What is the ethnic demographics of Sweden

The demographic development in Sweden and the Swedish family policy

Table of Contents

List of figures

1 Introduction

2. Brief portrait of Sweden
2.1 Country and people
2.2 Politics and Economy
2.3 Strengths and weaknesses of the welfare state

3. Demographic change in Sweden
3.1 Definition of terms
3.2 The Swedish population
3.4 Demographic development since 1930

4. How is Sweden dealing with the changes?
4.1 Family policy - Sweden's incentive to have families
4.1.1 The dual-earner model - increased employment among women
4.1.2 Childcare in Sweden
4.2 Flexible retirement age

5. Excursus: the situation in Germany

6. Summary

A. Appendix

A.1. Projected population development in Scandinavia

Web directory

List of figures

Figure 1: Sweden's population forecast from 2010 to 2025

Figure 2: Population growth rate Sweden - Germany in comparison

1 Introduction

In the next few years and decades, the population structure will change significantly, and not just in Germany. Population decline, aging, isolation and internationalization characterize the future demographic development in Europe. Each of these four trends presents different societal challenges, the dimensions of which are closely related to one another. Demographic change is not a problem of the present; its developments and effects have been discernible for many decades. It represents a great challenge for politics, administration, economy and every single one of our society. It is all the more important to tackle this challenge.1

The aim of the work is to present the demographic development in the EU country Sweden and its countermeasures. In the first part of the present work, the author describes the political and social structure of Sweden. In the following, the current situation of the population structure and the demographic development since the 1930s are presented. The second part of the term paper focuses on the central question of how Sweden is dealing with the development. The focus is particularly on family policy solutions and the flexible pension system. In the third part, parallels to Germany are drawn and the plans of the federal government against the trend development are explained.

2. Brief portrait of Sweden

2.1 Country and people

Sweden has long been an ethnically homogeneous country. Immigration only started to move during and after the Second World War. Sweden accepted a considerable number of refugees during the war years and later opened its borders in connection with political crises abroad. In 1992 alone, 84,000 people were taken in, mostly from the former Yugoslavia.

About nine million people live in the large Scandinavian country. Around 85 percent of the population live in the southern half of Sweden, where they are concentrated in three cities: the capital Stockholm (around 1.7 million with suburbs), Gothenburg on the west coast (around 800,000) and Malmö in the south (approx. 500,000).2

2.2 Politics and Economy

Sweden is a parliamentary democracy. The parliament, the so-called “Reichstag”, has a chamber with 349 seats and is elected every four years. The Swedish monarchy with the royal family is purely constitutional. The duties of the king as head of state are essentially representative and ceremonial.3

About 200 years ago Sweden was one of the poorest countries in Europe. This state of affairs has changed significantly over time. Today Sweden is one of the richest and most industrialized countries in the world. The Swedish economy developed very well, especially in the decades after the Second World War. The gross national product grew, prosperity rose and the welfare state could be expanded. A serious crisis at the beginning of the 1990s rocked Sweden very much, the national debt increased immensely and unemployment also rose sharply. As a result, the Swedish economy was extensively restructured with great success. Today inflation is low, public debt is falling, real wages are growing and unemployment is falling.4

2.3 Strengths and weaknesses of the welfare state

The Swedish welfare state system is a model for many EU countries. Many Swedes can count on support in most situations in life. The “Swedish model” has its origins in the early 20th century and led to a fundamental change in labor and family policy as well as in the structure of society. Despite the economic crisis in the 1990s, the system remained functional, albeit with savings in social benefits. But the system also has its downsides and represents an enormous economic burden. B. special medical care and nursing are financed.

Above all, the system has greatly changed the position of women in Swedish society over the past few decades, resulting in a steadily rising birth rate. Especially for families with an immigrant background and for young couples, this policy has proven to be a tried and tested means of preventing poverty.

3. Demographic change in Sweden

In the Scandinavian countries of Europe, people are doing exceptionally well, despite the sometimes uneconomical climatic conditions. There are very well-developed social systems and support programs, also for the sparsely populated regions, and ensure comprehensive development and a high birth rate. The conditions on the labor market, especially for women, are very good, as childcare is developed to a high standard, unlike in Germany, for example. According to population projections, Scandinavians, especially young women, tend to move to the capital regions, which are often in the southern part of their countries.5

Contrary to the European trend, the Swedish population will continue to grow in the future. The regions in and around Stockholm, Malmö and Gothenburg expect an increase of 6 to 18 percent and more by 2030.6


1 See: http://www.bmfsfj.de/BMFSFJ/Familie/demografischer-wandel.html, last visited on September 16, 2013.

2 See: http://www.schwedentor.de/land- Menschen/fotos/ueberblick, last visited on September 16, 2013.

3 See ibid.

4 See: http://www.schwedentor.de/land- Menschen/fotos/ueberblick, last visited on September 16, 2013.

5 See: http://www.berlin-institut.org/fileadmin/user_upload/Studien/Kurzfassung_Europa_d_sicherheit.pdf, last visited on September 16, 2013.

6 See Appendix 1: Projected population development in Scandinavia according to a survey by the Berlin Institute for Population and Development in 2008.

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