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Sweden: Record Number of Foreign-Born Nationals Granted Citizenship in 2021 by Robert Semonsen

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Sweden: Record Number of Foreign-Born Nationals Granted Citizenship in 2021

On Monday, June 6, 2022, as Swedes celebrated the National Day of Sweden, formerly known as Swedish Flag Day, the left-liberal government, led by prime minister Magdalena Andersson, held welcome ceremonies across the country for the record number of foreign-born nationals who were granted citizenship in 2021. 

The figures, published by Statistics Sweden, the government agency responsible for producing official statistics, have revealed that a record 89,354 foreign-born nationals were granted Swedish citizenship in 2021, 11.5% more than were awarded last year, the state broadcaster SVT Nyheter reports.

In contrast to 2020, where the majority of ‘new Swedes’ were women, over half of those granted Swedish citizenship in 2021 are men.

According to Statistics Sweden, the record number of new citizens is directly attributable to the 2015-2016 migrant crisis. To obtain citizenship, an asylum seeker is first required to be a resident of Sweden for at least four years. Thus, approximately every third person who was awarded Swedish citizenship in 2021 is a Syrian national.

Apart from Syrian nationals, those from Somalia, Afghanistan, and Eritrea were also granted citizenship in higher numbers compared to previous years. 

The news comes several months ahead of Sweden’s parliamentary elections this fall, where approximately 1.2 million foreign-born residents, nearly 12% of Sweden’s total population, will be eligible to vote.

Consequently, as a result of the unprecedented demographic shift that has taken place over the past decades, the Islamist political party Nyans is poised to capture seats in the Swedish parliament in September, with some analysts suggesting the party could win 20% of the parliament’s seats.

Robert Semonsen is a political journalist based in Central Europe. His work has been featured in various English-language news outlets in Europe and the Americas. He has an educational background in biological and medical science. His Twitter handle is @R_Semonsen.