• migration;
  • counter-urbanisation;
  • urban system;
  • logit model;
  • Sweden


This study analyses differences between counter-urban movers and movers heading for other destinations. Through the elaboration of a spatial model based upon settlement structure and functional hinterlands, counter-urban migration can be measured on the ground throughout the urban system. Empirical analysis of the counter-urban mover is rendered possible by access to a comprehensive longitudinal micro-database that contains demographic, socio-economic and detailed geographic information for all Swedish citizens. Binomial and multinomial logit models are estimated to capture the partial effects of variables related to the individual, the household, the labour market, life course events, and regional economic conditions on the choice of migration destination. The results of the analyses show that counter-urban movers are more likely to be older, born in Sweden or any other Scandinavian country, less well-off, having a university qualification, living single, being outside the labour force, and becoming unemployed close to the migration event. The emerging picture of the Swedish counter-urban mover reveals an individual who may be striving for other qualities in life, where career and earnings are of minor importance. Somewhat unexpectedly, the counter-urban movers show no systematic differences depending on their place of departure. No clear hierarchy-specific effects across the urban system can be found. Copyright © 2003 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.