The Cost of Living in Sweden: Everything You Need to Know

Cost of Living in Sweden

blog authorBy Johanna Hansen shield verification Verified Expert

    When considering a move to Sweden, understanding the cost of living is crucial. Sweden is known for its high quality of life, excellent public services, and stunning natural landscapes. However, these benefits come at a price. This guide aims to provide a detailed overview of the cost of living in Sweden, compare it with the US, and help you gauge how much you might need to budget for your life in this beautiful Nordic country.

    Overview of the Cost of Living in Sweden

    The cost of living in Sweden is generally high compared to many other countries, including the US. Several factors contribute to this, such as higher taxes, extensive welfare benefits, and robust public services. Here's a breakdown of the main expenses you can expect:

    1. Housing costs
    2. Food and Groceries
    3. Transportation
    4. Utilities
    5. Healthcare and insurance
    6. Entertainment and leisure
    7. Education

    Housing costs in Sweden

    Housing is one of the most significant expenses in Sweden. Whether you choose to rent or buy, prices can vary significantly based on the location.

    Renting in Sweden

    Average rent in Sweden varies by city and size of the apartment. In major cities like Stockholm, Gothenburg, and Malmö, expect to pay more. On average:

    • A one-bedroom apartment in the city center can cost around SEK 10,000 to SEK 15,000 per month ($1,150 to $1,730).
    • Outside the city center, prices drop to around SEK 6,000 to SEK 9,000 per month ($690 to $1,035).

    Buying property in Sweden

    If you're considering buying a home, prices again vary by location:

    • In Stockholm, the price per square meter can be as high as SEK 90,000 ($10,350).
    • In smaller towns or rural areas, prices can be significantly lower, often around SEK 25,000 per square meter ($2,875).

    Food and Groceries

    Grocery prices in Sweden are higher than in many other countries. A typical monthly grocery bill for a single person might be around SEK 2,500 to SEK 3,000 ($290 to $345). Eating out is also expensive:

    • A meal at an inexpensive restaurant costs around SEK 100 to SEK 150 ($11.50 to $17.25).
    • A three-course meal for two at a mid-range restaurant can be SEK 700 to SEK 1,200 ($80 to $138).

    Food and groceries prices in Sweden

    Transportation Costs

    Public transportation in Sweden is efficient and widely used. Monthly passes for unlimited travel within cities are common:

    • In Stockholm, a monthly pass costs about SEK 950 ($110).
    • For intercity travel, Sweden has an extensive and reliable train network, but tickets can be pricey without a discount.

    Cost of public transportation in Sweden


    Utility costs in Sweden include electricity, heating, cooling, water, and garbage services. On average:

    • The monthly utility bill for an 85 m² apartment is approximately SEK 1,500 ($170).
    • Internet services typically cost around SEK 300 to SEK 500 per month ($35 to $58).

    Healthcare and insurance

    Sweden's healthcare system is publicly funded and offers excellent care. Residents pay a nominal fee for services:

    • A typical doctor's visit costs about SEK 200 ($23).
    • Dental care is subsidized, but adults pay for some services out-of-pocket.

    Entertainment and leisure

    Sweden offers a variety of leisure activities, but they can be costly:

    • A movie ticket costs around SEK 120 ($14).
    • Monthly gym memberships are approximately SEK 300 to SEK 600 ($35 to $70).


    Education in Sweden is generally free for residents and EU citizens up to the university level. For international students, tuition fees vary depending on the program and institution.

    Comparing the cost of living in Sweden vs. the US

    When comparing Sweden cost of living vs. US, several points stand out:

    1. Housing: Generally, housing costs in Sweden are higher, especially in major cities like Stockholm.
    2. Food: Groceries and dining out are more expensive in Sweden.
    3. Transportation: Public transport is more expensive, but efficient.
    4. Utilities: Costs are comparable, but heating can be a significant expense in Sweden's cold climate.
    5. Healthcare: Sweden's healthcare system is more affordable due to subsidies, making it cheaper than the US.

    Cost of living in Sweden vs US

    Is Sweden cheaper to live than the US?

    For some aspects, Sweden can be more expensive, but considering the benefits like healthcare and education, many find the trade-offs worthwhile. The high Swedish cost of living is balanced by a high quality of life and social security benefits.

    Frequently Asked Questions about cost of living in Sweden

    Is it expensive to live in Sweden?

    Yes, living in Sweden can be expensive, especially in major cities. Housing, food, and transportation costs are notably high.

    How much is rent in Sweden in U.S. dollars?

    Rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the city center ranges from $1,150 to $1,730 per month. Outside the city center, it ranges from $690 to $1,035.

    Can I move to Sweden from the USA?

    Yes, you can move to Sweden from the USA. You'll need to obtain the appropriate visa or residence permit, depending on your purpose (work, study, etc.).

    How much is a house in Sweden in U.S. dollars?

    In Stockholm, the price per square meter can be about $10,350. Prices are lower in smaller towns or rural areas, around $2,875 per square meter.

    Understanding the cost of living in Sweden is crucial for anyone considering relocating to this Nordic country. While it may seem expensive, the high cost comes with excellent public services, healthcare, and a high standard of living. Whether comparing cost of living in Sweden vs. US or exploring specific expenses like rent and groceries, this guide provides a comprehensive overview to help you plan your move effectively.

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