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POPULATION

Swedish population to top 10 million in 2021

Sweden's population increased by 84,000 people in 2009 and is set to grow by 600,000 over the next ten years, passing the 10 million mark in 2021, according to a new forecast from Statistics Sweden (SCB).

The Swedish population has been boosted by record levels of immigration since 2006 and 2010 is expected to be another record year, with 103,000 immigrants making Sweden their home.

The birthrate remained high despite the economic crisis with the fertility rate for 2010 estimated at 1.97 children per woman, the highest level since 1993. Sweden has long shown a strong correlation between childbearing and the economic cycle as the parental insurance system tracks income.

115,000 children per annum are forecast to be added to the population in the coming few years, up slightly on the 112,000 new citizens arriving in 2009, according to the SCB report.

The trend of a rise in life expectancy is set to continue with women expected to live 3.5 years longer in 2060, to 86.9 years, in comparison with 83.4 in 2010. Men are expected to live slightly more than five years longer in 2060, from 79.5 years in 2010 to 84.7 years then.

Sweden’s population passed the nine million mark in 2004 and is expected to top 10 million in 2021.

The number of elderly people (over 65s) is forecast to increase by 362,000 by 2021, the number of those of working age (20-64) by 151,000 and young people (aged 0-19) by slightly more than 96,000.

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NAMES

Maryam now Sweden’s fastest growing name

The Middle Eastern girls' name Maryam is now the fastest growing name in Sweden among newborns, up 70 percent on last year, according to new figures from Statistics Sweden.

Maryam now Sweden's fastest growing name
Three Swedish Maryams, left to right: MP Maryam Yazdanfar; documentary filmmaker Maryam Ebrahimi; and basketball player Maryam Gültekin.
Maryam was one of seven new entries to the list of Sweden's 100 most popular girls' names for newborns included in a press release from the agency on Wednesday, ahead of the release of the full figures on February 27th. 
 
No fewer than 177 newborns were given the name, shooting it straight into 78th place, ahead of the other new entrants Noomi, Hedvig, Mira, Zoey, Idun, and Melina. 
 
Maryam is the form taken by the name Mary, the mother of Jesus, in Arabic, Farsi, Somali, and other languages, and is popular among both Christians and Muslims across the Middle East, Southeast Asia and North Africa. 
 
“It's the most fast-growing name for girls but I don't know why,” Margareta Carlsson, from Statistics Sweden told The Local. “I can't see a celebrity named Maryam. I don't have any guess even.” 
 
In 2015 the name Saga shot from 21st to fourth most popular name, likely as a result of Nordic Noir heroine Saga Norén in 'The Bridge'. However, Carlsson said it was unusual for a name to see such rapid growth, with name popularity tending to shift gradually from generation to generation. 
 
Three new boys' names joined the top 100, led by Levi and Vide, which entered the list in joint 98th place, with the third name, Neo, just managing to slip in after them. 
 
Matteo was the fastest growing boy's name, seeing a 33 percent increase on last year. 
 
Lovisa and Ville, meanwhile, were the two names which fell most out of favour, with the number of new Lovisas falling 34 percent and Villes 24 percent. 
 
The name Alice retained last year's spot as the most popular girl's name in Sweden with 888 newborns, while long-time favourite William regained its place as the most popular boy's name, with 941 newborns, after slipping to third place last year. 
 
Oscar, last year's favourite, was knocked into second place.