In 2010, Sweden was predicted to reach ten million in 2021, according to Statistics Sweden. The population has however increased faster than expected. This means that Sweden today officially is the first Nordic country with a population in the tens of millions.
The record population growth that made it happen goes a long way to explaining the nation’s booming economy.
If handled right, this will help Sweden to tackle the challenges posed by an increasingly aging society better than other advanced economies such as Germany or Japan, where the population is projected to drop.
Between 2010 and 2015 the population in Sweden grew by some four percent a year, behind only Luxembourg in the EU, and far above the EU’s average of one percent, according to the TT news agency.
According to Niklas Magnusson at Bloomberg, eleven million will be reached in 2024, the fastest 1 million growth in history. Sweden is currently expected to reach a population of 13 million in 2060.
This current decade (2015-2025) is seeing population growth of almost 13 %, the fastest gains since recording started in 1749, according to Statistics Sweden. The last time growth was (nearly) this fast was in the 1820s.
There are two reasons behind the recent years’ increase: the birth rate and immigration.
“The main reason the population is increasing faster than what was thought a few years ago is because immigration was at an historic high and since then it has increased even more. Population prognoses normally expect that the immigration surplus will go down to the historic average level. That has however not happened yet,” Tomas Johansson, population analyst at Statistics Sweden, said to The Local Sweden.
The development could be a blessing for a country that already spends a sizable proportion of its money on pensions and senior care. The number of Swedes aged 65 and above will account for a quarter of the total population by 2060, up from a fifth in 2016, according to Statistics Sweden. At the same time, net migration and a rising number of births will feed into the workforce.
2015 saw 163 000 asylum seekers enter Sweden, mainly from war-torn countries. The inflow represented a more than 1.5 percent increase of the Swedish population overnight. Migration will continue to be the main driver of population growth over the coming decades, however at a slowing pace.
The birth surplus, or the number of newborns minus the number of deaths, has been at around 20,000-25,000 for the past couple of years. The immigration surplus meanwhile has ranged from 45,000 and 78,000, mainly because of increased immigration while emigration has remained relatively stable.
Today: Sweden’s Population has Reached the Ten Million Mark, written by Tor Kjolberg