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 labour market and the educational system

How can the integration of new immigrants in Sweden be improved? The difference between successful and unsuccessful action plans affects 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 labour market and the education system.

Relatively high number of refugees in Sweden

In the last several years, Sweden has received a significantly higher number of asylum seekers than most other European countries. Yet even before a large influx of asylum seekers in 2015, Sweden granted asylum to a comparatively high number of refugees. During the period 2012–2014, approximately thirteen percent of 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 a comparatively high employment rate among EU member states. Yet in a European perspective, the occupational segregation between native Swedes and the foreign-born population of Sweden is significant compared with other European countries. For fifty percent of refugees in Sweden, it can take approximately nine years to become established on the labour market. The unemployment rate for foreign-born residents of Sweden is over fifty percent. Many refugees arrive in Sweden lacking formal education, and few adolescent refugees finish high school.

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

Facts about the project


4/2 2019 Integration and temporary refugee protection
30/1 2019 Employment opportunities for newly-arrived immigrants through YA-jobs
21/1 2019 Workshop on recruitment of newly-arrived immigrants
14/12 2018 Segregation and refugee self-employment
13/12 2018 Validation of professional skills – a key to integration
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


RUT deductions and economic integration

Promoting integration through child care: Lessons from Norway

Ethnic segregation and self-employment

Integration and Temporary Refugee Protection

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

On-going studies

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.

Labour 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 Regioner, Stockholm stads utbildningsförvaltning, Södertälje kommun, Tillväxtverket and Unionen.


Research director: Therese Lind, therese.lind@sns.se

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