Report: Sweden May Be Most ‘Incel’ Country in the World

Man typing on a laptop computer. Science Photo Library / ABO
Science Photo Library/ABO/AFP

A report from the Swedish Defence Research Institute (FOI) has claimed that Sweden may have the largest portion of so-called involuntarily celibate (incel) people in the world.

The FOI report examined forums that cater to incels and looked at the visitor traffic to the forums, finding that Swedish visitors accounted among the top five countries — but could not answer why there is such a prevalence of Swedish visitors to the sites.

Researcher Johan Fernquist gave Swedish broadcaster Sveriges Radio gave as one possible excuse for the high number of Swedes visiting the forums the fact that Internet in the country is widespread.

He added that despite often extreme rhetoric posted on incel forums, the actual security dangers posed by them are not especially high.

“There are very many who identify as incels that are not violent, but many are characterised by suffering from self-hatred and thoughts of suicide. There is a bigger problem in that they are contradictory and trigger each other,” he said.

The release of the research comes as Alek Minassian, a Canadian who has described himself as an incel and said he was part of an “incel rebellion” during a police interrogation, faces trial for the murder of ten people in Toronto — with another 16 injured — in 16 in April of 2018.

In a pre-trial hearing earlier this week it was revealed that Minassian had told an officer he was “a murdering piece of shit” shortly after his arrest.

The case bears striking resemblance to that of California man Elliot Rodger, who expressed similar ideas to incels, including a hatred for women who he believed had rejected him.

Rodger shot and killed six people in May of 2014 and wounded several others after uploading multiple videos to social media platform YouTube expressing his own ideology, along with his intent to murder.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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