Four out of ten single Swedes borrow money to pay for essentials

The destruction of the European economy

Published 31 March 2024
- By Editorial Staff
Rising prices have made life extremely difficult for many single parents.

Four out of ten single families have had to borrow money in the last six months, according to a new Sifo survey. At the same time, one in five single people have been unable to afford food on one or more occasions.

The survey, commissioned by the Swedish Tenants’ Association (Hyresgästföreningen), Majblomman (an artificial flower sold by schoolchildren for charity), Save the Children (Rädda Barnen) and the Swedish Red Cross (Röda korset), reveals a tougher daily life for the most vulnerable families. Rent increases, high interest rates and rising food prices have put extra pressure on families with limited financial resources, and the situation has become more serious than last year.

Three in ten cohabiting parents and four in ten single parents say they have had to borrow money to pay for the basics in the last six months. This is a significant increase from last year, according to the survey.

In addition, nearly one in two lone parents and one in three low-income cohabiting parents say they have not been able to afford nutritious food every day of the week. One in five single parents cannot always afford to eat well. At the same time, around one in two lone parents and more than three in ten cohabiting parents have struggled to pay for their children’s leisure activities.

The need for effective family policies

– We know that lone parents on low incomes find it particularly difficult to make ends meet. In Save the Children’s activities, we meet single mothers who tell us how difficult it is to manage life on a low income. We need an economic family policy that works, where child benefits follow the cost trend and are increased, said Åsa Regnér, Secretary General of Save the Children, in a press release.

The survey was based on interviews with families with children under the age of 18. The main target groups were single people with an income of less than SEK 29,500 per month and couples with an income of less than SEK 42,000 per month, as well as a control group corresponding to families with children regardless of household income.

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