A new report from Statistics Sweden (Statistiska Centralbyrån, SCB) reveals there are around 1.6 million foreigners currently residing in the country from a total population of 9.3 million.
Annika Klinterfeldt, SCB population analyst told The Local the numbers are not surprising, with the total now surpassing 17 percent and edging ever closer to the 20 percent mark.
“If we look at the trend over the last 50 years we can see growth in number of between 0.1-0.2 percent every year.
“Back in 1960, foreigners or those with two foreign-born parents made up four percent of the population. It’s been quite high for the last few years and we expect it to continue,” she added.
Those included in the figures are defined by having lived in Sweden for one year or more, although they do not have to be Swedish citizens.
Statistics Sweden does not differentiate between immigrants who have come to Sweden for asylum reasons and others who have moved here for love or work.
Finland has historically dominated the number of foreign settlers in Sweden and tops the table with 256,975 Finns residing across the border today.
Within Europe, Poland’s accession to the EU prompted a highly-publicised exodus from the country and a total of 78,522 Poles currently live in Sweden, the most represented country among the 27 EU nations.
There are 59,852 Germans who have adopted Sweden as home along with 22,416 from Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
Included in the Asian category, but not subdivided in the yearly report, are 142,053 Iraqis, 75,175 Iranians, 44,415 Lebanese, 35,886 Syrians, 27,552 Thais, 21,322 Chinese, 20,111 Vietnamese, 18 534 Indians, 14,292 Afghans, 9,818 Filipinos, 10,831 Koreans (North and South), and 10,823 Pakistanis.
Africans make up 48,710 of the total, with South Americans accounting for 29,689.
North America is represented by 33,222 people, with 17,540 of those coming from the US.
Australia and New Zealand are combined in the Oceania category of the report, represented by 4,214 people who have presently swapped sunnier climes for the Swedish winter.