Sweden’s Migrants Cost $32.7 Billion—Only 500 Have Jobs

By February 11, 2017 3 Comments

Sweden’s 318,000 “Syrian” refugees, or migrants, will cost the country a bare minimum of $32.7 billion USD in 2017.

That’s 33% of Sweden’s central government’s annual budget, and 5.5% of their GDP—imagine if the US spent $1 trillion on refugees, same proportions.

Of this, $8.7 billion are the hidden costs of the migrant crime epidemic—which the government refuses to publicize.

Furthermore, migrants are not contributing to Sweden’s economy—only 500 refugees have jobs.

Calculating the Cost of Sweden’s Syrian Refugees

Let’s look at the facts.

Since 2013, Sweden has been deluged by 318,000 total migrants—lots of people, given there are only 10 million people in Sweden (2 million of which are immigrants).

Furthermore, due to public pressure, the government has stated it intends to deport some 80,000 migrants.

To cover their costs, Sweden’s government has budgeted $2.2 billion for “migration” for 2017.

This is absurdly low.


Sweden’s government deliberately hides the true costs of the migrant crisis to maintain order.

Therefore, I base my analysis on the work of private researchers, who have tried to fill the statistical gaps left by Sweden’s government.

Here’s how the basic costs break down:

  1. Let’s assume that Sweden immediately deports 80,000 people.  Given the average cost of deporting someone in Sweden is $37,000, this works out to $2.96 billion.
  2. Sweden’s government spends roughly $17,000 per year, per adult migrant, on general asylum costs (housing, food etc.).  Given that there are 181,000 adult migrants, this works out to $3.1 billion—already 50% higher than Sweden’s budgeted “migration” costs.
  3. Sweden also has a very generous system for underage migrants—their subsidies actually work out to $74,000 per year (they get a daily stipend for food etc.).  Since there are an estimated 57,000 migrant children in Sweden, this works out to $4.2 billion.
  4. The cost of social services is enormous: migrants get access to Swedish state-funded education, healthcare etc.  However, since Sweden’s government excludes migrant status from usage statistics, it’s impossible to know their exact burden.  The exception is education—we know that migrant children are educated at a cost of $250,000 per year.  This works out to $14 billion a year.

In total, the cost of migrants to Sweden will be at least $22.46 billion in 2017.

And no, they’re not “contributing to the economy” as many on the left claim—only 500 migrants have jobs.

They live on state handouts.

That’s not surprising, given the massive cultural and language barriers, and the fact that most of the migrants lack relevant job skills.

Hidden Costs: Sweden’s Migrant Crime Epidemic

Crime is expensive: not only is policing costly, but price of administering justice is astronomical—there’s a reason lawyers are rich.

First, let’s be clear: the “Syrian refugees” have caused an enormous amount of crime in Sweden.

I know this is often a sticking point for those on the left, so let’s break it down.

  1. Sweden’s police officers admit that migrants are causing most of Sweden’s crime.
  2. Sweden’s National Police Commissioner, Dan Eliasson, has stated that he needs at least 4,100 new full-time officers to deal with the surging crime rates (at a cost of over $160 million a year).
  3. Swedish police have now labelled 55 areas as “no-go” zones—206,000 people live in these areas.  They are migrant slums which have replaced domestic law for Sharia.
  4. Statistics bare this out.  In fact, migration is to blame for 95% of Sweden’s increasing crime rate (the other 5% is natural population increase).

Furthermore, the types of crimes committed by migrants are an order of magnitude more serious than they used to be.

As you can see in the following charts, which tracks the crime rate of immigrant/migrant men aged 15-44, the number of serious crimes (red bar) has tripled since 2000, while the number of moderately serious crimes (yellow bar) has doubled.  The number of less serious crimes is basically unchanged.

This shows that the new migrants are indeed to blame for Sweden’s increase in serious crime.

swedish crime Swedens Migrants Cost $32.7 Billion—Only 500 Have Jobs Swedens crime is caused by migrants & refugees, graph

What are the costs of this crime?

According to a recent study by Ingvar Nilsson, the average cost of a less serious crime, like a mugging, are $22,000.

The cost of serious crimes (violent or sexual) averages out to $67,000.

The costs included by the researchers include ambulance costs, emergency room operations, sick leave, the need for social assistance for injured people, police investigations, the court system etc.

If we calculate the increased cost of crimes associated with the migrants, it turns out that serious crimes cost an additional $6.5 billion, while less serious crimes cost an additional $2 billion.

In total, migrant crime costs Sweden roughly $8.7 billion a year.

Perhaps it’s time Sweden, and the West, stopped thinking in terms of how it should deal with the refugee crisis, and think in terms of what it can do—Sweden’s model is simply not sustainable.

Spencer P Morrison

Spencer P Morrison

JD candidate, writer, and independent intellectual with a focus on applied philosophy, empirical history, and practical economics. Author of "America Betrayed", Associate Editor for the American Revenant, and Editor-In-Chief of the National Economics Editorial.


  • HazelHen says:

    One can shower liberals with evidence and arguments based on this evidence and it would all be for naught because, in the end, their beliefs are a religion. Even if one were to progress far enough to convinve the truthfulness of these high costs, the brainwashed liberal will stubbornly reference a vague moral obligation despite no other peoples doing the same.

  • Miss Fortune says:

    Love your post, very informative. (But it is ‘bear this out.)

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