Sweden tops ‘financial well-being’ rankings

Swedes have fewer money concerns than people from any other European country, according to the latest major report on global well-being.

Sweden tops 'financial well-being' rankings
Sweden's family-friendly policies contribute to well-being. Photo: TT
Pollsters asked Swedes if they had enough money to do everything they wanted and if they had been worried about money over the past seven days.
The results suggested that 72 percent of people in Sweden were "thriving in financial well-being", nearly double the European average of 37 percent.
The findings – which were outlined in a report by pollsters Gallup for their latest Gallup-Heathways global well-being index – come despite Sweden's unemployment rate. This was 9 percent at the time the survey was conducted in 2013 and is currently 7.9 percent. Sweden also has higher youth unemployment than any other Nordic nation.
The study pointed to Sweden's family-friendly labour laws and flexible parental-leave policies as one reason for the high ranking, allowing new mothers to remain financially stable and engaged in their careers.
Daycare in Sweden is heavily subsidised by the government. Photo: TT
Swedes were also shown to have high levels of "community well-being", after being asked whether their local area or city was the "perfect place" for them, and if they had been recognised for helping to improve their neighbourhood over the past 12 months. Almost half the population (45 percent), were seen as thriving in this element.
"Sweden's low poverty rate and emphasis on universal access to services such as high-quality education and healthcare likely support residents' positive perceptions of their communities," the report suggests.
It concludes that "Sweden represents a model for other countries striving to boost financial well-being and a sense of optimism among their people".
But Sweden came 8th in the report's overall ranking for well-being, once factors such as physical and social health were included.
Gallup and Healthways Global interviewed more than 133,000 people from 135 countries for the study, which can be accessed here
The least thriving nations were Syria, Afghanistan and Haiti.

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