- Estimated Gypsy (Romany) population: 16,500 (not including Travelers). In 1512 Gypsies crossed from Denmark to Sweden, at a time when Swedish nationalists were fighting to free the country from Danish rule. In 1515 there were more immigrants, this time from Estonia. In 1523 Gustav Vasa became king of an independent Sweden, and two years later he wrote to the Gypsies, telling them to leave the country. During the second half of the 16th century, a number of Gypsies did leave and migrated to Finland. In 1560, the Lutheran Archbishop Petri told the priests not to baptize or bury Gypsies. This was changed in 1586 when priests were told they should baptize children, teach parents the Christian faith, and encourage them to settle down. However, eight years later, the Synod of Linköping reversed this again, and the previous policy was readopted.In 1637 a new law was passed saying that all Gypsies must leave the country or else the men would be executed and the women expelled by force. In this law, the word Zigenare was used for the first time for Gypsies. Previously they had been called Tattare (in various spellings). In 1642 and 1662, the law was strengthened. However, no cases are known of Gypsies being executed in Sweden under these laws. Finally, in 1748 a new decree was published banishing Gypsies who had not been born in Sweden. It is thought that a substantial number of Romanies stayed in Sweden and merged with the local nomadic population, forming the group now called Tattare or Resande, the Swedish Travelers.In 1860 entry restrictions in Sweden were lifted, resulting in a new immigration, principally of Vlah Gypsies. Under the 1914 Deportation Act, Gypsies could be deported or refused entry, but in fact, those already in the country were allowed to stay. The 1922 census in Sweden recorded 250 Gypsies and 1,500 Tattare. The wartime 1943 census listed 453 Gypsies. The government repealed the 1914 Deportation Act in 1954, and limited immigration began anew. In 1960 the state took responsibility for housing Gypsies, and nomadism for practical purposes ended. At the time, there were about 100 sedentary and 125 nomadic families. By 1965 only five families remained in caravans.In 1963 Katarina Taikon published her first book, Zigenarska, the story of her childhood. She later took up the campaign for the admission of Kalderash Gypsies from France and Spain. The government decided to set up a policy of "organized importation" of Gypsies - a form of quota. In recent years, considerable numbers of Gypsies have arrived from eastern Europe and Yugoslavia, outnumbering the descendants of those Vlah Romanies who had arrived at the end of the 19th century. Many hundreds of Finnish Gypsies have also immigrated to Sweden. The education authorities have introduced mother-tongue teaching in Romani and special classes for adults to improve their education. A number of Gypsies take part in these programs as teachers or assistants. There is a steady stream of publications in Swedish and Romani by Roma writers, as well as translations of popular children's books into Romani.Both the Romanies and the Travelers have set up self-help organizations: Romernas Riksforbund and Resande-romernas Riksforbund, respectively. Finnish Gypsies in Sweden are represented by the Fin-ska Zigenarrâdet-the oldest body, founded (originally as Stock-holms Finska Zigenarförening) in 1972. An advisory council of Romanies was set up in 2003 to work with the government. The Gypsy Pentecostal church is also active.
Historical dictionary of the Gypsies . Donald Kenrick.