Rural to Urban Long-Distance Commuting in Sweden: Trends, Characteristics and Pathways

Reprint No. 2018:21

Author(s): Martin Andersson, Niclas Lavesson and Thomas NiedomyslYear: 2018 Title: Journal of Rural Studies Volume (No.): 59 (April) Pages: 67–77
Online article (restrictions may apply)

The rise of ICT and the shift toward jobs with more flexibility in working hours and places of work sparked popular debates about potential for a ‘rural renaissance’. A key argument was that there are increasing possibilities to live in the countryside while being employed in large cities. This paper uses data spanning two decades to examine trends in and characteristics of employee–employer ties between rural and urban areas in Sweden. Our main results suggest that rural-to-urban long-distance commuting is rapidly increasing, but not as fast as commuting flows elsewhere. Compared to the rural population at large, rural residents working in large cities constitute a strongly selected group of workers who are well paid, have long educations, are young and also have advanced knowledge-intensive occupations. Only about 30 percent of those who become rural-to-urban long-distance commuters have moved from urban areas; the vast majority constitute those who already lived in rural areas before starting to commute to urban areas.

Andersson, Martin, Niclas Lavesson and Thomas Niedomysl (2018), "Rural to Urban Long-Distance Commuting in Sweden: Trends, Characteristics and Pathways". Journal of Rural Studies 59(April), 67–77.

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