Sweden’s Decades-Long Failure to Integrate

Public perceptions, however, aren’t necessarily shaped by personal experience. In recent years, Sweden has seen a sharp increase in shootings: The number of lethal incidents in which firearms were involved has increased from 17 in 2011, when statisticians began tracking the deadly use of guns, to 40 in 2017. That may seem laughably low by the standards of the U.S., where 15,549 people (excluding suicides) were killed by guns in 2017; that’s about 1 for every 21,000 Americans as against 1 for every 250,000 Swedes. But these incidents, most of them caused by turf competition among gangs consisting primarily of first- and second-generation immigrants, are widely covered by the media. And an increasing number of homicides go unsolved. Amir Rostami, who researches organized crime at Stockholm University, told me that while about 80 percent of murders in Sweden were solved in 1990 through 1994, the rate has gone down to 21 percent in 2015-2016.


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