Балтийский регион
Baltic Region
ISSN: 2079-8555 (Print)
ISSN: 2310-0524 (Online)
Migration Studies
Pages 95-110

Labour migrants from the Middle East Arab countries in Sweden: a paradigm shift



Middle East Arab diasporas, primarily the Iraqi and Syrian ones, are playing an increasing role in the economy and demography of Sweden. This study aims to describe the formation of economically active diasporas in Sweden over the past three decades. There has been a paradigm shift in the immigration and business activity of people from the Middle East Arab countries in Sweden. Diaspora leadership changes depending on the situation in the countries of origin and migration phenomena driven by political and military shocks. This change affects the migration process and the role of communities in the economic life of the country. The study draws on the work of top research centres and data from leading Swedish and international statistical agencies. The rise and subsequent decline in Syrian immigration, which included labour migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers, did not restore the unconditional leadership of the Iraqis among the Arab communities of Sweden. The significant business activity of Syrian immigrants, their professional skills, level of education, and broad business ties make the diaspora a likely leader in the Arab community. These four factors also contribute to easier migrant integration into Swedish society.

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