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Poverty drops in Sweden: report

The Local/og · 16 Mar 2012, 18:08

Published: 16 Mar 2012 18:08 GMT+01:00

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The figures for 2012 build on prognoses from the National Institute of Economic Research (Konjunkturinstitutet) and the National Social Insurance Agency (Försäkringskassan) and measures relative poverty, which is the EU benchmark, where poverty is measured against 60 percent of the median income.

In Sweden 384,000 households fell under the poverty benchmark in 2003, compared to 704,000 this year. Since 2006, poverty among women has increased quicker than among men. But between 2011 and 2012 the number of women below the poverty benchmark fell from 487,000 to 459,000.

“There are still 120,000 more women living in poverty today than in 2006. They are forced to get by on 10,682 kronor ($1,586) a month and that is not easy. It is mainly the women who are paying the price of the government’s policies,” said Ulla Andersson, Left Party spokeswoman on economic policy to news agency TT.

In total, 1.1 million Swedes or 12.1 percent of Swedes are affected. The study also included the absolute poverty, measured against the social benefits norm.

Absolute poverty has been relatively constant over the years, but the number has dropped slightly this year compared with 2003 regardless of whether one measures households, men women or children.

For children, the figure is recorded at 6.7 percent, in comparison with a low of 5.9 in 2007 and a high of 7.5 in 2005.

The number of children in families who have received financial assistance was recorded as 135,000.

The average salary, which was 25,300 kronor in 2010 has grown closer to 26,000.

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Jesper Hansson of KI finds it hard to believe in the relative poverty decreasing this year, even if the authorities have indeed come to this conclusion.

”I find it hard to understand how they have come to this, even if it may be correct,” Hansson said to TT.

The Local/og (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

02:58 March 17, 2012 by Larry Thrash
Looks like the Left Party is desperate for a political (campaign) issue.
08:47 March 17, 2012 by Marc the Texan
The left needs better ideas than just encouraging a culture of dependency.
10:44 March 17, 2012 by Rey Stockholm
Cant believe The Left /Communists are talking about poverty

Has anyone ever read what left / commmunist policies achieved in the killing fields of Cambodia , milllioms starved or killed

How can they possibly talk about their ideas !
12:35 March 17, 2012 by johan rebel
Oh come on, what's wroong with these nutters.

I you have a roof over your head, with heating, running water and sewerage; if you have food to eat; if health care is available for next to nothing, if your children are schooled for free; then you ain't poor!

It is really that simple.

The Swedish Looney Left should be dumped in a pygmee village in the Congo for a year or so to learn about poverty.
12:42 March 17, 2012 by Grokh
the way sweden is trying to become an american models of 1% with more money than the rest of the 99% i doubt that poverty dropped.

used to be less gap between lower income and higher income in sweden.

but for some reason , when the whole world is trying not to be like the usa with its huge inequality of income, here comes sweden politicians and think we should be more like them , when even some americans wish they were like sweden in the economical equality aspect.
13:52 March 17, 2012 by libertarianism
So poverty has nearly doubled since 2003?

As previously noted, Sweden's elderly (75 years +) have the lowest economic standard, with 56.8% of those within the relative-poverty group being (single) elderly women (37.1%) and (single) elderly men (19.7%). The other highest group, at 25.2%, is single women with children.


And instead of male-female-age demographics, I would like to know how many within the low-economic group have serious chronic medical conditions. Has relative-poverty increased due to poor healthcare?

Could the drop in poverty numbers since 2006 correspond to *increased deaths* among the elderly?? If impoverished sick people die, then politicians can certainly gloat about how few people are *living* in poverty.

A quick Google search yields this Stockholm län info: Vulnerable groups such as individuals born outside Sweden, single mothers, and individuals with a low-economic standard have worse health and experience a worse health-related quality of life than other individuals in the 18-64 age group.

