There has been a lot of discussions around an increase in Sweden's rape crime and it has been suggested that it was due to loose immigration policy.

I cannot find any of the data for rape in Sweden in 2016, let alone data suggesting the offenders were any of the 100'000 new immigrants. In fact, a Redditor suggests that the Swedish government refuses to study the correlation between rape and ethnicity.

So my question is:

Has there truly been an increase in rape in Sweden in the last few years and is there any evidence that this is caused by immigrants?

Please provide evidence to back up your responses.

  • 2
    This is a good question, the one caveat being that a random redditor is not exactly a reliable source. Feb 21, 2017 at 21:44
  • @DavidGrinberg Said Redditor provides a very reliable source. The source was not provided directly as the entire thread is very interesting.
    – Psi
    Feb 21, 2017 at 21:46

3 Answers 3


According to this report of the preliminary1 figures, released well before the controversy of the day, the data is (reported crime figures):

  • Rape:

    • 2014: 6,700
    • 2015: 5,920
    • 2016: 6,560 (10.8% increase from 2015, 2% decrease from 2014)
  • Sexual molestation:

    • 2014: 9,640
    • 2015: 8,840
    • 2016: 10,500 (18.7% increase from 2015, 8.9% increase from 2014).

The authors of the report quote analysts explaining that reported crime numbers may suffer variations from year to year due to external issues (for example, crimes being discussed in the media may encourage victims to denounce it), which makes this metric rather variable in the short term.

Instead, analysts explain that the data should be used to observe the trend over a large timespan (for example, 10 years). The data for 2006 is given as 4,208, but there is a caveat explaining that the definition of these crimes has been changed since then.

1Final data seems to be unavailable yet.

  • Correct me if I am wrong but the above data is for reported crimes not convicted ones and is therefore not as useful as data of actual convictions. But you are very close to the information I am looking for! Thumbs up for the solid effort.
    – Psi
    Feb 21, 2017 at 23:52
  • 2
    Yes, it is for reported crimes. There is no perfect indicator; convictions may arrive years after the crime and sometimes there is never a sentence for a crime (no suspect found, not enough proof, suspect dies or escapes before sentencing). Reported crimes may have issues with crimes not reported, or with the sentences deciding that the facts do not constitute a crime (although I do not think the later would affect much the more serious crimes).
    – SJuan76
    Feb 22, 2017 at 0:12
  • Makes perfect sense. My question has therefore been answered! Thank you sir!
    – Psi
    Feb 22, 2017 at 0:20
  • 2
    It would be nice to have number from more years; what do these numbers mean in the context of 30 years for example?
    – user11249
    Feb 22, 2017 at 20:01
  • 1
    To clarify a point touched on by @SJuan76, the second article on the same site notes that the definition of "rape" in Sweden was broadened in 2005 to include contact that was not considered rape before and is not considered to be rape by other countries, making it impossible to accurately compare the rates over long timespans or between nations. Feb 23, 2017 at 22:18

The swedish crime survey for 2016 can be found here: https://www.bra.se/bra/bra-in-english/home/crime-and-statistics/swedish-crime-survey.html

The summary is in English.

As I recall, this year they state that the rate for sexual offences has shown about a 1% change from 2012. This does correspond with an influx of asylum applicants, but it's very very far from showing that it's caused by them.

Here is a news source which may help you interpret the data:


A couple more points: - The survey is a better source of data than reported offenses or convictions because it does not suffer from the same kind of reporting errors those do. Infact, one of the purposes of the crime survey is to determine the reporting rate, which I believe for sexual offenses is around 11% (meaning that about 1 out of 10 sexual offenses is actually reported to the police). - The survey has only been run from 2005 onwards (as far as I can tell. If anybody can find earlier ones please let me know). Coincidentally, in 2005 and 2013 the Swedes made significant changes to their sexual offense laws pertaining to rape. Because of this the report rape rate climbed at those times, making it very difficult to estimate whether the change was due to more rapes or more reports.

  • A small point: Crime surveys do also have reporting errors/variations in measurements. For example the same event could be reported as harassment or a sexual offence, depending on changing public understanding of the terms.
    – origimbo
    Feb 24, 2017 at 0:29
  • Totally agreed this can happen. Hopefully the Swedes controlled for this. I don't read enough swedish to know.
    – Dave Reeck
    Feb 24, 2017 at 0:43

The swedish government refuses to aggregate statistics that might associate an increase in immigration with an increase in crime. These statisitics were last gathered for analysis in 2005, 12 years ago. source

Sweden has seen seen a growth of ~70% in sexually related crimes in recent years. Additionally, between 13-14% of surveyed women said they did not venture out in the evenings because they felt insecure. source

Therefore one can conclude that either the swedish men themselves, indoctrinated in one of the most open, tolerant, and feminist societies on Earth, are the cause of the increase in sex crimes or.. migrants. But the Swedish government officially refuses to say which.

  • 2
    This is very close to answering my question but could you identify on which page of the 2016 National Crime Survey it indicates an increase >70% in recent years? (all I can find is a 1.5% increase in victims since 2005 with the last data point being 2015)
    – Psi
    Feb 21, 2017 at 20:24
  • @ThomasHollis ~ page 47. You'll notice in the graph a large divergence from the mean '14-'15. Feb 21, 2017 at 20:32
  • 7
    Do the numbers you are quoting refer to reports of rape, or actual convictions? Could you clarify exactly what "in recent years" means? Does your source show a significant spike after 2011, for example? Also, what exactly does "sexually related crimes" mean (according to Swedish law, as I'm assuming that's the definition used by the survey you linked to).
    – yannis
    Feb 21, 2017 at 20:58
  • 2
    @hownowbrowncow As far as I can tell, the divergence is not direct evidence for a ~70% increase (or >70% increase as was previously claimed). Please reformulate a new answer with a greater level of clarity to the evidence being put forward.
    – Psi
    Feb 21, 2017 at 21:08
  • 11
    Currently, this seems to be a very poor answer. Do you know what the results in 2005 were? What is "in recent years"? Does it correlate with an increase in immigration? You seem to suggest this, but do not provide evidence. I read that the increase is due to changing legislation regarding sex related crimes (see eg here or here).
    – tim
    Feb 21, 2017 at 21:11

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