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Regional population projection 2021–2040

Population expected to increase most in large counties

Statistical news from Statistics Sweden 2021-06-03 9.30

The population of Sweden is projected to be just over 11 million by 2040, which is an increase of 900 000 people, 9 percent, compared with 2020. The largest population growth by 2040 is expected in Stockholm County, while the counties of Västernorrland and Norrbotten are expected to decrease the most, both in the number of people and in percentage terms.

As from 2020, Statistics Sweden annually publishes a projection of the population Sweden’s counties and municipalities. The projection is presented in the Statistical Database broken down by age, sex and Swedish born/foreign born persons for each year in the period 2021–2070. The current report focuses on the period 2021–2040. Regional population projections provide an important basis for planning in areas such as municipal and central government activities. Private operators also use the regional population projections in their planning.

Population growth expected to be uneven around the country

The most populated county, Stockholm County, is projected to increase the most by 2040, both in terms of the number of people and in percentage terms. The population in Stockholm County is expected to increase by just over 16 percent, while Uppsala County is expected to increase almost as much, by just under 16 percent. In the counties of Halland, Skåne, and Västra Götaland, the population is also expected to increase more in percentage terms than at the national level. In eight counties, the population is expected to decrease by 2040, and the largest decrease is expected to be in the counties of Västernorrland and Norrbotten. In both these counties, the population is expected to decrease by just over 5 percent compared with today.

Population in 2020 and in 2040, and change in numbers and percent, by county
CountyPopulation 2020Population 2040Change 2020–2040 numberChange 2020–2040 percent
Stockholm 2 392 000 2 786 300 394 400 16.5
Uppsala 388 400 449 700 61 300 15.8
Södermanland 299 400 321 600 22 200 7.4
Östergötland 467 200 506 300 39 100 8.4
Jönköping 365 000 388 200 23 200 6.4
Kronoberg 202 300 212 100 9 900 4.9
Kalmar 246 000 244 200 ‑1 800 ‑0.7
Gotland 60 100 63 300 3 200 5.3
Blekinge 159 100 155 700 ‑3 300 ‑2.1
Skåne 1 389 300 1 546 900 157 600 11.3
Halland 336 700 377 000 40 300 12
Västra Götaland 1 734 400 1 897 900 163 400 9.4
Värmland 282 900 279 400 ‑3 500 ‑1.2
Örebro 305 600 324 200 18 500 6.1
Västmanland 277 100 299 200 22 000 8
Dalarna 287 700 287 300 ‑400 ‑0.1
Gävleborg 287 500 283 300 ‑4 200 ‑1.5
Västernorrland 244 600 231 700 ‑12 800 ‑5.3
Jämtland 131 200 129 600 ‑1 500 ‑1.2
Västerbotten 273 200 282 500 9 400 3.4
Norrbotten 249 600 236 700 ‑12 900 ‑5.2
Sweden 10 379 300 11 303 300 924 000 8.9

In the 2010s, there was a high level of immigration to Sweden. This meant that international migration had the largest impact on the population growth in all counties between 2011 and 2020. In coming years, migration to Sweden is expected to be lower, but international migration continues to contribute to a population growth in all counties. For the whole period 2021–2040, international migration remains the largest contribution to the future population growth in most counties. This applies for all counties except Stockholm County, in which the higher number of births than deaths is expected to have a somewhat larger impact, and Gotland County, in which domestic migration is expected to have the largest impact. 

In thirteen counties, the number of deaths is expected to be higher than the number of births, and also in thirteen counties, more people are expected to move out of the county to some other part of Sweden than the number of people who are expected to move into the county from other parts of Sweden. Uppsala, Östergötland, Skåne, and Örebro are the only counties in which both more births than deaths, as well as domestic migration and international migration are expected to contribute to a population growth.

Most counties have both municipalities that are expected to have a population growth and municipalities that are expected to have a population decrease by 2040. The exceptions are Uppsala County, in which the population is expected to increase in all municipalities in the county, and Västernorrland County, in which the population is expected to decrease in all municipalities. 

Proportion of older people increasing in all counties

A distinctive feature of the future population is an increasing proportion of older people in the population. The proportion of people aged 65 years and older is increasing in all counties and in most municipalities. The proportion of people aged 80 years and older, in particular, is increasing, in all counties and municipalities. At the national level, 8 percent of the population is expected to be 80 years or older by 2040, compared to 5 percent today. This increase is due to a decrease in mortality, and also because the large cohorts born in the 1940s will reach 80 years in the next few years. The proportion of people aged 80 years and older is projected to be highest in Gotland County and Kalmar County, at 11 percent. The smallest increase in the proportion of older people, just over 6 percent, is projected to be in Stockholm County. This can be compared with today’s proportion of 7 percent in Gotland and Kalmar counties, and 4 percent in Stockholm County. 

Conditions for the calculations

The regional projections are based on historical data and are in line with the national projection. The calculations do not take into account municipalities’ planned housing construction, company establishment, or other future goals and conditions. 

Population projections for all counties and municipalities are available at scb.se

Statistics on the population are published in the Statistical Database: births, deaths, domestic immigration and emigration, immigrants and emigrants, by age and sex for each year in the period 2021-2070. The population is also presented by Swedish born/foreign born persons, age, and sex, 2021-2070. Trends in counties and municipalities up to 2040 are described in a report.

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Statistical Database

More information is available in the Statistical Database

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