Data in SwedPop is collected from five of the most important historical population databases in Sweden: POPUM-POPLINK at the Demographic Data BaseUmeå UniversitySEDD at the Centre for Economic DemographyLund UniversitySweCens at the Swedish National Archives, the Stockholm Roteman database at Stockholm City Archives and the Gothenburg Population Panel (GOPP) developed at the Department for Economy and Society, Gothenburg University. 

The Demographic Data Base 

The historical population database at CEDAR/DDB holds detailed population data on the individual level from more than one hundred Swedish parishes in four different regions with different demographic and social characteristics. The database includes demographic and socio-economic variables, place of birth and death, place of residence, occupational information and causes of death coded into international standards. A high-quality linkage makes it possible to follow individuals over the life course and over generations. Data are collected from the complete Swedish parish registers, which until 1990 served as the official system of civil registration, accounting for all individuals present within a parish over time. 

The regions of Linköping, Sundsvall and Northern inlands span between 1680 and 1900 (c. 477 000 unique individuals).  The Västerbotten region covers 1680 to 1953 (c. 446 000 unique individuals) including the parish of Umeå which spans over 1900-1950. Data from Västerbotten can be linked to official registers at Statistics Sweden or the National Board of Health and Welfare, as well as to registry data and biobanks including the current population. Individuals can be followed across life spans and up to 15 generations. 

The Scanian Economic-Demographic Database (SEDD) 

PI: Professor Martin Dribe 

SEDD is a high-quality longitudinal database spanning covering five Scanian parishes and the city of Landskrona. It spans the period 1646−1967, with full coverage of the entire population resident from c. 1815 for the five parishes, and from 1880 for Landskrona. SEDD is unique in several respects. It covers a longer period than most comparable databases and has a wealth of information at varying levels of aggregation. At the individual level, SEDD combines various demographic and socioeconomic records, including causes of death, place of birth and geographic data on the place of residence within a parish. All individuals present after 1947, and a considerable number of individuals also before this date through links to the 1950 census and the Swedish Death Index, have unique personal numbers which enable direct links to the national registration from 1968 onwards (and sometimes earlier). At present (2021) the database contains 175,000 unique individuals, and about 100,000 vital events and 300,000 migration events.

For more information about SEDD 

Contact: martin.dribe(@)

SweCens database 

The Swedish censuses were taken every tenth year between 1860 and 1930 and then every fifth year between 1935 and 1950. The modern Swedish Population and Housing Censuses were taken every fifth year between 1960 and 1990. All of these censuses have been delivered from Statistics Sweden to the Swedish National Archives. The censuses from 1860 to 1950 are in paper form. The modern censuses from 1960 to 1990 are in digital form. The modern censuses from 1960 to 1990 contain even more information than the earlier censuses. The information in these later censuses is grouped by house, household, family and individual. 

The censuses from 1880, 1890, 1900 and 1910 have been digitized and registered by the Swedish National Archives and today the SweCens database contains 20,2 million person records and 5,5 million household records. The entire database, built by the National Archives, will eventually be available through SwedPop. At present, the national 1880 census is available for download.

The present data collection of the 1930 census, funded outside SwedPop will add an additional 6,1 million person records records and about 2 million household records to the database. For households, there are variables for census year, geographical codes etc. For persons there are variables for names, sex, age, civil status, relation to household head, birthplace, birth year, occupation, nationality, ethnicity, religion etc. The 1930 census also holds information on individual’s level of education, number of children in the household (including children ever born), income and wealth. The current data collection of 1940 census, funded by SwedPop, will add an additional 6,3 million person records to the SweCens database. The National Archives/SweCens has also developed methods for census record linkage of Swedish censuses that will be used by SwedPop.

The Roteman database 

Roteman contains records about everyone living in Stockholm from 1878 to 1926. Even a short stay generated a record with personal details, including information about household and family, geographic connections and various comments on health, crime, military service and poor reliefA sizable part of all Swedes living during the fifty-year period, and a number of foreigners, passed through the system at some point, so the database is of national and, indeed, international significance. 

The records are stored in about 30.000 ledgers, one per house (property) and time period. A person could remain in the same ledger for years or decades, with accumulated changes. Households and families are structured in the tax record manner, with a head of household, his immediate family, servants, workers and sub-tenants. Each ward (rote) in the city kept its own ledgers, and cooperated closely with parishes, poor relief boards etc. but there was no central office or coordination. Thus, linking persons and households moving between wards, out to other parts of Sweden and coming back, becomes a major challenge, with large variations in spelling and original information quality. 

About 40% of the database was transcribed using a simplified method, where some links, relation codes and qualitative fields were left out. The most important of these gaps will be restored in the SwedPop project. The project will also add standardized codes for geographical entities and occupations, as well as causes of death with standard ICD10H codes. 

In total, the database contains about 6.3 million main records with 4 million sub-records, linked to about 1.3 million individuals. Production, refining and dissemination has been an ongoing project at the City Archives since 1977, with transcription completed in 2016. The complete database, or processed samples, is available to research as well as to the general public. In the current project “City Faces”, financed by the Swedish Science Council, Roteman records are linked to photographs (portraits) which are matched through image recognition.

Contact: johan.gidlof(@)

Gothenburg Population Panel (GOPP) 

PI: Senior professor Christer Lundh 

Gothenburg Population Panel (GOPP) is a 1-percent random sample of the adult population in Gothenburg in 1915-1943. Data has a 4-year panel structure. Individuals are followed from the age of 16 or from the year of inmigration until they move out from the city, die or are censored in 1944. The number of sample persons in the database is approximately 4,000 and the number of observations is 16,000. The most important variables are sex, age, marital status, occupation, earnings, household type, size and composition, marital status, position in the household, occupation and earnings of all household members. GOPP was created and has been developed in previous and ongoing research projects. Within SwedPop the time period of GOPP will be extended to 1967. Thereby the study population will more than double and it will be possible to follow the sample persons for a longer series of years.