• Sweden edition
 

Swedish town mulls IVF discount to combat population drain

Published: 16 Jun 2011 12:14 GMT+02:00
Updated: 16 Jun 2011 12:14 GMT+02:00

“Today there are about 5,600 of us– about the same as one block of flats in Stockholm,” Terese Bengard, a local politician in Ragunda municipality told The Local.

Like in the rest of small-town Sweden, population figures have been dwindling in Ragunda, located on the eastern edge of Jämtland County, over the last 10 to 20 years.

New figures from Statistics Sweden (Statistiska CentralbyrånSCB) show that the number of people moving to densely populated areas of the country increased by 383,000 between 2005 and 2010.

Today 85 percent of Swedes live in densely populated areas, which take up a mere 1.3 percent of the country's land area.

A similar scheme to that considered in Ragunda was introduced in the small communities of Berg, Strömsund and Härjedalen a few years back, where all inhabitants are offered financial support for fertility treatments.

This might be what will eventually happen in Ragunda as well, where the outlines of the scheme are still being worked out.

“We don’t know yet what we will be allowed to do, or even what we can afford to do. But it is important to explore all avenues and look at all creative ideas in order to increase our population figures,” said Bengard.

The municipality is considering all sorts of measures to attract people to the region.

Another measure up for discussion is looking to attract people to move in from densely populated countries in Europe, such as The Netherlands, a measure taken by many other rural Swedish regions.

The area also has strong ties to Thailand due to the Thai pavilion built there to commemorate a visit by Thai king Chulalongkorn in 1897.

“I often say that if every inhabitant in Ragunda could just get one more person to come and live here we double our population in no time,“ Bengard told The Local.

She thinks that what is important is to show that Ragunda welcomes new people and that there are job opportunities on offer contrary to popular belief about rural areas.

Financial aid for those in need of IVF or adoption is another factor that may attract people to the area.

The municipality board will decide on the scheme after the summer break.

TT/Rebecca Martin (news@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

19:15 June 16, 2011 by JulieLou40
"I often say that if every inhabitant in Ragunda could just get one more person to come and live here we double our population in no time," Bengard told The Local.

No s**t, Sherlock.
21:18 June 16, 2011 by Pro-alliance
With a family friendly nation that Sweden is- some areas continue to see depopulation. It is important that these districts' ways of life, history and heritage are preserved. Thus this initiative makes sense.
22:17 June 16, 2011 by update-2011
I wish the whole world is filled with Swedes! TOP NATION!!!!!!!!Loooove you SWEDES!
02:48 June 17, 2011 by cutthecrap
They should keep quiet about this. I think I know an organisation that will seek to give them a gift of a lot of undesirable residents that will plague their lives for ever.
08:36 June 17, 2011 by Zeffanyx
Thai people in NW Sweden, Iceland, Svalbard are already there and growing. More and more Finns make families with Thai women. You know why? Because these asian people still carry traditional values including sex roles. Gender equality shows itself clearly - the population simply dwindles.
15:41 June 17, 2011 by tadchem
Is the concern here for a shrinking population (not always a bad thing for the population) or a shrinking tax base (always a bad thing for spendthrift politicians)?
00:39 June 21, 2011 by jamesblish
The solution to population drain is not more people, it's employment and whatever else is missing and causing the people to move in the first place.
06:30 June 21, 2011 by Da Goat
Don't worry Ragunda just wait a year or so and they will all be back home again farming the land like the good old days!
Today's headlines
New coalition
New coalition reveals 'compromise' budget
Prime Minister Stefan Löfven and Green Party leader Åsa Romson. Photo: TT

New coalition reveals 'compromise' budget

UPDATED: Prime Minister Stefan Löfven's Social Democrat-led coalition has revealed its first budget proposal, listing plans to spend more than 20 billion kronor. READ  

Royal family
Swedish royal couple set wedding date
The couple pictured in the summer. Photo: TT

Swedish royal couple set wedding date

Sweden's Prince Carl Philip and Sofia Hellqvist, who got engaged earlier this year, have announced they will marry next June. READ  

Analysis
Sweden Democrat threats 'just a show'
Sweden Democrat leader Jimmie Åkesson. Photo: TT

Sweden Democrat threats 'just a show'

There is talk that the nationalist Sweden Democrats could trigger a fresh election, by rejecting the new coalition's budget. But leading Political Scientist Li Bennich Björkman tells The Local that the party is just game-playing and should be focusing on getting its fatigued leader back. READ  

Lifestyle
What's On in Sweden: October 24th - 31st
Chocolate and liquorice are on the menu in Gothenburg this weekend. Photo: Shutterstock

What's On in Sweden: October 24th - 31st

A secret gig in Stockholm, a short film festival in Uppsala and a gastronomy event in Gothenburg have caught our eye this week. READ  

