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Swedish Geographic Distribution

Swedish is the national language of Sweden and the first language for the overwhelming majority of roughly eight million Swedish born inhabitants and acquired by one million immigrants. In Finland, Swedish is spoken as a first language by about 5.5%. The Finland Swedish minority is concentrated in the coastal areas and archipelagos of southern and western Finland. In some of these areas, Swedish is the dominating language. In three cases, in the municipalities of Korsnäs (97% Swedish speakers), Närpes and Larsmo, Swedish is the only official language. In several more, it is the majority language and it is an official minority language in even more. There is considerable migration between the Nordic countries, but due to the similarity between the languages and cultures (with the exception of Finnish), expatriates generally assimilate quickly and do not stand out as a group. According to the 2004 US census some 67,000 people over age five were reported as Swedish speakers, though without any information on actual language proficiency. There are small numbers of Swedish speakers in other countries, such as Swedish descendants in Argentina and Brazil that have maintained a distinction by language and names. Outside Sweden, there are about 40,000 active learners enrolled in Swedish language courses.

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