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Sweden asylum seeker figures jump 30 percent

3 Jul 2012, 07:36

Published: 03 Jul 2012 07:36 GMT+02:00

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So far this year, 16,335 asylum seekers have come to Sweden, up from the 12,595 people who applied for asylum during the first six months of 2011, according to new figures from the Swedish Migration Board (Migrationsverket).

In addition, 1,467 of the asylum seekers who have come to Sweden so far in 2012 are unaccompanied minors, an increase of 52 percent from the same period last year.

A majority of the children come from Afghanistan and Somalia, according to the Migration Board.

Following a January ruling by the Migration Court of Appeal (Migrationsöverdomstolen) making it easier for families from Somalia to be reunited in Sweden, the number of asylum seekers from Somalia has risen by 58 percent to 2,507, making Somalis the largest group of asylum seekers in Sweden.

The second highest number of asylum seekers, 2,012, came from Afghanistan, an increase of 32 percent compared to the same period last year.

Meanwhile, the number of asylum seekers from Syria has increased more than four-fold, from 254 during the first six months of 2011 to 1,212 in the first half of 2012, making Syrians the third largest group of asylum seekers.

The Migration Board also reported a drop in the number of people seeking residence in Sweden based on family ties.

The number of immigrants coming to Sweden based on newly-established family ties fell by 800 to 12,707, while the number of immigrants seeking residence based on established ties dropped by 9 percent from 3,322 to 3,017.

Excluding seasonal berry pickers, the number of labour migrants from outside the EU/EES-area fell slightly with 6,215 people being granted work permits so far in 2012, compared to 6,734 in the first half of 2011.

Computer specialists are the the largest category of non-EU labour migrants, with 1,733 being granted temporary work permits in Sweden during the first six months of the year, an increase of 40 percent from last year.

The number of engineers and other technical specialists granted work permits has also increased, with most coming from India, China, and Pakistan.

Meanwhile, the trend of fewer labour migrants working in the restaurant and service branch continued.

However, the number of berry pickers offered work permits in Sweden has increased dramatically, jumping from 494 during the first half of 2011 to 5,240 for the first six months of 2012.

Story continues below…

According to the Migration Board, the rise can be explained to some extent by the fact that many applications were filed after July 1st last year.

Nevertheless, the number of berry pickers is expected to be substantially higher this year compared to 2011.

TT/The Local/dl

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Your comments about this article

09:35 July 3, 2012 by Localer
what is gonna happens to Sweden ??? Gosh they should tighter up the immigration rules like Denmark now !!!!
09:40 July 3, 2012 by VicTaulic
Keep them out, Sweden! Accept one, then the family comes, and the extended family. Sweden in NOT America. Sweden does not advertise itself with a big green statue in Stockholm harbor welcoming all the world's misfits.
10:04 July 3, 2012 by MaxTron

Farewell Sweden! LOL.

Soon we'll call this country Afro-Arabian Muslim Khalifat.

Oh my gosh, swede, why you so stupid?
10:16 July 3, 2012 by bourgeoisieboheme
Were this America, it would be fine as immigrants there have to work and receive little to no help from the government, work hard or starve. In Sweden, we are a welfare state with little incentive to work as the government will provide life long housing, food, money to live off. This can be devastating in the long run as we are seeing now with the situation in the suburbs.

This is a democratic country so if one doesn't like these policies, vote Sverigedemokraterna next time. Only way you can change things.
10:35 July 3, 2012 by Richie35
The reason for the increase is because we don't have any money in Ireland anymore. So we are no longer an option for them :)
11:01 July 3, 2012 by Ben5
And people wonder where the tax money is going!!!!!

I don't think Swedish officials can see the coming disaster....
11:12 July 3, 2012 by Abe L
People from somalia, just what we need.

This country is going to hell, like the rest of Europe.
11:43 July 3, 2012 by TG22
What a said news...
11:46 July 3, 2012 by towns
Does this really surprise people?

Sweden's been in the top 5 country (out of the EU 27) for asylum seekers for many, many years now. Each year, only the UK, France and Germany tend to accept more asylum seekers than Sweden (though these are proportionally much larger nations population wise, obviously). In the last decade the number of Iraqi Assyrians for instance has risen from just a few thousand to over 120,000 and still growing. Somalis who were fewer than 100 individuals 20 years ago are now over 30,000 and because of high birthrates well above replacement levels for the first generation and on average 2,000-3,000 individuals coming in every year, the number should be between 50,000 to 70,000 over the next decade.

@ Localer

Yes, Denmark's been taking in fewer asylum seekers in recent years, but it's also led to counter-reactions such as the rise of the Radical Left political party, something that would likely happen to a more substantial extent in Sweden if SD where to gain more ground.


Actually the number of Muslims in Sweden is expected to "only" be 10% of the population of Sweden by 2030 (according to a Pew study). HOWEVER, in places like Malmö it'll be much higher.


Yep, same thing's happening in Spain, there was on average 300,000 immigrants a year entering in the last decade with the economic boom they had and now immigrants are leaving in droves due to the economic crisis.

"Just the facts man, just the facts."
12:04 July 3, 2012 by Erwin Mahnke
And Swedes love it, just ask their politicians! If you aks me we can send all our immigrants to Sweden. They are so generous and caring people there!
13:38 July 3, 2012 by Svensksmith
How's the employment situation?
14:16 July 4, 2012 by NyDag
This country is going to hell. There is already a job shortage ... why take in more riff raff?!? Crazy
07:58 July 5, 2012 by Marc the Texan
I think the concept of asylum needs some serious rethinking. So called asylum seekers should be matched to countries with similar customs, language, etc. That is, if the true goal is to offer refuge and allow the asylum seekers to adjust quickly and become productive members of society. Sweden is probably the most alien environment anyone could come up with to send a Somali. It's just crazy, so many options for Somalis exist adjacent to their own country. Going all the way to Sweden where integration costs are high, doesn't make much sense. If resources were better spent, more asylum seekers could be relocated to adjacent countries. Ayslum seeking programs are nothing more than a political agenda which do not make economic or social sense. Question your elected officials as to there rationality. You will not hear a credible argument.
14:23 July 19, 2012 by vb74
Swedes are the biggest suckers on the planet, it's amazing how stupid they are.
03:38 July 25, 2012 by Spuds MacKenzie
"A majority of the children come from Afghanistan and Somalia, according to the Migration Board."

Wonderful. I already feel much more culturally enriched.
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