The Swedish government is launching a major study of the sex lives of its citizens after reports that lovemaking is on the wane.

The public health minister, Gabriel Wikstrom, noted that the last thorough study of Swedes’ sex habits had been 20 years ago. Since then, media reports have pointed to a decrease in sexual activity.

In an opinion piece for the Dagens Nyheter newspaper on Friday, Wikstrom wrote: “It’s important to investigate whether that is the case and if so what the reason is.”

If stress and other health issues are affecting Swedes’ sex lives, he said, “that is also a political problem”.

Sweden’s public health agency has been asked to compile its results and publish a report by 2019.

In a separate article on the government’s website, Wikstrom said the government needed better information about people’s sex habits to guide its policies related to sexual and reproductive health.

“Sex is an area that strongly influences people’s health, so we can’t just talk about things like, for example, venereal disease, but also things that are positive and lust-filled about sex,” Wikstrom said.