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Sweden—Country Workforce Profile

compiled by Karin E. Anell

December 2009—Sweden, a country that enjoys one of the highest life expectancies in the world, also employs half of its population.

  • 50% of the Swedish population, including children, is employed.
  • In 2007 the employment rate was 74%.
  • Employment is high across age categories, from age 25-59, peaking at almost 90% between ages 34-44.

Women fare especially well in employment opportunities in Nordic countries. Generous parental leave and a focus on gender equality by employers contribute to the employment rate among women.

  • The employment rate in Sweden among men is 77%, for women, 72%.
  • The employment rate in the European Union among men is 73%; for women, 58%.
  • The employment rate in the United States among men is 78%, for women, 66%.
  • The employer pays parental allowance when a child is born or adopted.

Sweden is experiencing more of an age shift in population than its Nordic counterparts.

  • 17% of the population is over age 65.
  • 15.8% of the population in Denmark is over age 65 and 16.6% in Finland.
  • 12.7% of the population is over the age of 65 in the United States.

The life expectancy in Sweden is 83 years for women and 79 years for men.

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