Sweden performs exceptionally well in overall well-being, as shown by the fact that it ranks among the top countries in a large number of topics in the Better Life Index.Money, while it cannot buy happiness, is an important means to achieving higher living standards. In Sweden, the average household earned 26 543 USD in 2008, more than the OECD average .
In terms of employment, nearly 73% of people aged 15 to 64 in Sweden have a paid job. People in Sweden work 1610 hours a year, less than in other OECD countries. 76% of mothers are employed after their children begin school, suggesting that women are able to successfully balance family and career.
Having a good education is an important requisite to finding a job. In Sweden, 85% of adults aged 25 to 64 have earned the equivalent of a high-school diploma, higher than the OECD average. As to the quality of its educational system, the average student scored 497 out of 600 in reading ability according to the latest PISA student-assessment programme, slightly higher than the OECD average.
In terms of health, life expectancy at birth in Sweden is 81.2 years, two years above the OECD average. The level of atmospheric PM10– tiny air pollutant particles small enough to enter and cause damage to the lungs – is 11 micrograms per cubic meter, and is the lowest level in the OECD.
Concerning the public sphere, there is a strong sense of community and high levels of civic participation in Sweden. 96% of people believe that they know someone they could rely on in a time of need, higher than the OECD average of 91%. Voter turnout, a measure of public trust in government and of citizens' participation in the political process, was 82% during recent elections; this figure is much higher than the OECD average of 72%. In regards to crime, 5% of people reported falling victim to assault over the previous 12 months.
When asked, 83% of people in Sweden said they were satisfied with their life, much higher than the OECD average of 59%.
These findings are based on data from 2008 or later.