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'Most Swedish emigrants ever in 2011': report

Oliver Gee · 21 Feb 2012, 12:06

Published: 21 Feb 2012 12:06 GMT+01:00

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While Sweden added 67,285 people to its population last year, a record 51,179 people left the country, reported Statistics Sweden (Statistiska Centralbyrån - SCB).

"I would say this is due to Swedish companies that have moved abroad, and to an extent, some Swedes follow. I’m thinking of these call centers, they maybe move to other countries and then have a need for people who can speak Swedish,” said Lena Bernhardtz of the SCB to Dagens Nyheter on Monday.

2011 gave the biggest emigration figure ever, even larger than 1887’s mass exodus to America.

SCB suggests the growing numbers of emigrants are due to the populations “increased ability to move”.

However, the agency emphasized the importance of viewing the emigration figures in relation to Sweden's larger population.

While the 1887 movement entailed one percent of the total population leaving Sweden, the new figures, while involving a larger total number of people, only amounts to one half of a percent of Sweden's total population of 9.48 million people.

China proved to be the fastest growing popular destination for Swedes moving abroad, with an 80 percent growth of Swedish emigrants to China compared to 2010.

Last year, 1,787 people chose to move to China, a figure which is five times higher than back in 2000.

As with previous years, SCB reported that the most popular destinations for Swedish emigrants were the Nordic neighbours, the UK and the United States.

Bernhardtz also noted that emigrants are also returning to Sweden to a greater extent than in previous years, which has been made easier than ever in recent years, and particularly applies to students who have taken gap years or have worked abroad.

Story continues below…

The immigration figures grew in 2011 as well, with 96,467 arriving in Sweden last year.

While 15,000 of these people were Swedish born, the SCB reported that people from Poland, Iraq and Afghanistan were the most common natonalities of people who immigrated to Sweden in 2011.

Oliver Gee (oliver.gee@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

09:19 February 21, 2012 by HYBRED
I can't help but wonder if there is a Chinese equal to The Local that has a comment section with poster's that slam and ridicule blond haired, blue eyed immigrants.
09:20 February 21, 2012 by occassional
Oh but it's fine. Out with the old. In with the new. All 94467 of them.
09:33 February 21, 2012 by kinan
Hello there , I am originally from Damascus Syria , I used to be living in southern Stockholm and i left the country because of the unbelievable bureaucracy and unemployment . ( I have a bachelor degree in economics )

A lot of people i know have left Sweden ..
11:24 February 21, 2012 by fikatid
Agree with @kinan. Same observations. The cold, unsociable nature of Swedes in addition to the cold weather only add insult to injury.
12:13 February 21, 2012 by johnny1939
@kinan Being Swedish born I have always wondered why anyone would want to come to Sweden. My family is traced in Sweden since the 1500 but I hotfooted it out in the 60s. Now I am thinking about moving back for sentimental reasons but I don't know if I could stand it after living all over the world. Sweden is a difficult country to live in and I really feel sort of sorry for immigrants that have to put up w/ all the c..p. Oh well,...........
12:40 February 21, 2012 by Children Of Adam
This report would make upset the Sverige Democrat SD. They disable Asian to come and work in Sweden but now time has changed . Now European asking for help and going to Asia for work. I love to See more European find jobs in Asian countries and we all integrate so next time someone would not dare to say you come to China for work I came to Sweden to work or live. People should forget about being racist or thinking that way.

That is why I always say, do good always and respect and help each others, you never what happen to your country in the next 10 50 years. after all we are all children of Adam :)
12:52 February 21, 2012 by Kaethar
Ah, the Local... where everyone comes to rant about their problems (most of whom have never lived in Sweden). No matter what the topic is the conversation is sure to be about how awful Sweden is for (*insert ideologically backed argument here*). Wouldn't care too much if The Local stopped allowing comments on their articles, to be honest...
13:06 February 21, 2012 by Abe L
#3. Please keep encouraging others from doing the same. Thank you.
13:31 February 21, 2012 by cattie
Agree with @kinan

I have met lots of people who would leave Sweden at the first viable opportunity, because they want to have a chance to build a vibrant working life.

