• Sweden edition

Sweden best at integration: study

Published: 28 Feb 2011 12:52 GMT+01:00
Updated: 28 Feb 2011 14:49 GMT+01:00

Sweden's score of 83 gave it the highest rank among countries included in the study. Portugal ranked second with a score of 79, followed by Canada (72).

Neighbouring Finland claimed the number 4 spot (69), with Norway coming in seventh (66) and Denmark trailing its Scandinavian neighbours in 14th place (53).

According to the index, derived from an analysis of 148 different factors, Swedish integration policies offer favourable conditions for migrants to participate in society, including finding employment.

Also highlighted as strengths were Swedish laws pertaining to family reunification and anti-discrimination, while laws related to housing, education, political participation and citizenship were considered no less advantageous.

Henrik Nilsson, a start-up coordinator and member of the Red Cross, Sweden's national partner to the study, attributed much of Sweden's high ranking to the right mix of policies and willing volunteers.

“Sweden's first place shows that good forces can combine to produce results. We have a Parliament that passes laws giving newcomers the right to instruction in Swedish…and thousands of volunteers who support new arrivals when they enter into Swedish society,” Nilsson said in a statement.

“At the same time there is much we can do better in the practical work at the local, regional and national level in terms, such as health.”

The long-term study, known at MIPEX, puts Sweden's ability to deal with the challenges of integration above efforts in place in all other European Union (EU) member states, Norway, Switzerland, Canada and the US.

A collaborative effort between the British Council, the Migration Policy Group and national partners, the MIPEX study compares and contrasts integration policies across 31 countries in Europe and North America, surveying what various governments are doing to promote integration of immigrants and refugees with residence permits.

For the purposes of the study, immigrants are defined as non-EU nationals who enter their countries of destination legally. Asylum seekers, refugees, the undocumented, and intra-EU migrants and people will immigrant backgrounds who haven't themselves immigrated are therefore not included in the analysis.

MIPEX also benchmarks whether governments grant equal rights, responsibilities and opportunities for all residents according to international standards agreed upon by EU member states.

“While change is happening at a very slow pace, there are still many obstacles to how immigrants live, work and participate in our societies,” the British Council said in a statement.

The findings revealed that great disparities exist in how Europe is integrating its 20 million immigrants who legally reside in the region.

“Most countries are creating as many opportunities as obstacles for immigrants to become equal members of society,” the British independent government agency said in the same statement.

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TT/The Local/kh (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

14:12 February 28, 2011 by Localer
is this a joke ?
14:26 February 28, 2011 by gplusa
I think they are saying that something which is not very good is better than something which is worse.
14:30 February 28, 2011 by dizzy09
the researchers must be on drugs!!!
14:38 February 28, 2011 by xavidx
April fools day!!!!!!!


Wait a miniute.... Its not april is it?
14:45 February 28, 2011 by JLondon
what a load of BS
14:45 February 28, 2011 by star10
There are lots of obstacles. But the study largely cofirms my perception that Sweden is one of the most friendly country to immigrants. The official policies are good. Fidning jobs is hard, largely because employers are hesitant to employ someone whose "background" they don't know. However, Swedes in general don't have anti-immigrant sentiments as we see in other European countries like Denmark (where everything seems to be about immigrants, and in a negative sense).
14:57 February 28, 2011 by canuk
the name for this type of article is propaganda. the swedish goverment is great at this. complete and utter BS is what this really is.
15:02 February 28, 2011 by William Sachsen-Coburg-Gotha
They clearly never spoke to any actual immigrants to see the reality.
15:09 February 28, 2011 by Malmoimm
The rating is partly based on what laws are on the books. How they are applied is a different question and not considered in this ranking. So, ya it is illegal to hire only native Swedes, dumping immigrants. But is that law inforcable is a different issue.
15:13 February 28, 2011 by Jes
What about Uganda , Kenya , Thailand or Brazil ?

Did the study cover these countries ?

I have visted these 4 countries and seen how immigrants are treated . My impression is that those societies / countries actullay treat their immigrants better than anywhere else on earth . Maybe the issue is about which country has more money to spend on their guests -------- I mean immigrants .

