UNF: Ranking Best Counties for Swedish Youth
UNF, the Swedish Youth Temperance Association, has released its latest report ranking the best counties in Sweden for young people to live and grow up in.
The purpose of the annual report is to analyze and illustrate the reality of young Swedes in terms of their access to participation and availability of good leisure time activities in all municipalities of the country.
2019 results: worse than previous year
Overall, 223 of 290 municipalities participated in the survey, which means a response rate of 77%. That is an increase compared to the previous year.
In their analysis, UNF grades each municipality for the following categories:
- Youth participation,
- Services during holidays,
- Sober activities free of charge,
- Sober meeting spaces’ opening times,
- Promotion of meeting spaces,
- Investments in sober leisure time activities, and
- Economic investments in culture and leisure time.
The grades are “inadequate”, “decent”, and “good”.
The grade “decent” means that municipalities received on average at least 3 of 5 points. The grade “good” means that municipalities received on average 4 points or more. And the grade “inadequate” means that municipalities received less than 3 points on average.
The 2019 results are worse compared to the year before. In total 97 counties are graded as inadequate.
UNF demands that young people are provided the preconditions for them to live a free and rich life filled with knowledge, welfare and all possibilities to get engaged and shape their environments,” says Filip Nyman, President of UNF.
We believe that this starts with the counties.”
126 counties – or 56% – are found to be inadequate. 97 counties – 43% – are ranked as decent and 17 counties are graded as good – 7.6%).
Municipalities with the highest grades:
- Ludvika: 4.6
- Storuman: 4.5
- Sandviken: 4.4
- Tranås: 4.3
- Höganäs: 4.2
Municipalities with the lowest grades:
- Ydre: 1.0
- Lessebo: 1.1
- Ragunda: 1.2
- Eda: 1.3
- Uppsala: 1.4
Purpose of the report
UNF’s report shows that the question of young people’s leisure time is receiving too little attention, despite its important value for society. When the topic is discussed, focus remains merely on costs for the counties. But the issue is more complex than this, according to UNF.
The report aims to provide a more nuanced picture, using quantitative data. With the help of this data, comparison and time-sequence analysis is possible. UNF has issued the report since 2012.
UNF’s recommendations for a better leisure time for youth
In the new report, UNF makes 5 recommendations to leaders in the counties across Sweden, to improve the quality of leisure time activities and environments and to help increase young people’s chances to shape their own communities.
- Provide youth real influence to shape their leisure time,
- Offer open youth centers on weekends and in the evenings,
- Provide activities free of charge during all holidays,
- Invest in implementation of alcohol laws during alcohol-intense times to prevent under-age alcohol use,
- Conduct a systematic assessment of young people’s leisure time and institute a minimum standard in all counties.