Mapping African immigrants in Sweden
Researcher: Anne Kubai
This is the first phase of the study on “Mapping African immigrants in Sweden”. It is part of the project on ‘Migration, Diaspora and Development’ in the Globalization Cluster
The Swedish immigration agency records (2009) show that 14% of the total population of Sweden comprises of people born outside Sweden. Out of these 20% are Africans largely from Africa South of the Sahara. Sweden has experienced the largest influx of African immigrants in the last decade, for instance in 2007 and 2008, about 9783 sought asylum; and a total of 10234 entered Sweden in 2008 alone. Current estimates put the population of African immigrants living in Sweden at 130,000, but these statistics do not include thousands of others who are ‘undocumented’ and therefore unaccounted for or ‘unknown’ to the system. Though some research has been carried out on the African immigrants and health care and racism, little is known about other aspects of the African Diaspora in Sweden. Therefore the general objective of this study is to profile the African Diaspora in Sweden. The study will draw insights and benefit from an on-going larger study on African immigrants in Sweden that address the issues of identity, segregation and integration. Specifically, this study investigates various the social constellations around which African communities cohere and the functional utility of these affiliations and networks in the migration context. It also addresses the question of how the Swedish integration policy is facilitating or hindering the integration of skilled immigrants into the labor force; and finally focuses on the interface between the political rhetoric of ‘integration’ and actual reality on the ground.