• Sweden edition
 
SPONSORED ARTICLE
Dreams of 'röda stugor' lead to move to Sweden

Dreams of 'röda stugor' lead to move to Sweden

Published: 20 Oct 2010 10:28 GMT+02:00
Updated: 20 Oct 2010 10:28 GMT+02:00

The area around Västervik in southeastern Sweden is one part of the country that is attracting many of these migrants. As Sweden grapples with a projected shortage of workers in certain sectors in as little as 10 years when current employees retire, municipalities across the country are racing to attract skilled workers and entrepreneurs to their communities.

"We see a trend that more people are coming, especially people from other countries in northern Europe: not necessary Scandinavia, but Germany and the Netherlands," says Hanna Hägg of the municipality and immigrant service of Västervik.

She cites the example of Germany's Maren and Fred Ziechmann, who moved to Rumma, 25 km northwest of Västervik, last year to open Björkhyddan, a three-room bed and breakfast and bakery. Although their home is not red, the landscape is dotted with the red cottages and outbuildings of neighbouring farms.

The couple in their 50s, who had previously lived in China and Japan for seven years, initially came to Sweden last year during a five-month, 6,200-km cycling vacation through Norway, Sweden and Finland. They fell in love with Sweden. Returning to Berlin on September 21st, they started looking for houses in Sweden in November and signed a contract the following month.

"Fred and Maren came because they had a busy life with a lot of work. They were looking for nature and less stress and started a business in the countryside outside Västervik. They are good ambassadors for Sweden. Many German tourists come to the region thanks to them," says Hägg.

Hägg points out that while many German and Dutch migrants find house prices affordable in Sweden compared to Germany and the Netherlands, a stronger motivation for moving to Sweden involves leaving behind stressful lives and overpopulated areas.

"We see a lot of people move from the big cities to the countryside. Fred and Maren started the business not necessarily to make a lot of money. They live there and make some money, but it's mostly for the lifestyle - they wanted something different. They have a bakery and are artists as well - they paint beautiful paintings," says Hägg.

Hägg points out that Västervik welcomes migrants like the Ziechmanns with open arms. By living in the countryside, they help to keep services such as buses running in sparsely populated areas.

In addition to couples like the Ziechmanns, who have adult children, Hägg and her other colleagues at other municipalities across Sweden work together to actively recruit families with children to move to their regions. Hägg says young families are attracted to Sweden because of the high quality of life, safe environment for their children and proximity to nature.

Hägg estimates that 900 Dutch immigrants move to Sweden every year and an equal number from Germany. New residents are attracted to the Västervik region because it is close to the sea, which is especially important to Dutch migrants, and the archipelago, which provides a uniquely Swedish landscape.

Like the Ziechmanns, many German migrants are initially tourists and are specifically drawn to Småland, the southern Swedish province in which Västervik is located, due to a love for Pippi Longstocking author Astrid Lindgren's books and stories. The archipelago is also exotic to German visitors to Västervik and the many elks in the area are a big attraction.

What Hägg has found is that similar to the Ziechmanns' story, many tourists come in the summer and ask her about moving to Sweden after returning home.

"It's a decision that takes a lot of time, moving and leaving your safe life to start something new, learning the language, looking for a job, getting the kids into school. A lot of pieces have to fall into place. Sometimes it takes a year, sometimes seven to 10 years. Few people just pack their bags and move," says Hägg.

Migrants who come to Västervik tend to find work in their fields or branch out on their own like the Ziechmanns if they prefer to remain independent.

"Entrepreneurs are always good for a country," notes Hägg.

Although Germany and the Netherlands are the current sources of targeted emigration from European countries, Hägg foresees tourists from other densely populated countries that will come calling in the future as well.

"Tourism is the window for people to move to Sweden. They see Sweden when they come as tourists. That's when the seed starts to grow because they like nature and the way Swedish people are. They experience something and they want more than just the tourist part. They start to think, 'This is the place where I want to live,'" observes Hägg.

