Unemployment and poverty rates are significantly higher among immigrants than the native-born population, causing negative consequences and dependence on welfare for the immigrants affected as well as society at large. Empirical evidence from various countries suggest that welfare states can lose popular support if their programs are perceived to mainly benefit immigrants. This policy brief addresses the following questions: Does unemployment among immigrants harm majority support for the Swedish welfare state? How does contact with immigrants in neighborhoods and at workplaces affect attitudes toward government spending among native-born Swedes?

The policy brief is written by Tina Goldschmidt, Ph.D. in Sociology at Stockholm University, currently affiliated with the Department of Sociology at Umeå University. The policy brief is based on Goldschmidt’s dissertation Immigration, Social Cohesion, and the Welfare State: Studies on Ethnic Diversity in Germany and Sweden.