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

By M. Kupiszewski, L-E. Borgegard, U. Fransson, J. Hakansson, H. Durham and P. Rees


This paper describes the structure of internal migration and population change in Sweden in recent decades, focussing on the years 1988 and 1998 to capture change in the last decade. \ud Up to the 1970s and again in the early 1990s natural increase play an important role in regional population dynamics. In the late 1990s growing international migration, decreasing fertility and strong net internal migration into large cities increased the importance of migration at both national and local levels. In 1988 migration flows contributed to a pattern of relatively even deconcentration of population. Urban centres and surrounding communities experienced mixed patterns of growth. The pattern observed in 1998 was entirely different. It showed a strong movement up the urban hierarchy. Rural and remote areas, especially those in Norrland, depopulated. In 1998 migrants moved from low-density areas to high-density. High density areas had much higher population gains than low density over the 1988–1998 period. \ud There is a difference in migration pattern between the north of the country, which mostly loses population and the central and southern parts, which mostly gain people. The pattern of migration of the Swedish population is, to large extent, related to the level of unemployment. Low unemployment areas attract migrants; high unemployment areas lose them. However, the level of unemployment cannot be considered in isolation, because the level of unemployment is correlated with the level of urbanisation and with type of regional economy. Areas with an educated population have a very strong attraction for migrants. A high level of education is indispensable for high level services, including tertiary education, and for high technology enterprises, which attract migrants. Young people migrate to metropolitan areas and university towns out of the other types of municipality. Medium sized municipalities attract families. Outflows from industrial regions and Inner Norrland municipalities are visible in all age groups. Metropolitan areas are gaining popularity among families. The elderly population migrates to university and medium size municipalities

Publisher: School of Geography
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