Not only has Sweden received the highest number of asylum-seekers in relation to its population, but it has also taken in more unaccompanied minors than any other country.
As reported by Bloomberg, there has been an influx that’s raising costs (and questions) as the government struggles to welcome the newcomers.
That’s in part because the sudden rise in unaccompanied minors in late 2015 was of a magnitude no one was prepared for, according to Bloomberg. Arrivals jumped by 400% on the year, compared with an overall rise of 100% for total asylum-seekers.
Another interesting finding is that more than two-thirds of the minors are from Afghanistan.
“There’s something very, very strange about these numbers,” said Hanif Bali, a leading member of the opposition Moderate Party, who himself came as a refugee from Iran when he was three years old.
Meanwhile, Sweden’s Migration Agency says it needs the ability to do more age testing.
According to Bloomberg, housing the nearly 23,000 children now seeking refuge in Sweden will cost taxpayers about $2.5bn this year and $2.8bn the next, according to the country’s Migration Agency. That means that about half of Sweden’s total budget for refugees is projected to be spent on unaccompanied minors.