Friday, January 06, 2017
More Than 7% Of Swedes Live Abroad – And USA Is Their Favorite Country
Via Business Insider: Swedes are one of the world's best traveled people, something that has helped them to succeed in business and culture on the global stage. Now there are some indicative numbers to shed light on how much Swedes love being – and living – abroad. Around 660.000, or some 7 percent, of Swedish natives live permanently abroad, shows an extensive study from 2015. The number has grown more than 100.000 since the lat study in 2011. An "expat" is defined in the study as someone who has lived more than 6 months abroad. "The Swedish government should see them as a resource for Sweden. All these people transmit an image of Sweden abroad", says a representative of Swedes Worldwide, an organisation that looks after expat Swedes' interests, and that conducted the headcount this article refers to. This was reported by Sydsvenskan. Around 80% of expat Swedes live in these countries: 1. USA: 150.000 2. United Kingdom: 90.000 3. Norway: 90.000 4. Spain: 90.000 5. France: 30.000 6. Germany: 23.000 7. Thailand: 20.000 8. Finland: 15.000 9. Denmark: 15.000 10. Italy: 12.000 The research notes that in almost no country is the amount of Swedes decreasing; though one exception is Greece. One up-and-comer is Portugal, where the amount of Swedes has almost tripled to 3.500, arguably because of favorable tax policies for retirees, according to Sydsvenskan. The biggest reasons for getting out of Sweden are career opportunities, love, climate, and taxes. The amount of Swedes in sunny locations like Spain and Thailand should keep increasing, as baby boomers retire and look for less punishing winters than what Sweden can offer. Thailand already hosts more than 20.000 Swedes permanently. Therese Larsson is one of the expats, living in Gran Canaria with her family. She tells Sydsvenskan how many things, like education and equality are worse abroad, but that the climate and lifestyle makes up for it: "The social life down here [in Spain] is fantastic if you compare with Sweden. We spend a lot more time outdoors, and that's of course because of the climate". If one includes Swedes descended from people who migrated during the Great Migrations in the late 18th- and early 19th centuries, the amount of "Swedes abroad" grows to millions. For example, around 1.4% of the US population, or more than 4.4 million people, are descended from Swedish ancestors. These Swedish-Americans are concentrated mainly in the Midwest, in states like Minnesota, Wisconsin, and the Dakotas.