Science
Astronaut helps launch first student satellite
Christer Fuglesang on a previous space mission. Photo: TT

Astronaut helps launch first student satellite

Sweden's debut astronaut Christer Fuglesang is helping students at KTH Royal Institute of Technology to become the first in the country to make their own satellite and send it into space. READ  

Weather
Sweden braces for ten centimetres of snow
Kiruna, in far northern Sweden, has already been hit by snow this season. Photo: TT

Sweden braces for ten centimetres of snow

Sweden's weather agency has warned that up to ten centimetres of snow are on the way for Sweden. READ  

Business and Money
Global profit boost for Handelsbanken
Handelsbanken is Sweden's second largest bank. Photo: Bertil Eriksson/TT

Global profit boost for Handelsbanken

Sweden's second-largest bank, Handelsbanken, has reported a rise in third-quarter profits, boosted by higher income from its loan book as it continues its expansion overseas. READ  

Stockholm 'sub hunt'
Sweden pulls back 'submarine' search
Navy vessels remain in the archipelago. Photo: Lars Pehrson/TT

Sweden pulls back 'submarine' search

Sweden is pulling back part of the naval operation which has been searching for a suspected Russian submarine off the coast of Stockholm for nearly a week. READ  

Julian Assange
Assange prepares for court ruling in Sweden
Julian Assange at Ecuador's embassy in the UK. Photo: Anthony Devlin

Assange prepares for court ruling in Sweden

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange says he is "confident" his asylum status will be resolved, as he awaits an imminent ruling on his case by a Swedish court. READ  

Opinion
'Why were we kept in the dark for years?'
The submarine hunt is now in it's sixth day. Photo: TT

'Why were we kept in the dark for years?'

Military expert Johanne Hildebrandt tells The Local that the biggest question in the Stockholm submarine hunt hasn't been answered yet - why don't we know more about the "other operations" from the last few years? READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Gallery
People-watching: October 22nd
Gallery
In Pictures: Prince Carl Philip and Sofia Hellqvist
Lifestyle
Eight things to love about renting a Swedish apartment
National
Vasa ship cannon blasted in Sweden
National
Sub hunt: Day-by-day
Blog updates

21 October

Denna & den här (The Swedish Teacher) »

"?Denna? or ?den hr?? Swedish language students often ask question about different pronouns. One pronoun that especially..." READ »

 

19 October

Getting it (Blogweiser) »

"Follow Joel Sherwood on FB Few watch baseball in Sweden. This is excellent when your team loses..." READ »

 
 
 
National
Sub hunt: Stockholm islanders share their fears with The Local
Sponsored Article
The best options for oversea transfers
National
Get 20% off unique Swedish homeware
National
Dentist gives free care to Roma beggars
Business & Money
Get your own office in Gothenburg or Stockholm - free for a day
Gallery
Property of the week: Malmö
Gallery
PHOTOS: 'Foreign activity' in Swedish waters
Gallery
People-watching: October 19th
TT
Society
QUIZ: How good is your Swedish?
Lifestyle
What's on in Sweden: October 17th - 24th
Society
The nudity... and nine other things expat men notice in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 15th
Gallery
Your views: Should outdoor smoking be banned in Sweden?
Business & Money
Sweden has 'large hole' in finances
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Finding a job in Stockholm
Society
Monster salmon caught in northern Sweden
Gallery
Property of the week: Lorensberg
National
Scandinavia's child bride
National
Ebola crisis: How is Sweden preparing?
Business & Money
How Sweden is becoming a cashless society
Gallery
Stockholm Burlesque Festival 2014
National
How a little red horse became a symbol for Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 12th
Business & Money
The hottest start-ups from southern Sweden
National
What's on in Sweden: October 10th - 17th
National
Stockholm is 'best' region for well-being
Gallery
People-watching: October 8th
National
Five facts to know about Patrick Modiano
Society
My Swedish Career: A French fashionista in Sweden
Society
Swede's anti-bully Facebook tale goes viral
Society
Have you seen Sweden's viral subway cancer campaign?
National
Isis: Swedes linked to Turkish prisoner swap
National
Should Swedes be banned from buying sex abroad?
Gallery
Fredrik Reinfeldt's leaving presents
National
Five Swedish TV shows you shouldn't miss
Gallery
A tool belt, a casserole, and a book. Fredrik Reinfeldt's parliament gifts
TT
Lifestyle
Top five winter festivals in Sweden
TT
National
Sami reindeer herders win mine reprieve
Gallery
Property of the Week: Gamla Enskede
Sponsored Article
How to catch the first lobster of the year
Politics
Ten new minister faces you should know
Team SCA
Sponsored Article
All-female SCA team takes off on Volvo Ocean Race
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

978
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
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
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