Immigration to Sweden 2009-2019

Until 2016, Sweden had among the most generous asylum laws within the European Union. As a result, the immigration increased for several years, reaching 163 thousand individuals immigrating into Sweden in 2016. During 2016, Sweden sharpened their asylum laws, and the immigration declined down to around 116 thousand individuals arriving in 2019. Within this period, there was a decline in number of asylum grants.

Large inflow of refugees

The so-called refugee crisis within the European Union that started in 2015 was characterized by a large inflow of refugees from non-European countries, mainly traversing the Mediterranean Sea in order to reach the European Union. In regards to the immigration trends to Sweden, one of the biggest groups in the last years consisted of Swedes returning to Sweden. Further countries that were among the top countries of origin in the latest years, were India, Afghanistan, Syria, and Iraq.

Decline in asylum grants within the European Union

Sweden is not the only country that sharpened the asylum grants in 2016, it has been observed within the whole European Union. Since the end of 2016, there has been a significant decline in the number of accepted first instance asylum applications within the European Union.

Immigration to Sweden from 2009 to 2019

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Release date

February 2020



Survey time period

2009 to 2019

Supplementary notes

An immigrant is identified as a foreign citizen who has been resident in Sweden for at least a year.

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