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Swedish people

This article is about the Swedes as an ethnic group. For information on the population of Sweden, see Demographics of Sweden. Swedes
(Svenskar) Gustav VasaCarl LinnaeusJ. J. BerzeliusAlfred Nobel
Selma LagerlöfAnn-MargretBjörn UlvaeusMarkus NäslundTotal population

16 million (est.)

Regions with significant populations  Sweden:      9,100,000 (est.)[1][2][3]Other significant population centers:  United States4,500,000[4] Canada500,000  Finland
9,000 (Swedish citizens)
290,000 (Finland Swedesor Swedish-speaking Finns)  Brazil250,000  Argentina175,000  Australia100,000[5] United KingdomEst 100,000  Norway100,000  Germany50,000  Spain50,000 (2006)[citation needed]  Estonia50,000 (2006)[6]Other regions 400,000
Languages

Swedish

Related languages include Norwegian, Danish, Icelandic, Faroese, and to a lesser extent, all Germanic languages Religions Historically Norse paganism, Christianity (Mainly Lutheranism) and more recently Secularism. Also see Religion in Sweden. Related ethnic groups Danes, Norwegians, Germans, Icelanders, Faroese, Finns and to a lesser extent, all Germanic ethnic groups

Swedish people (Swedish: svenskar) are a Nordic ethnic group indigenous to Sweden [7] , Finland and Estonia, defined by a common Swedish culture, speaking the Swedish language and/or being of Swedish descent.[8]

Contents

Geography

The largest area inhabited by Swedes, as well as the earliest known original area inhabited by their linguistic ancestors, is in the country of Sweden, situated on the eastern side of the Scandinavian Peninsula and the islands adjacent to it, situated west of the Baltic Sea in northern Europe. The Swedish-speaking people living in near-coastal areas on the north-eastern and eastern side of the Baltic Sea also have a long history of continuous settlement, which in some of these areas possibly started about a millennium ago. These people include the Swedish-speaking Finns - who consist of the Swedish-speaking minority in mainland Finland speaking Finland Swedish and the almost exclusively Swedish-speaking population of the Åland Islands speaking in a manner closer to the adjacent dialects in Sweden than to adjacent dialects of Finland Swedish - and the small Swedish-speaking minority in Estonia. Smaller groups of historical descendants of 18th-20th century Swedish emigrants who still retain varying aspects of Swedish identity to this day can be found in the Americas (especially Minnesota and Wisconsin, see Swedish-Americans) and in Ukraine.

Before 1809, the kingdom of Sweden had also included Finland, Northern Estonia, a small section of Northern Germany and Poland, as well as some areas of Norway and Denmark (see History of Sweden). Since there was no separate Finnish nationality at those times, it is not unusual that sources predating 1809 refer both to Swedes and Finns as "Swedes". This is particularly the case with New Sweden, where some of the "Swedish" settlers were actually of Finnish origin.

Origin

The ancient Germanic tribe of the Suiones, sometimes called Svear in academic works, were at the roots of Swedish statehood and contemporary with the Geats and the Daner in Scandinavia. Notably, in modern Scandinavian languages, with the exception of Icelandic, there is a distinction between svenskar and svear (as between danskar and Daner), since the latter term does not include the Geats and the Gotlanders and whose descendants became a part of the Swedish ethnicity.

According to recent genetic analysis, both mtDNA and Y chromosome polymorphisms showed a noticeable genetic affinity between Swedes and central Europeans, especially Germans (conclusions also valid for Norwegians)[9]. For the global genetic make-up of the Swedish people and other peoples (see also [3] and [4]). Another detailed nuclear genetic study has also implied that Swedes may have a recent common origin with Finns. [5]

English texts

In English texts, the concept of ethnic Swedes may or may not be used for the following:

  • People of Swedish heritage in Sweden or elsewhere, typically immigrants to the Americas (usually called 'Swedish Americans' sv svenskamerikaner)
  • Swedish speakers outside Sweden

