En pojke står och tittar ut genom ett fönster. Foto: Jonas Ekströmer/Scanpix
Child poverty decreased in Sweden in 2016 but the inequality gap has grown. Credit: Jonas Ekströmmer AP

Child poverty down but inequality widening

2:35 min

Fewer children live in poverty in Sweden but the inequality gap is growing. Poverty rates for children with a foreign background are higher than for children whose parents are Swedish.

Save the Children Sweden's report, based on statistics from 2016, show that child poverty has decreased, especially in the big city suburbs classed as socially deprived, vulnerable areas.

"We are seeing some positive changes on child poverty rates for the whole of Sweden. The underlying reason is most probably that the economy is going well and more people are in work," says Tove Samzelius, policy officer with Save the Children.

During 2016, 186 000 children lived in poverty, which is 8,000 fewer than the year before.

However, although the level of poverty is decreasing, the inequality gap is growing.  

"We are seeing an increase in differences in children who have parents born in Sweden and those who have parents born in other countries. There is also a large difference between single parent households and other households with two parents, and in particular, children that live with a single mother with a foreign background," Tove Samzelius tells Radio Sweden.

Save the Children measures poverty by looking at low income standards  and whether a person can participate in society at the same level as other children.

Our journalism is based on credibility and impartiality. Swedish Radio is independent and not affiliated to any political, religious, financial, public or private interests.
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