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What will Sweden look like in 2070?

The Local Sweden
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What will Sweden look like in 2070?
How will Sweden's population change in the next 50 years? Photo: Tove Freiij/

In 2018, Sweden was a country of 10.2 million, with a quarter of the population born abroad. But how will the country look in 2070? A new report makes some detailed predictions.


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Between 2019 and 2070, the population of Sweden is expected to swell to 12.8 million, after reaching 11 million in 2029 and 12 million in the 2050s, according to the report by national agency Statistics Sweden.

And what factors will account for this increase in people?

Immigration, whether linked to global conflicts or instability or for personal reasons, is expected to continue rising, although not quite at the current rate. In 2018, net migration to Sweden was 86,000, meaning that the number of people who moved to Sweden was 86,000 more than those who moved from Sweden overseas.

But this is expected to fall sharply to less than half the current figure in just a decade, with net migration to Sweden expected to be 40,000 by 2028. By 2070, it is expected to fall even further to just 22,000.

In 2018, almost a quarter of the Swedish population aged between 20 and 64 was born outside Sweden, and this proportion is expected to reach 30 percent by the mid-2030s.


However, by 2070, the proportion is expected to return to around a quarter, although almost 30 percent of over-65s are forecast to be foreign-born by this time.

Meanwhile, people in Sweden are predicted to have more children. The declining fertility rate has been discussed in Sweden for some years, and in 2018 the fertility rate was 1.76. By 2070, this is expected to have risen somewhat, reaching 1.88.

And life expectancy at birth is also likely to increase. In 2018, life expectancy was 84 years for women and 81 for men, figures expected to rise steadily to reach 89 for women and 87 for men by 2070.

One impact of these expected developments is a change in the age split of the population. In 2018, around one in five people was aged over 65 whereas by 2070, this age group is forecast to account for a quarter of the population. This is because of the growing life expectancy and high net migration.

The actual number of people in the 20-64 age group, referred to as the 'working population' (although Sweden plans to raise its retirement age over the next few years), will remain more or less steady over the decades to come. But because of the increase in population, the proportion of people in Sweden who fall into this category will fall from around 57 percent to 53 percent, if the forecasts are correct.

Read the full report (in Swedish) here.

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