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EACEA National Policies Platform


5. Participation

5.2 Youth participation in representative democracy

Last update: 29 March 2023
Source: SCB, Statistical databaseOn this page
  1. Young people as voters
  2. Young people as political representatives

Young people as voters

All Swedish citizens who have reached the age of 18 years, on or before election day, and who are currently or were previously resident in the country, may vote in general elections, referendums and the European Parliament elections.

All citizens of EU member states who are registered as residents in Sweden may vote in European Parliament elections. Citizens of EU member states and from the Nordic countries who are registered as resident in Sweden and who have reached the age of 18 are eligible to vote in municipal and county council elections.

Non-Swedish citizens from other countries must have been registered as resident in Sweden for more than three consecutive years before the election date in order to be eligible to vote in municipal and region assembly (county council until 2019) elections.

National referendums may be held in connection with parliamentary elections. Those who are entitled to vote in parliamentary elections are also eligible to vote in national referenda.

A municipality or a region may decide to have a municipal referendum. The initiative for a referendum can also be taken by people living in the municipality. Those who are eligible to vote in municipal election are even eligible to vote in municipal referenda.

There are no special provisions for young people in the Elections Act (Vallagen).


Voter turnout in National Parliament (Riksdag), regional and municipal elections 2018, European Parliament elections 2019


18-24 years

Total 18+ years

National Parliament (Riksdag)



County council






European parliament (2019)



Source: Statistics Sweden (SCB), Statistical database

National Parliament voter turnout in the 2018 election for young people between 18 and 24 years of age was 84.9%. The turnout level has been rising since the 2002 parliamentary election, when it was 69.9% in this age group.

Voter turnout in municipal and regional/county council elections has always been lower compared to national parliament elections.

In the 2019 European Parliament election, voter turnout for young people between 18 and 24 years of age was 45%, the same level as in the 2014 EP elections. The turnout level has otherwise been rising since the 2004 election, when turnout was 25.9%. 


Young people as political representatives

Young people’s membership in political parties

Among young people between 16 and 24 years of age, the share of members of a political party was 4.7% in 2018. The share has been about 4% between 2008 and 2018, according to Statistics Sweden, SCB.

The share party members in total population over 16 years in 2018 was 5.5%.  The level has been consistent at around 5% between 2008 and 2018.


Young people candidating in elections

In Sweden, young people who have reached the age of 18 and are eligible to vote may also run as candidates in general elections. No quota of seats reserved for young people exists.

No provisions aiming at facilitating young people to stand as political candidates exist. Some trials have, however, been initiated by the government in recent years, in order to facilitate the conditions for young elected representatives at the local level.There are no specific functions within the Swedish representative assemblies that are reserved for young people.


The share of young people aged 18–24 among the nominees and the elected in National Parliament (Riksdag), county council and municipal elections in 2018




National Parliament (Riksdag)



Region (county council)



Municipal council



Source:, Statistical database on youth.

Among the nominees in the European Parliament elections 2019, the share of young people between 18 and 29 years of age was 16.5%, but no one in that age group was elected. In 2014, the the share of young nominees was 17%, but none was elected at that time either.