Chilean Swedes

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Chile Chilean Swedes Sweden
Suecos chilenos
Rafael Edholm.jpg
Daniel Espinosa.jpg
Malin Diaz 2.jpg
Notable Chilean Swedes:
Total population

50,000 (est.)

(ca. 0.5% of the Swedish population)
Regions with significant populations
Stockholm, Göteborg, Malmö
Swedish, Chilean Spanish
Irreligion, Atheism, Roman Catholicism, and Evangelicalism

Chilean Swedes are Chilean immigrants in Sweden and citizens of Sweden who are of Chilean ancestry.[citation needed]


It is estimated that some 50,000 people have Chilean background (first and second generation).[1] Earlier estimations were 45,000 (2008).



Before the 1973 Chilean coup d'état, there were some 90 Chileans in Sweden.[2] Compared to other Latin American countries, Chile had a democratic government and stability. At the beginning mostly where politicians, politically active and intellectuals who came to Sweden but during the last years many poor people have arrived in hope that they can have a better life and provide for their families. Today many live in the bigger cities such as Gothenburg, Malmö and Stockholm. Chilean Swedes is the biggest and one of the most important Latin American groups in Sweden.

The Coup 1973[edit]

Chilean people started immigrating in the 1970s in order to escape the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet. Sweden was known to be a social democratic country and the government allowed refugees to come to Sweden. But for many the time adapting to their new home country was difficult. Language barriers, colder weather and monopolies on TV, radio, alcohol sales for example were a huge contrast to Chile. Many who came to Sweden continued to support the overthrown Salvador Allende-government and when Sweden were going to play a Davis Cup-match in tennis against Chile in 1975, a large protest movement tried to stop the match. The Hoola Bandoola Band even wrote a song titled "Stoppa matchen" (Stop the match). Almost 10,000 people demonstrated against the decision to play but the match was played but without spectators. When Milton Friedman received his Nobel Prize in 1976, similar protest organized both by swedes and Chileans where once again seen on the streets.

After the coup[edit]

During the 1980s after Pinochet's economic reforms many Chileans were forced to leave poverty in their home country in hope to seek better opportunities in Sweden, where many already lived. Some helped the newly arrived so they could integrate in the Swedish society. For a short period immigration from Chile increased after the 1970s and once again peaked. Today Chile is considered to be democratic and rich, which has decreased immigration after the installation of a democratic government in 1990. Chileans who want to visit Sweden can stay three months without a visa thanks to the stability of the country and agreements between the countries. On the other hand, for Chileans who want to stay permanently in Sweden, it has become much more difficult for them to gain a permanent visa.

The group is considered today to be one of the most well integrated in the Swedish society so Sveriges Radio (Swedish Public Radio) announced that they would stop broadcasting news in Spanish in 2005 [1]. Most Chileans are irreligious or atheist, as the first wave consisted mainly of Marxist supporters of Allende, whereas practising Catholics tended to support Pinochet. Some are Catholics and celebrate Easter, Christmas and New Year in the same days as the Swedes. They are the largest Latin American group in Sweden and celebrate their culture in ways such as commemorating Chilean Independence Day or Fiestas Patrias. Thus they keep alive Chilean folk traditions such as the cueca and huaso costumes.

Notable people[edit]


  1. ^ . 2012 I dag beräknas det bo ungefär 50 000 med chilensk bakgrund (första och andra generationens invandrare) i Sverige. Källa: Nationalencyklopedin, Migrationsverket, SCB  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  2. ^