Immigration during 2006 was at the highest level since measurement by Statistics Sweden began. Emigration reached the highest level seen in over 100 years. Never before have so many people been granted Swedish citizenship. At the same time, more babies were born, more people got married and more people registered partnerships.
During 2006, Sweden's population increased by 65 505 people which resulted in a total population of 9 113 257 people on 31 December 2006.
Immigration reached an "all-time high"
Immigration increased by 47 percent during 2006 to a total of 95 750 people. Of these, 47 percent were women and 53 percent were men. The highest number of immigrants previously seen was in 1994, when many people fled the war in Yugoslavia. In 2006, there were slightly over 12 000 more immigrants than in 1994.The rise in immigration was mostly due to temporary asylum legislation giving asylum seekers the right to a new examination of their case. The legislation was applicable during the period 15 November 2005 until 31 March 2006 but all the cases could not be dealt with during this period so the work continued over the whole year.
As in previous years, the largest single immigrant group consisted of Swedish citizens, accounting for 16 percent of the total immigration. Second on the list came Iraqi citizens with 11 percent. The immigration of Swedish citizens increased by 10 percent, while the immigration of Iraqi citizens increased by a full 269 percent compared to 2005. The two next countries in terms of size were Poland and Denmark. These countries also had higher immigration than the previous year.
Highest emigration for over 100 years
At the same time as immigration to Sweden increased, emigration from Sweden also rose. During 2006, 44 908 people emigrated. This represents an increase of a full 18 percent compared to the previous year.
To find a higher number of emigrants, we must go as far back as 1892. In that year, 45 504 people emigrated, which corresponded to one percent of the total population. The corresponding share in 2006 was a half a percent. The majority, as in the previous year, were Swedish citizens followed by Finnish, Danish and Norwegian citizens.
Lots of new little people
In total, 105 913 babies were born. This is an increase of five percent compared to 2005. Of all those born during 2006, 51 430 were girls and 54 483 were boys. All months apart from December showed an increase in the number of births compared to the previous year. The most popular month for births was March. Despite this, the most babies were born on 12 April.
Slightly fewer deaths
During 2006, 91 177 people died, 47 000 women and 44 177 men. This was slightly less than during 2005, when 91 710 people died. Infant mortality, i.e. the number of babies dying during their first year of life, which has decreased substantially over the past 50 years, increased slightly during 2006. The infant mortality rate was 2.8 babies per 1 000 live births compared to 2.4 in 2005. It was however lower than in 2004 when the rate was 3.1.
More couples say "I do"
For the fifth year in a row, the number of marriages increased. During the previous year, 45 511 couples said "I do", which was an increase of 3 percent compared to the previous year. Such a high number of new weddings has not been seen in Sweden since 1969, with the exception of 1989 when changes in widow pensions prompted a full 108 919 couples to get married.
The number of people registering partnership also increased during 2006. In total, 278 and 382 women registered partnerships, an increase of 14 and 9 percent respectively. Never before have so many women registered partnerships. Men registered partnerships the most in 1995, when the legislation came into force.
Largely unchanged number of divorces
The number of divorces has remained at roughly the same level as the previous year. In total, 20 295 couples got divorced in 2006. On the other hand, the number of registered partners who separated increased. During the year, 95 men and 106 women who were previously registered partners chose to go separate ways.
Many granted Swedish citizenship
During 2006, 51 239 people were granted Swedish citizenship after application. Such a high number has never been seen before. The largest increase in terms of numbers occurred among Iraqi citizens, where 12 895 people were granted Swedish citizenship.
Population grew in over half of municipalities
A growth in the population was seen in 165 of Sweden's 290 municipalities during 2006, while the remaining municipalities had a decreased or unchanged population.
The municipality of Ragunda in Jämtland county had a population increase for the first time since 1989. Other municipalities who broke a long-term pattern of decreasing populations included Örnsköldsvik and Avesta, both of which had not grown since 1990. Kiruna saw a growth in the population after 12 years of decreases.
Among Sweden's 50 largest municipalities, all apart from Gotland and Falun saw a growth in the population while only nine of the country's 50 smallest municipalities had an increase. This means that, to a great extent, Sweden's largest municipalities continue to get larger while the smallest become smaller.
Åre celebrates more than just gold medals
Åre was one of two municipalities to pass the 10 000 inhabitant mark in 2006. Åre has not had a population of over 10 000 since 1996. The other municipality was Habo, which has never been so large. Borås municipality again grew to over 100 000 inhabitants. The last time the municipality was that large was in 1993, before it was split up and Bollebygd formed its own municipality.