I have worked in Sweden on-off for 5 years & worked with Swede expats across the world. I have known quite a few foreign & local technical & creative talents that have left Sweden after a few years of working professionally. The main reasons are:
- Difficulty and high cost to find a place to live / buy in Stockholm.
- Finding daycare for children.
- Systembolaget & the general cost of having fun / entertainment.
- Lack of buying power if not 2 bread-winners in family.
- High taxes gives a negative incentive on being an entrepreneur or start a company - impossible to be internationally competitive with other EU talent in terms of costs.
- Double taxation on investments. Negative interest on normal savings.
- Lack of incentives/profit-sharing. No real rewards for going the extra mile / working hard. Very rarely is stock offered.
- Salaries & benefits are not competitive with global offers. No moving fees, sometimes no help with permits or finding places to live.
- Slow and inefficient decision-making processes in established organizations.
- Non-confrontational culture means serious issues never get resolved or brought to light — projects fail & staff leave companies without ever discussing the real reasons.