During the past year, Sweden's population increased by 73 420 persons, which means the population has reached 9 256 347 persons as of 31 December 2008. Contributing reasons for the population increase were many births and immigration reaching over 100 000 persons, something that had never happened before. Deaths and emigration both decreased somewhat compared to 2007.
Immigration has been high over the past few years and continues to make new records. More than 100 000 persons immigrated to Sweden in 2008. A total of 101 171 persons immigrated to Sweden, of whom 48 711 were women and 52 460 men. There were 169 different nationalities represented among these immigrants. The largest immigrant group was made up of 17 853 Swedish citizens. The next largest was 12 103 Iraqi citizens. The immigration of Swedish citizens between the years 2007 and 2008 increased by 12 percent while the immigration of Iraqi citizens decreased by 20 percent. This is partly due to the reduced number of asylum seekers from Iraq and the reduced rate of accepted applications for this group.
Swedes spread out around the world
Emigration decreased by 124 persons compared to 2007 and a total of 45 294 persons emigrated during 2008. Of these emigrants, 20 555 were women and 24 739 were men. Over 54 percent of the emigrants were born in a country other than Sweden. The most common countries of origin among emigrants were, aside from Sweden, the Nordic countries of Finland, Denmark, and Norway. It is most common for foreign-born persons to return to their countries of origin. This was the case for nearly 90 percent of those Finnish, Danish and Norwegian born persons that left Sweden.
The Nordic and English-speaking countries were most popular among the Swedish-born emigrants. More than one third of the Swedish-born emigrants emigrated to Norway, Demark and Finland, while England and the US received one fifth. Swedish-born emigrants emigrated to a total of 146 different countries. Foreign-born emigrants spread themselves out among a somewhat wider rage of 151 different countries.
Record high number of births in July
In total, 109 301 children were born during 2008, 52 949 girls and 56 352 boys, which is an increase by 1 880 children since the previous year. Most children are often born in the months of March, April or May. Although, last year July was the month with the most births, there were10 137 in all. More than 10 000 children were born in the same month for the first time since 1994. On the other hand, 6 May was the most common birthday. On that day 379 children were born. 29 November had the lowest number, when 199 children were born.
Deaths down slightly
During the past year 91 449 persons died, which is somewhat fewer than during 2007. Among the deceased, 47 389 were women and 44 060 were men. The number of children who died before their first birthday has not changed since 2007, remaining at 2.5 children per thousand born. Since 2000 infant mortality has varied between 3.7 and 2.4 per thousand births. Infant mortality has decreased strongly over the years. At the beginning of the 1900s nearly one in ten children did not survive their first year.
Women are the majority of new citizens
The number of persons being granted Swedish citizenship has continued to decrease since the record breaking year of 2006 when 51 239 persons became Swedish citizens. During 2008 Swedish citizenship was granted to 30 461 persons through having applied for it. Slightly more women (16 947) were granted citizenship compared to 13 514 men. More men than women were granted Swedish citizenship each year up to the mid-1990s. Afterward the percentage of women among the new citizens had increased and by 2008 was up to 56 percent. The largest group being granted Swedish citizenship was a group of 4 224 Iraqi citizens.
More women in registered partnerships
Marriages continue to steadily increase. During 2008 there were 50 332 couples saying "I do" to one another. Not since 1968 have so many couples married, with the exception of 1989 when 108 919 couples were wed in connection to the changes in legislation about widows' pension entitlements. The most popular day for getting married was the "lucky day" of 8 August 2008 (or 080808). On that day 1 939 couples were wed. During the year 21 377 couples divorced, a small increase since 2007.
During the past year 503 women and 311 men registered their partnerships. In 2008 the number of registered partnerships among women had increased by 30 percent compared to 2007. Registered partnerships among men have increased by slightly less than 19 percent. The most popular day for registering partnerships was 8 August for women and 28 June for men. 86 women and 95 men sought the legal dissolution of their partnerships. This was a decrease of over 20 percent for women compared to 2007, while the number of men seeking the legal dissolution of their partnerships increased by the same percentage.
The trend breaks for Malå, Vilhelmina and Arjeplog
The populations increased in 155 municipalities last year while it decreased in 133 municipalities. Hjo and Vilhelmina had unchanged populations. The trend still seems to hold true that small municipalities decrease while larger municipalities increase their number of residents.
There has been a population decrease in Malå for 16 years, a trend that broke during 2008 through a population increase of 31 persons. Vilhelmina had an unchanged population last year but had earlier seen 13 years of population decrease. Arjeplog broke a 12 year period of population decrease through an increase of 57 persons. Skurup and Piteå saw an opposite trend, with a population decrease after having population increases for 9 years and 7 years, respectively.
Time for celebration in Gothenburg and Stockholm
Gothenburg municipality, with a stable growth rate, reached the half million mark in November 2008 and as of 31 December the municipality had a population of 500 197 residents. Halmstad also passed a milestone with regard to the number of residents exceeding 90 000. Other municipalities that also passed population limits were Botkyrka and Växjö, which had more than 80 000 residents as of the New Year, Hässleholm exceeded 50 000 residents, Kungälv reached 40 000 residents and Kumla 20 000 residents. In contrast, Hofors went under the 10 000 limit.
Stockholm also passed an earlier limit. This happened when the municipality increased its population by nearly 15 000 persons, which led to a population of over 800 000. Thus the population is now at the record high levels that Stockholm had before the significant out-migrations in the 1960s and 1970s.