Increased immigration and higher birth rates, coupled with markedly reduced emigration and lower death rates, have contributed to the highest population growth seen in Sweden since 1946.
The latest figures released by Statistics Sweden estimate that, as at 1st January 2010, the population of Sweden will be 9.34 million on the back of 2009’s record growth, reports the Local.
In the past ten years the number of newborns recorded in Sweden has risen annually. In 2009 the total increase was two percent on 2008 numbers with 57,000 boys and 54,000 girls born. In addition, Statistics Sweden calculates that the death rate has fallen by around one percent.
The research further revealed that the number of Swedish citizens that were born overseas now accounts for 14 percent of the total population. Finland contributes the greatest number of foreign-born residents with the group being around 173,000. Iraq was the second largest overseas contributor with 117,000 while some 400,000 Swedish newborns have both parents born abroad.
The sharp growth in population has also been attributed to immigration with Statistics Sweden estimating that the country welcomed 102,000 new migrants in 2009. The predominant immigrant group was Swedish citizens returning home, followed by migrants from Iraq and Somalia. The Iraqi immigration number has fallen by 30 percent compared to 2008 levels while Somali immigration has risen by 50 percent.
Meanwhile, emigration fell by 15 percent in 2009 compared with 2008 numbers, with just 38,000 Swedish residents relocating abroad. Norway and Finland remain steady as emigrant destinations but stricter immigration controls in the UK and US contributed to a decrease.