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Swedish population growth slows

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Swedish population growth slows
12:06 CET+01:00
The Swedish population continued to grow in 2010, but at a slower pace than 2009, according to according to new preliminary Statistics Sweden (SCB) figures for 2010, published on Monday.

The Swedish population will amount to 9,417,000 at the turn of 2011, an increase of 76,000 inhabitants, down from 2009's increase of 84,000, which represented the highest growth since 1946.

"The high population increase is because of the continued high number of births and because immigration, despite a decrease, is still at a high level," SCB explained in a statement.

Immigration will decline by 4,000 people in 2010 to 99,000, with the largest groups coming from returning Swedish citizens, Somalis, Iraqis and Poles.

Iraqi immigrants are the group that has decreased the most, with only half as many moving to Sweden in 2010 as in 2009. Immigration among Poles has also decreased by 15 percent, while immigration among Somali citizens remains at the same level as in 2009.

Immigrants arriving in Sweden were citizens of a total of 180 countries.

A total of 116,000 new births are estimated in Sweden in 2010 - 57,000 girls and 60,000 boys - an increase of 3 percent on 2009 and a continuation of the growth seen throughout the 2000s.

The number of deaths is estimated to remain at last year's level of 90,000 individuals.

Emigration has also increased, with the report estimating that 49,000 left the country during the year, up 24 percent on 2009. The increased is explained due to a Tax Agency (Skatteverket) follow-up on people with unknown residency status during the year.

Even discounting the Tax Agency purge, emigration increased 14 percent on 2009.

Almost half of those emigrating were Swedish citizens, with Norway, the UK and US popular destinations. Foreign citizens typically returned to their home countries.

Of Sweden's total population, 15 percent was born abroad, with the largest groups coming from Finland (170,000) and Iraq (121,000). A further 411,000 people living in Sweden have two foreign-born parents.

Almost 19 percent of the Swedish population has a foreign background.

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