The Emigration from Sweden
To leave Sweden and depart to America was a big decision. Imaging to leave
country and never see it again and maybe also never see your family again.
Every person has his own story why he left all behind and emigrated.
1.3 million emigrated
Between year 1821-1930 approx 1,3 million Swedes emigrated. Most of them
the US but some also went to Australia, New Zealand, South America and
Approx 200.000 emigrants went back to Sweden but over 1 million stayed for
It is said that there are more Swedish descendant in the US than there are
in Sweden. In Census in the US year 1990, approx 4,7 million americans
they had a Swedish stock. In the US at this time there were approx 249
Picture: Farewell moment at "Packhuskajen" in Goteborg harbour year 1850, a picture
Different reasons for emigration
All didn´t leave Sweden for the same reason. Presumably everyone who came as
to the US had their own reason for leaving his homecountry.
Some of the reasons were:
- Year of famine during late year 1800
- fast population increase
- change over within the agriculture
- compulsory military service
Why many people went to the US had of course also some reasons. Many were
left for the US and then sent home letters from "over-there" and included
of the family in nice clothes etc. Swedish people were tempted with
access to arable land and also temptation with work.
|The first settlers/emigrants year 1683 - New Sweden
If you ignore the Vikings, our first Swedish emigrants were those who
colony "New Sweden" in the US year 1638. The colony was settled at the
south of present Philadelphia, on the eastcoast of the US. North of "New
the Dutch "New Amsterdam" ( present New York) and south the English
The year was August 1637 when the two ships "Kalmare Nyckel" and "Fågel Grip"
Goteborg harbour to set out for America. In March year 1638 both ships
the Delaware river.
|Photo: the Kalmar Nyckel Foundation / kalmarnyckel.org
||The first big emigration wave started year 1868
You can say that the emigration have passed in waves. The first big
started after the civil war in America. Approx 120.000 persons left Sweden
for the US
between 1868-1873. Sweden had three times between year 1866-1868 suffered very
|Source: Goteborgs-Emigranten / goteborgs-emigranten.com