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How many foreigners are in Sweden's top 1% of earners?

Emma Löfgren
Emma Löfgren - [email protected]
How many foreigners are in Sweden's top 1% of earners?
To be in the top one percent in Sweden you have to earn more than 1,215,000 kronor a year. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

You need an annual income of just over 1.2 million kronor to be in Sweden's top one percent of high earners. So who qualifies, where do they live and where are they from?


He's married, he's 48 years old, lives in Stockholm and was born in Sweden.

Those are the most common characteristics of Sweden's top earners, according to number-crunchers Statistics Sweden's report from the summer of 2023, which includes everyone with an annual income of at least 1,215,000 kronor (roughly $118,500) in 2021.

A total of 84 percent, or 66,500 people, in the top one percent of earners were born in Sweden. That's 1.1 percent of the total Swedish-born population.

But some nationalities had a higher proportion of high earners in Sweden, including Denmark, Germany, the UK, Norway, the US and India. In total, 12,700 in the top percent were born abroad.

"It was three times as common for an American or Brit living in Sweden to belong to the top income tier compared to a Swedish-born person," Statistics Sweden analyst Peter Gärdqvist said in a statement.


The income statistics vary depending on factors other than specific nationalities. For example, only 0.8 percent of Finnish people in Sweden belong to this group of high earners. That figure is affected by the fact that a lot of Finns are elderly people who immigrated to Sweden a long time ago.

The US and India, on the other hand, have a lot of highly-educated immigrants who are working in high-earning professions in Sweden, such as the IT engineering, computer gaming or tech industries.

Stockholm had many more high earners than the rest of Sweden: 52 percent. And in the posh Danderyd suburb, as many as one in ten people belonged to the top one percent of high earners.


The most common job title was chief executive. The top ten professions also included doctors, sales and marketing managers, insurance salespeople, accountants, finance analysts and IT developers.

It was more common in the top one percent to be married or living with a partner compared to the Swedish population as a whole, even when factors such as age was taken into account.

Countries of birth with the highest number of people in the top one percent in 2021

Sweden: 66,498 (1.1 percent of people born in Sweden)

Finland: 1,005 (0.8 percent of people born in Finland)

Denmark: 872 (2.6 percent)

Germany: 812 (1.9 percent)

United Kingdom: 774 (3.2 percent)

Norway: 670 (2.0 percent)

Iran: 668 (0.9 percent)

United States: 561 (3.2 percent)

India: 528 (1.5 percent)

Poland: 484 (0.6 percent)


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Emma Löfgren, Editor 2023/10/30 06:37
Hi George, before tax.
George 2023/10/29 09:12
Before or adter tax?

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