Cost of Living in Sweden

The cost of living in Sweden is quite high and Stockholm, its capital city, is the most expensive place in the country. However, it's often the case that in Stockholm salaries can be higher than in the rest of the country. 

It's cheaper to live in Stockholm’s suburbs rather than the inner city, and the standard of living is just as high. After housing, goods such as food and clothing will account for a big part of an expat’s expenses. Alcohol and services, such as haircuts, are also quite expensive in Stockholm, even compared to the rest of the country. 

Cost of accommodation in Sweden

Accommodation in Sweden is quite expensive. Rent for a three-bedroom apartment in an upmarket location in Stockholm can be exorbitant. However, prices generally decrease steeply once one goes outside the inner city area of Stockholm. 

Cost of transport in Sweden

Transport is expensive in Sweden. Expats living close to the city are unlikely to need a car due to the excellent and extensive public transport network. This can be a pricey option but is generally cheaper than owning and maintaining a car. 

Expats can purchase an SL Access travel card which makes public transport slightly more cost-effective. Children, students and senior citizens will often receive a discount. 

Cost of schooling in Sweden

The cost of education in Sweden is low if children attend a public school. In Stockholm, where there are many expat families compared to the rest of Sweden, there are quite a few international schools. These can be very expensive with high annual fees as well as extra costs such as textbooks, uniforms, extra-curricular activities and school excursions.

Cost of healthcare in Sweden

The good thing about high taxes in Sweden is that much of one's healthcare needs are subsidised by the government. A large percentage of the cost of prescription medication and medical procedures and needs are taken care of. A visit to a doctor may require a minimal co-payment, or in some cases, even when seeing a specialist, can be free. 

Cost of living chart

Prices are for Stockholm in February 2020. Note that prices may vary depending on product and service provider.

Accommodation (average monthly rental)

Three-bedroom apartment in city centre

SEK 20,000

Three-bedroom apartment outside of city centre

SEK 13,000

One-bedroom apartment in city centre

SEK 14,000

One-bedroom apartment outside of city centre

SEK 10,000

Food and drink

Milk (1 litre)

SEK 12

Dozen eggs

SEK 30

White bread 

SEK 23

Rice (1kg)

SEK 25

Pack of cigarettes (Marlboro)

SEK 65

Public transportation

City centre bus/train fare

SEK 40

Taxi rate per km

SEK 15

Eating out

Big Mac Meal

SEK 80

Coca-Cola (330ml)   

SEK 25


SEK 40

Bottle of domestic beer

SEK 65

Three-course meal for two at a mid-range restaurant

SEK 700


Internet (uncapped ADSL per month)

SEK 300

Utilities (average per month for a standard household)

SEK 750

Corinne Pearce Our Expat Expert

Corinne is an American, from California, who came to Sweden to get her masters degree from Lund University. She fell in love with the country and once she graduated decided to stay, and moved to Stockholm for a job. Living in such a beautiful city surrounded by so many friends makes it easier to be far away from family and friends and all the sun in California.

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