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Working Together for Local Integration of Migrants and Refugees in Gothenburg

image of Working Together for Local Integration of Migrants and Refugees in Gothenburg

Today, 34% of the population of Gothenburg, Sweden, was born outside of the country or has at least one parent born abroad. The city is growing at a fast pace: 4 400 new residents registered in 2016. Newcomers account for the bulk of demographic growth, of which 12 858 refugees settled in the city between 2010 and 2016. However, migration is not a new phenomenon in Gothenburg, with nearly 41.7% of migrant residents having arrived more than 10 years ago. The Gothenburg municipality has a significant track record in managing the impact of migration on local demand for work, housing, goods and services, cultural and linguistic diversity, and other parts of daily life. This report presents the way Gothenburg municipality and its state and non-state partners are addressing migrant integration issues and opportunities. It compiles data and qualitative evidence on how local integration efforts are designed and implemented within a multi-level governance framework.

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Executive summary

The population of Gothenburg is growing at a fast pace with 4,400 new residents registered in 2016 (Swedish Central Bureau of Statistics SCB) and more than 100 000 new jobs have been created since 2000 (Business Region Göteborg 2016). Newcomers account for the bulk of demographic growth. In fact, 12,858 refugees settled in the city between 2010 and 2016. Gothenburg, as the rest of Sweden experienced a peak in arrivals of refugees and asylum seekers in particular since 2012 and in particular in 2015 when 6 193 asylum seekers were hosted in the city (see section 1.1). However, migration is not a new phenomenon: 25% of the city’s population are immigrants, 34% of the population has a migration background (i.e., themselves or at least one of their parents were born outside of Sweden) and 41.7% of the immigrants arrived more than 10 years ago and entered the country for humanitarian reasons. This is in line with Sweden’s migration policy, which, since the 1970s, has focused primarily on safeguarding the right of asylum refugees and their families. Between 2004 and 2013, this segment of the population accounted for nearly 60% of permanent migrant inflows to Sweden (OECD, 2016b). Consequently, national and local integration policies in Sweden address, for the most part, refugees and their families, which are also the focus of this study. The study is structured according to the 12 objectives identified in the OECD Checklist for public action to migrant and refugees integration at the local level, developed in 2017 through the joint OECD-EU project Territorial approach to migrant integration: the role of local authorities, which is included in the Synthesis Report (OECD, 2018)

English

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