Ethnic Swedes and Swedish speakers outside of Sweden

Swedish speakers outside Sweden are minorities outside of Sweden with Swedish as their mother tongue who, however, might not always describe themselves as 'ethnically Swedish'.

in Finland

The Swedish-speaking Finns or Finland-Swedes form a minority group in Finland of about 265,000, comprising 5.10% of the population of mainland Finland, or 5.50 %[6] if the 26,000 inhabitants of Åland are included (there are also about 60,000 Swedish-speaking Finns currently resident in Sweden). Their inclusion in either Finns or Swedes is controversial. There are also 9,000 Swedish citizens living in Finland.

in Estonia and Ukraine

The presence of Swedish speaking permanent residents in what is now Estonia (Estonia-Swedes) was first documented in the 14th century, and possibly dates back to the Viking Age. There were an estimated 12,000 Swedes resident in Estonia in 1563 . Estonia was under Swedish rule 1558–1710, after which the territory was ceded to Russia in the 1721 Treaty of Nystad. In 1781, 1,300 Estonia-Swedes of the island of Hiiumaa (Dagö) were forced to move to New Russia (today Ukraine) by Catherine II of Russia, where they formed Gammalsvenskby (Old Swedish Village). According to the 1934 census there were 7,641 Estonia-Swedes (Swedish speaking, 0.7% of the population in Estonia), making Swedes the third largest national minority in Estonia, after Russians and Germans. During World War II almost the entire community of Estonia-Swedes fled to Sweden. Today there are, at most, a few hundred Estonia-Swedes living in Estonia and a few hundred in Ukraine, with the estimates varying widely depending on who identifies, or can be identified, as a Swede. Many of them are living in northwestern mainland Estonia and on adjacent islands and on the island of Ruhnu (Runö) in the Gulf of Riga.

The majority of the 'Estonia-Swedes' who reside in Estonia and most 'Ukraine-Swedes' do not speak Swedish any more, but may be considered ethnic Swedes. In a nationalist context, the ethnic Swedes living outside Sweden are sometimes called 'East-Swedes' (in Swedish: östsvenskar), to distinguish them from the ethnic Swedes living in Sweden proper, called rikssvenskar or västsvenskar ('Western-Swedes'), reflecting irredentist sentiments.

Other

There are numerous ethnic Swedes in places like the US and Canada (Swedish Americans, Swedish Canadians), descendants of 19th and 20th century immigrants, including some who still speak Swedish. There are also Swedes located in St Petersburg Russia.

See also

References

  1. ^ Befolkningsstatistik - Statistik från SCB
  2. ^ estimated from those who were not part of the 16.7% or 1.53 million who had at least one parent born abroad or were themselves born abroad. It should be noted that at least a small number of those people born abroad may include Finland Swedes or other ethnic Swedes not from Sweden and that a large number of those may consider themselves Swedish. SCB. Sveriges befolkning, kommunala jämförelsetal, 31/12/2006 31 December 2006. (In Swedish). Retrieved 6 March 2008.
  3. ^ Of the 2004 population, 1.1 million, or 12%, were foreign-born. The Swedish Integration Board (2006). Pocket Facts: Statistics on Integration. Integrationsverket, 2006. ISBN 9189609301. Available online in pdf format. Retrieved 10 March 2008.
  4. ^ US Census Bureau [1]
  5. ^ The ABS estimates in a 2001 study that there are between 50,000 and 150,000 people claiming Swedish ancestry living in Australia. The middle number has been used, and no change since 2001 has been assumed. [2]
  6. ^ CSO Ireland - 2006 Census
  7. ^ CIA World Factbook - Sweden: People
  8. ^ Angela Brittingham & G. Patricia de la Cruz (2004), Ancestry: 2000, US Census Bureau, <http://www.census.gov/prod/2004pubs/c2kbr-35.pdf
  9. ^ http://hpgl.stanford.edu/publications/EJHG_2002_v10_521-529.pdf

External links

Categories: North Germanic peoples | Ethnic groups in Sweden | Ethnic groups in EuropeHidden categories: All articles with unsourced statements | Articles with unsourced statements since July 2007 | "Related ethnic groups" needing confirmation

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