The average 'Stockholmer'
Much like Paris, London or New York, the average citizen of Sweden's capital wasn't born there.
The average Stockholmer wasn’t born in Stockholm. “Many believe a true Stockholmer is one who’s lived here for generations,” says ethnologist Rebecka Lennartsson.
Daily Dagens Nyheter ordered material from Statistiska Centralbyrån (Statistics Sweden) that shows many of Stockholm's inhabitants were born elsewhere. Although half of them were born in Stockholm County (53 percent), 25 percent were born elsewhere in Sweden, and 22 percent were born abroad.

Where they settle, and don't...
Most native Swedes moving to Stockholm come from the Västra Götaland and Skåne regions. Transplants from Skåne tend to settle in the Hedvig Eleonora parish on Östermalm, and most people from Norrbotten end up on Kungsholmen. Actually, Kungsholmen is where most people from outside Stockholm tend to settle.
Among those born in Stockholm municipality, many end up in Brännkyrka, Västerled and Bromma, whereas many from outside Stockholm live in Gamla Stan and Östermalm—the same area foreigners prefer over any other place within the inner city.
Statistics show that fewer people born in the countryside settle in places like Skärholmen and Spånga-Kista. Within the country, the moving pattern is such that people coming from the north, settle in the northern parts of the city, while those from the south settle in the southern parts. The reasons people move to Stockholm vary: employment, love or a longing to get away from a small town. For many, it’s of course finances that determine where they live more than where in the country they come from.
Stockholms Stadsmuseum (the Stockholm City Museum) has looked at how people who move to Stockholm feel about their move. According to Piamaria Hallberg, antiquarian at Stockholms Stadsmuseum: “Some can stay here (in Stockholm) for a long time without ever feeling like a Stockholmer. Others feel at home right away.”
Hallberg and her colleague Rebecka Lennartsson have conducted interviews with a number of people who moved to Stockholm but didn’t feel at home right away. “In a smaller town it’s important to be a part of the community," says Lennartsson. "In Stockholm it’s more important about your own physical relationship to the place—how well you succeed to put the city under your feet. When you no longer have to think about how the subway runs. When you know your way around and you’ve figured out the codes and the movements without having to reflect over them.”


To the rest of of the country, people in Stockholm are known as “08-or,” referring to the city's telephone area code. The stereotypical Stockholmer, as viewed by outsiders, according to Lennartsson, is a cold, egocentric person fixated on his looks, a person who shows off his children as accessories. “Many think it’s scary to move here, that people will be mean. But once you come here, you’ll discover that Stockholmers are like most other people.”
Many people try to keep their dialects intact as a way to keep heritage alive and continue with their children, and many meet partners from the same regions in Sweden. “And very many keep a summer house in their home region, though nobody wants to move back for good,” says Hallberg. “The ideal is a small village within the big city. Borrowing sugar from your neighbor or having a local pub where everyone knows everyone.”
Says Lennartsson: “We don’t need a stronger Stockholm identity, we need a more humble identity. Stockholmers have to stop viewing themselves as the center of Sweden and understand that others count, too. It is not at all strange that not everybody wants to live in Stockholm.”