Are you thinking of living and working in Stockholm? Sweden’s capital is a great place to live in, offering you a mix of urban & natural and old & new. Most jobs in Stockholm need professionals who get a good annual salary. However, before relocating to Stockholm, you should have an idea of the salary to expect and what it can afford.
Earning around $4,395 (45,000 SEK) gross monthly salary in Stockholm is considered a good income. That’s approximately $52,740 annually. Stockholm is more expensive than any other city in Sweden, both in the cost of living and housing; hence, earning anything above $4,000 gross is considered a fair wage.
Stockholm is a great city to live in, and unlike other countries, Sweden doesn’t have a minimum wage for workers. However, wages are discussed through workers’ unions which determine the salaries for particular industries. Like in the hotel industry, the minimum wage is around $2,500.
In this article, we will look at salary ranges in the Swedish capital and briefly review the cost of living.
To learn more about salaries in Sweden, read another article.
What is a good salary to live on in Stockholm?
If you’re considering taking a job in Stockholm, you should estimate your future cost of living in this city and the area you want to live in.
Stockholm has a lot to offer and is known for high price tags. It’s a fun and busy city; hence, you need to know what kind of lifestyle will suit you in this part of Sweden.
Generally, a $4,000 – $4,395 gross monthly income in Stockholm is considered good for a single. This salary can afford you a decent lifestyle. You can rent a good place and spend some money eating out and having fun in the city.
Living in comfortably in Stockholm varies from place to place. A salary of $4,400 can afford you a comfortable lifestyle in Stockholm as a single or even as a parent.
In a discussion from The Local Sweden, you need to earn around $3,418 after tax to live a good life in the largest Swedish city. The discussion goes further and states that the major expense in Stockholm is rent, where a studio apartment costs roughly $488 and goes up.
Typically renting a one-bedroom apartment will cost you approximately $1,521 per month in the city center, while a two and three-bedroom will cost $2,180 and $3,191, respectively. An extra bedroom will cost you $1,063.
Living within Stockholm could cost you the following expenses excluding rent in a month:
- Insurance: $39.12
- Electricity bills: $78.24
- Internet: $48.90
- Phone service: $19.56
- Food and grocery: $586.81 for two people
Example of a good salary in Stockholm
A good salary is 45,000 SEK gross per month or 32,317 SEK net per month, which is around $4,395 or $3,112 net. Generally, a range of $2,942 – $4,413 in net salary is pretty good for Stockholm.
Even on the lower end, you can easily afford a one-bedroom apartment within the city center which costs about $1,250 per month.
The remaining money you could spend on the following:
- Cable TV
- Shopping for clothes and other small living needs
After-tax salary in Stockholm
Keep in mind that Sweden is a high-tax country. On average, about 45% of your earnings will go to taxes.
Here are the current income taxes in the country (2022):
|Taxable income (SEK)||National income tax (%)||Municipal income tax (%)|
|From 0 to 540,700||0||32|
That means higher-income individuals get taxed over 50%. With a gross salary of 45,000 SEK per month, you pay about 45% of it in taxes.
However, low-income earners don’t pay nearly as much taxes. Here’s an example of tax rates for personal income in Sweden:
|Annual income||Tax rate|
Other taxes in Stockholm charged on individuals in Stockholm include:
- Stamp duty which is taxed on property exchange. The average stamp duty in Stockholm is 1.5% – 2%.
- Social security: social security contributions are paid by the employer, which may come up to 31.42%.
Besides, tax rates also differ for residents and non-residents. Non-Swedish residents are taxed only on income earned in Sweden.
All taxable income employees should file and submit a tax return to the tax office before 2 May after the tax year.
Average salary in Stockholm in 2022
According to Swedish statistics, in 2019, the median annual earned income in Stockholm was 342,100 SEK for women and 387,700 SEK for men.
That translates to a gross monthly salary of 28,508 SEK ($2,745) for women and 32,308 SEK ($3,111) for men. In 2020, the median income was 345,810 SEK annually across all genders or 28,817 SEK monthly.
At the same time, the average salary in Sweden in 2022 is 37,100 SEK per month (445,200 SEK).
