Swedish Distribution

Swedish is the national language of Sweden and the first language for the overwhelming majority of roughly eight million Swedish-born inhabitants and acquired by one million immigrants.

As of 2007 around 5.5% of the population of Finland was Swedish speaking, though the percentage has declined steadily over the last 400 years. The Finland Swedish minority is concentrated in the coastal areas and archipelagos of southern and western Finland. In some of these areas, Swedish is the predominant language; in 19 municipalities, 16 of which are located in Åland, Swedish is the only official language (implying Finnish is spoken by less than 8 % of inhabitants). In several more, it is the majority language and it is an official minority language in even more.

There is considerable migration between the Nordic countries, but owing to the similarity between the cultures and languages (with the exception of Finnish), expatriates generally assimilate quickly and do not stand out as a group. According to the 2000 United States Census, some 67,000 people over the age of five were reported as Swedish speakers, though without any information on the degree of language proficiency. Similarly, there are 16,915 reported Swedish speakers in Canada from the 2001 census. Although there are no certain numbers, some 40 000 Swedes are estimated to live in the London area in the United Kingdom. Outside Sweden and Finland, there are about 40,000 active learners enrolled in Swedish language courses.

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