Posted on July 27, 2007

Swedes: Integration Is Not Working

James Savage, The Local (Färögatan, Sweden), July 27, 2007

Sweden is bad at integrating immigrants—that’s the view of Swedes themselves, according to a new Europe-wide survey.

The Eurobarometer survey interviewed 500 residents in each of 75 European cities to get their opinions on their home towns. In Sweden, the survey covered Stockholm and Malmö. The survey rated Sweden as one of the worst places at integrating foreigners and one of the places where it is hardest to find reasonably-priced housing.

In Malmö, only 12 percent said that foreigners who live there are well-integrated; 83 percent said they were not. A similar story was told in Stockholm, where 78 people disagreed with the statement that foreigners who live in the city were well-integrated.

No other city in Europe was more negative to the integration of immigrants; next most negative were Berlin, Vienna and Graz, while inhabitants of cities in Romania, Hungary and Poland were most satisfied with integration.

Another source of dissatisfaction was housing. Asked whether it was easy to find good housing at a reasonable price, 88 percent of Stockholmers said it was not, while only 8 percent said it was. This makes Stockholm residents more negative about housing availability than people living in Rome, London, Amsterdam or Copenhagen. Only six cities were more negative: Paris, Luxembourg, Dublin, Bucharest, Bratislava and Munich.

In Malmö, 20 percent said it was easy to find good, reasonably-priced housing, while 74 percent disagreed.

The wide ranging survey did not only elicit negative responses from Swedes. Residents of Stockholm and Malmö were among the most satisfied with green spaces in their cities. Malmö residents were most satisfied in Europe, while Stockholmers were third most satisfied. They were also among the most satisfied with air quality and public transport.

While Stockholmers and Malmö-ites agreed in their assessments of many aspects of life, sixty percent of those interviewed in Malmö disagreed that it was easy to find a good job, while only 20 percent agreed. In Stockholm, 43 percent thought it was easy to find a good job, while 44 percent said it was not.