Local Governance

Between national and municipal government there is a regional level of government, composed of 18 counties and two districts. The national administration in each of these counties is represented by a County Governor and a County Administrative Board. 

Municipality administration

Sweden has 290 municipalities that geographically covers the entire country. Every municipality has a popularly elected council, which collects income tax and operates public services such as schools, child and elderly care, utilities, housing, and cultural and leisure activities.

Sweden has a long tradition of local self-government. But while the municipalities enjoy the right to provide a greatpublic services at their own discretion, they are bound by law and regulations to offer a number of basic services. Immigrants who have resided for a minimum of three years in Sweden have the right to vote and run for office in local elections.

The City of Stockholm municipality

Stockholm, with its 900,000 inhabitants, is the largest municipality in Sweden. The City Council is the supreme decision-making body of the City of Stockholm. The City provides Stockholm’s inhabitants with a multitude of different municipal services. Most of the municipal activities in Stockholm are carried out in administrative or corporate form.

The Stockholm County Council

For certain tasks of a fundamentally local character, each county has an elected county council. The county councils are responsible for matters of common interest, which are too extensive and too costly for individual municipalities to manage. This mainly concerns health care, which is the county councils’ major responsibility, but also dental care, public transport, support for business and industry, and regional growth and development.

The county councils are entitled to impose an income tax to cover their expenses. There are 2 million inhabitants in the Stockholm County, which is divided into 26 municipalities.

Decentralised decision-making

In order for the City to develop in tune with its residents, a decentralized working model is required. Decisions on for example parking or childcare, can therefore be made closer to the resident, in the district council. The residents can, in many cases, give their opinions via their district council's office, or online.

Stockholm is divided into 14 district councils with the same responsibility and authority as the City’s other committees and boards. The difference is that the district councils work within their respective geographic areas and have the overall responsibility for their activities.

The City of Stockholm’s leadership still has the comprehensive responsibility for issues concerning the entire municipality, e.g. municipal tax and the City’s common budget. The major part of the City’s resources - three-quarters - is passed on to the district councils. How much each district council receives depends on its individual needs, such as number of inhabitants, age and living conditions.

The distribution of seats between the political parties in a district council corresponds to the proportion of seats they hold in the City Council. The political parties propose the members who will represent them. The City Council then approves their appointment. District council members are politicians in their spare time. The mandate period is four years.

For certain tasks of a fundamentally local character, each county has an elected county council. The county councils are responsible for matters of common interest, which are too extensive and too costly for individual municipalities to manage. This mainly concerns health care, which is the county councils’ major responsibility, but also dental care, public transport, support for business and industry, and regional growth and development.

The county councils are entitled to impose an income tax to cover their expenses. There are 2 million inhabitants in the Stockholm County, which is divided into 26 municipalities.