In the last 40 years, Sweden, the largest Scandinavian country, has welcomed more immigrants than any other European country in proportion to its demographics. Currently, almost 20% of the Swedish population has been born outside of the country. This is quite a milestone, considering that until the end of the 19th century, Sweden was mainly made up of rural, isolated and homogeneous communities. However, what is still considered the most tolerant and inclusive country in all of Europe, and which has by far the highest levels of immigration in the entire Nordic region, has seen how xenophobia has increased in recent years. Fear and rejection of foreigners is manifesting itself in different aspects and has found its voice and amplifier in the extreme right.
After a decade of receiving massive waves of immigrants and refugees, Swedish society and its welfare state are now facing new challenges, and a more than likely paradigm shift. While the extreme right gains political weight, limiting itself to pointing out the stress and deterioration that the welfare state has inevitably been suffering, various sectors want to –and have figured out how to– see the advantages of the current context, integrating the newcomers as a workforce in sectors that desperately needed to be revitalized. In this context, and in the face of the exodus of the young population, the rural world is postulated as a scene of reception and integration for various immigrant groups, the so-called "new Swedes".