Four in five Swedes express concern over xenophobia

by , under Enrique Tessieri

Swedes are more worried about the rise of xenophobia in their country than the ever-growing number of immigrants, according to The Local, citing a study by the SOM Institute of Gothenburg University. The survey revealed that while 49% expressed concern over immigration levels, 78% were worried about the rise of xenophobia. 

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Writes The Local: The negative attitude towards xenophobia is likely due to the fact that the topic has been a hot one for the past two or three years, said Marie Demker, a political scientist, was quoted as saying.

“I noticed that people fell that xenophobia threatens society,” she said. “We talk an awful lot about xenophobia and there is also a strongly negative attitude to all forms of racism and xenophobia.”

Demker said that it was “quite clear” that her countrymen and countrywomen were more worried about attitudes towards immigrants and refugees than they were about foreigners themselves.

Compared with the “what do you think about immigrants” surveys carried out in Finland, we can learn a lot from Sweden. Instead of asking if Finland should increase the number of immigrants, why don’t we ask them their opinions about xenophobia? Irrespective if a country has few or many immigrants, few will say that there are too few immigrants, which reveals that these types of surveys have loaded questions.

Meanwhile, Eurostat announced last week that Sweden took in 20% (26,395) of all asylum seekers in the EU in 2013. That was followed by Germany (26,080), France (16,155), Italy (14,495) and the United Kingdom (13,400).

Finland ranked 14th with 1,795.

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