Demographics of Sweden

From Academic Kids



Beside the Swedes, the Sweden-Finns are the largest ethnic minority comprising of approximately 50,000 indigenous along the Swedish-Finnish border, and 450,000 first- and second generation immigrated ethnic Finns. Also in the furthest North a small indigenous population of Samis live (sometimes referred to as "Lapps", which, however, is considered a pejorative term by the Sami).


Even though Sweden (similar to the United States) has no official language, Swedish dominates totally. The indigenous Finno-Ugric languages have well into the 1960s been repressed. Since 1999 Sweden has five officially recognized minority languages: Sami, Meänkieli-Finnish, Standard-Finnish, Romani chib and Jiddisch. The Sami language, spoken by ~7,000 peoples in Sweden?, may be used in government agencies, courts, preschools and nursing homes in the municipalities of Arjeplog, Gällivare, Jokkmokk and Kiruna and its immidiate neighbourhood. Similary, Finnish and Meänkieli can be used in the municipalities of Gällivare, Haparanda, Kiruna, Pajala och Övertorneå and its immidiate neighbourhood.


In the 19th century Sweden had a yearly population growth peaking at 12‰, i.e. a doubling in less than 60 years, compared to 1‰ today (migration excluded). This led, before the Industrial Revolution as it was, to a pauperization of the rural population, for each generation inheriting smaller and smaller shares. Following years of crop failures in the 1840s and 1860s, the U.S. Homestead Act of 1862, and to a lesser extent religious persecution, emigration started and grew. Between 1850 and 1930 1,050,000 Swedes emigrated (re-migration excluded), chiefly to USA and to Denmark. If they hadn't left, Sweden's population would have been about 2,000,000 higher today, given that famine and civil war hadn't been the outcome of their staying. (After 1929 the net-migration has been directed towards Sweden.)

The re-migration of Swedish nationals from USA was culturally more important than the absolute figures reveal. The re-migrants often re-settled in their native parish, where their relative wealth and foreign experience ensured a prestigious position in the community. US views, values and not the least world-view followed the re-migrants, ensuring a popular perception of closeness to USA, contrary to the situation in for instance neighbouring Denmark or Finland (and contrary to the Swedish elite's closeness to Germany and Europe).


Immigrants in Sweden
Former Yugoslavia135,000
United Kingdom15,500
Data as of December 2001

As of 2001, 11.5% of the population is foreign-born, a comparably high figure. The government and the population has not, as in traditional immigrant destinations such as Australia or the USA, had centuries of immigration to adapt laws and mindset to the situation.

Immigration increased markedly with World War II. Soon 70,000 war children were evacuated from Finland, of which 15,000 remained in Sweden. Until 1973 work-force immigration dominated, peaking in the late 1960s. The largest immigrant groups are Sweden-Finns and peoples from the former Yugoslavia representing both work-force immigration and war refugees. Migration triggered by political crises include refugee groups of Persians, Kurds, Palestinians, Vietnamese, Chileans and Hungarians.


The majority (87%) of the population belongs to the Church of Sweden, the Lutheran church separated from the state in 2000. Other Christian denominations in Sweden include Roman Catholic (see Catholic Church of Sweden), Orthodox, and Baptist. Some of the Sami practise Animism. Due to refugee immigration, there are also a number of Muslims in Sweden. See also Muslims in Europe, Jewish, Buddhist.


According to Statistiska centralbyrån (Statistics Sweden), Sweden's population reached 9,000,000 on August 12, 2004. See the Swedish population web counter (

  • population: 8,875,053 (July 2001 est.)
  • Population growth rate: 0.02% (2001 est.)
  • Population growth: Averaging 1 person/15 minutes
  • Birth rate: 9.91 births/1,000 population (2001 est.)
  • Death rate: 10.61 deaths/1,000 population (2001 est.)
  • Net migration rate: 0.91 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2001 est.)
  • Total fertility rate: 1.53 children born/woman (2001 est.)
  • Infant mortality rate: 3.47 deaths/1,000 live births (2001 est.)
  • Life expectancy at birth: 79.71 years
    • male: 77.07 years
    • female: 82.5 years (2001 est.)

Age structure

  • 0-14 years: 18.19% (male 828,308; female 786,353)
  • 15-64 years: 64.53% (male 2,911,949; female 2,814,730)
  • 65 years and over: 17.28% (male 649,296; female 884,417) (2001 est.)
Missing image
Demographics of Sweden, Data of FAO, year 2005 ; Number of inhabitants in thousands.

Sex ratio

  • at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
  • under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
  • 15-64 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
  • 65 years and over: 0.73 male(s)/female
  • total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2001 est.)


  • definition: age 15 and over can read and write
  • total population: 99% (1979 est.)

See also


External links


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