Babies and immigrants: Sweden's population continues to grow, but slowly

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Babies and immigrants: Sweden's population continues to grow, but slowly
People walking in a snowy Stockholm. Photo: Janerik Henriksson/TT

Sweden’s total population has almost reached 10.5 million people, according to new statistics which also reveal the top countries new arrivals came from last year.


Sweden’s population grew by 73,031 people to a grand total of 10,452,326 people in 2021, according to national number crunchers Statistics Sweden’s latest figures.

That’s a relatively small growth, in fact the smallest since 2005 with the exception of 2020, when the population of Sweden grew by just over 51,000 people (or in relative terms, 0.5 percent – even less than the country’s 0.7 percent population growth in 2021).

“The population is increasing for two reasons. Partly because more people are born than die, partly because more immigrate than emigrate. Most of the increase is explained by the immigration surplus,” said Statistics Sweden analyst Rasmus Andersson in a statement.


A total of 90,631 people moved to Sweden last year, and 48,284 left the country. The most common country of birth among new immigrants was Sweden, followed by India and Syria in second and third place.

Around 6,000 fewer people died compared to 2020. But the 91,958 deaths in 2021 were still more than the yearly average in the five years before the pandemic (90,962).

“In 2020 we saw an unusually large increase in the number of deaths compared to the years prior. The number of deaths in 2021 was higher than 2019 but in line with 2017 and 2018,” said Andersson.

But the number of births also rose slightly, with a birth surplus of 22,305 people.

The population increased the most in the western city of Gothenburg (4,493, including births as well as people arriving from abroad and other parts of Sweden), followed by Malmö in the south (3,800), and Uppsala (3,757) and Stockholm (3,219) in central Sweden.

Commuter towns Knivsta, Österåker and Upplands-Bro – all in the Stockholm and Uppsala area – had the largest relative increase: 3.7, 3.4 and 2.9 percent, respectively.


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