Critique of the article by Morgan Finnsiö, titled “Nej, svenskar riskerar inte att bli i minoritet”, published by Expo, 2019-06-19,

Oberoende Förnuft väljer att publicera forskaren Kyösti Tarvainen kritik av Expos påstående att “svenskar” (d.v.s landets nuvarande majoritetsbefolkning) inte kan bli i minoritet framöver. Forskningen han fått utgiven i en fackgranskad vetenskaplig tidskrift, togs inte med i Expos reportage i ämnet. Vi har sedan tidigare kritiserat EXPOs publicering (och deras journalist Morgan Finnsiö har också replikerat i våran artikel). Kyösti Tarvainen gavs aldrig möjlighet att besvara Expo i deras egna text. Vi väljer därför att ge ut hans svar som ett viktigt underlag i debatten. Likt alla våra publikationer, förblir alla åsikter författarens egna och inget Oberoende Förnuft som tidning ställer sig för eller emot.
Mvh Redaktionen Oberoende Förnuft.

Abstract. The article “Nej, svenskar riskerar inte att bli i minoritet” (Finnsiö 2019) published by Expo omits almost all relevant demographic research that has been published on the subject matter, data is also cherry-picked in a misleading fashion. As a result, the title’s conclusion is not correct. The truth indicated by four demographic studies is that, if drastic changes are not made to Sweden’s immigration policy, ethnic Swedes will become a minority. The article’s title uses the term “svenskar” but naturally, the matter here concerns ethnic Swedes (native Swedes, the indigenous population).

How ethnic Swedes are defined

Whatever one’s opinion is concerning the existence of races, the fact remains that there exist ethnic groups. Particularly, there are ethnic Swedes. For example, when I in 1960, as a 12-year old boy, visited Stockholm, all people I met were ethnic Swedes. The question is how the share of this ethnic group will develop in a time when contemporary immigration policies bring with it a large number of people belonging to other ethnicities.

Concerning the concept of the Swedish ethnic group, we may note the following simple facts. When two ethnic Swedes get a child, he or she is also an ethnic Swede. If both parents are not ethnic Swedes, the child is not an ethnic Swede. The third possible case: about 8% of those ethnic Swedes who get married have a spouse who is not an ethnic Swede. In this case, the child belongs to a mixed group. For example, in the US censuses, everybody self-identifies with the ethnic group or the mixed group to which he or she feels they belong to. These kinds of censuses would by now be very appropriate in Sweden as well.

In praxis, in the case of mixed couples, if the parents’ ethnicities are close to each other and if their child is raised in Sweden, he/she will often regard him/herself as an ethnic Swede, and most other people will also identify this child as an ethnic Swede. When this child marries an ethnic Swede, their child is then even more likely to be regarded as an ethnic Swede. Even if the original ethnicities of the parents were very different, the offsprings in future generations would usually be held as ethnic Swedes. So, we have three groups, and, from the mixed group, individuals or their descendants can transfer to the Swedish ethnic group. Thereby, the Swedish ethnic group changes slowly over time.

Nowadays, it is possible to cheaply determine via DNA tests the ethnic composition of one’s genes.

Scientific studies dealing with the ethnic Swedes

Several simple forecasts have been made by paper and pencil which indicate that ethnic Swedes will become a minority. In addition to these, extensive demographical computer programs have been made to study this issue. Demography researcher have produced the following four studies. The indicated year is the timepoint when ethnic Swedes are projected to become a minority. This year may have been given directly in the research or can be extrapolated from the projection results presented in the study.

Coleman (2006). The extrapolated year when ethnic Swedes are a minority: 2090.

Lanzieri (2011). The extrapolated year when ethnic Swedes are a minority: 2090.

Tarvainen (2018). The extrapolated year when ethnic Swedes are a minority: 2065.

Gefira (2018). The extrapolated year when ethnic Swedes are a minority: 2067.

… and what the EXPO article tells about these studies

The Expo article mentioned only that the Dutch foundation Gefira has made a study on Sweden’s demography, but does not mention the result of the study that native Swedes are calculated to become a numerical minority in 2067.

As previously mentioned, the Expo article doesn’t acknowledge other demographic studies. Among them, the most detailed study is that of Tarvainen (2018). This study also considers the mixed-group (individuals with one ethnic Swedish and one non-ethnic Swedish parent), a group whose members may transfer via marriages to the ethnically Swedish’ group. To simplify the mathematical model, it was assumed that a foreign-background individual who marries an ethnic Swede immediately becomes an ethnic Swede.

When proceeding this way, it was found that, in 2065, the share of the native population in Sweden and Norway increases by only 3 percentage points and in Denmark and Finland by 5 percentage points compared to the values obtained by considering the native groups separately. Thus, the consideration of inter-group marriages does not essentially change the main picture of the ethnic population obtained by considering population groups as distinct, as is done by Lanzieri (2011) and Gefira (2018).

The first misleading issue in the Expo article: only birth rates are considered

Instead of informing the reader about the four above-mentioned published demographic studies, Expo presents facts in a way that misleads the reader to assume it to be impossible for ethnic Swedes to become a minority.

First, there is a discussion of birth rates. Only this factor is mentioned as a factor that may change the ethnic composition. Immigration is not discussed at all.