Besides , if 60 % immigrants in Malmö are jobless , this would mean that Sweden is good at what exactly ??
15:14 February 28, 2011 by 3181311518
Said it before. Sweden always comes out on top in numbers and figures, and realtiy is something totally different. The world thinks Sweden is paradise based on these fabrications.
15:28 February 28, 2011 by Syftfel
Who the hell is the idiot who wrote this story? The British Council and Migration POlicy Griup is nlot enough. Let me have a name! Maybe what the story is really saying is that Sweden is the country that has, per capita, wasted most money on immigrants. But that doesn't necessarily equal "best at integration". Either that or it exclude native Swedes from the equation whe they say "integration". Could someone please clarify. I'm lost here. Help me out. What don't I understand?
15:41 February 28, 2011 by iff
Hmm, yes I'm sure the angry people writing comments here are better judges of this matter than a team of researchers having worked for months collecting data.
15:57 February 28, 2011 by William Sachsen-Coburg-Gotha
Quite right iff. The people commenting are immigrants living in Sweden, with first hand experience, so are indeed far better judges of this matter than a team of researchers in the UK looking at paperwork. Any decent researcher knows that.
15:59 February 28, 2011 by matona1
wonderful result from useless research
16:17 February 28, 2011 by RobinHood
Oh my. There should be an award for the most inaccurate survey of the year? This one is right up there along with "10% of Swedish children live in poverty", and "The rich jump Swedish hospital queues."

Where do these people get the imagination to manipulate the real Sweden as much as they do? Everybody who actually lives here knows it's nonsense.
16:24 February 28, 2011 by Takai
Ladies and gentlemen,

Before asking if the result of this resarch is the real picture of Sweden or not, first we need to ask ourselves HOW it was done. The article answered it pretty clear:

"For the purposes of the study, immigrants are defined as non-EU nationals who enter their countries of destination legally. Asylum seekers, refugees, the undocumented, and intra-EU migrants and people will immigrant backgrounds who haven't themselves immigrated are therefore not included in the analysis."

Open for discussion and knowledge exchange, trolls are going to be ignored.

Thank you.
16:29 February 28, 2011 by SarahPalin
"The world thinks Sweden is paradise based on these fabrications. "

Just as the world thinks Sweden is the rape capital of the world based on fabricated feminist loony laws.
16:33 February 28, 2011 by vb74
I always wondered why Europeans made fun of Swedes. The more I read about sweden the more i begin to understand why. I heard an Englishman talking about immigration in Sweden and how statistics seem to point to the fact that if things don't change, eventually Sweden will become a muslim country. And he eventually said" bullocks to the Swededs they deserve it". I have to agree, I mean if anyone is so easily led as to not see the obvious about these

"asylum seekers" then maybe they do deserve to go into the trash bin of history.
16:45 February 28, 2011 by Jannik
What a load of BS!

"Also highlighted as strengths were Swedish laws pertaining to family reunification and anti-discrimination, while laws related to housing, education, political participation and citizenship were considered no less advantageous."

To achieve a high score, a country needs to implement leftist policies like open borders, affirmative action and tax funded gifts for immigrants.

This amounts to politically driven social science.

And is nothing more than a blatant but clumsy attempt at producing multicultural propaganda.
17:59 February 28, 2011 by Njal
@British Council and the Migration Policy Group.

It doesn't look like too many people are agreeing with your bullsh!t facts. Perhaps you think that if you bombard people with the same crap enough, they'll stop thinking for themselves.

Congrat's to the local for the same unimaginative indoctrination...ahem, reporting.
18:03 February 28, 2011 by soultraveler3
I was also thinking what a bunch of bs until I saw this paragraph.

"For the purposes of the study, immigrants are defined as non-EU nationals who enter their countries of destination legally. Asylum seekers, refugees, the undocumented, and intra-EU migrants and people will immigrant backgrounds who haven't themselves immigrated are therefore not included in the analysis."

So the only ones they looked at all were in the very small minority of immigrants who came here with a job or family ties already. Of course they're going to have an easier time integrating lol.

The headline and this entire story seems like some silly, worthless propaganda. They should've done a study that shows the real mess that immigration and integration in Sweden really is. What a joke!
18:04 February 28, 2011 by Iraniboy
It is saying that if you thought otherwise, you're deeply influenced by the right wing propaganda! Embrace the facts, leave the propaganda!
18:56 February 28, 2011 by Swedesmith
And I just conducted a survey in which I was voted the world's greatest lover. Of course I only interviewed myself, my wife and my mistress. Okay, I had to throw out my wife's response and I really don't have a mistress.
19:02 February 28, 2011 by Radical1
is there a IKEA in Libya or something?
19:12 February 28, 2011 by Mib
Statistics, surveys, opinions, views etc etc....they contradict each other that eventually, no-one believes anything that is reported, unless of course it suits their own agenda.

