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Internal Migration and Regional Population Dynamics in Europe: Norway Case Study

By P. Rees, L. Orsby, H. Durham and M. Kupiszewski


This paper reports on internal migration and regional population dynamics in Norway. It examines internal migration patterns and trends in two years, 1984 and 1994, and compares them. \ud Norway's population maintains relatively high population growth by European standards, fuelled by continuing natural increase and net migration from outside the country. About half of Norway's municipalities lost population in aggregate over the 1984 to 1994. These municipalities are concentrated in the Centre-North and interior of southern Norway. There is evidence that communities with the lowest densities and least centrality are losing population through internal migration. \ud Although the direction of migration is towards denser and more central places, this is a product mainly of the migration of young people when the migration streams are broken down by age, the resulting tales show that the largest urban areas are experiencing net losses from middle age and upwards. There is little direct evidence of net positive migration flows to rural remote areas for the population as a whole. Migration flows out of the Oslo region are to other municipalities within commuting range. This deconcentration should therefore be identified as extended suburanisation rather than counter-urbanisation. \ud Throughout the current report the role of life course stage in influencing the direction of migration has been stressed. Most often the overall pattern of population shifts conceal very different flow structures for family migrants, young adults, older workers, retirees and the elderly. In this respect internal migration dynamics in Norway strongly resemble those in other West European countries. \ud Economic factors have an important influence on migration patterns. Municipalities with an economic concentration in service industries attract internal migrants while those specialised in primary industry suffer migration outflows consequent on the decline of or productivity improvements in their economic activities. There is a strong gradient of increasing net outflows with increasing levels of unemployment. \u

Publisher: The School of Geography
Year: 1998
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.whiterose.ac.uk:5038

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