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Sweden: Second-generation immigrants commit more crimes than first-generation

Integration in Sweden has failed – children of immigrants commit more crimes than first-generation immigrants. This is how a new report from the Crime Prevention Council could be summarized, the first in 16 years. It is also stated that immigrants from the Western world have as low a crime rate as Swedes, while in some immigrant groups as many as one in five individuals become criminal suspects over a four-year period.

Published: September 30, 2021, 10:47 am

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    There is more than twice as great a risk (2,5 times) that a foreign-born person will be suspected of a crime than a domestic-born person with two Swedish-born parents. Children of immigrants, however, have even worse numbers – despite the fact that they were born in Sweden, they are suspected of crimes more than three times as often as Swedish-born inhabitants with Swedish parents.

    If one compares the latest report from 2005, it is an important difference, as the most criminal group 16 years ago was the foreign-born group. Despite billions invested in various integration projects, the situation has thus deteriorated because crime among immigrant children has clearly increased and is now higher than that of the parent generation.

    Number of Swedish criminals declining

    The Brå report also showed that the proportion of Swedes in Sweden was steadily declining. In 2002, the proportion of domestic-born with two domestic-born parents was 79 percent, while it fell to 68 percent in 2018. At the same rate as the proportion of Swedes in Sweden has decreased, their proportion of crimes has also decreased.

    In 2007, the group accounted for a weak majority of all criminal suspects, 54,1 percent. In 2010, the share had decreased to 51 percent, in 2014 the figure was down to 47,5 percent and in 2018 it had dropped to 43,2 percent. Now it is instead the third of the population with an immigrant background that accounts for the majority of criminals in Sweden. Some 58,6 percent of the criminal suspects in 2018 were either born abroad or had at least one parent born abroad.

    Among domestic-born with two domestic-born parents, the proportion suspected of crime was 3,2 percent during the period 2015-2018, while it was 5,9 per cent in the group of domestic-born with one foreign-born and one domestic-born parent. The corresponding proportion among domestic-born people with two foreign-born parents was 10,2 percent and in the group of foreign-born persons 8,0 percent.

    Black Africans at the top

    However, counting all foreign-born in one and the same group was misleading. Immigrant Westerners were only marginally more criminal than Swedes, while the proportion of crime suspects born in the Middle East was 11,9 percent, North Africa 14,8 percent, Afghanistan and Pakistan 15,8 percent, and sub-Saharan Africa 18,7 percent.

    Thus, almost one in five individuals born in Africa was a black criminal suspect in these four years alone.

    To this must be added that children of immigrants born in Sweden were even more prone to crime than their parents. For North Africa, the share was 20,1 percent and most of all for sub-Saharan Africa with 20,6 percent.

    If one excludes women and only looks at men, the statistics become even more frightening. Men born in Africa stand out, where about 20 percent were suspected of crime during the four years surveyed. For men born in Sweden but with two foreign-born parents where the mother comes from Africa, the figure is over 30 percent, that is almost every third individual.

    African women also stand out

    Among women, Africans were also the most crime-prone group, with women born in Sweden of African parents contributing to 7,5 percent of criminal suspects.

    Brå tried to find an explanation for the differences by taking into account disposable income, education, housing conditions and other so-called socio-economic factors. Despite compensating for a number of factors, it never succeeded in explaining away the strong over-representation of African immigrants.

    High propensity for sexual violence given little attention

    One detail that was given unusually little attention in the report’s written review, but which is stated in the statistical data, is sexual offenses and rapes. It is stated that there was more than three times as great a risk (3,2 times) that a person born in Sweden of two immigrant parents would be suspected of a sexual crime. The figure for foreign-born is just as large.

    Once again, there is an abysmal difference between different regions of origin, where the propensity for crime is, as before, topped by the group “Rest of Africa” with an excess risk of 11,4, or eleven times as high as for a Swede. For the EU and Western Europe outside the Nordic region, there was a risk of 0,96, marginally slightly below the Swedish default value of 1.00.

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