End poverty in all its forms everywhere.
Sweden lives up to most of the targets, globally speaking. Sweden does well in international comparison, with a high standard of living and a well-developed welfare system.
The Instrument of Government stipulates, inter alia, that the public institutions are to work for all citizens to be able to attain participation and equality in society and counteract discrimination on grounds such as gender, ethnicity, religion or other belief, functional disability, sexual orientation or age. This means that Sweden has the structural functions required by the goal.
Absolute poverty does not exist in Sweden today. In that sense, poverty has been eliminated, but there are great economic differences in society. Parts of the population have scant financial resources in comparison with the average.
Sweden has no national definition of poverty. A frequently used EU measure is the proportion of the population that has a disposable income lower than 60 per cent of the national median income. In Sweden, 15 per cent of the population is below this threshold. In recent years, disposable income has increased within all groups of society, but to a lesser degree among those with lower incomes, which means that income disparities have become greater. On average, women have lower salaries than men. This pay gap is largely due to the fact that the labour market is characterised by a gender segregation. Women are over-represented in professions with positions that offer lower wages. Poverty in the sense of a low disposable income occurs to the highest degree among women over the age of 65, single women with children, people with disabilities and persons born outside Sweden.
For everyone living or working in Sweden, public social insurance protection creates security and counteracts economic vulnerability. A fundamental ambition is to create conditions for all children to grow up on equal terms, to
increase gender equality and to promote social cohesion and economic growth.
Among the challenges are the reduction of income disparities in Sweden, including the differences in income between women and men, and increasing the disposable income of certain vulnerable groups, such as children and adults in families with scant income, people with disabilities and of the many newly arrived immigrants who have come to Sweden in recent years. Goal 10 about reduced inequality is also relevant in Sweden.
Poverty reduction is an overarching goal for Swedish international development cooperation. Interventions in this area are based on a multidimensional concept of poverty. Since 1975, Sweden’s aid has met or exceeded the UN goal that at least 0.7 per cent of annual GNI shall go to aid. Sweden’s own goal is to allocate 1 per cent of GNI to development cooperation, and since 2006 Sweden’s aid has amounted to about 1 per cent of GNI.