As you can see, the median income in 2019 was significantly lower than today’s salary you need to earn to live comfortably in the Swedish capital. This is mainly due to inflation, rising renting and food prices, and, therefore, a required increase in salaries.
In 2022, sources like the Salary explorer indicate that the average salary in Stockholm is $57,189.
The lowest monthly average salary in Stockholm is $1,201, and the highest monthly average is $21,310. The median wage in Stockholm is $4,862 per month, which comes to $58,351 annually.
Here’s the average salary for different jobs in Stockholm:
|Job type||Average gross salary (monthly)|
Highest paying jobs in Stockholm
Some of the highest-paid people in Stockholm are:
- Surgeon and doctors
- Bank managers
- Company executives
- Data scientists
- Software engineers
- Marketing managers
- College professors
- Financial managers
- Managing directors
Here are some of the best-paid jobs in Stockholm and average monthly salaries in 2022:
|Senior engineer||SEK 52,400|
|Operational manager||SEK 50,800|
|Business lawyer||SEK 63,400|
|Operational manager in the telecom area||SEK 53,700|
|Head of mission||SEK 99,900|
|Business analyst||SEK 50,400|
|Professor at university||SEK 68,000|
Stockholm is home to several large companies in Sweden, especially tech startups and telecommunication conglomerates.
Let’s look at the top employers paying their employees a good average (annual) salary:
- Citigroup: $207,000
- EQT Partners: $184,000
- RBS: $165,000
- Nasdaq OMX: $142,000
- Handelsbanken Asset Management: $128,000
- Carnegie: $126,000
The best-paying industries in Stockholm are:
- Financial services
- Executive management
- Legal services
- Information and data industry
- Business development and sales
Is 50,000 SEK a good income for a couple in Stockholm?
50,000 SEK ($4,897) is suitable for a couple in Stockholm. That is around 36,000 SEK after tax which is $3,526.51 monthly and $42,312 annually.
This amount can afford you a good lifestyle. You can rent an apartment for approximately $979.59 to $1,959.17, depending on which area of Stockholm you decide to live in.
A $42,312 annual income can afford a good car & apartment, food, eating out, and visiting places. You’ll also get money for services like healthcare, insurance, and education.
Also, once you get comfortable in Stockholm, you could consider buying a house instead of renting. Mortgages are also relatively cheap in Sweden.
How much money do you need to live comfortably in Stockholm?
In Stockholm, the money you need to live comfortably depends on your lifestyle choices. If you order takeout, visit restaurants, and go clubbing occasionally, expect your monthly cost of living to be more than usual.
An expat can spend approximately $2,285 monthly on expenses, while a local student’s cost is $1,400 monthly or less. The price difference between an expat’s and a local’s cost of living varies mainly because of accommodation.
It’s easier to find a cheap alternative for a person knowing the city well. The cost of living for a family of four is $3,592 monthly, while a single’s person monthly cost is $970.94 without rent.
Food & eating out
Eating out is pretty costly in Sweden. A meal in an inexpensive restaurant in Stockholm costs $12.56 on average, and in a midrange restaurant, it costs $77.32 for a meal for two people. Typical meals at fast food restaurants like McDonald’s come to $8.70.
Here are the prices for various grocery and food supplies in Stockholm:
- Milk 1 liter: $1.46
- White rice: $2.79
- A dozen of eggs: $3.77
- 1 kg of local cheese: $9.60
- 1kg of apples: $3.03
- 1 kg of tomatoes: $3.92
- 1.5 liters water bottle: $1.41
- Domestic beer: $1.98
A one-way ticket on public transport costs $3.77, and you pay $93.75 for a monthly pass. Essential utilities cost $102.74 monthly, and 1 minute of prepaid tariff costs $0.14.
Rent & house cost
If you decide to live within Stockholm and not the suburbs, be prepared for some hefty rent bills.
The average cost to rent a one-bedroom apartment in the city center is $1,382 per month and $1,042 outside the city center.
To rent a three-bedroom apartment costs an average of $2,296 monthly in the city center and $1,604 on the outskirts of the city center. Buying a house in Stockholm is reserved for the rich.
An apartment in the city center costs $11,031 per square meter, while for a property outside the city center, you will pay $6,652.