Most people who were not born in Sweden will never be economically self-sufficient, with Middle Eastern and African migrants scoring the lowest in a new study conducted by economists Johan Eklund and Johan P. Larsson at the Swedish Entrepreneurship Forum.
The study, which examined self-sufficiency among Swedish immigrants, found that the gap in employment rate between native Swedes and immigrants is one of the widest in Europe.
The study further noted that in 2016, the lowest self-sufficiency level was among migrants from Africa and the Middle East, with only 38 percent and 36 percent of them determined to be self-sufficient, respectively. Conversely, Swedish-born residents and immigrants from other Nordic countries had self-sufficiency rates of 73 percent and 89 percent, which were twice as high.
At the moment, about 20 percent of Sweden’s population consists of migrants.
On average, about 50 percent of migrants have reached basic self-sufficiency by earning €1,200 or more 12 to 13 years after they came to Sweden. However, most immigrants remained dependent on government funding, with approximately 600,000 foreign-born residents in the country of 10 million failing to be self-sufficient, which the study deemed as all citizens who earn 12,600 Swedish crowns (€1,200) per month.
The level of self-sufficiency also differs in some cities. While in Stockholm, migrants showed a high level of self-sufficiency compared to Sweden’s average, in Malmö migrants were the least self-sufficient.
However, it is important to note that the study distinguished between being self-sufficient and being employed, as in Sweden, anyone who works at least one hour per week is considered to be employed.
In this respect, although 55 percent of migrants are employed within five years after coming to Sweden, only 30 percent of migrants become self-sufficient in this timeframe.
Data from 1990 to 2016 revealed that most of the migrants in productive age did not become self-sufficient in this period, with 600,000 migrants not being economically self-sufficient in 2016.
In 2018, the number was even higher, with about 772,000 migrants dependent on government funding and social benefits.
According to the study, the coronavirus pandemic could lead to an even higher numbers of migrants that are not self-sufficient.
Sweden has also faced other issues with its increasingly multicultural society, including an increase in sexual crimes against teen girls. Although migrants make up a fraction of the population of Sweden, statistics show they have a disproportionate role in sexual offenses.