Refugees Will Cost Sweden $18.6 Billion This Year—9.3x Over-Budget

Revised February 19, 2017.

Sweden’s 318,000 “Syrian” refugees, or migrants, will cost the country a bare minimum of $18.6 billion USD in 2017.

That’s 19% of Sweden’s central government’s annual budget, and 3.2% of their GDP—imagine if the US spent $608 billion a year on refugees, same proportions.

That’s just over $58,490 per refugee per year.  For reference, the average annual income in Sweden is $41,000 a year.

Of this, $8.7 billion are the hidden costs of increased migrant crime incidents (specifically increased instances of rape and sexual assault)—which the government refuses to publicize.

Furthermore, migrants are not contributing to Sweden’s economy—of those refugees that came in 2015, only 500 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.

This is also the case in Germany, where the number of Islamic immigrants is underestimated by half.

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 $17,600 per year.  This works out to $1 billion a year.The real education costs are probably higher (but the data is inadequate), because migrant children need translators (sometimes 5 translators per classroom), schools have to pay for added security measures, and migrant children often exhibit learning disabilities (caused by trauma, poor developmental healthcare in their homeland etc.) which means nurses & care-workers are needed in greater numbers.
  5. Healthcare costs are also significant, with migrants receiving full benefits under Swedish law.  Given that Sweden spends an average of $6,808 on healthcare per person per year, this works out to $1.6 billion for the remaining migrants.  Again, the real costs are probably higher, because the migrants are by and large not as healthy as are native Swedes.

In total, the base cost of migrants to Sweden will be at least $9.9 billion in 2017.

And no, they’re not “contributing to the economy” as many on the left claim—only 500 of the 163,000 migrants that arrived in 2015  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, particularly violent and sexual crimes.

This should be self-evident to anyone who’s been following the news.  Even the 60 Minutes Australia crew was forced to admit it, when they were attacked by a gang of refugees:

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

  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 incidents of serious crimes (red bar) has tripled since 2000, this includes things like murder, rape, and aggravated or sexual assaults.

The number of incidents of moderately serious crimes (yellow bar) has doubled, this includes things like muggings or vehicle theft.  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—especially the “rape epidemic” which has taken hold on the country.

Sweden's 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 an incident of a less serious crime in Sweden, like a mugging, are $22,000.

The cost of a serious crime (violent or sexual assaults) 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.  Finally, extra policing costs will require a minimum of $200 million for additional officers and equipment.

In total, increased incidents of crime (mostly caused by the migrants) costs Sweden roughly $8.7 billion a year.

When this is added to our previous total (and including extra policing costs etc.), we get our grand total of $18.6 Billion for 2017.

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.

Of course, Sweden’s not alone: America also wastes enormous amounts of money, such as $190 billion on foreign aid—meanwhile nearly 50,000 US veterans live on the streets.

Nero fiddled while Rome burned.


About Spencer P Morrison 36 Articles
JD candidate, writer, and independent intellectual with a focus on applied philosophy, empirical history, and practical economics.Author of "America Betrayed" and Editor-In-Chief of the National Economics Editorial.


  1. Good analysis. However, I would like to point out the “only 500 migrants have jobs” statement. “Only 500 of the applied 163,000 asylum seekers last year have jobs” might be a better phrasing, or saying “Only about 0.31% (0.3067%/less than 0.5%) of last year’s asylum seekers (163,000) have jobs.” I get it was likely for stay concise and making a point, but just a suggestion.

  2. “Sweden’s model is simply not sustainable” is clearly a reasonable statement when looking at the next 5-10 years.

    Even worse “Sweden’s model is simply” suicidal when looking at the next 10-30 years.

    As an American Swede it is hard to watch Sweden commit cultural suicide.

  3. in decades past, when the man in the street saw figures like this, he would assume that the migrants were to blame without thought. now that the left has turned western schools into indoctrination centers, the man in the street assumes that the figures are made up.

    this all shows that at heart, we’re all a bunch of provincials. because we are taught no different, we assume that everybody is like us, and will respond like we do. at some point, i’m sure we will be the same, but that will be when we are all enslaved.

  4. “Refugees Will Cost Sweden $32.7 Billion This Year”
    “In total, the cost of migrants to Sweden will be at least $22.46 billion in 2017.”

    Two figures. Can you elaborate.

  5. This happens when society became atheist and reject God. Do you think this is new? it happened already in the past. When people abandon God, the Middle east people jumps to destroy their countries. I am not sure how people who claim to be “critical thinkers” end with such stupidity. . This self destruction

  6. Need more cartoon contests. Garland TEXAS showed the formula.
    I would say good luck, or best wishes, or something along those lines, best luck, wishes and other such nonsense will not get the swedes out of the mess they have created for themselves.
    I’ll say….America will welcome Swedish immigrants with open arms (although I don’t know if we really should. They created this problem, and would likely still sympathize with their conquerors), because at this point, the natural born swedes will be forced out of their own country. It is inevitable.

  7. 500 jobs? Such as,
    Handling luggage at the airports
    refusing to drive guide dogs in their cabs
    Enforcing halal food and kebabs
    Imans doing disintegration, islamization and hate speeches.
    Leading Islamic charitable/student/social/whatever organizations to demand something not entitled to.
    Having a big career, full of many jobs, in a small amount of time, because they are too demanding and bosses fire them quickly.

  8. 300,000 Close to figure what the developing countries population is growing in one day.
    So allmoust completely useless. It’s only takes money and attention from real problems like climate Change or animal extinction

  9. Swedes need to vote these morons out of office. Until then, they are getting exactly what they deserve for electing them in the first place. If they cannot wake up from their stupidity they cannot be helped.

    • Only Swedes can save Sweden. If they don’t have the will to survive, they don’t deserve to survive honestly. You can only lead a horse to water, can’t make it drink.

  10. It took a couple clicks, bu I eventually got to the primary source for the only 500 have jobs bit and it says:

    “SVT reported on Tuesday that 494 asylum seekers who arrived in 2015 have managed to find a job to support themselves while waiting for their application to get processed.”

    SVT is a public television station, so I assume it uses publicly reported information straight from Sweden’s version of the BLS. But I don’t know. In any event, that last clause seems pretty important. I would imagine it’s much harder to find a job when your immigration status is up in the air and your work visa hasn’t been processed. Do you have any of the numbers for those who have completed the application?

    • I’m not really surprised the number is so low, and I don’t think the biggest factor is the asylum status (although it’s definitely important). I think it’s language and cultural barriers. Think about it, most of these Muslim guys refuse to listen to women or take them seriously, so it’s not like they’ll get jobs where a woman’s their boss. But in Sweden’s hyper-feminist society, that’s pretty much every job. So they’re screwed culturally.

      Not to mention the fact that there’s no point in working when they get a ton of money in welfare benefits. Who cares? It’s better than it was in Syria, they’re basically rich compared to home, and they don’t need to work. Score for them.

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