Sweden’s welfare rolls continue to shrink

For the third year in a row, Sweden has experienced a drop in the number of people dependent on social assistance.

According to new figures from Statistics Sweden, the number of full-year persons receiving economic support in 2007 came to 903,928, a drop of 12 percent compared with 2006.

The organization’s measure of full-year person consists of a figure equivalent to the number of individuals who could be supported during an entire year on full benefits.

While all areas of the social welfare system saw their rolls decrease in 2007, the reduction was most pronounced for people receiving unemployment benefits, which went down by 35 percent.

Overall, the share the working population (20 to 64-years-old) consisting of full-year equivalent benefits recipients in 2007 was 16.8 percent, which represents a 2.3 percent drop from the previous year.