Finnish Swedes in Sweden


December 8, 2021

Finnish Swedes in Sweden (Swedish: Swedish) are Finns who have moved from Finland to Sweden. Finlandssvenskarnas Riksförbund i Sverige estimates that 20–30% of Swedish Finns are Finnish-Swedish.


The Finns were born in the 12th and 14th centuries, when the Swedes colonized the coastal areas of Finland in the wake of the Crusades. When Finland was part of the Kingdom of Sweden until 1809, the Swedes moved briskly from one area to another. During the Grand Duchy of Finland and under Russian rule, there was also some migration between the regions of the countries. For decades, Finnish Swedes have had a higher tendency to move out of Finland than the Finnish-speaking population. Between 1840 and 1930, emigration went mainly to the United States. The second wave of migration, which began on a smaller scale in the 1930s, escalated shortly after World War II and focused mainly on Sweden. For several years, Finns and Swedes accounted for about half of all immigrants who moved from Finland to Sweden in the late 1940s and early 1950s. This migration slowed down only in the mid-1970s as a result of Finland's favorable economic development. Finnish-Swedes are also less likely to have returned to Finland than Finnish-speaking immigrants.

Adaptation to Swedish society

Although Finns and Swedes have had the same mother tongue as the main population when entering a new country, integration has not been completely straightforward. The ignorance of the Swedes about the Finno-Swedes has had a negative effect on many Finno-Swedes. The ignorance has been reflected, for example, in the fact that the Swedish authorities have sent letters and other printed matter to Finnish-Swedes in Finnish. Some Finns and Swedes have even been forced to complete basic Swedish language training for immigrants. The position of Finns as a minority in Sweden is controversial because they have the same mother tongue as the majority population. Finnish Swedish is considered only as a linguistic variation, not as an independent language. In terms of pronunciation and vocabulary, the difference between Swedish and Finnish Swedish can almost be compared to the difference between British English and American English. However, just as English-speaking or Spanish-speaking immigrants can move to the same language area and still experience themselves as a minority in their new home country, the situation of Finnish-Swedish immigrants in Sweden may be similar. However, with their Swedish background, it has generally been relatively easy for Finns and Swedes to enter Swedish society.


Finlandssvenskarnas Riksförbund i Sverige (FRIS) promotes the interests of Finno-Swedes living in Sweden. The association is an umbrella organization for Finnish-Swedish associations operating in Sweden that want to promote Finnish-Swedish culture and the interests of Finnish-Swedes in both Sweden and Finland. In addition, the association carries out information activities to increase the knowledge of the Swedish population about the Finno-Swedes. The association has about 1,700 members and 18 local associations. Local associations have activities such as music, theater and folk dance, in addition to which there are also some youth activities and sports in the programs of the local associations. Finlandssvenskarnas Riksförbund i Sverige demands the status of an official national minority in Sweden for Finnish Swedes. Well - known Finnish Swedes in Sweden Johan Asplund, sociologist Johan Becker, musician Dan Berglund, singer Ingmar Björkstén, cultural editor and author, cultural director of Svenska Dagbladet 1981-1991 Stina Ekblad, actress Ragnar Granit, neurophysiologist and Nobel Laureate in Physiology and Medicine Stefan Ingves, current Governor of the Swedish Riksbank Harry Järv, author, librarian and

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