Figures and facts

Published 16 February 2015 in:

Photo: Catarina Axelsson/MFA

My latest blog was prepared before the horrenduous terror attacks in Copenhagen.

Once again freedom of speech as well as the Jewish community were the targets. And the number of casualties could have been even higher for instance if the killer had managed to get into the synagogue.

Paris was hit in January. Now Copenhagen. The need to join forces to fight terrorism and antisemitism – and to defend the freedom of speech – is more urgent than ever. (Link to the statement by Prime Minister Stefan Löfven:

My blog this Saturday, just before the attacks in Denmark, was written in Polish. I will try to do that again, from time to time. They won’t be perfect from a language point of view, but my colleges at the Embassy will check them and make sure that they are at least understandable for Polish-speakers…

This time I made some references to my vacation together with my family in New York recently – and to the inspiring visit just afterwards by the newly elected President of the city of Słupsk, Robert Biedroń, who is looking for Scandinavian including Swedish experiences in the area of i.a. environmentably sustainable solutions. I am really looking forward to continue that cooperation.

Returning to Warsaw after my vacation I have noted that there have been figures circulating about Sweden (based on some old film) that are misleading and false.

It is said that 45% of deceased people are not taken care of by their relatives. True picture: Almost all (around 99%) of all deceased are taken care of by their relatives.

It is said that 70% of all households consist of one person. True picture: 37,7% of the households consisted of one person 2013. (These individuals represent 16,5% of the whole population).

It is said that 12000 children are yearly taken away from their parents. True picture: 3852 single asylumseeking children and around 9500 other children were 2013 taken care of by the authorities according to two relevant laws.

It is said that we have 38000 marriages and 31000 divorces. True picture: 45703 marriages and 25110 divorces 2013. (Could be noted that the number of marriages has increased by 50% since 1995, while the number of divorces has increased by 10% during the same period).

It is said that 40000 children have at least one homosexual parent. True picture: The number of children to homosexual parents having married or entered into a registered partnership was less than 2300 year 2012.

Conditions in Sweden could and should be debated. But it goes without saying that the debate won’t lead anywhere if the facts are distorted.