Scandinavia's Population Groups Originating from Developing Countries

Change and Integration

image of Scandinavia's Population Groups Originating from Developing Countries

Scandinavia’s foreign-origin population has steadily increased over the past six decades. Migration flows into the region have been linked to societal phenomena such as growing labour demands, family reunification and the acceptance of refugees fleeing wars and political conflicts. Whereas earlier migration streams were generally expected to integrate relatively easily, concerns about the current streams are high on the political agenda. This report is a cross-country research into selected key features of population change and the integration of population groups with roots in Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Somalia, Turkey and Vietnam in Denmark, Sweden and Norway. The research has sought to achieve three objectives. The first is to determine how and when the groups came to the three Scandinavian countries and how they have since developed. The second is to analyze two aspects of the groups’ integration, namely their participation in education and their participation in the labour market. And the final objective is to provide a brief overview of the groups’ situation in each of the three countries with regards to economic development, immigration history and policy development.




After the Second World War, most of the refugees who had fled to Sweden from other Nordic countries during the war either returned home or left for new destinations. The Swedish population was at that time homogeneously native and ethnically Swedish, with the exception of a couple of small minority groups. However, successive waves of immigration during the post-war period have led to fundamental changes in the composition of the Swedish population. By 2010, immigrants constituted about 14 per cent of Sweden’s total population. About one quarter of the immigrant population was of Nordic origin, one third originated from other European countries and the remainder from non-European countries.


This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error