Sweden's population increases amid economic crisis

16:55, December 22, 2009      

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According to preliminary population statistics Sweden's population will be 9 340 000 at the start of the new year. The population is rapidly increasing and in 2009 Sweden's population rose by 84 000 persons. This will be the highest increase in one year since 1946, according to a press release from the Statistics Bureau in Sweden.

The press release said this increase is not only due to a continuing large number of births and high immigration, but also a sharply reduced emigration and a somewhat fewer number of deaths.

Swedes are now staying in Sweden

During the past year, 38 000 persons have emigrated, a decrease of 15 percent compared to the previous year. The largest group of emigrants are Swedish citizens, even though emigration for this group has decreased the most. Compared to 2008, 5 000 fewer persons in this group emigrated. Swedish citizens move to Norway and Finland at about the same rate in 2009 as in 2008, but emigration to the UK and the US dropped by about 700 persons to each country.

Other large groups of emigrants are Danes, Finns and Norwegians who mainly move to their countries of citizenship. Among emigrants, men outnumber women somewhat.

More Somalians come to Sweden

Immigration continues at a high level. A total of 102 000 persons are estimated to have immigrated to Sweden during 2009. The largest group of immigrants are returning Swedish citizens, followed by Iraqis and Somalians. The number of Iraqis who immigrate to Sweden has dropped by about 30 percent compared to the previous year. At the same time, the number of Somalians immigrating to Sweden has increased by 50 percent. As in previous years, somewhat more men immigrate than do women.

The number of births continues to increase

An expected number of births of 112 000 together with an expected number of deaths of 91 000 persons leads to a significant birth surplus estimated at 21 000. During the entire 2000s, the number of births has increased from year to year. This trend has also continued in 2009 when two percent more children were born compared to 2008. During the year, 54 000 girls and 57 000 boys were born. In most parts of the world, it is common that more boys than girls are born.

On the other hand, the number of deaths is expected to decrease by about one percent. During the greater part of 2009, the number of deaths has been lower than the same period in 2008.

Nearly one in five has a foreign background

Fourteen percent of Sweden's population were born abroad. The largest group comprises 173 000 persons born in Finland, followed by 117 000 born in Iraq. Further, 390 000 persons born in Sweden have two foreign-born parents. Together with foreign-born persons, this group will comprise nearly 19 percent of Sweden's population at the end of the year.

This preliminary information is only on the national level. The complete statistics will be published in February 2010.

By Xuefei Chen, People's Daily Online, Stockholm.

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