E.g., 08/25/2016
E.g., 08/25/2016

Country Resource - Sweden

Sweden

SE
  • Population......................................................................9,723,809 (July 2014 est.)
  • Population growth rate .............................................................0.79% (2014 est.)
  • Birth rate.....................................................11.92 births/1,000 population (2014 est.)
  • Death rate................................................9.45 deaths/1,000 population (2014 est.)
  • Net migration rate...............................5.46 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2014 est.)
  • Ethnic groups....................................................................indigenous population: Swedes with Finnish and Sami minorities; foreign-born or first-generation immigrants: Finns, Yugoslavs, Danes, Norwegians, Greeks, Turks

CIA World Factbook

Although Sweden was once open to labor migrants from across Europe and refugees from all over the world, its policies have become increasingly restrictive over the last 35 years. Today, the country is wrestling with integration issues, as Charles Westin of the Centre for Research in International Migration and Ethnic Relations, Stockholm University, explains.

Recent Activity

Drawn by generous asylum policies and the region's welcoming reputation, hundreds of thousands of asylum seekers arrived in Scandinavia in 2015. As the unprecedented flow overwhelmed the asylum systems of Sweden, Finland, Norway, and Denmark, lawmakers began to recalibrate their policies, tightening asylum benefits in a number of significant ways, as this article explores.

Europe's defining challenge in 2015 was the exponential growth in the number of asylum seekers and migrants arriving on its shores. The European Union and its Member States were slow to respond, and reactive when they did. As trust among Member States and between national and EU-level authorities began to erode, the European Union has found its ability to implement a comprehensive response severely handicapped.

As seemingly endless waves of asylum seekers and migrants arrived in Europe in 2015, politicians from across the political spectrum invoked forceful anti-immigrant rhetoric that resonated in some quarters. Mainstream politicians began co-opting the tougher, more enforcement-laden language of far-right groups as all parties sought to reassure voters in the wake of terrorist attacks in Paris.

Child migrants traveling alone to Europe or the United States face similar dangers and are particularly at risk of abuse and trafficking. The arrival of tens of thousands of such children in Europe and the United States have overwhelmed accommodations as well as legal and integration processes. Furthermore, the unprecedented flows have sparked heated public debate in a number of cities.

This article explores the underlying causes of the May 2013 riots across several Stockholm suburbs that have high proportions of foreign-born residents, and asks whether rapid increases in the size of Sweden's immigrant population or the government's integration efforts played a central role.
Although Sweden was once open to labor migrants from across Europe and refugees from all over the world, its policies have become increasingly restrictive over the last 35 years. Today, the country is wrestling with integration issues, as Charles Westin of the Centre for Research in International Migration and Ethnic Relations, Stockholm University, explains.
Only the UK, Ireland, and Sweden have allowed accession-state nationals to work without permits since May 1, 2004 — and hundreds of thousands from Eastern Europe have arrived.
The efforts of Nordic countries to provide safe harbor to refugees are outlined by Mette Honore, Senior Legal Consultant to the Danish Refugee Council.
Reports
November 2014
This report is the final one in an MPI-International Labour Office series that examines the employment prospects of migrants in the EU (focusing on the case-study countries of the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom), as well as the effectiveness of integration and workforce development policies in helping these workers overcome barriers and ascend out of low-skilled work.
Reports
September 2014
Sweden’s strong economic record continues to be marred by its struggles to integrate immigrants, especially those who come through humanitarian or family channels. This report describes how Sweden is trying to overcome these labor market integration challenges and analyzes how successful its workforce development and integration policies have been in helping immigrants progress from low-skilled work to middle-skilled jobs.
Reports
July 2014
The global economic crisis and changing migration patterns in Europe bring up questions about how well immigrants are able to find employment and progress into better jobs over time. This overview report caps a series of six country case studies evaluating the employment outcomes for foreign-born workers during their first decade in the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.
Reports
April 2014
Many of Sweden's immigrants are refugees who lack the skills and education to gain employment soon after they arrive. Over time, however, newcomers to Sweden have improved their employment rates, displayed income growth similar to natives, and moved from low- to middle-skilled positions. This report assesses how new immigrants—refugees, labor migrants, and others—fare in Sweden's labor market.
Reports
March 2011

The global economic downturn and rising debt levels in all European countries have put immigration at the forefront of many debates surrounding public spending. This report presents a diversity of findings with regard to European governments' responses to immigrant integration organization, financing, and programs.

Books
June 2011

This edited volume addresses the impact of the economic crisis in seven major immigrant-receiving countries: the United States, Germany, Ireland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.