Related links:

Paul Rapacioli (paul.rapacioli@thelocal.com)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

NEWS_NOT_YET_IMPORTED
Today's headlines

Woman finds Ikea bags stuffed with 80 skeletons

A woman in southern Sweden is furious after she stumbled upon scores of skulls and human bones inside Ikea bags in a church cellar. READ  

Swedish Wikipedia jumps to second biggest

Swedish Wikipedia jumps to second biggest

There are now more Swedish Wikipedia entries than any other language in the world, besides English. And there's one Swede who's largely responsible. READ  

Assault with iron pipe 'no hate crime': police
The aftermath of the attack in Seved, Malmö on July 6th 2014. Drago Prvulovic / TT

Assault with iron pipe 'no hate crime': police

Police in southern Sweden have concluded that a man who was beaten with an iron pipe for hanging an Israeli flag in his window was not a victim of a hate crime. READ  

AstraZeneca hikes earnings outlook

AstraZeneca hikes earnings outlook

After fighting off a fierce takeover bid from Pfizer, Swedish-British drugmaker AstraZeneca raised its 2014 earnings outlook and posted rising second quarter sales on Thursday. READ  

Race to be scrapped from Swedish legislation
Integration Minister Erik Ullenhag meets children in Husby, Stockholm. Photo: Jonas Ekströmer/TT

Race to be scrapped from Swedish legislation

The Swedish government announced that it plans to remove all mentions of race from Swedish legislation, saying that race is a social construct which should not be encouraged in law. READ  

US aircraft 'violates' Swedish airspace

US aircraft 'violates' Swedish airspace

A mystery airplane that passed over Swedish airspace recently has been revealed as an American aircraft, sources revealed on Thursday. READ  

Elite schools stripped of 'special' privileges

Elite schools stripped of 'special' privileges

Sweden's three elite boarding schools can no longer charge tuition fees, the government announced on Thursday, in a string of changes following a two-year review. READ  

Bildt lays out four steps to Gaza peace
Photos: TT

Bildt lays out four steps to Gaza peace

Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt stated that there are four steps to achieving peace in Gaza, and that it begins with removing the blockade - which has "played into Hamas' hands". READ  

Malmström snags EU commissioner post again

Malmström snags EU commissioner post again

Cecilia Malmström has been nominated to be the European Commissioner for another five years, Sweden's prime minister announced on Thursday. READ  

Stockholm Pride 2014
In Pictures: Stockholm's Historic Pride Party
Conchita Wurst belts out a ballad. Photo: Rebecca Jacobs

In Pictures: Stockholm's Historic Pride Party

With Stockholm's Pride Week in full swing, The Local's Rebecca Jacobs heads on down to the traditional Historic Party to take in the colours, Conchita, and the community. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
National
Stockholm Pride bars Sweden Democrats
National
Gender neutral pronoun 'hen' enters dictionary
Society
Top ten cafes in Stockholm
People-watching
Gallery
People-watching - Stockholm Pride
Photo: Henrik Trygg/Imagebank Sweden
Society
Sweden worst in EU at getting foreigners jobs
Blog updates

31 July

Calling a speedo a speedo (Blogweiser) »

"There are a lot of speedos on Europe’s beaches. Some European males are evidently more comfortable sporting small, stretchy suits on public beaches than I would be. I accept it may be nice to have swimwear that’s not long and cumbersome. A speedo is maybe also good for tanning. But strolling around town in a..." READ »

 

27 July

Approaching Stockholm (Around Sweden in a kayak) »

"I woke up in the comfort of my own little cabin on Eva and Rolf’s boat, it was 7:30am and I was feeling a bit groggy after a couple of beers with all the lovely locals the night before. The previous day had really taken its toll on my body and I was very stiff and..." READ »

 
 
 
Lifestyle
Stockholm Pride kicks off
Analysis
The top six ways the US and Sweden differ
National
Swedish youth suicides hit 25-year high
National
Politician reported for selling 'negro ball'
National
Police turn blind eye to Swedish 'slave trade'
Gallery
Stockholm Pride: Allsång på Skansen with Conchita Wurst
Skatteverket
Sponsored Article
Introducing... ID cards and permits in Stockholm
Gallery
People-watching, June 26th - 28th. Get inside Stockholm's hottest nightclubs
Gallery
Top ten Swedish taboos
Society
Seven-year-old Swede cycles to Berlin
Politics
'Gaza conflict needs help, not empty rhetoric'
Society
Swedes voted 'most beautiful' in the Nordics
Business & Money
Sweden demands EU clarity on Bitcoin tax
National
Swedish organic sales enjoy 'amazing' growth
Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT
Society
What's On in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching July 23
National
Swedish cops elect not to shoot 'angry elks'
Business & Money
New alcohol retail rules threaten micro-breweries
Gallery
People-watching Båstad
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Your finances in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Housing in Stockholm
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

738
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
If you want to drink, that’s your business.
If you want to stop, we can help.

Learn more about English-language Alcoholics Anonymous in Sweden. No dues. No fees. Confidentiality assured.
AA-EUROPE.ORG/SWEDEN
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se