Many want to study
Many Swedes want to study, but more are getting jobs without an education. Over half of those who graduate high school plan to continue studying, but three years after “studenten," more of them work than study. And the prospect of getting a job immediately following graduation looks better than in a long time. According to Statistics Sweden, six in 10 students who graduate plan to continue studying.

Bonus for newborns
Norsjö in Västerbotten wants more babies in their municipality and have therefore invested in a somewhat novel idea: Those who give birth during the next year will receive 5,000 SEK ($750) in the form of a gift certificates to various companies, according to the online version of daily Norran. People who move to the municipality with children born in 2015 will also be included.

Fewer choose confirmation
In the 1970s more than 80 percent of 15-year-old Swedes were confirmed, but in 1990, 63.4 percent were confirmed, and in 2013 only 30.1 percent were. But there’s an exception: Confirmations that take place during summer at camps still have a following. ”The congregations have become incredibly good at organizing camp alternatives, because we know that’s the best way with which to work with children at confirmation. We are investing in more camp sites,” says Britt-Marie Frisell, confirmation consultant in Härnösand parish. While the percentage of Swedish 15-year-olds choosing confirmation is dwindling, in Finland it’s different: nearly 80 percent still get confirmed; in Denmark the equivalent percentage is 75 and in Norway 70. Confirmation is a rite of initiation in several Christian denominations, normally carried out through anointing, the laying on of hands, and prayer, for the purpose of bestowing the Gift of the Holy Spirit. In Protestant churches, the rite tends to be seen rather as a mature statement of faith by an already baptized person. It is also required by most Protestant denominations for membership in the respective church.

Resistant bacteria spread in hospitals
According to a new report from Folkhälsomyndigheten (the Public Health Agency), there’s an alarming spread of resistant bacteria in Swedish hospitals. During the past year, several outbreaks have occured at hospitals around Sweden, in spite of tightened hygiene routines. The country’s neonatal units are among those worst hit with nearly 20 eruptions. Last fall, there was another outbreak which led to four deaths from the severe Clostridium difficile type 27 bacteria. It is otherwise the bacteria MRSA and VRE that spread the most, according to authorities. During 2013, the prevalence of VRE increased by 49 percent and MRSA by 17 percent. Intestinal bacteria with ESBL (extended-spectrum beta-lactamases, enzymes produced by bacteria that makes the bacteria resistant) are also increasing, and that includes the highly malignant ESBL-CARBA. ”We need to work in a more focused fashion on several levels to slow the progression,” says Olov Aspevall, chief of Folkhälsomyndigheten.

Space to grow
Stadsodling (urban farming) is a trend that’s getting stronger and may soon take a major step forward in Stockholm, where Miljöpartiet (the Green Party) now suggests every household should be given a square meter to grow their own vegetables. ”Our vision is that everyone has the possibility to have access to a smaller plot where they can grow their own vegetables,” says Daniel Helldén from Miljöpartiet.