What this and many others quite clearly highlight is that there needs to be independent statistical centres in each country that are charitable status and receive guaranteed funding from the Government. Media are only allowed to publish such statistics if they provide links to the reports that contains how the report was created, how the statistics were collated and a minimum number of people etc to provide reliable stats.

I'm sick of reading that one day Chicken is bad for you and the next day, it's the best thing or eating 50 oranges a day was proven to make you live longer and the next day it's proven to give you kidney failure. We're bombarde with so much cr@p, that the best thing to do is trust your instincts, close your eyes and block your ears to the so called experts. How many economists were predicting the credit crunch? I bet not many and these people have PHds, paid lost of money and they don't know their @rse from their elbow. We are the experts in many respects and many of our suspicions have been confimred by Wikileaks that proves that our cynicism is correct in most cases. Anyone for tea :0)
19:14 February 28, 2011 by nevon
I don't even know why we bother with all this research and data collection and science and whatnot when it's clear that a bunch of bitter half-wits posting under internet newspaper articles already know everything that needs to be known.
19:58 February 28, 2011 by Mack
I think this is all about theory versus practical. In theory, Sweden has a lot of of good things for integration but in practice I can't imagine it is better than Canada. A more accurate study is not of the laws and policies in place but the actual success of new people to integrate into society. That is the only thing that matters.
20:19 February 28, 2011 by Kaethar
It's so funny to read the comments here. People simply can't accept that Sweden is continuing its streak of being labelled as the best country for integration. I think it's got to do with failure on your part. You've failed to make a good life for yourselves in Sweden and want to rid yourselves of responsibility. So typical.

Clearly people have talked themselves into believing Sweden is a certain way and you simply choose to deny facts when presented with them. Maybe you should consider that your views may be wrong?
20:35 February 28, 2011 by Iraniboy
Well said Kaethar!!

The majority of those who comment here are either not living in Sweden or coming from some other European/North American countries and haven't grasped the Swedish culture of problem solving. They have got used to divide people into two good and bad groups and blame the bad guys for almost anything from global warming to terrorism.
20:35 February 28, 2011 by Jannik

Why dont you start confronting the actual arguments put forth, before you resort to psychoanalyzing commentators ad nauseum.
21:20 February 28, 2011 by Taxlady
I study labour markets and it is so hard for non Swedes to get any type of good jobs here.They must apply 3 times more for the same job than an avergae Swede. And then, if they have a non Swedish last name their application, on average is thrown out.

This is such propaganda!
21:30 February 28, 2011 by mojofat
I find this pretty surprising as well. I'm currently living in one of the so-called immigrant "ghettos" because of this ridiculous housing system, and it seems like it's a defacto national policy to sequester all the "brown" people in these ghettos while all the nice blue-eyed swedes manage to have apartments in the city (I'm a blue-eyed american, for what it's worth). It's weird though because I do see policies that appear to be grand overtures to integrate immigrants, but then I've also bumped up against these horribly conceived policies that make it impossible to actually integrate. I think if they made english one of the official languages it might help a little bit, as that's the somewhat standard 1st or 2nd language most people who travel nowadays possess.
21:36 February 28, 2011 by witsltd
I am surprised at majority of above comments. I have to conclude that you are really unhappy in Sweden.

Sometimes trying too hard doesnt help, and I think Sweden tries too hard.

Ill suggest some of you to go ahead and live in some other countries. I have lived in countries without any integration policy at all. I also have relatives in USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Holland, Germany and some other countries...the kind of problems they face there are unimaginable in Sweden. The immigration in USA, Canada and Australia are targeted. They bring only those they need to.

And who said that it is harder to get a job for a foreigner in Sweden as compared to Canada?

Someone mentioned about theory vs practical. Well...you can not possibly know all the practicalities faced by all the immigrant. To get a grasp on that, you need to rely on research as the one described in this article.

Anyway, dont want to be rude...but if you are whiner, you will not like in Sweden. Just be ready to be a hard worker.

And btw I am an non-white immigrant, lived in Stockholm for little over 5 years. I agree with the research.
21:45 February 28, 2011 by krattan
How many people in this thread really has experience from immigrating to several countries so that you can actually compare your own experiences between these countries?

I think few.
22:08 February 28, 2011 by jack sprat
Got to be the most ridiculous statement of all time.

Integration in Sweden has hardly even begun.

Just had to check the date, as I thought it might be April the First.
23:00 February 28, 2011 by Nemesis
That is not funny.

The journalist from the local, who wrote this is is an extreme racist and I challenge the author to prove otherswise. The Local is indulging and excusing racism for putting forward that point of view.

