Geographical Trajectories of Refugees in Sweden: Uncovering Patterns and Drivers of Inter-Regional (Im)Mobility

Louisa Vogiazides , Stockholm University
Hernan Mondani, Stockholm University

This study explores the regional distribution and inter-regional mobility among refugees in Sweden, a country that has recently received exceptionally large inflows of refugees. It uses individual-level longitudinal register data to follow two refugee cohorts during their first eight years in Sweden, distinguishing between refugees who were subject to a placement policy in the 1990s and more recent cohorts who either arranged for their own housing or were assigned housing by the authorities. In a first step, we use sequence analysis to identify typical geographical trajectories across regions with different levels of population density. Using multinomial logistic regression, we examine which socio-demographic and neighbourhood characteristics explain these trajectories. In a second step, we employ event history analysis to examine the determinants of refugee mobility away from their first region of settlement. The results indicate that most refugees remain in the same type of geographical region throughout the follow-up period. A significant share of refugees who were assigned housing in large city or small city/rural regions stays there over a long period of time. Relocations typically go from less to more urbanized regions. Refugees who settled in a metropolitan region and those who arranged for their own accommodation are less likely to leave their first region of settlement. Our results suggest that refugee settlement policies have long-lasting consequences.

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 Presented in Session 58. Internal Migration and Urbanization