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Demographics of Sweden - Statistics & Facts

Sweden is a 450,295 square kilometer large country located to the north of Europe. It borders Norway and Finland, and is connected to Denmark via bridge. It is a part of Scandinavia, which usually refers to Denmark, Norway, and Sweden, but it is also a part of the Nordic region, which also includes Iceland and Finland. Moreover, Sweden is a member of the European Union since 1995, but it is not a member of the military alliance NATO, even though it enjoys close cooperation with it.

The population in Sweden increased steadily over the past years and reached 10.45 million inhabitants at the end of 2021. This means that it is, by far, the country with the largest number of inhabitants in the Nordic region. A high number of the country's inhabitants live in the capital region. Unsurprisingly, Stockholm is the largest city in the country, with just short of one million inhabitants. Moreover, a large share of Sweden's population lives in the southern part of the country, with the northern regions sparsely populated. The share of elderly people in the population has been increasing over the last decades, meaning that an aging population is one of the challenges Sweden faces in the future.

Births and deaths

One reason for the increasing population in Sweden is that more people are born than people dying in the country. Despite this, the fertility rate decreased over the past 10 years, and the crude birth rate is also decreasing. After the outbreak of COVID-19, the Swedish authorities opted for an approach with fewer restrictions than most other European countries, which received harsh critique after it resulted in a high number of fatalities. In 2020, the coronavirus (COVID-19) caused nearly 10,000 deaths in Sweden, a high number of these among the country's elderly population.


Next to the number of births and deaths, the high number of people immigrating to Sweden is a significant factor driving the population growth in the country. In 2020, nearly 2.7 million of its inhabitants had a foreign background. Among these, the highest number came from Syria, as Sweden was one of the European countries that accepted the highest number of refugees during the influx of refugees to Europe in 2015. However, since then, the government has made it more difficult for people to be granted asylum, and temporary residence permits are now the rule rather than permanent ones. As a result of this, but also due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of successful grants of asylum for refugees in Sweden has decreased steadily since 2016. In 2021, over 90,000 people immigrated to Sweden, while nearly 50,000 emigrated, and the country had a positive migration flow over the last decade.

Interesting statistics

In the following 6 chapters, you will quickly find the 38 most important statistics relating to "Demographics of Sweden".


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