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INCOME

Sweden’s growing wealth gap ‘troubling’: Borg

Figures showing financial improvements for Sweden's middle and upper classes, at the same time the country's poorest have seen their incomes decline have given finance minister something to fret about.

Sweden's growing wealth gap 'troubling': Borg

Figures showing that income differences are on the rise in Sweden, with most household wallets growing fatter, as those with lowest income fall behind, are ‘troubling’, according to minister of finance Anders Borg.

Nearly everyone in Sweden has seen their incomes rise in the last five years.

However, those included in the ten percent of the population earning the least have seen their incomes fall by 5.5 percent, or 350 kronor ($50) per month after tax, according to figures from Statistics Sweden.

In the same time, incomes for the ten percent of the Swedish population earning the most have risen by 7,300 kronor, or roughly 23 percent.

According to the statistics, the higher income a someone had in 2005, the greater percentage increase in income they experienced in the last five years.

Figures indicating that Sweden’s rich are getting richer while the country’s least well-off earn less don’t sit well with finance minister Anders Borg.

“We ought to have a country that sticks together, and it’s naturally troubling to see indications of the opposite,” he told news agency TT.

Borg suggested potential changes in government spending he envisions may help put a stop to the trend.

Increased subsidies for pensioners and families with young children, as well as loosening the strict rules for receiving welfare, are some possible changes he suggested.

However, the growing income differences should be no surprise to Borg, or the centre-right government, as their own budget proposal for 2010 included the prediction that lowering income taxes would lead to growing income gaps.

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NAMES

Sweden’s most popular baby names revealed

While Alice remained the most common name for baby girls in Sweden for the third year running, William was dethroned as the most popular boys' name for the first time in years, new statistics show.

Sweden's most popular baby names revealed
 
Last year, 903 baby girls born in Sweden were named Alice, compared to 938 Alices in 2012, according to Statistics Sweden's (SCB) annual compilation released on Tuesday.
 
But the name William, which enjoyed top spot for the past two years, was replaced by Lucas, which shot up from third place in 2012. Lucas was given to 935 babies in 2013, compared to 915 little Williams. 
 
Just over a dozen points behind was Oscar, in third place, and one point behind that was Oliver (see the full top ten below).
 
As for the girls, Alice was followed by Maja, Elsa, and Ella. 
 
In the top 100 list for the girls, several names cropped up for the very first time, including Hilma, Ellinor, Sally, Melina, and Nicole. For the boys, new names included Louie and Tor.
 
In a breakdown of counties around Sweden, Alice was the most popular name in 11 of the total 21 counties. Stockholmers preferred the letter O, with the most popular baby names in the capital Olivia and Oscar.
 
Top ten girls' names in 2013, with total number.
 
1. Alice – 903
2. Maja – 767
3. Elsa – 766
4. Ella – 700
5. Julia – 687
6. Ebba – 663
7. Alicia – 625
8. Olivia – 616
9. Alva – 607
10. Wilma – 600
 
Top ten boys' names in 2013, with total number.
 
1. Lucas – 935
2. William – 915
3. Oscar – 901
4. Oliver – 800
5. Hugo – 749
6. Charlie – 716
7. Liam – 708
8. Alexander – 694
9. Axel – 677
10. Elias – 676
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