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Preliminary results from municipalities and regions for 2020

Municipalities and regions note stronger performance in 2020

Statistical news from Statistics Sweden 2021-03-02 9.30

The local government sector, which comprises municipalities and regions, reported an aggregate net income of activities of SEK 51.1 billion in 2020, which is an increase of SEK 39.1 billion from a year ago. This substantial increase in net income of activities is due to general grants provided by central government related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In 2020, net expenses of activities amounted to SEK 911.7 billion, which is an increase of SEK 8.6 billion, corresponding to 1 percent, compared with 2019.

General government grants and equalisation increased by SEK 40.6 billion compared with 2019 and contributed to the substantially stronger net income of activities. General government grants issued by central government related to the COVID-19 pandemic had the largest impact. Tax revenue increased by SEK 7.1 billion compared with 2019.

Income after financial items was SEK 28.7 billion more than in 2019. Net income after financial items decreased by SEK 10.3 billion compared with the previous year. The fluctuations in the financial items are the result of new valuation principles for financial assets that were introduced when the Municipal Accounting Act (2018:597) entered into force on 1 January 2019.

Municipalities showed large surplus

For municipalities, net income of activities amounted to SEK 30.0 billion in 2020, which is SEK 22.9 billion more than in 2019. Net expenses of activities increased by SEK 6.7 billion. However, this was offset by a substantial increase of SEK 26.0 billion in general government grants and equalisation. This is mainly due to a large increase in general government grants related to the COVID-19 pandemic, which also led to an increase of SEK 18.4 billion in net income after financial items compared with 2019. Financial income decreased by SEK 3.1 billion, while financial costs increased by SEK 1.4 billion, which led to a net effect of minus SEK 4.5 billion compared with the previous year. Fluctuations in the financial items are the result of the new valuation principles for financial assets that were introduced in 2019.

In 2020, 6.9 percent of municipalities reported a negative net income of activities, which is considerably less than a year ago, when 40.7 percent of municipalities reported a negative net income of activities.

Income statement of municipalities 2018–2020, SEK billions
 201820192020
Operational revenues 164.2 160.1 164.4
Operational expenditures ‑694.9 ‑710.6 ‑719.2
Depreciation and impairment ‑24.1 ‑26.1 ‑28.6
Net operational expenditures ‑554.8 ‑576.7 ‑583.4
Tax revenues 465.8 482.5 486.1
General grants from central government and economic equalisation 95.8 101.3 127.3
Net operational income (surplus) 6.8 7.1 30.0
Financial revenues 12.6 15.9 12.8
Financial expenditures ‑5.3 ‑6.1 ‑7.5
Income statement before extraordinary items 14.1 16.9 35.3
Extraordinary items ‑0.3 1.8 0.1
Net income (surplus) 13.8 18.6 35.4

In the table, the Region of Gotland is included to 65 percent.

Central government grants strengthened the net income of regions

Net income of activities for regions amounted to SEK 21.5 billion in 2020, which is SEK 16.2 billion more than in 2019. This strengthened net income was due to a combination of increased income and general government grants related to the COVID-19 pandemic, while costs had not increased to the same extent. All regions reported a positive net income of activities in 2020.

Between 2019 and 2020, income of activities increased by SEK 18.0 billion, which corresponds to 25.2 percent. General government grants and equalisation amounted to SEK 76.1 billion in 2020, which is an increase of 23.7 percent compared with the previous year. Expenses of activities increased by 4.9 percent, from SEK 385.5 billion in 2019 to SEK 404.4 billion in 2020.

In 2020, regions reported a net income after financial items of SEK 19.2 billion, which is SEK 10.3 billion more than in 2019. Financial income decreased by SEK 4.8 billion and financial costs increased by SEK 1.0 billion, which resulted in a net effect of minus SEK 5.8 billion compared with the previous year. The fluctuations in the financial items are the result of the new valuation principles for financial assets that were introduced in 2019.

Income statement of regions 2018–2020, SEK billions
 201820192020
Operational revenues 64.9 71.3 89.3
Operational expenditures ‑367.3 ‑385.5 ‑404.4
Depreciation and impairment ‑11.4 ‑12.3 ‑13.2
Net operational expenditures ‑313.7 ‑326.4 ‑328.3
Tax revenues 257.9 270.2 273.7
General grants from central government and economic equalisation 57.6 61.5 76.1
Net operational income (surplus) 1.8 5.3 21.5
Financial revenues 4.1 9.9 5.1
Financial expenditures ‑5.3 ‑6.3 ‑7.3
Income statement before extraordinary items 0.5 8.9 19.2
Extraordinary items 0.0 0.0 0.0
Net income (surplus) 0.5 8.9 19.2

In the table, the Region of Gotland is included to 35 percent.

Definitions and explanations

Region Gotland are responsible for municipal tasks and region tasks. This means that it is very difficult to compare data for the income statement and balance sheet for Region Gotland with other municipalities and regions in Sweden. Statistics Sweden has, in an attempt to comparability, estimated that 65 percent of their total activity concerns municipal activities, while 35 percent concerns region activities. Statistic Sweden will however point out that this is an estimation and that comparisons with other municipalities and regions should be made with caution. 

The present figures are preliminary and can be revised.

Extraordinary items refer to income and expenditures that do not originate from regular activities. Income before extraordinary items is not always comparable, since what is considered as extraordinary can differ.

The figures are in current prices.

Next publishing will be

The next publication date is March 16 2021 09:30.

Feel free to use the facts from this statistical news but remember to state Source: Statistics Sweden.

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Statistics Sweden, Public Finance and Microsimulations Unit

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