Income gap reaches a record high in Sweden

Sweden is known for its social welfare system and widespread efforts in gender equality but the gap between the high earners and low earners is widening, with women left worse off.

Catherine Edwards
Catherine Edwards NewsMavens, Sweden
Income gap reaches a record high in Sweden - NewsMavens
Empty Pockets, PixaBay

Why this story matters:

The least well-paid fields included the traditionally female-dominated professions of care work and cleaning, while few women were among the country's top paid CEOs.

The differences between those at the top of Sweden's financial food chain and those at the bottom are greater than ever.

Salaries have soared since the 1980s, when the incomes of the top CEOs were equal to the incomes of nine industrial workers on average. Today, the average income of the top 50 CEOs is equal to the salary of almost 60 industrial workers.

Today, all of the top ten highest earners in Sweden are men, and the average top CEO earns a salary more than 80 times the average salary of a nurse or care worker.

Details from the story:

  • Only four women are among the country's top 50 highest-earning CEOs, according to the report from the Swedish Trade Union Confederation (LO)
  • No women were in the top ten highest earners
  • The country's highest earner, H&M's CEO, earned over 158 million kronor in 2017
  • The average CEO from the top 50 earned the same as 83 workers in the care sector or 81 cleaners

Project #Femfacts co-financed by European Commission Directorate-General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology as part of the Pilot Project – Media Literacy For All

The information and views set out on this website are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official opinion of the European Union. Neither the European Union institutions and bodies nor any person acting on their behalf may be held responsible for the use which may be made of the information contained therein.

NewsMavens is a media start-up within Gazeta Wyborcza, Poland's largest liberal broadsheet published by Agora S.A. NewsMavens is currently financed by Gazeta Wyborcza and Google DNI Fund.
Is something happening in your country that Newsmavens should cover?
Zuzanna Ziomecka
Zuzanna Ziomecka EDITOR IN CHIEF
Lea Berriault-Jauvin
Lea Berriault Managing Editor
Jessica Sirotin
Jessica Sirotin EDITOR
Ada Petriczko
Ada Petriczko EDITOR
Gazeta Wyborcza, Agora SA Czerska 8/10 00-732, Warsaw Poland
The e-mail addresses provided above are not intended for recruitment purposes. Messages concerning recruitment will be deleted immediately. Your personal data provided as part of your correspondence with Zuzanna,Lea, Jessica and Ada will be processed for the purpose of resolving the issue you contacted us about. The data provided in your email is controlled by Agora S.A. with its registered office in Warsaw Czerska 8/10 Street (00-732). You can find more information about the processing and protection of your personal data at