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Swedes more positive to refugees: report

TT/The Local · 28 Jun 2009, 11:27

Published: 28 Jun 2009 11:27 GMT+02:00

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"The trend is that opposition to refugees is in decline," said professor in political science Marie Demker to the news agency TT.

A new survey, to be published by the SOM institute at Gothenburg University in a couple of weeks, shows that the proportion of Swedes that think it is a good idea to accept fewer refugees has declined from 49 percent to 45 percent over the past year.

Marie Demker, who is responsible for the survey, says that the figures collated through the years indicate a gradual, steady decline.

"We had a significantly greater opposition in the beginning of the 1990s."

She says that the results of the new survey can be considered somewhat unexpected considering the advance of a party such as the far-right Sweden Democrats, which advocates tighter restrictions.

The survey also indicates that factors such as education, age and place of residence also affect attitudes towards refugees.

For example 57 percent of those who lack high school (gymnasium) or university education consider it a good idea to accept fewer refugees. Among those with higher education only 28 percent agree with the statement.

"Education is the single strongest explanatory factor to attitudes regarding the acceptance of refugees," Marie Demker said.

Story continues below…

The full report from the SOM institute will be published on July 7th.

The survey involved 6,000 people interviewed during the autumn of 2008.

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

15:01 June 28, 2009 by Aynte
Aha, that's great news from a far-wing party. I think it would only boost the part's popularity and probably to sharp their chance to win!

I hope the other party's would follow suit..

15:26 June 28, 2009 by Kaethar
What's a far-wing party? :)

I don't see how this study would have any political impact at all...
18:52 June 28, 2009 by bocagill
First i have to say that this survey is wrong, i have been living here for almost 5 years , coming here vistiing14 years before that, i am sorry but the 6,000 people you survey most of them lied because most swedes are under the table table racists when it come to people living here from other countrys and this study won't boost the far-right because there are laughing at this survey as much as i am beacause they know its not true
18:58 June 28, 2009 by byke
Shame Sweden (as in government) cant differentiate the difference between refugee and immigrant ...... Or even European !
19:00 June 28, 2009 by Greg in Canada
I think a more logical question would be how many refugees do you think Sweden can accept?
19:44 June 28, 2009 by Kaethar
@bocagill: LOL. I love your type. You've come to a conclusion and will follow it blindly no matter what evidence is given which proves otherwise.


Yeah, like how all refugees are criminals and avoid paying taxes. I just know it and no evidence given will make me change my mind.

07:09 June 29, 2009 by Uncle
Somebody show me ONE country that LOVES refugees. US is building a wall with Mexico and to emigrate to Europe is harder and harder. Nothing to do with racism, since refugees can be of any race, including white anglo-saxons and franks from Africa.

It has to do with the usual poverty of the refugees and their inability to adapt to the welcoming country's culture. Whereas Christians and Buddhists leave the country or shut up and suffer, Muslims burn cars and throw stones at the firemen. The problem is that most of the refugees are from muslim counties. (I wonder, freaking, why?)
08:01 June 29, 2009 by Jeffi
I was at the beach yesterday with my daughter and was incredibly uncomfortable to watch a whole family pointing and laughing at another family of obvious immigrants (their Swedish was worse than mine, but hey, they were trying) who were also out enjoy the lovely Sunday weather. It was quite distressing. Of course, it wasn't done until after the immigrant family passed by the local family.
08:19 June 29, 2009 by Y A Max
Meaningless survey. It doesn't have that effect and 0 result.

One doesn't know what the other do in the other department. Everybody do the way he/she thinks is right. They even can't differenciate the different b/n refugee and immigrant.
08:21 June 29, 2009 by tewodros
Swedish scholars had better create awareness through short term training for those staffs with in the Migration Board through the language they understand about the current issue of globalization from the point of migration (since globalization is broad concept): its pros and cons ,and even for the people of Sweden at large rather through public medias than asking for comment about refugee .

As you wrote education could be correlated to the answer of respondent as illiterate are not expected to forward a positive comment towards refugee …..This is not the actual problem but the symptom shows that there is a problem .

Even if Sweden is the third globalize country of the world ( 2008 globalization index) much has to be done when it comes to refugee matters :manage them by creating labour integration and utilized rather than solving the problem mechanically by forces such as detention , deportation .etc … in the 21 century ……..Hehehe
08:49 June 29, 2009 by refugee
Refugees can be consider as immigrant but all immigrants are not necessarily refugees since people migrate from country of origin to country of destination for different reasons :such as labour , marriage education , etc . Refugee is a person who is outside his country of origin owing to well founded fear of persecution…. You are so naïve that can not even to realize this….

You have to be revised to high school …… I hope r u either high school graduate (gymnasium) or already developed negative attitude , which is not healthy, towards foreigners living in Sweden since the term that satisfy when you mention it is REFUGEE …..

hehehe ….
09:53 June 29, 2009 by Prat
The total of refugees & immigrants who've become Swedish is also increasing - it skews results as they're interviewed as Swedes.

The attitudes of "new Swedes" are not necessarily pro-refugee either.

Those "last in" might wish to preserve a precarious place by limiting further entry. Immigrants to the USA 1850-1930 often followed this pattern: each wave highly criticized the next wave of immigrants.
10:50 June 29, 2009 by crocadoodledoo
i think sweden will be a great country in the future if the asylum and refugee visas are cut down and immigration for people with PhD degrees is made easier. I am definitely sure that educated people with professional degrees will find it very easy to integrate and contribute to swedens economy. The current younger lot is absolutely hopeless as compared to those in the developing countries..
14:45 June 29, 2009 by delusion1982
@crocadoodledoo : Well said indeed!
21:16 June 29, 2009 by DAVID T
Maybe they only asked the "Swedish Immigrants"


Half a million un-employed in Sweden - how many of those are immigrants? Also how many immigrants are there in Sweden? Why let more in when there's not enough jobs? Any wonder why tax payers get fed up - more immigrants = more handouts.
00:53 July 1, 2009 by nzroller
David T, Considering immigrants more likely work than the natives and haven't got a backlog of "benefits" from years of schooling here, they actually contribute to Sweden financially.
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