Now with Volvo and other companies owned by Chinese, there will probably be trend toward that nation.


The comments are the best part of The Local. I would read Metro or DN if all I wanted was the news.
13:35 February 21, 2012 by phil23456
Sweden is an absolute joke. The old power house of left wing socialist ideas has fallen asleep at the wheel and let in the trogen horse.
14:37 February 21, 2012 by Chickybee
The Muslim world has nothing in common with Sweden - also the EU is finding it hard to integrate Europeans alone!
18:19 February 21, 2012 by skatty
Now, according to this article on DN:


51179 people emigrated in 2011, which 22000 were Swedish born. It means approximately 29179 or almost 60% were not Swedish born; and let say, they were immigrants, who emigrated from Sweden.

I don't get how Lena Bernhadtz has concluded that the reason of emigration is due to Swedish companies that move abroad and because of a need for people who can speak Swedish, the emigration has been appeared in Sweden in the 2011.

The fact is that 60% of emigrants were not born in Sweden and could probably not speak Swedish like Swedes, who were in the minority as emigrants!

My conclusion is that the reasons are not the companies; but of course, as usual my words are not in the favour of the Swedish mentality on facts and fictions!
21:45 February 21, 2012 by the_partisan
I am one of those that emigrated in 2011 (lived in Sweden for 8y) and really glad I did so far!
22:56 February 21, 2012 by stateohio905
Wow, and if Americans decide to move with jobs, looks like China will have the same immigration problems as Sweden....
01:43 February 22, 2012 by Indignerad
Record numbers are emigrating from the U.S. as well. Looking at Sweden (and especially some kind of fictional "Swedish mentality") alone will not help in understanding what is happening right now.
08:37 February 22, 2012 by siruisa
Chinese rich people scrambled to leave China, and Swedes fill the gap??
09:23 February 22, 2012 by hejsweden
i want to live in sweden its an amazing place with lots of chances. ;-)
09:36 February 22, 2012 by update-2011
Sweden is the best place on this planet!!!
10:59 February 22, 2012 by SWOT
china should issue new labour immigration policy that, non Chinese employees cannot change their employer in the first two years working in China, and they cannot change their occupation in the four years. Then Swedish cannot work as cheap and unqualified labour such as English teachers, interpretors and actors. Chinese migration law should also iliminate the Swedish to have parttime jobs in China, since Swedish are trying to take job from Chinese.
20:06 February 22, 2012 by acidcritic
I am sure they are going to have fun. Chinese, men and women, are good lovers. That`s why they are more than a billion. Is`nt it?
19:44 February 23, 2012 by hackie
HYBRED #1, Yea, it would be nice. Unfortunately, China has the highest population in the world thus, the few blue-eyed blonds cannot be noticed. Too few to make a noticeable impact in the Chinese society :P
21:13 May 27, 2012 by Icarusty
@09:19 February 21, 2012 by HYBRED

Unfortunately not, quite the opposite in fact. Whites are idolised there - even the ugly ones - they are seen as film stars. Mixed race children (half white of course) grace the billboards and adverts, white brands are all over the high streets selling western products and services, and white people in general are POSITIVELY discirminated for in terms of jobs i.e. businesses looking to look "international" think "must employ whitey to do well".... it's sad. Also teaching English as a 2nd language, there are lots of nonwhite native English speakers who are shunned in place of white, non English speakers... it's ridiculous.

And of course the hordes of creepy white men, many old enough to be a grandfather (and in many cases are to their families back home), having children with a young chinese woman. Sickening, especially with such a huge male-female ratio as it is.

Which, by the way, is what the 2000 from Sweden are mostly made up of.... there should be a more detailed breakdown, I'll bet my house that 90% (at least) are horny white males looking for easy sex.
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