Learnings from Integration

The aim of the project Learnings from Integration is to explore how the integration process in Sweden works and how it can be improved.

Focus on the labor market and the educational system

How can the integration of new immigrants in Sweden be improved? The difference between successful and unsuccessful action plans affect both society and the individual. In order to uncover new knowledge about the integration process in Sweden and how it could work better, SNS launched the research project Learnings from Integration. The program focuses on the labor market and the education system. The project started in 2017 and will run for three years.

Relatively high number of refugees in Sweden

In the last couple of years Sweden has had a significantly higher number of asylum seekers than many other European countries. Yet even before the large influx of refugees in 2015, Sweden accepted a comparatively high number of asylum seekers. During the period 2012–2014 about thirteen percent of the asylum applications in the EU were filed in Sweden, a country with just two percent of the EU’s population. Since 2012 approximately every third asylum-seeking minor in the EU has come to Sweden. This trend makes a well-functioning integration plan all the more important.

Occupational segregation and the need for education

Sweden has the highest employment rate in the EU. Yet, in a European perspective the occupational segregation between citizens born in and outside of Swedennative Swedes and the foreign-born population of Sweden is significant compared with other European countries. It takes about nine years before fifty percent of refugees in Sweden are established on the labor market. The unemployment rate for residents born outside of Sweden is over fifty percent. Many new immigrants lack education, and few adolescent refugees finish high school.

SNS’s research program will focus on how more immigrants can be included in the Swedish labor market and how the education system can contribute to better academic outcomes.

Facts about the project


27/9 2018 Integrating refugee immigrants on the Swedish labour market over time

20/9 2018 Effective efforts to employ newly arrived immigrants

1/6 2018 Promoting integration through child care

3/5 2018 What can be done to increase the mental health of newly arrived immigrants?

16/4 2018 Presentation of the Governments report on Sweden’s immigrant reception system

23/3 2018 Entrepreneurship among foreign born citizens

21/11 2017 How to increase employment among refugees? Experiences from the Nordic countries


SNS Analys nr 50. Promoting integration through child care: Lessons from Norway

On-going studies

Segregation and entrepreneurship. Henrik Andersson, researcher at the Department of Government, Uppsala University. Preliminary time of publication is in December 2018.

RUT deductions and economic integration. Johanna Rickne, professor in economics, Swedish Institute for Social Research, Stockholm University. Preliminary time of publication is in December 2018.

Temporary residence permits and refugee outcomes – evidence from Denmark. Elisabet Olme, doctoral student at the Department of Economics at Stockholm University. Matilda Kilström, Ph D in economics, Institute for International Economic Studies, Stockholm University. Preliminary time of publication is in February 2019.

Differences in school achievement among native- and foreign-born students; from compulsory school to university. Hans Grönqvist, associate professor, Departments of Economics, Uppsala University. Susan Niknami, researcher at the Swedish Institute for Social Research, Stockholm University. Preliminary time of publication is in November 2019.

Labor market entry among newly arrived refugees and family-based immigrants. Pernilla Andersson Joona, associate professor of economics at the Swedish Institute for Social Research, Stockholm University. Preliminary time of publication is in April 2020.

Time frame


Funding and reference group

A reference group was formed in spring 2017. Members of the reference group are A2B Sverige, AcadeMedia AB, Arbetsförmedlingen, Axfood, Axfoundation, Finansdepartementet, Intendia Group, Kompetensföretagen, Ledarna, Länsstyrelsen i Stockholms län, Röda Korset, Samhall, Scania CV AB, Skanska AB, Sveriges Kommuner och Landsting, Stockholm stads utbildningsförvaltning, Södertälje kommun, Tillväxtverket and Unionen.


Research director: Gabriella Chirico Willstedt, gabriella.cw@sns.se, 0722-43 41 08

Project Manager: Emelie Lekebjer, emelie.lekebjer@sns.se, 0737-53 32 07