Immigration to Sweden 2008-2018

Until 2016, Sweden had among the most generous asylum laws within the European Union. As a result, the immigration increased for several years, reaching 163 thousand individuals immigrating into Sweden in 2016. During 2016 Sweden sharpened their asylum laws, and the immigration declined down to almost 133 thousand arriving individuals in 2018, which was followed by a decline in number of asylum grants.

Large inflow of refugees

The refugee crisis within the European Union that started in 2015 has been characterized by a large inflow of refugees primarily from Muslim-majority countries, mainly traversing the Mediterranean Sea in order to reach the European Union. This has also been seen within the immigrant trends in Sweden, among which large groups were coming from Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq.

Decline in asylum grants within the European Union

Sweden is not the only country that sharpened the asylum grants in 2016, it has been observed within the whole European Union. Since the end of 2016, there has been a significant decline in the number of accepted first instance asylum applications within the European Union.

Immigration to Sweden from 2008 to 2018

Number of immigrants
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Release date

April 2019



Survey time period

2008 to 2018

Supplementary notes

An immigrant is identified as a foreign citizen who has been resident in Sweden for at least a year.

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Statistics on "Demographics of Scandinavia"

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