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Racism and xenophobia have been reported and investigated in Sweden.[1] Sweden has the most segregated labor market of people with foreign background in Europe, when measured against both high and low educational level by OECD statistics.[2] According to the European Network Against Racism, skin color and ethnic/religious background have significant impact on an individual's opportunities in the labor market.[3][4]

Due to increased immigration from Muslim majority countries in the 21st century, islamophobia in Sweden has increased with anti-immigration views growing stronger in the country. The country also has recorded instances of antisemitism, which has also increased in recent years with the increased Muslim population targeting Jews. Several white supremacist and neo-Nazi organizations are also active in Sweden.


Main article: Islamophobia in Sweden

The report Racism and Xenophobia in Sweden by the Board of Integration state that Muslims are exposed to the most religious harassment in Sweden. Almost 40% of the interviewed said they had witnessed verbal abuse directed at Muslims.[5] Historically, attitudes towards Muslims in Sweden have been mixed with relations being largely negative in the early 16th century,[6] improving in the 18th century,[7] and declining once again with the rise of Swedish nationalism in the early 20th century.[8] According to Jonas Otterbeck, a Swedish historian of religion, attitudes towards Islam and Muslims today have improved but "the level of prejudice was and is still high."[9] Islamophobia can manifest itself through discrimination in the workforce,[10] prejudiced coverage in the media,[11] and violence against Muslims.[12]


Main article: Nazism in Sweden

Sweden is home to several white supremacist and neo-Nazi organizations, including:

Former organizations include:


Main article: Antisemitism in Sweden

Following Germany and Austria, Sweden has the highest rate of antisemitic incidents in Europe, although the Netherlands has reported a higher rate of antisemitism for some years.[13] A government commissioned study from 2006 estimated that 15% of Swedes agree with the statement: "The Jews have too much influence in the world today." A multinational public-opinion study that was carried out by the American Jewish Committee in March – April 2005 (Thinking about the Holocaust 60 Years Later) shows how the view that Jews exert “too much influence” on world events is more prevalent in Poland, Austria and Germany than in Sweden, but also indicates that Swedes agree with this statement to a similar extent as Americans and the British. In reference to the statement that the Jews “exploit” the Holocaust for their own purposes, the same study indicates that this view is more prevalent amongst Swedes than amongst Americans and the British but equally as prevalent amongst Austrians and the French.[14] 5% of the total adult population and 39% of adult Muslims "harbour systematic antisemitic views".[14] The former prime minister Göran Persson described these results as "surprising and terrifying." However, the rabbi of Stockholm's Orthodox Jewish community, Meir Horden, said that "It's not true to say that the Swedes are anti-Semitic. Some of them are hostile to Israel because they support the weak side, which they perceive the Palestinians to be."[15] Further, a new study conducted by the ADL showed greatly contrasting results with Swedish respondents indicating antisemitic tendencies among a mere 4% of the population.[16]

A record of 60 antisemitic attacks were reported in 2012 in the city of Malmö, up from an average 22 in the two years before that. 35 cases were reported in the first half of 2013, making it on pace to break the record. The Jewish community say that radical members of the Muslim population in the city are responsible for most of the attacks.[17] According to a survey conducted by the Fundamental Rights Agency, in 40% of serious anti semitic harassment incidents the perpetrator was identified as someone with a Muslim extremist view.[18]



  1. ^ Lappalainen, Paul (2007-05-08). "Institutional racism in Sweden and Europe" (PDF). Rijo research. Retrieved 2009-05-13.
  2. ^ Thomas Liebig, Emily Farchy, Jean-Christophe Dumon. "Sweden Policy Brief" (PDF). Retrieved 7 March 2019.((cite web)): CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  3. ^ "… skin colour plays a decisive role in an individual’s opportunities in the labour market.""Responding to racism in Sweden" (PDF). European Network against Racism. p. 4. Retrieved 2009-05-13.
  4. ^ For Jews, Swedish City Is a ‘Place To Move Away From’ by Donald Snyder, The Forward, Published July 07, 2010, issue of July 16, 2010.).
  5. ^ "Muslims face most racism in Sweden". The Local. 25 October 2005. Retrieved 13 May 2009. Seven out of ten reports of ethnic discrimination came from people with a Muslim background, and almost 40% of those questioned in the survey said they had witnessed verbal abuse directed at Muslims.
  6. ^ Otterbeck 2002, p. 143.
  7. ^ Otterbeck 2002, p. 145.
  8. ^ Otterbeck 2002, p. 146.
  9. ^ Otterbeck 2002, p. 149.
  10. ^ Bursell, Moa (2007). "What's in a name? A field experiment test for the existence of ethnic discrimination in the hiring process" (PDF). Working Paper 2007:7. The Stockholm University Linnaeus Center for Integration Studies. ISSN 1654-1189.
  11. ^ Diskrimineringsombudsmannen (2015), Representationer, Stereotype och Nyhetsvärdering: Rapport från Medieanalys om Representationer av Muslimer i Svenska Nyheter (PDF) (in Swedish), Ödeshög: DanagårdLiTHO
  12. ^ Gee, Oliver (2 January 2015). "Sweden's Islamophobia is getting stronger". The Local. Retrieved 21 May 2017.
  13. ^ The 2005 U.S. State Department Report on Global Antisemitism.
  14. ^ a b Henrik Bachner and Jonas Ring. Antisemitic images and attitudes in Sweden.
  15. ^ Anti-Semitism, in Sweden? Depends who you're asking, Haaretz, 9 November 2007.
  16. ^
  17. ^ In Malmo, record number of anti-Semitic attacks reported
  18. ^[bare URL PDF]