I lived there as a child in the late 60s, again as a young man between 1977 and 1985, and have visited regularly since. I even had a friend take me to Ystad, home of the crime writer
When I consider whether I would want to live in
As a small child, or as the parent of one, the winters are bearable, the summers are paradise, and society generally is better arranged to your advantage than almost anywhere else in the world. Paid work and paid parental leave really are equitably split, so far as possible, between men and women. More than that, society as a whole thinks of children as important and valuable and shows this in all kinds of small ways as well as large ones.
But then, perhaps, your children are 12 or 13. That is when you get out and go in search of a country where the schools are better and there are still jobs for young people. Youth unemployment in
They had better be financially successful in their twenties and thirties, or there is no chance of moving back to a nice part of the cities with an interesting job. If you want to live in the gorgeous parts of
Being poor in the cities is much less fun. There are few parts that are actively dangerous, but
Even here the usual rules apply: the main victims of poor criminals are other poor people. When the Malmö paper published an interactive map of all the shootings there last year, it was horrifying that so many people should be shot at all and, on a second look, striking how many were gangsters shot in the course of business disagreements.
Assume you are prosperous and the children have all left home. Then, if you don't need money, you don't want excitement, and you don't need a job, the Swedish countryside is one of the most wonderful places anyone could live. There are wolves in the forests and broadband everywhere. I think I should be happy to end my life in some dull town where the neighbours grow excited about their chances of shooting an elk -- and thrilling myself with crime fiction about the dangerous world outside.
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