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The new figures show that Sweden gained more than 400 new billionaires in 2021 and that the wealth gap increased dramatically.
We have now surpassed Russia, and have become, by a small margin, the most unequal country in the Western world.
Not discussing this in the post-election debate is incomprehensible.
“I think the divisions have widened a lot in Sweden,” the finance minister said. Michael Damberg In an interview just before the elections he blamed, among other things, the bourgeois tax policy.
However, he did not have any sharp proposals for change. The Moderates’ shadow chancellor, Elizabeth Svantesson, didn’t even want to discuss the matter.
The gap between rich and poor did not become a huge problem before the elections – although Sweden really stands out in this area. This image confirms new numbers from the major Credit Suisse bank.
The bank states that 2021 was a record year for the world’s wealthy thanks to sharp rises in global stock markets. Sweden is one of the winners – the average per capita wealth of nearly 14 percent has risen to $381,970, 4.2 million kroner at the current rate. This makes the Swedes the ninth richest person in the world, according to Credit Suisse.
But the average hides that wealth is unevenly distributed.
The median, that is, those who are in the middle of the ladder, have assets of only $95,000 or just over $1 million, which puts Sweden in 17th place.
In short – the rich pulled out.
Swedes with fortune Between 100 and 500 million dollars, i.e. 1.1-5.5 billion kroner, there were a total of 406 more in 2021 and it amounted to 1019 according to estimates by Credit Suisse.
The group with $500 million or more grew from 40 to 76.
According to Credit Suisse, the share of the richest 1% of the total wealth of Swedes increased from 34.9% to 37.6%. Thus, Sweden is narrowly ahead of the USA, with the top 1% having 35%. The share of the richest ten percent has grown from 74 to 75.6 percent in Sweden, where we will soon catch up with the United States at 75.9 percent.
There are different methods for estimating wealth and different measures give different results. Credit Suisse bases its numbers on available statistics (which are often very meager when it comes to wealth) but also partly on billionaire lists produced by magazines like American Forbes.
An objection that is sometimes highlighted is that the distribution of wealth is more uneven in reported welfare states because generous pension systems and other things make the need to save less. He also mentions Credit Suisse, but at the same time he notes that Sweden, compared to our Nordic neighbors, plays in a league of its own.
In Denmark, the richest percent own 23.8 percent, in Finland 29.3 percent and in Norway 29.7 percent.
One way to show the distribution of wealth is the so-called Gini coefficient. It can also be used when it comes to income, as Sweden is still very high in the equality league. But in the realm of wealth, the picture is quite different. According to Credit Suisse, Sweden’s Gini coefficient was 88.1 at the end of 2021, up from 87.2 in 2020 (a Gini value of 1 means everyone has the same amount, 100 that one person owns everything).
Thus, Sweden surpassed Russia by 88 percent. The US has a value of 85, Denmark is 73.9 and the United Kingdom is 70.6.
Sweden is the world champion in discipline Wealth gaps, at least as far as developed countries are concerned. According to Credit Suisse, Sweden ranks 12th in the world, surpassed only by countries such as South Africa, Zambia, Brazil and Lesotho.
There are, of course, significant differences between these countries and Sweden – but the mere fact that we could end up in this kind of arrangement should trigger a political debate. If you can think. Especially since the category of the poor has also grown. Instead there is silence.
It is particularly strange given the political currents that are usually associated with growing economic differences within a country. There are plenty of studies that have found a link between divisions and populism. Or, as German professor Michael Zorn put it:
“The cultural divide in society and increasing inequality is fertile ground for authoritarian populists.”
The year 2022 meant a shift in the economic paradigm. It will cause the gaps to increase. Of course, many billionaires have seen their fortunes decline, but the crisis is hitting the already poor hard and the middle class who borrowed heavily to keep up with the recovery.
If Swedish politics has been viewed as chaotic lately, it could be a light breeze for what lies ahead.
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