It is true that the fertility of most ethnic groups in Sweden is close to that of the ethnic Swedes. However, Muslims are a clear exception. Due to the patriarchal cultural elements found in mainstream Islamic culture, dating back to the 7thcentury, the fertility of Muslim women in all parts of the world tend to be higher than that of other groups; therefore, Islam is becoming the world’s biggest religion in 2070. The Pew Research Center (PEW in the following), in cooperation with local demographers, has made estimates for the fertility of Muslims in all countries. PEW defines persons as Muslims if they self-identify as a Muslim (“I am a Muslim”). For Sweden, PEW projects that Muslims’ fertility 2.86 (child per woman) in 2010-2015 decreases to 2.54 in 2045-2050.

A factor, which increases the Muslim population in Western countries more than the high fertility, is the fact that many spouses to Muslims come from abroad, usually from the same clan. In this way, a clan member gets to a prosperous Western country and strengthens the clan in the Western country. Some years ago I estimated that about 50% of Swedish, Norwegian and Finnish Muslims obtain his or her Muslim spouse from abroad. This corresponds to a 50% increase in fertility. For Danish Muslims, this percentage was 20%. Similar percentages are mentioned by Ruist (2019, Figur 6.3) for other countries. During the last 15 years, the share of Muslims has been over 40% in the net immigration to Sweden.

The second misleading issue in the Expo article: SBC statistics about individuals born abroad

The Expo article does not present a single number of the share of the native population given in the four published studies. Instead, the article misleadingly presents the projection from SCB that 26% of the Swedish population will consist of people born abroad. However, this number is not the share of people who are non-ethnic Swedes, since the amount of 26% does not include, for example, Somalis who are born in Sweden to Somali parents.

The third misleading issue in the Expo article: people of non-Western foreign-background

Generally, immigration coming from Western countries to Sweden has not resulted in major culture shock and long-standing difficulties in integration. But this is not the case for all immigration from non-Western countries. According to the definitions of Statistics Denmark and Norway, the Western countries include EU-countries, Norway, Iceland, Switzerland, the USA, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

Misleadingly, the Expo article mentions percentages of 2% and 5% concerning only some people born outside Europe. The author has not determined the total percentage of people of non-Western foreign-background, which in Sweden is already very high, at 17% in 2019. This is because, for example during 2012-2014, the share of non-Westerners in the net immigration to Sweden was very high, 75%.

More dramatically, if the net immigration were to continue at the level of 2012-2014 (64,000 individuals) and the share of non-Westerners within this inflow would remain at 75%, then by continuing the projections in (Tarvainen, 2018) we obtain the following projection: the share of the Western population in Sweden (the ethnic Swedes plus people of Western foreign-background) would decrease to 50% in 2095. This would mean that ethnic Swedes would become a so-called visible minority at the beginning of the next century.


The author of Expos article  ̶  by cherry-picking some partial data and omitting central facts  ̶  attempts to assure the reader that there is no risk of ethnic Swedes becoming a minority.

The author doesn’t mention the results of the four studies made by demography researchers whose projections indicate that ethnic Swedes (native Swedes) will become a minority in about 2070-2090.

Sweden is not the only Western country where the native population is becoming a minority due to massive immigration. For example, people with a background in Europe founded the US, and now this population is becoming a minority around 2050. Discussion of this matter has increased there, but nobody has denied this demographic fact.

In the same way, Expo should accept demographic facts in Sweden. Then, Expo is free to express its opinion, whether the ongoing demographic development is favorable or unfavorable or unimportant for Sweden. There is a big difference in the US and Sweden: in the next century, the States is headed for a Latino-majority country, but Sweden for a Muslim-majority state.

By: Kyösti Tarvainen
Aalto University · Department of Mathematics and Systems Analysis (emeritus docent)

By: Kyösti Tarvainen
Aalto University · Department of Mathematics and Systems Analysis
(emeritus docent)


Coleman, D.(2006). Immigration and Ethnic Change inLow-Fertility Countries: A third

Demographic Transition. Population and Development Review, 32(3), 401‒446.

Gefira (2018). Sweden will remain Sweden but justin name. .

Lanzieri, G. (2011). Fewer, older and multicultural? Projections of the EU populations by foreign/national background. Luxemburg: Eurostat, European Commission. .

Finnsiö, Morgan (2019) Nej, svenskar riskerar inte att bli i minoritet Expo:

Pew Research Center (2015). The future of world religions: Population growth projections, 2010–2050. Washington: Pew Research Center. .

Pew Research Center (2017). Europe’s Growing Muslim Population. Washington: Pew Research Center. .

Ruist, J. (2019). Global migration – orsaker och konsekvenser. SNS Förlag.

Tarvainen, K. (2018). Population projections for Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Finland, 2015–2065. .

Oberoende Förnuft väljer att publicera forskaren Kyösti Tarvainen kritik av Expos påstående att “svenskar” (d.v.s landets nuvarande majoritetsbefolkning) inte kan bli i minoritet framöver. Forskningen han fått utgiven i en fackgranskad vetenskaplig tidskrift, togs inte med i Expos reportage i ämnet. Vi har sedan tidigare kritiserat EXPOs publicering (och deras journalist Morgan Finnsiö har också…

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