National minorities

In Sweden, there are five recognised national minorities. They have in common the fact that they have lived in Sweden for hundreds of years.

Each recognized minority have a religious, linguistic or cultural affiliation and a desire to maintain their identity.

The five recognised national minorities in Sweden are:

  • Sweden Finns
  • the indigenous Sami
  • Tornedalers
  • Roma
  • Jews

The five recognised national minority languages are:

  • Finnish
  • Sami
  • Romani Chib
  • Meänkieli
  • Yiddish

It is against the law to keep statistics on an ethnic basis, which means that the data held by the City is based on estimates produced together with the minorities. According to these estimates, there are about 100,000 people living in the City of Stockholm who identify as a national minority. Affinity is based on self-identification.

Administrative area for Finnish, Meänkieli and Sami

The City of Stockholm is part of an administrative area for Finnish, Meänkieli and Sami. This means that the City undertakes special work to promote Finnish, Meänkieli and Sami, which includes the City of Stockholm

  • working to ensure that individuals have the right to use the languages in verbal and written contacts with the City’s operations
  • striving to ensure the availability of staff with knowledge of the minority languages
  • organising elderly care and childcare that promote the minority culture/language if anyone so wishes.

Basic protection for national minorities

In accordance with the Swedish National Minorities and Minority Languages Act (2009:724), municipalities must protect and promote the languages and cultures of national minorities by offering basic protection.

  • Basic protection means that the City of Stockholm
    informs national minorities in an appropriate way of their rights when necessary
  • protects and promotes the national minority languages and promotes the opportunities of national minorities to maintain and develop their culture in Sweden
  • promotes children’s development of a cultural identity and the use of their own minority language
  • national minorities have influence in matters of concern.

The rights of national minorities in the City

  • The right to be involved in the City’s work to realise the rights of national minorities.
  • The right to develop the minority language, by such means as mother tongue support in pre-school and other educational activities, as well as mother tongue tuition at compulsory and upper secondary school.
  • The right to promote their culture by, for example, applying for cultural support.
  • The Sweden Finnish, Tornedaler and Sami minority groups have the right to pre-school and elderly care in their minority languages.
  • The Sweden Finnish, Tornedaler and Sami minority groups have the right to use their language in contacts with the City.
    The City’s work on national minorities is central to the implementation of human rights.


If your child speaks, or has an affiliation with, a national minority language (Finnish, Meänkieli, Sami, Romani or Yiddish), you are entitled to enhanced language support at all pre-schools.

Cultural support

The Culture Department answers questions about cultural support for associations for national minorities.

Strategy for Roma Inclusion 2018-2022 (pdf)

Do you belong to any of the national minorities?

You will find out here what rights you have and what demands you can make of your municipality and of other government agencies. The information is available in each minority language and in Swedish.