According to newly released forecasts from the Swedish Migration Board, the country could expect around 59,000 new migrant family reunification applications for 2019.
The 59,000 application figure was released as part of a broader number of forecasts for the various kinds of residency permits handed out during the year as well as the costs associated with new asylum seekers. In a press release, the agency also claimed that they expected around 21,000 asylum seekers this year and another 22,000 next year.
If all applications are accepted, combined both migrant family reunification and new asylum seekers will total around 80,000 new migrants entering the country, which would be higher than the total for 2018 where the combined number stood at just under 70,000. The reason for the larger number is a sharp increase in family reunifications, while new asylum numbers have gone down from just over 25,000 last year.
As a result of there being fewer projected new asylum seekers in 2019, the agency also notes that costs for asylum seekers are set to decrease with the trend continuing in the coming years from around 25 billion Swedish Kronor to 15 billion by 2022.
Sweden’s Population Growth Second Highest in EU Due to Mass Migration
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“For the most part, the reduction is a consequence of fewer asylum seekers in recent years. This leads to reduced housing costs but, above all, decreasing remuneration to the municipalities for asylum seekers and new arrivals received by municipalities,” said Migration Board planning director Henrik Holmer.
While Sweden projects a decline in the number of asylum seekers, Public Employment Service Director General Mikael Sjöberg recently called for more migration into Sweden saying that the country needs more workers to fill jobs and contribute to the welfare system to keep it afloat as the population ages.
The costs of the migrant crisis which began in 2015 have also led to calls for the retirement age in Sweden to be increased to cover the costs of social services along with pensions for those who do manage to retire.