Translated and reproduced with permission from Tobias Hubinette.
The Global Village Foundation, which organizes Järva Week every year, has recently published a new report on the Eritreans, who are one of the country’s largest overseas immigrant groups.
The figures presented below apply to 2018-19, ie before the pandemic, and it is likely that the figures are worse today due to the fact that residents with a non-European background were hit very hard by the pandemic.
Today, there are almost 70,000 people in the country who have some form of origin in Eritrea, including immigrants; adopted, second generation and mixed. Of them, 1/3 were born in Sweden while 1/3 are under 15 years old.
The Swedish-Eritreans are the second largest sub-Saharan African group after the Swedish-Somalis and it is highly likely that the group is larger than that (i.e. more than almost 70,000 people) as the Eritreans who arrived in Sweden before Eritrea’s independence in 1993 were categorized as Ethiopians.
Unfortunately, the report shows that Swedish-Eritrean children and young people do not pass school to the same extent as the majority of residents and the level of education of adult Swedish-Eritreans is lower than the national average. 59% of Swedish-Eritrean primary school students achieve upper secondary school eligibility and just under 30% of those who enter upper secondary school leave upper secondary school within four years and between 15-20% of all adult Swedish-Eritreans of working age have a university education behind them.
In total, 48% of men of working age work as well as 42% of women in the same age category, which can be compared with almost 80% among the majority of Swedes. 37% of those who have a job continue to work in the health and care sector and are public employees.
The group is strongly overrepresented among those with the lowest (annual) income, 50% live with a low economic standard and 60% of all children and young people with an Eritrean background grow up in households with poor guardians.
33-34% of the adult Swedish-Eritreans of working age are unfortunately unemployed and almost 49% receive financial assistance or so-called social benefits, compared with a few percent among the majority of Swedes.
Finally, 81% of all Swedish-Eritreans live in tenancies, and in the projects, compared to less than 20% of the majority Swedes, only 5% live in villas or townhouses and the vast majority live in crowded or very crowded areas