Households and Income distribution

The Nordic social security systems are designed to fit the characteristics of their inhabitants.
Compared with other countries, there is a low level of income inequality among Nordic countries.


One characteristic trait of Nordic families is the relatively large number of single parents. Denmark has the highest rate while Iceland has the lowest rate of single parents. In all Nordic countries, there are considerably more single mothers than single fathers.

The number of children per household is very similar across the Nordic countries. One or two children being the most frequent, and three or more being considerably less frequent. The average number of children per household is almost identical among all Nordic countries.

Income distribution

The differences in income distribution are smallest in the Faroe Islands, Norway and Iceland, while Finland, Sweden and especially Denmark has somewhat higher income inequality.

The similarities in income distribution in the Nordic countries are due to a range of factors, mainly income transfers and taxation.