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Statistical news from Statistics Sweden

2012-12-12 9:30 AM Nr 2012:930

Integration - foreign born persons of retirement age:

Immigrating at older age often leads to lower pension

Those who immigrated to Sweden during the latter part of their working lives have a significantly lower income than Swedish born persons and other groups of foreign born persons. They are also in need of housing support for pensioners and maintenance support for the elderly to a greater extent. In addition, these persons usually live in a rented dwelling.

Today roughly 200 000 older foreign born persons live in Sweden, comprising 12 percent of the population age 65 or older. Foreign born persons have lower pensions than Swedish born persons, and have a greater need for housing and maintenance support for the elderly. Even when including this support, foreign born persons age 65 or older, women and men alike, have lower incomes than Swedish born persons. However, income levels differ sharply for foreign born persons depending on when in life they immigrated to Sweden. Roughly 60 percent have immigrated before age 35 and have been able to have a long working life in Sweden. These persons have a median income that is nearly at the same level as Swedish born persons. Then median income falls with rising age upon immigration. For those who came after age 55, median income is roughly SEK 8 000 per month after taxes, compared to Swedish born persons whose median income is close to SEK 12 000 per month after taxes.

Foreign born persons live in rented dwellings more often

Older persons who are foreign born live in rented dwellings or owner-occupied apartments more often than older Swedish born persons, who usually live in their own homes. Among those who immigrated to Sweden at a young age, the proportion living in their own homes, rented dwellings and owner-occupied apartments is about the same as Swedish born persons. A high percentage of those who immigrated later in life live in rented dwellings.

Most older persons feel they are in good health

There is no difference between foreign born persons and Swedish born persons or between women and men concerning how they assess their general health status. Six out of ten report that they are in good health. The same proportion also say they exercise at least twice a week, and one out of three report they spend time outdoors every week. At the same time, older women report that they have severe pain in different parts of their bodies to a greater extent than older men. This above all applies to foreign born women where about one in four say they have severe pain.

Definitions and explanations

Income is the sum of all taxable and tax free income minus taxes and other negative transfers. Total income of older persons consists of pension income, income from employment and business, capital income and means-tested benefits.


This new report from Statistics Sweden describes the living conditions for the foreign born population aged 65 and older compared to Swedish born persons of the same age. The report covers incomes, employment, family, social relationships, housing, health and leisure. Read more in the report Integration - foreign born persons of retirement age.


Responsible authority and producer

Statistics Sweden, Forecast Institute
Box 24 300
SE-104 30 Stockholm


Karin Lundström
+46 8 506 941 87

Anna Wilén
+46 8-506 940 79

Feel free to use the facts from this statistical news but remember to state Source: Statistics Sweden.

Sweden | Box 24300, SE 104 51 Stockholm | SE 701 89 Örebro | +46 10 479 40 00