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Swedes’ Satisfaction in Life: Aging and Financial Well-being

Swingin’ in Sweden: Happiness Reaches New Heights

Ever wonder how happy Swedes are? Statistics from Statistiska centralbyrån (SCB) reveal some intriguing trends about satisfaction in life and money matters among various groups in Sweden.

Breaking Down Satisfaction

Satisfaction with life and financial situations varies widely among Swedes. Crucially, it changes with age— interestingly, however, the older we get, the more satisfied we seem to become.

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“Older people are significantly more satisfied with life than younger people,” says SCB researcher, Göran Nordström. Numbers from the annual ULF survey, monitoring living conditions since 1975, back it up.

Over 8000 respondents, aged 16 and over, participated in the latest survey. For the first time, they were asked to rate their satisfaction with their lives on a scale of 0 to 10. Questions on relationships and financial wellbeing were also included.

Booming Bliss

Despite some margin for error in the data, the trend is clear—the older we get, the more satisfied we are. The ‘young retirees,’ those aged between 65 and 74, are the most satisfied with their lives, rating satisfaction at 7.9 on average.

Why are the newly retired folk so happy?

“I believe it’s a combination of factors. Many tasks in life are completed, like a job and housing career. Children have left home, and there’s time to establish social networks and hobbies. Also, you’ve just retired and can live life on your own terms, assuming you’re in good health and have a decent economy,” explains Göran Nordström.

As age increases satisfaction decreases slightly, and this trend is more pronounced among those 85 and older.

“Which isn’t strange, as life starts to become more straining. The social network also thins, as friends and relatives disappear, and mobility diminishes,” Nordström says.

Across the entire population aged 16 and older, average life satisfaction sits at 7.5, and men and women are equally happy.

Money and Age= Satisfaction

When it comes to financial satisfaction, there’s an even clearer pattern. The older you get, the happier you are with your finances, with one exception: 16 – 24-year-olds are much more satisfied with their economic situation than those between the ages of 25 and 34.

Nordström posits that the higher satisfaction rate among the 16-24 age group could stem from many still living at home and not having to pay core expenses such as rent.

Satisfaction also varies around relations. Elderly appears to have longer end of the stick with an average score of 9.0 among the 75-84 group compared to 7.9 for the 25-34 age group.

The least satisfied groups were those with disabilities and unemployed people, with scores of 6.5 and 6.4, respectively. Business owners and high-income earners, on the other hand, were the most satisfied, with scores of 8.0 and 7.9.


In Sweden, satisfaction levels vary diversely with age and financial standing. The fascinating part is how happiness and satisfaction seem to grow with age. As you ponder these unique trends, don’t forget to ask yourself: from 1-10, how satisfied are you with your life?

“This study is anonymized, and that’s an essential point for us,” reminds Göran Nordström.

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