Demographics of Scandinavia - Statistics & Facts

The Northern European region, Scandinavia, is known for its welfare states, egalitarianism, and high quality of life among the population. Geographically, the region consists of Norway, Sweden, and Denmark, whereas the Nordic countries also include Finland, Iceland, Greenland and the Faroe Islands. Despite Scandinavia’s outward similarities as a region, the countries differ on various demographic parameters.

One such difference concerns population size. With more than 10.3 million people, Sweden has nearly twice as many inhabitants as Norway, and Denmark. However, the fertility rate has been declining overall in all three countries over the past decade. The lowest fertility rate was recorded in Norway in 2019, with only 1.53 live-born children per woman within the age group 15-49. That year, the fertility rates in Sweden and Denmark were both 1.7. A low fertility rate, combined with constantly enhanced medical science, is often linked to an aging population. Within the past ten years, the population of Denmark grew older on average, with similar tendencies in Sweden and Norway.

A factor that can potentially slow down or even turn around the trend of decreasing population is immigration. Since 2009, the number of inhabitants with a foreign background increased in Sweden and amounted to roughly 2.6 million as of 2019. Considering the migration flow in Norway, on the other hand, the number of new immigrants has decreased since 2011, while emigration has increased. In a similar vein, emigration from Denmark increased since 2008, with the majority seeking new paths in the United States.

Since 2009, the number of registered marriages declined significantly in all of Scandinavia. Compared to the other countries, Denmark housed the fewest newlyweds, amounting to around 30.6 thousand marriages as of 2019. In 2019, the number of contracted marriages in Norway was much higher than in Denmark, and the amount of divorces was lower than in the other countries.

In regards to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic of 2020, Sweden was the Nordic country with the highest number of confirmed cases and deaths related to the coronavirus by far. Indeed, after the COIVD-19 outbreak, the average number of deaths per week in Sweden was significantly higher than the average numbers of previous years. The highest number of coronavirus deaths were recorded among individuals aged 70 years and older.

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Demographics of Scandinavia

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