This article is an extreme perversion of the racist enviroment in Skåne and the rest of Sweden. The author is obviously a racist who supports extreme right wing racism.

Maybe it is time that Swedes outside Sweden, were treated as they treat non-swedes in Sweden. That would be a brutal lesson in racism what might wake them up from there zenophobic dream state.
23:40 February 28, 2011 by skatty
Actually this survey about integration in Sweden can be true, because it has excluded a remarkable number of people, who are considered immigrants in Sweden, according to the article.

Generally from historical point of view non-EU nationals didn't move in Sweden as immigrants for long time. Most of immigrations have been from Europe in the golden age of industry in Sweden, a few non-EU came as immigrant in 50s, 60s to Sweden. In contrast the three main countries in EU; UK and France had and still have the major immigration from their previous colonies, and Germany got its immigrants from Turkey as guestworker (for long time). Canada and US have immigrants from everywhere, however with different rules, and by different classifications and policy from EU, which can hardly be compared with EU and shouldn't be considered in this survey.

Anyway, the major non-EU came to Sweden in the last 30 years and mostly as refugees, and not immigrant. People don't wake up in a morning and tell each others: let immigrate to Sweden. There should be some reasons, and Sweden never had that reasons for non-EU people to move to Sweden, like cultural or linguistic connection, or colonial relations. Sweden as a country with high tax, cold weather, cold people, to be far from central Europe would not attract non-EU to here. In stead, misery, war, political turbulence have motivated non-EU (mainly from developing countries) to move in here, and there are very few non-EU from developing countries as immigrants in Sweden; so the survey might be true, base on these immigrants, who are a very concentrated few happy people!

And the most important thing is that different countries have different understanding from integration. The questions, which are considered for the evaluation of integration in one country, may not work in another country. You get a good job in Sweden as an immigrant, then you might think that you are integrated, because it's so hard to get job, but if you live in US then you want a good job, a good car, and a good house, and then you may think that you are integrated!
01:19 March 1, 2011 by soultraveler3
The worst part about this is that even the people included in the study, non-EU, non refugee, often have a very hard time integrating into Swedish society. It's easier if you have a job or a spouse to integrate but you still have to deal with a mostly cold and standoffish society.

People farther down in Europe seem to be more friendly and open and willing to give people a chance in terms of friendship and jobs. It's the same in the US and Canada. You can go almost anywhere and hear people with broken english working, from fast food places all the way up to doctors. People work with it and figure it out. You also see groups of friends that are a mix of any color you can imagine, you don't see that very often here.

Sweden is two societies in one country, the refugees and the swedes. The immigrants in this study are left floating in between. They don't really fit with either group but often have a little easier time with the native swedes than refugees do.

This study seems a little wanky. :/
01:19 March 1, 2011 by Just_Kidding
Believe it or not, I say Sweden is better than Canada and Uddevalla is better than highly wonderful Vancouver.

Atheist Iranian
02:13 March 1, 2011 by Njal

That's fine, perhap's you could take Persian criminal organization 'persian pride' with you, although I wouldn't wish that on the Swedes.

Tell me Just_Kidding, how does Vancouver compare with the 'highly wonderful' Tehran?

Let's have some more Iranians shall we?
04:18 March 1, 2011 by Smiling Canuk
This is actually a British study so let's not dump on the Swedes. I seriously doubt that immigrant integration in Sweden is better than Canada or the USA.
06:11 March 1, 2011 by dizzy09
actually sweden has the best integration policy on paper...i repeat on paper.
06:17 March 1, 2011 by loudasthunder
Yes, the insurgent muslim terrorist seem to intergrate well here in Sverige : )
06:40 March 1, 2011 by technoviking
@ iraniboy

I think it's obvious who the bad guys are when you are dealing with a fascist, sexist, repressive ideology whose main text preaches the destruction and enslavement of all non-believers.

"Good guys" don't follow a religion that asks for a slave tax from people who don't follow their religion. "Good guys" don't follow a book that sanctions abusing women because of their inferiority. There is nothing "good" that comes from tolerating any ideology like that.
09:35 March 1, 2011 by William Sachsen-Coburg-Gotha
Not EU, not an asylum seeker, not an illegal immigrant. So that means they are talking about Norwegians. Well that explains the result.
11:54 March 1, 2011 by Roy E
Sweden seems to excel at delusion, ethno-masochism, and societal suicide. One has to have a pretty sick and twisted mind to be proud of that.