People in the U.S. have a fighting chance. In Sweden, the state chooses who lives and dies. The individual has little control over his/her life and must beg arrogant authorities for access to the money the individual worked for. Total abuse of power, human rights, and dignity.
18:27 March 17, 2012 by The Grand Master
'Relative poverty' is of absolutely no use in determining someone's standard of living. It only shows levels of overall income inequality. If the subject group consisted of Bill Gates, Warren Buffett half a dozen Russian oiigarchs and me, then I would suffer from 'Relative poverty (less than 60% of the median income, in fact less than 1% of the median income). But I'm still damn rich compared to 95% of the population of West Africa.

The left have no interest in the concept of poverty, they just want everyone to earn the same. Communist nonsense.
12:55 March 18, 2012 by RobinHood

The average life expentancy in Sweden is 80.9, the ninth best country in the world.

The average life expectancy in the US is 78.3, way back in 36th place.

I sincerely hope you are not 78 and American. Or even 81 and Swedish.
17:36 March 18, 2012 by johan rebel
Any 78 year-old American or 11 year-old Swede can statistically expect to live for quite a few more years. The average life expectancy is just that: average. Since that figure is influenced by the minority who die (very) young or in middle age, the majority of the population can actually expect to reach an age several years beyond that.

To be precise, an 78 year-old American male has a statistical life expectancy of 8.62 years, i.e. he can expect to reach an age of 84 years and 7 months. For females, the figure is 10.4 years.

Americans, both male and female, who reach the respectable age of 100, on average live for another two years.
18:16 March 18, 2012 by libertarianism
Because of comment 5, I mentioned the US. I've had my feet in both countries, and the differences in healthcare, accountability, and dignity are night-and-day when I compare *my* US and Swedish experiences. In Sweden, you pay a lot more and get a lot less or nothing.

I'm not a statistician or an economist. I've heard that US life-expectancy numbers take a hit due to auto-related deaths, drugs, violence, and cultural attitudes whereby fewer women abort at-risk pregnancies. Surely in the coming decade(s), obesity is going to wreak havoc. I make no excuses for problem behavior in the US.

However, the US is a big place with diverse populations. All my grandparents and some great-grandparents lived (are living) quality lives well beyond the numbers you cited for both countries. I come from a rural, blue-collar family (i.e. modest income) and community. People work outside the home, but often hunt, keep small livestock, fruit orchards, and decent vegetable gardens. Of course some people are asses, but it's a small community, and people generally take care of each other. I've never, never seen the kind of apathy and indifference to human life and suffering as I've witnessed in the Swedish *medical community*. It's heartbreaking and has severely challenged my faith in humanity.

Swedes regularly make comparisons between Sweden and Norway with Swedes saying how Norway's healthcare does "X" better. I KNOW Sweden can do better. The good-smart-capable people in this system must be super good-smart-capable to drag around all the dead weight they carry. People are hurting and dying due to underfunded healthcare and rampant apathy. One of the first steps in changing this is for voters to see and feel with their hearts that people are suffering. Until this happens, bad things are gonna keep happening. I don't like it.
12:50 March 19, 2012 by OUIJA
Now the lefties have learn how to manipulate statistics, which, as everybody knows, can be interpreted according to the colour of the crystal you are looking at them.

Moderates are good at putting numbers together to suit their goals. If you believe that they have not been manipulatig the dollar vs. the Swedish crown, you are deadly wrong. You will see. Borg will eat his words in a very near future. You will see.

If In total, 1.1 million Swedes or 12.1 percent of Swedes are affected by poverty, something is rotten, very rotten, and not precisely in Denmark. Am I right, Hamlet?
13:58 March 19, 2012 by cogito
#10 Thank you for pointing out how demographics skews statistics.

If Sweden had the same demographics as the U.S., the Swedish longevity stats would likely be the worst in the west (if they re not already).

Then there are different cultural standards for counting. For example, the defenders of Swedish medicine are fond of comparing infant mortality stats. However, In the U.S. fewer women abort at-risk pregnancies; they are confident that heroic efforts will be exercised to save the life of the newborn.

If the baby does not make it, it is counted as an infant mortality. In some nations, at-risk newborns are considered not-worth-saving and so are discarded, and uncounted.
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