• Sweden's news in English

Swedes' integration fears top EU: study

The Local · 18 Sep 2013, 16:55

Published: 18 Sep 2013 16:55 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

While the US and Europe both recorded majorities stating that first-generation immigrants were integrating well, 61 percent of Swedes responded that they were integrating poorly, and 43 percent said that second generation immigration was poor.

In addition, nearly two-thirds of Swedes, 64 percent, said they had concerns about how the government was handling immigration issues. While the figure was higher than the average of 58 percent across the EU countries including in the study, it was well below that of Italy, where 83 percent said their government was doing a poor job managing immigration, with Spain and the UK not far behind.

The figures come from the 2013 Transatlantic Trends Survey carried out by the German Marshall Fund of the United States, the results of which were published on Wednesday.

Swedes have a much more positive reaction to immigration than their European cousins. In Europe, 44 percent of respondents saw immigration as a problem, and 41 percent saw it as more of an opportunity.

Sixty-eight percent of Swedes, meanwhile, responded that they saw immigration as an opportunity.

Anna Jardfelt, head of the Swedish Institute of International Affairs (Utrikespolitiska institutet), noted that one of the more "interesting" results came in the form of statistics on attitude to immigration and integration.

"It's quite fascinating to see that while we are the most favourable towards immigration, we have quite serious worries on integration. We are open to people actually coming to Sweden, but are concerned about how they integrate," she told The Local.

"Elsewhere in Europe, especially around the southern end, people are more reticent about immigration and more open to integration - completely the other way around. This was one of the more interesting results," Jardfelt said.

Around 78 percent of Swedes said they were not worried about legal immigration at all and 39 percent responded that they were't concerned about illegal immigration.

Swedes registered the strongest disagreement to the question of whether "immigrants take jobs away from native born" citizens at 77 percent, compared to a European majority of 62 percent.

Just over half of Swedes surveyed added that they did not find immigrants to be a "burden on social services", with just under three quarters responding in fact that they found immigrants to be helpful in filling worker-shortages, with the same amount (74 percent) adding that immigrants actually help create jobs when starting new businesses.

Sweden also topped the tables when it came to positive responses to the question of whether immigrants enrich the nation's culture, with 82 percent of Swedes agreeing compared to 69 percent in the US and 60 percent in Europe.

Aside from immigration, Swedes reported a having a drop in favourable attitudes toward the United States. Positive opinion towards the US from Sweden decreased from 67 to 57 percent, and Sweden had among the highest disapproval ratings of the Obama administration's foreign policy, with 27 percent against how the US president conducts his relations with other countries.

The survey, however, was carried out in June before the president's visit to Stockholm in September, a factor which Jardfelt believes may have affected the results drastically.

IN PICTURES: See Obama’s top ten moments from his Stockholm visit

Story continues below…

The report also noted that 70 percent of Swedes didn't feel affected by the economic crisis, and that 70 percent of Swedes approved of their government's handling of international policies.

The Transatlantic Trends report is an annual survey of US and European public opinion and is based on responses gathered by the TNS Opinion polling firm in June 2013.

Sweden was included in the survey for the first time in 2011. Ten other European Union member states besides Sweden were surveyed for the 2013 report, including France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, and the United Kingdom.

Oliver Gee

Follow Oliver on Twitter here

Related links:

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Revealed: Game of Thrones could be coming to Sweden
Game of Thrones cast members at the Emmy Awards in September. Photo: Jordan Strauss/AP

The producers of the hit show have asked for three rounds of location pictures of Swedish island Gotland.

Prime Minister to meet Swedish troops in Iraq
Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven and his Kurdish counterpart Nechervan Barzani. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Sweden's Prime Minister Löfven is set to meet Swedish troops in Iraq on Tuesday.

Swedish politicians wage war on winter time
Soon it will look like this on your way home from work in Sweden. Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT

Should Sweden stick with summer time all year round?

