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Keywords:

  • place attractiveness;
  • vicinity;
  • local area;
  • hinterland;
  • Sweden

Abstract

This paper examines the significance of spatial and socioeconomic factors in determining place attractiveness, and it suggests an explorative method for the analysis of detailed patterns of spatial attractiveness. By departing from a simple spatial model that distinguishes between different hinterlands at varying distances from the individuals' immediate neighbourhood, we analyse the relative importance of demographic, labour-market, service as well as physical factors for income levels and in-migration rates. Based on a longitudinal spatially referenced micro-database covering over 100 annual attributes per individual and digital land-use information for the entire territory, vicinity characteristics were calculated for every populated square kilometre (108,000 squares). Regression, a partial F test and η2 were used to decompose explained variation in attractiveness into indicators classified in socioeconomic categories and spatial ranges. The findings indicate a considerable variation across the spatial scale. For example, the characteristics of the vicinity (km2) seem to have a much larger influence on variation in place attractiveness than the characteristics of the hinterland (within 5 to 50 km). Moreover, place attractiveness seems to be determined to a very small extent by physical factors in the immediate vicinity. Demographic and socioeconomic factors appear to be the main determinants of place attractiveness. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.