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Social welfare numbers decline

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10:19 CEST+02:00
The number of social welfare recipients continues to decline in Sweden. The new statistics paint a mixed picture however.

New figures from the National Swedish Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen) indicate a continued decline in the numbers receiving social welfare payments.

In 2007 378,500 people received financial support from the Board, equating to 4.1 percent of the Swedish population. 7,000 fewer households received support in 2007 in comparison to 2006.

The number of people receiving social welfare payments has declined during the 2000s although the average amount dispersed has in fact increased. The average duration of welfare payments has also increased, to 6 months in comparison to 5.8 months at the beginning of the decade.

The largest statistical changes have concerned refugees. The number of refugee households receiving financial support has increased 27 percent and average payments have increased by 24 percent from 2006 to 2007.

Young people are the most common recipients of financial support. 39 percent of all those on welfare are 18-29-years-old. 18 percent of the children resident in Malmö live in households in receipt of financial support, the highest proportion in the country.

Malmö was replace by Södertälje in 2007 as the Swedish city with the highest percentage of social welfare recipients, with 10.2 percent.

A total of 8.9 billion kronor ($4.78 billion) was paid out in financial support during 2007, an increase of 0.5 percent in comparison to 2006.

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