Sweden Census Records
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A census is the official enumeration of a country’s population. Early census records in Sweden were taken primarily for taxation and military purposes. The first regular census was performed in Sweden in 1749. Initially this was done every year, then every third year and later every fifth year. Beginning in 1860, a national census was taken every tenth year. In continental Europe, most censuses are taken on a certain day and involve a number of people who gather information from those being enumerated. In Sweden, census information is taken from information found in church records which generally provide reliable information with the exception of some categories including occupation, etc. which are not always updated. In other countries, people are counted where they were at the time of the census. In Sweden, they are enumerated at the place of their residence (where their names appear in the church records).
Prior to 1860, the Swedish censuses were primarily statistical reflecting sex, age, social standing and occupational groupings, etc. Many early records include only the name of the head of household, while other family members appear only as numbers in columns. Beginning with the 1860 census, all individuals were identified by name, year of birth, place of birth, occupation, social position, sex, etc. and are shown within their family and household groups at their place of residence at the time of the census. The Family History Library has the Swedish census records that have been microfilmed. They are listed in the Family History Library Catalog under SWEDEN, [COUNTY] – CENSUS.
Many Swedish census records beginning with the 1860 enumeration have been indexed and in some cases digitized. They can be accessed through the official website of the Swedish National Archive (Svenska Riksarkivet) at SVAR.se. This website may be accessed at the Family History Library or by individual paid subscription from home. It may be viewed in English or Swedish. A few counties have census information beginning in 1860, but most include enumerations from 1880, 1890 and 1900. From the Home Page of SVAR, you will see a menu bar that includes “English”. From there, click on the down arrow “shortcuts – databases”, and then click on “Census.” If you know the county where your ancestor came from, click on the census year you wish to search in that county. You will then see a place where you can enter your ancestor’s name for a search. If unsure as to which county they came from, click on the year you want to search in any county and then click on the down arrow next to the county name highlighted and select “all counties”. This will allow the search function to look through all extracted records in all counties for a census entry for the person you seek. The census record should include the birth date and place for the person you seek.