Swedes are likely to become a minority in their own country within the next four decades, according to a study conducted by a Finnish researcher. The study, which assumes that migration levels will remain at the current rate, says it will only take 45 years for the Swedish people to become a minority in their country.
The study was conducted by Finnish researcher KyÃ¶sti Tarvainen, who is the associate professor emeritus in systems analysis at Aalto University in Helsinki, Sputnik News reported. The study noted that more than one-third of all Swedish residents currently have foreign lineage. Demographic trends suggest that while population growth among the original Swedes will stay subdued, the population of people of other ethnicities will rise at a sharper clip.
Too Liberal With Migration?
Sweden has been liberal about migration for about the last 50 years. It is also at the forefront of the European countries that accepted migrants and refugees in large numbers since about 1975. While the early immigrants to Sweden were mostly Finnish people, the trend started changing in the 1980s with the influx of migrants from Turkey, the Middle East and Africa.
While the Finnish migrants assimilated with the Swedish culture, the non-Westerners who comprised a large portion of immigrants in the later years stayed outside of the national mainstream, the researcher notes.
"The Swedish parliament unanimously decided in 1975 that Sweden is a multicultural country. At that time, more than 40 percent of the immigrants were my compatriots, Finns. The situation has changed: in 2019, 88 percent of net immigrants were non-Westerners and 52 percent were Muslims. Thus, a huge cultural change has taken place in the immigrant population, as its largest group has changed from being Finns to being Muslims," Tarvainen said.
The number of Muslims in the country will equal the number of ethnic Swedes by 2100, says the study, which was published in Folkbladet newspaper. The study used the standard demographic method as well as the cohort component method, the author explained.
It says that unless drastic changes are adopted, the basic tenets and flavor of Swedish society will change in a matter of decades. If the Swedes become a minority, the speed at which the non-Swedes further grow in numbers will accelerate as the majority will seek ways to entrench their numbers by putting in place the system to facilitate more immigration, explains the researcher.
"Prominent Swedish engineers and businessmen will ensure that the Swedish economy does not collapse. But Swedish society and culture will lose their leading position. This demographic development can be stopped, but it will require radical changes in immigration policy. We are in a historically unique situation, and we northerners must begin to discuss immigration and the preservation of our nation-states," he says.
In a separate study, the Pew Research Center had said Sweden's Muslim population, which was 8 percent 2016 could grow to 31 percent by 2050.
Unrest and Demographics
Sweden has experienced widespread social unrest in the past several years, a crisis seen as the aftermath of unbridled immigration and the formation of significant immigrant clusters in various cities. Koran-burning in Sweden's Malmo and subsequent violence was one of the recent cases of social strife in the country. The Swedish far right, which sees immigration as a threat to Swedish culture, has called for immigration reform. Some far right parties in countries including Sweden and Denmark have also called for deportation of Muslim immigrants.