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Financiers and providers in health care, education and social services in 2017

Social services had largest share of activities carried out by private enterprises

Statistical news from Statistics Sweden 2019-09-20 9.30

Total activities in health care, education and social services amounted to SEK 1 111 billion in 2017, of which activities carried out by private enterprises accounted for SEK 202 billion. This means that 18 percent of welfare sector activities were carried out by private enterprises.

The proportion of activities carried out by private enterprises differs between activities. In 2017, the proportion private enterprises was 23 percent in social services, 19 percent in health care and 14 percent in education. Since 2007, costs of total activities in health care, education and social services have increased by 60 percent in current prices. The costs of private enterprises increased by 119 percent during the same period.

Large regional disparities in purchased activities

Municipalities and county councils purchased activities for 13 percent of the total cost on average at a national level. There are large regional disparities; Stockholm County has accounted for the highest proportion of purchased activities every year since 2007. In 2017, Stockholm County purchases accounted for 23 percent of the total gross cost. Norrbotten County accounted for the lowest proportion of purchased activities, at 5 percent.

Number of enterprises has increased

In 2017, there were just over 65 000 enterprises in the welfare sector. Since 2007, the number of enterprises in education has increased by 98 percent* from about 14 000 to 27 900 enterprises. In social services, this increase was 91 percent*, from about 3 600 to 6,800 enterprises. The lowest trend was in health care, where the increase was 38 percent*, from about 22 400 to 30 900 enterprises.

*Corrected 2019-09-20.

Proportion of employed men in the welfare sector is increasing

In 2017, there were just over 1.3 million people employed in health care, education and social services. The majority of these persons, over 1 million, were women. However, the proportion of men employed in the welfare sector has increased over the past 10 years, from 20 percent in 2007 to 23 percent in 2017.

Definitions and explanations

Municipalities’ purchase of activities refers to the purchase of activities for which there is a contract or agreement with an external producer that the municipality would otherwise have carried out. County councils’ purchase of activities is similarly defined.

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

Statistical agency and producer

Statistics Sweden, Public Finance and Microsimulations Unit

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Caklin Doganson

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