Sweden’s level of income inequality is low by international standards but has steadily increased since the mid-1980s, faster than in any other OECD country.
The long-term rise in income inequality was driven by widening gaps in market income, but also by weakening redistribution: tax rates fell and out-of-work benefits grew more slowly than wages.
No other country taking part in PISA has seen a steeper fall.
There are signs of growing inequalities in the distribution of learning outcomes in Sweden. The gap between the highest- and lowest-performing students has increased over the last decade and is now wider than the OECD average. The performance gap between socio-economically advantaged and disadvantaged students is also increasing.
The Survey points out that housing prices have soared, and are now among the highest in the 35-member OECD. Household indebtedness has risen in tandem, while the lack of affordable housing has worsened both inequality and labour mobility. A comprehensive reform package is therefore needed.