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LIFE EXPECTANCY

Swedes can expect to live longer: report

Swedes are living longer than ever before, according to new statistics, with residents of one upscale Stockholm suburb claiming the highest average life-expectancy for both sexes.

Swedes can expect to live longer: report

Swedes’ average life expectancy has risen to 83.2 years for women and 79.1 years for men, ensuring Sweden maintains its place among countries boasting some of the highest life expectancies in the world.

In the early 2000s, only Japan had a longer life expectancy than Sweden.

Generally speaking, the longest life expectancies in Sweden can be found in the country’s southern regions, while life expectancies in the country’s central and northern regions are a bit lower.

Danderyd municipality, north of Stockholm, has the highest median life-expectancy among Sweden’s 290 municipalities, new statistics published on Thursday by Statistics Sweden (SCB) show.

According to SCB’s calculations, women in Danderyd can expect to live 85.6 years on average, while men can expect to live for 83.1 years.

The municipality with the shortest life expectancy for women, 79.6 years, is Älvdalen in central Sweden, while Pajala in northern Sweden features the country’s shortest average life expectancy for men, 74.5 years.

On the county level, Halland in western Sweden has the longest average life expectancy for both men and women, 80.2 and 84.2 years respectively. Men in Uppsala County in eastern Sweden can also expect to live as long as their counterparts in the west, according to SCB.

The lowest life expectancy for men, 77.9 years, can be found in Västernorrland County in the north, while women in Gävleborg County in eastern Sweden is the county with the lowest life expectancy for women, 82.2 years.

Other figures from Statistics Sweden reveal that the country’s fertility rate last year came to 1.98 children per woman, slightly below the accepted replacement rate of 2.1 children per woman, which Sweden last reached in 1991.

In addition, 19.1 percent of the Swedish population has a foreign background, which is defined by people who were born outside of Sweden or who have two parents who were born outside the country. In 2000, the figure was 14.5 percent.

The Stockholm suburb of Botkyrka features the largest percentage of foreign born residents among Swedish municipalities – 53 percent.

In second place is the municipality of Haparanda, near the Finnish border in the far north of Sweden, where 50 percent of the residents have foreign backgrounds.

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IMMIGRATION

Sweden to go ahead with migrant age tests

Sweden is to carry out controversial age tests on as many as 18,000 unaccompanied migrant children, estimating that as many as 70 percent lie about their age.

Sweden to go ahead with migrant age tests
Migration minister Morgan Johansson: Photo: Christine Olsson / TT
“This is not just about asylum procedure, it’s about the safety of the accommodation,“  Sweden’s Justice and Migration minister Morgan Johansson told Swedish Radio. “Adults should live with adults and children should live with children, which is why this should be done as early as possible in the procedure.” 
 
According to the Swedish Migration Agency, more than 18,000 of the young men and women might warrant medical age tests this year and next year. 
 
Sweden’s migration law gives strong incentives for asylum seekers aged 18 or over to claim to be minors, and the Agency believes there is reason to doubt the claims of as many as 70 percent of asylum applicants who say they are between the ages of 15 and 17. 
 
The tests are controversial in Sweden, however, with doctors arguing that there is as yet no method of reliably determining a person’s age. 
 
In April, the National Board of Health and Welfare judged that MRI scans of asylum seekers’ knees provided the most reliable currently available age tests.
 
At the end of last month, the government gave The National Board of Forensic Medicine responsibility for carrying out the new tests. It has now launched an inquiry into how best to carry them out, which is due to report in November. 
 
Ann Lemne, project manager at the organisation, underlined the shortcomings of existing methods in a press release sent out in May. 
 
“There is no method for medical age assessment can be safely determine an exact age,” she said. “With all methods, the result is produced as an age span.”