly women over 74, who are expected to see their incomes rise by only 2 percent.

The study also finds sharp declines in unemployment and in the number of sick days taken by Swedish workers.

Between 2005 and 2008, the number of unemployed Swedes dropped 31.9 percent.

The number of Swedes in labor market programmes fell by 22.8 percent.

And the 50,1000 sick days expected to be taken by Swedish workers in 2008 represents a decline of more than 25 percent from the 67,145 days taken in 2005.

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