Country statement submitted by the government of Sweden.
Population growth in Sweden has been unregulated. The total fertility rate of 2.1 is at replacement level and satisfactory. The aging of the population is expected to occur around 2010. Immigration in 1991 was 44,000 persons, with 18% from other Nordic countries, 61% claiming relatives in Sweden, and 35% claiming refugee status. During 1992, 60,000 refugees from the former Yugoslavia requested asylum. The large numbers of asylum-seekers has resulted in a policy shift that restricts entrants to those fulfilling the UN definitions. The immigration policy has been in effect since 1968 and was formulated without any connection to population policy. Sweden has ratified UN conventions on migrant workers and has been part of the free Nordic labor market, which allows freedom of labor migration between Scandinavian countries. 85% of Swedish mothers have worked outside the home. Family policy is supportive of the dual roles of working and child care. There is a parental insurance system which compensates for lost income for both parents while caring for a newborn child at home. Day care facilities meet demand, and there is financial support for families with children, particularly single-parent families. Consensual unions are common. Contraceptives and family planning services are readily available. Life expectancy is 74.8 years for males and 80.4 years for females. Health inequalities linked to socioeconomic groups have been addressed by the 1992 establishment of a National Institute of Public Health. Sweden has played a dominant role in international development since the 1960s. 7.0% ($165-170 million) of Sweden's total foreign aid program was directed to population issues in 1992. Strategies focus on human rights, socioeconomic factors, and unbalanced development. Many countries in Africa have received support. Women are viewed as key to development and population issues for health, ethical, social, and human rights reasons. Sweden is also concerned about the relationship between environmental degradation, natural resource depletion, and population issues.