Skip to content
Subscriber Only

Sweden’s Economy Is Getting a Lift From Migrants

Growth is running well above the rest of the EU, testifying to the country’s greater success at getting newcomers into labor market.

Hussam Al-Homsi in Stockholm.

Hussam Al-Homsi in Stockholm.

Photographer: Mikael Sjoberg/Bloomberg

Hussam Al-Homsi came to Sweden in 2015, along with hundreds of thousands of refugees fleeing unimaginable horrors in the Syrian war. Three years on, he finds himself part of a demographic group that’s at the center of the biggest shock to Sweden’s political establishment in a century.

The country of about 10 million people will hold national elections on Sept. 9, and polls show that immigration is among the most important issues to voters right now—if not the most important. The Sweden Democrats, a nationalist party that advocates much tougher controls on the number of migrants allowed in each year, appears poised to capture the largest number of seats in the legislature.