A Better quality of life, safety and security, healthcare and English skills are some of the reasons Swedes are choosing Portugal.
These are the results obtained by the largest study on Swedish International Retired Migrants, which comes from the PhD thesis presented at the Lisbon School of Economics and Management (ISEG) by Dr. Sten Engdahl.
The author was living in Lisbon at the time when he decided to study Portugal and Spain in terms of reasons for attraction and retention. “There are certain reasons why you move to a country but then by living in Portugal you also experience the country, you experience the Portuguese people, and for instance the food, all these reasons make you see new aspects of living in Portugal (retention reasons)”, Dr. Sten Engdahl told The Portugal News.
In fact, the top five reasons that attract Swedish retirees to Portugal are better quality of life, nicer climate and weather, personal safety and security, and the fact that it is very easy to speak to the locals in English. On the other hand, in terms of retention reasons, the results are similar, with the addition of gastronomy, flight connections, and health benefits as elements that Swedish retirees appreciate.
In fact, after living in Portugal for a while, Swedish people fall in love with the good food and wine and for the Health Care. In terms of health, despite most Swedish living in Portugal have a health insurance, 50 percent have used the Portuguese Public Health and are very happy with the health system in the country.
What makes Swedish retirees stay longer?
The research also found what makes Swedish retirees stay longer in the countries, which can be a good contribution, not only for universities, but for policy makers, as “it can help them to decide policies to attract more foreigners to Portugal and Spain”.
More specifically, Dr. Sten Engdahl found out that social-culture adaptation is very important for encouraging Swedish retirees to stay longer in the country. “Proving access to language training about Portuguese history and culture would help people to better understand Portuguese society and the research show that the more they know and the more integrated they feel in Portuguese society, the longer time they would like to stay in Portugal”.
In addition, the thesis reveals that the timeframe to remain in Portugal is directly affected by Tax Incentives and Senior Housing, “and the more important that tax incentives are (like the NHR), the shorter time retirees anticipate staying in Portugal”.
Describing Swedish Expats
Despite not having any information on the specific number of Swedish IRM living in Portugal, according to the Foreigners and Boarders service (SEF), “in 2009 there were 746 Swedish citizens (officially registered in Portugal) and in 2020, the number had increased to 5181. However, most likely the real number is higher than this”, as we have to add all those who have not registered yet.
“The study identifies many country-specific differences between the samples of Swedish retirees in Portugal and Spain. A larger proportion of the sample of Swedish retirees living in Portugal (78 percent) have a university degree compared with the retirees living in Spain (58 percent). On average, language fluency is higher among the sample in Spain (24 percent are fluent, or quite fluent in Spanish) compared with Portugal (13 percent are fluent or quite fluent in Portuguese).”
In addition, “a larger proportion of the sample in Portugal says they have good or very good health (89 percent) compared with the sample of Swedish IRM in Spain (76 percent). A larger proportion of the Swedish retirees in Portugal live comfortably on their current income (82 percent) compared with the Swedish IRM in Spain (62 percent)”.
In terms of accommodation, half of respondents live in the Algarve, 37 percent in Cascais, 6 percent in Lisbon and the rest are spread across the country. Also in this sample, 66 percent own their property in Portugal, 30 percent have long-term rentals and only 4 percent rent their home for the short-term.
A popular thesis
This thesis was based “on the largest study so far on Swedish International Retired Migrants in Portugal and Spain, with a sample of 219 Swedish retirees in Portugal and 356 in Spain”.
The author, who presented the thesis in June 2021, started his research in 2016 with the supervision of Dr. Maria Eduarda Soares, a professor at ISEG – Lisbon school of Economics & Management.
If you would like to take a look at the thesis that has already been downloaded over 20,000 times, please see: https://researchgate.net/publication/...
I really would like to know why all these northern Europeans, and other foreigners, keep telling us that their countries are much better than Portugal! Their actions clearly negate that assumption!
By Tony Fernandes from Other on 30 Nov 2021, 07:41
You are so right Tony. !!!!!
By J from Lisbon on 30 Nov 2021, 10:23
Portugal has much to offer: good weather, relaxed people, rich heritage and a large number of English speakers. My wife and I would love to learn Portuguese, but with few English classes offered locally and a quoted figure of 12 Euro each per hour for a private tutor, it is not viable.
By Ian from Lisbon on 30 Nov 2021, 13:13
Ian, please try the online podcasts and videos "Portuguese with Leo". Learn and improve European Portuguese on a easy, funny, competent and enjoyable manner!
By Tony Fernandes from Other on 01 Dec 2021, 13:14
The Portuguese education system, should provide more schools to teach foreigners the Portuguese language. The Portuguese Government should fund schooling to teach Portuguese to foreigners, and adults that come from other countries and want to live in Portugal.
By Tony from Other on 03 Dec 2021, 20:16
I think you got it all right. I am one of the 219. The Swedish do value the life quality, climate, security, and most of all, the genuine kindness of the Portuguese people. But I do not agree with the comments, I do not know how many Swedish people you truly know? So far I have not heard of one Nordic person that was not in love with Portugal, and their new lifestyle here. Everybody I know praise their life in Portugal, and think it is so much better than in Sweden.
By Marie from Algarve on 03 Dec 2021, 21:10
Tony Fernandez - what makes you say the northern Europeans say their countries are better? Never heard that argument.
By Tom Abrahamsson from Other on 03 Dec 2021, 22:10
The national supplementary pension scheme favours those who, over their working life, have had an uneven flow of income or who have worked a shorter period. This paper discusses the trends in retirement in Sweden and assesses .. https://nywib.org/businesses/229104/
By Daniel Pimental from USA on 04 Dec 2021, 06:32
Tom Abrahamsson, the reasons are many, easy to identify but not quickly to explain without sitting down and having a relaxed time and nice conversation in front of a glass of wine "e uns petiscos", preferably in one those small Portuguese "tascas" or "restaurantes de bairro"! I'm a lucky person because I have had the opportunity to travel a bit and make good friends in some of the countries where I worked, lived or vacationed. One of these countries is "second to none"! Another further south, is the best, most powerful, and so "democratic" that it is always right and has to invade others to oblige the locals to "adopt" its style of "democracy" even at the cost of the many wars in which that country has been involved so often its interests are at risk! Others, the Western European ones, are getting much better and now after many past wars and killings are more willing to accept all other countries except Russia! Ah! My family name is Fernandes, not Fernandez the Spanish version of the same name.
By Tony Fernandes from Other on 09 Dec 2021, 01:07