• Sweden's news in English
 
app_header_v3
More Swedes than ever are moving abroad
Swedes at Arlanda airport. Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT

More Swedes than ever are moving abroad

The Local · 7 Jan 2016, 17:18

Published: 07 Jan 2016 17:12 GMT+01:00
Updated: 07 Jan 2016 17:18 GMT+01:00

More Swedish residents chose to leave the Nordic nation to live in other countries in 2015 than at any other time in the last 160 years, freshly released figures suggest.
 
Between 1850 and 1930, there was mass emigration from Sweden amid high unemployment and crop failures, with around 50,000 people a year quitting the Scandinavian country.
 
According to Statistics Sweden, some 51,237 people left Sweden last year, including foreign-born residents heading back to their home countries or other destinations.
 
"The proportion of emigrants in relation to the Swedish population as a whole is not as great as in the 1800s. But the fact remains that Sweden is today also a country of emigration," Maria Solevid, political scientist at the University of Gothenburg, told Swedish broadcaster SVT on Thursday.
 
The official statistics follow separate figures released by the non-profit organisation Svenskar i världen (Swedes Worldwide), which last year published a widely-shared list of the most popular foreign destinations Swedes relocate to.
 
The United States featured at the top of the table, with 150,000 Swedes following in the footsteps of their ancestors. Meanwhile 90,000 are understood to live in the UK, with a similar figure settling in sunny Spain. Other warm climes including Thailand, France and Italy were among the leading ten choices.
 
However according to Solevid, there has been little detailed research on the specific reasons Swedes seek new lives abroad.
 
Story continues below…
"There is stunningly little knowledge of these people and why they move," she said, adding that her team intended to investigate the issue.
 
Despite rising numbers of people fleeing their frozen homeland, Sweden's population is continuing to grow at a record rate, driven by unprecedented immigration. Some 163,000 people sought asylum in Sweden in 2015, while the number of foreigners relocating from other EU countries also continued to grow rapidly.
 
Sweden's total population is expected to pass 10 million for the first time in history later this year, according to Statistics Sweden.

For more news from Sweden, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Today's headlines
Asylum seeker boy stuck in Denmark after train mix-up
ID checks at Kastrup Airport. Photo: Björn Lindgren/TT

His legal guardian described the error as a "catastrophe" for the boy.

Cash alert! Last chance to deposit your old notes
Head to the bank if you've got any of these. Photo: Micke Larsson/TT

Bank it!

The Local List
Six tips for learning Swedish without even being in Sweden
A Swedish Midsummer party in New York. Photo: Johan Brunkvist/TT

The Local's intern, Jack Schofield, taught himself Swedish from his home in the UK. Here's how he did it.

Ikea threatens to shelve Russia growth plans
Everything Moscow. Photo: Maxim Murmur/AP

Will the Swedish furniture goliath retract its rubles?

Swedish police brace for 'unpredictable' pope
Sweden's Queen Silvia and Princess Madeleine meeting Pope Francis in the Vatican last year. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Nobody knows quite what to expect when Pope Francis visits secular Sweden this autumn.

Could this Swedish finding help cure alcoholism?
What causes alcohol dependency? Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Scientists hope their findings will end the stigmatization of alcoholism.

Man jailed for six years for asylum home arson
The district court in Västmanland. Photo: Pontus Lundahl/TT

A court in western Sweden has sentenced a 28-year-old asylum seeker to six years in jail for starting a fire at the asylum centre where he lived.

Volvo on hunt for 400 new engineers in Sweden
Want to help build one of these? Photo: Björn Larsson Rosvall/TT

Want to work in Sweden?

Swedish hearts fail on Mondays and at Christmas
Tell me why I don't like Mondays. Photo: Marcus Lindblad/SvD/TT

July is Sweden's most heart-warming month.

Woman told she's not Swedish enough for a job
A sun bather wears a Swedish flag hat to celebrate National Day. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Sweden's discrimination watchdog is on the case.

Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
National
How good is Sweden for expat life?
Sponsored Article
Why you should learn to trade (and just how easy it is)
Gallery
Property of the week: Landskrona, Skåne
Gallery
People-watching: August 26th-28th
Blog updates

23 August

A Summer in Sweden (The Diplomatic Dispatch) »

"For our first year here in Sweden we decided to have all our holidays in Sweden.…" READ »

 

22 July

After the horror, carry on regardless (Globally Local) »

"This time last week, we were just digesting the horror of the Nice killings, in which…" READ »

 
 
 
Sponsored Article
6 reasons expats use TransferWise to send money
Travel
What are Sherpas doing on Sweden's highest mountain?
Sponsored Article
Malmö to host global skateboard championship
Gallery
People-watching: August 24th
The Local Voices
'I want to be a businesswoman but I don’t care about money'
National
Experts: Gothenburg grenade blast is 'part of a cycle of violence'
Sponsored Article
6 simple travel hacks that will make your life easier
Gallery
Property of the week: Karlsborg
Sponsored Article
Five easy ways to travel more often
National
Why Sweden could change its criticised detention laws
National
Watch this dog's reaction when she tries Swedish fermented herring
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
Gallery
People-watching: August 19th-21st
Sponsored Article
Jordan: where history meets adventure
National
How to find student housing in Sweden
National
VIDEO: Swede films first Northern Lights of the season
Sponsored Article
The mystique of Asia - in the middle of Stockholm
Gallery
People-watching: August 17th
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Society
Swedish population nears ten million
Sponsored Article
Jordan Pass: your ticket to the experience of a lifetime
The Local Voices
This Syrian artist found love in a Swedish library
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
National
Sex pigs halt traffic after laser attack on Pokémon teens. Only in Sweden.
Sponsored Article
6 simple travel hacks that will make your life easier
Gallery
Property of the week: Hammarby Sjöstad, Stockholm
Society
Drunk knight detained in Stockholm
National
Can you solve this Swede's strange Star Wars mystery?
Gallery
People-watching: August 12th-14th
National
Swedes cheer first snow of the season
Gallery
People-watching: August 10th
The Local Voices
Gabriel mastered Swedish and got accepted onto a medicine degree in just 7 months
3,373
jobs available