Headlines 2014

New research on social exclusion


Maps of segregation were generated by the Liberal Party (Folkpartiet) until 2006, when there were 156 Swedish so called exclusion areas, i.e., neighborhoods characterized by profound socio-economic problems. Now, IFN-researcher Tino Sanandaji, in a report for Den Nya Välfärden, has replicated the FP method and updated the map for 2012. It turns out that the number of exclusion areas has increased to 186. Though, Tino Sanandaji explains that this increase has been slower during the Alliansen government compared to Görans Persson's (Social Democrats) last term in office. Moreover, there are some encouraging signs, including that the number of families receiving income support has dropped slightly in the exclusion areas.

The report explains that the gap between the exclusion areas and the rest of Sweden has widened slightly since 2006. Increased income gaps are a partial explanation that the number of exclusion areas have continued to grow despite the fact that the employment rate for Sweden as a whole actually increased by 0.4 percentage points since 2006. The proportion of Swedes in the work force increased slightly , but the performance was less favorable for residents in the exclusion areas.

Some positive signs can be seen. The proportion of families receiving income support in exclusion areas has dropped from 17.8 percent in 2006 to 16.4 percent in 2012. In the rest of Sweden, the share dropped marginally from 3.5 to 3.4 percent.The Liberal Party and other Alliance Parties have not managed to reduce the number of areas of social exclusion, writes Tino Sanandaji and continues: The rise of number of exclusion areas have been slower during the Alliansen government - five per year - than during Göran Persson's last term - seven per year, which is worth noting in view of the weaker economic growth during later years. It is possible that arbetslinjen (lowering taxes on income from work) has dampened the increase of number of exclusion zones.

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