Follow Eurofound

Trust in national government has declined in Sweden throughout the COVID-19 pandemic

News   •   Jun 06, 2021 07:00 BST

Trust in various institutions in Sweden remain high compared to other EU countries, however, trust in national government has decreased since the onset of the pandemic.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, trust of people in Sweden in their national government has declined from 6.4 to 5.1, according to Eurofound’s large-scale Living, working and COVID-19 online survey. Respondents rated their trust levels in the country’s representatives at the onset of the pandemic (data collection April 2020) at 6.4 on average, which decreased to 5.5 during the summer months of last year and then to 5.1 in February and March of this year. Despite this trend, Sweden reports higher levels of trust compared to most EU countries and it often ranks within the top five Member States.

The third round of the unique pan-EU survey was fielded in February and March 2021 and the analysis provided in the report and background data for the latest round is based on a sample of 46,800 responses, and an overall sample of 138,629 across all three rounds. It sheds light on the social and economic situation of people across Europe following nearly a full year of living with COVID-19 restrictions.

Similarly, trust in the EU has decreased among respondents in Sweden. While Sweden ranked fifth with 5.3 points in April 2020, trust levels dropped to 4.8 in July 2020, which was below the EU average (5.1) at the time. Trust in other institutions, such as healthcare and the police, remain high at 7.1 and 7.2 points respectively and above the EU average. Additionally, 80.8% of respondents in the country indicate that they are likely to take the COVID-19 vaccine when it becomes available to them. This compares to 64.4% in the EU.

In terms of employment and social dialogue aspects during the COVID-19 crisis, Eurofound’s Working life country profile 2020 for Sweden shows that the government and social partners have worked together closely despite obstacles posed by the pandemic. As such, support measures introduced included a new short-time work system, expanding unemployment insurance and addressing restructuring. Furthermore, the trade unions saw a spike in their membership last year and welcomed almost 60,000 new members to their ranks.

Further information