Why the population has permitted such a bunch of foolish ideologues to put such destructive policies in place is truly a mystery for the ages.
13:48 March 1, 2011 by Jes
@witsldt , I think that you are confused . So , I am offering to unconfuse you if you name the country without any integration policy at all that you lived in .

Meanwhile , I can inform you that allmost all Swedish authorities have confessed that the integration policy in place has FAILED .

I would suggest that saying that Sweden`s FAILED integration policy is the BEST is like Gadhaffi claiming that Libyans love him
15:27 March 1, 2011 by Smiling Canuk
Bottom line - this was a probably a "study" based on a handful of criteria and put together by a few sociology academics. Like most ivory tower academic theory, it often has very little relationship to what is actually happening in the real world.
20:01 March 1, 2011 by William Sachsen-Coburg-Gotha
I've actually gone and read the report and it makes very interesting reading. Sweden scores 100% for labour market mobility. It says:

'The Swedish Public Employment Service is now responsible for assessing newcomers' skills (e.g. DK, FR, PT). During the introduction interview, it also informs them of available general and targeted support (e.g. DE, Flanders in BE). Newcomers help write up their introduction plan and have the individual right, wherever they live, to equal benefits for these measures. They freely choose an 'introduction guide' who helps them find a job.'

Does that match up to your experience of Arbetsförmedling?
00:34 March 2, 2011 by UKperson66
So I am a non-religious white UK person with a job here. I have lived in Italy and now Sweden for some years.

I think Sweden is a fairer society than Italy (not so much as compared to the UK though perhaps). Integration means more than work 'equality' and 'fairness' though. Swedish people, fundamentally, are xenophobic in my opinion, nice enough at a superficial level but they like to stick with what they know. If you are foreign, they don't want to know. Of course not all Swedish people are like this - some have experience of the outside world - but, taking the mean, as compared to Italian and English people I find them to be of extra terrestrial origin. Sorry.
01:25 March 2, 2011 by ooh456
I am an American immigrant and find living in Sweden fantastic. I got a wife, kids, good job, and a house on Sodermalm. Sweeeeden rocks!
09:33 March 2, 2011 by pintoflex
Another fabrication. Even more absurd than the recently declared "world's best health system" . . .

What's next ? World's best weather?
12:23 March 2, 2011 by Jes
@ooh456 ,

good one !

I am also a Swedish immigrant who lives , has a wife ,kids , a job and a house at an Ocean beach in Banjui is Gambia . Should I also declare that Gambia is the best counrty at intergrating immigrants ?
18:12 March 2, 2011 by Decedo
'derived from an analysis of 148 different factors'....with that many variables, you can weight them a little different and make Libya come out on top.
20:32 March 2, 2011 by jbat
LOL:.. This will never ever being accepted by many immigrants here who come here with a lot of HOPEs... to get better life here.. but then.. NO JOBS... so NO JOBS for them mean failure to Swedish integration system!
21:47 March 2, 2011 by Rebel
Swedish group-think at its best.
01:57 March 3, 2011 by buschmann
Just today: Enig) flyktingar som uppehåller sig utan tillstånd i sverige ska få rätt till sjuk -och hällsovård, skolgång och starta förtag. Kinda says itt all.
14:35 March 4, 2011 by BobYourUncle
I must admit, this is hilarious
14:39 March 4, 2011 by FozIber
But... when arrives to personal opinion, goodbye democracy. As the publicity says 'who speaks Swedish anyway?'

And the SFI proceeds with full power, dominion and absolute right to say all non-senses as to treat people as they want - even with foreigners that in nothing depend on Sweden. Is this integration's sucess...?
15:48 March 9, 2011 by morriskn
this is a joke. every foreigner (well at least over 90%) who has lived in Sweden for more than 1 year knows how terrible the situation is. for the record, I am totally legal immigrant from middleeast who obtained my master degree in the tech field. I have had enormous problems meeting people, establishing social and professional contacts, seeking and finding jobs, finding people and friends to talk to and thus have enough motivation to learn Swedish, and so on and on.... 2 times in my stay in Sweden I needed to find a flat, and I was searching and sending emails to the ads in blocket. in each case i sent at least 50 emails to the landlords, and for f***s sake not even one Swedish tenant even replied to my email (i was using my real name which is obviously not Swedish). in short, Sweden in a nightmare for immigrants unless you are totally desperate in your life and absolutely need to stay there. I'm already in the process of immigrating to canada and leave this frozen hell forever...
19:37 June 29, 2011 by manrush
So much negativity.

Way to be proud of your country.

I'm guessing you jaded lot can't stand anything positive to be said about the country you profess to love.
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