'Don't turn the Pope into a global teddy bear'
Sweden's Queen Silvia and Princess Leonore visiting Pope Francis in the Vatican last year. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

It's time to hold the Pope to account and make sure he turns his words about reform into action, argues a minister of the Swedish Church ahead of Pope Francis' visit to Sweden.

Löfven: 'Sweden will double its number of troops in Iraq'
Stefan Löfven and Haider al-Abadi during the visit on Monday. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven has promised to double his country's number of troops in Iraq following a meeting with Iraqi counterpart Haider al-Abadi on Monday.

Will Swedes soon be looking for fairtrade porn?
Should Swedes think fairtrade with porn? Photo: Karin Malmhav/SvD/TT

A fairtrade attitude to pornography would be beneficial, Sweden's health minister told The Local.

Presented by Stockholm University
Nordic fashion in focus at Stockholm University
Simon Paulin/imagebank.sweden.se

Nordic fashion took centre stage in the Swedish capital last week as Stockholm University hosted the “first-ever” academic conference looking at luxury and sustainability in the fashion industry.

Referee, coach and parents in Swedish youth football fight
File photo of a referee holding a red card not related to the story. Photo: Stefan Jerrevång/TT

A football dad broke his leg in the brawl in front of 11-year-old kids after a Hammarby youth football game.

Illicit abattoir kept more than 100 bulls' penises
A couple of young bulls not related to the story. Photo: Jonas Ekströmer/TT

Dried cattle genitalia, goats' heads and hundreds of litres of lard were just a few of the many strange finds discovered when police raided a property in Sweden.

This is officially Sweden's most beautiful beard
The most beautiful beard in Sweden. Photo: Memo Göcek

According to a jury of barbers and 'well known bearded profiles', that is.

Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Why we're convinced Game of Thrones is based on Sweden
Sponsored Article
This is Malmö: Football capital of Sweden
People-watching: October 21st-23rd
Fury at plans that 'threaten the IB's survival' in Sweden
Blog updates

6 October

10 useful hjälpverb (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! I think the so-called “hjalpverb” (auxiliary verbs in English) are a good way to get…" READ »


8 July

Editor’s blog, July 8th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hej readers, It has, as always, been a bizarre, serious and hilarious week in Sweden. You…" READ »

Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Analysis & Opinion
Are we just going to let half the country die?
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Angry elk chases Swede up a lamp post
The Local Voices
'Alienation in Sweden feels better: I find myself a stranger among scores of aliens'
People-watching: October 20th
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
The Local Voices
A layover at Qatar airport brought this Swedish-Kenyan couple together - now they're heading for marriage
Sponsored Article
Swedish for programmers: 'It changed my life'
Swede punches clown that scared his grandmother
Fans throw flares and enter pitch in Swedish football riot
Sponsored Article
Top 7 tips to help you learn Swedish
Could Swedish blood test solve 'Making a Murderer'?
Sponsored Article
‘Extremism can't be defeated on the battlefield alone’
Property of the week: Linnéstaden, Gothenburg
Swedish school to build gender neutral changing room
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
People-watching: October 14th-16th
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Man in Sweden assaulted by clowns with broken bottle
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Nobel Prize 2016: Literature
Sponsored Article
One expat's strategy for making friends in Stockholm
Watch the man who discovered Bob Dylan react to his Nobel Prize win
Sponsored Article
Nordic fashion in focus at Stockholm University
Record numbers emigrating from Sweden
People-watching: October 12th
The Local Voices
'Swedish startups should embrace newcomers' talents - there's nothing to fear'
How far right are the Sweden Democrats?
Property of the week: Triangeln, Malmö
Sweden unveils Europe's first elk hut
People-watching: October 7th-9th
The Local Voices
Syria's White Helmets: The Nobel Peace Prize would have meant a lot, but pulling a child from rubble is the greatest reward
Missing rune stone turns up in Sweden
jobs available