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


22/4 Labor market integration of refugees and family migrants
6/3 The performance gap between native and foreign-born pupils
25/6 2019 The RUT deduction and employment among women with refugee background.
27/5 2019 Foreign born women’s labour market integration – lessons learned from the Nordic countries
2/5 2019 Employment requirements in public procurement
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


Pathways to work for refugees and family migrants

The performance gap between native and foreign-born pupils

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

Establishment in society and in the labour market. Organisation for providing newly arrived immigrants with work and housing

Emma Holmqvist, Researcher at Institute for Housing and Urban Research, Uppsala University. Susanne Urban, Senior lecturer at Institute for Housing and Urban Research, Uppsala University. Vedran Omanovic, Senior lecturer, University of Gothenburg. Preliminary time of publication: autumn 2020.

Low qualified jobs, language skills and refugee labour market integration.

Simon Ek, Doctoral/PhD student at Department of Economics, Uppsala University. Mats Hammarstedt, Professor of Economics, Linnaeus University. Per Skedinger, Professor of Economics, Linnaeus University. Preliminary time of publication: Autumn 2020.

Parental leave – a way into Swedish society or a barrier to employment?

Ann-Zofie Duvander, Professor of Demography, Stockholm University Eleonora Mussino, Researcher at the Stockholm University Demography Unit. Preliminary time of publication: December 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, 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: Gabriella Chirico Willstedt,

Project Manager: Emelie Lekebjer,, +46 737-53 32 07