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The influence of locality on migration: a comparative study of Britain and Sweden in the nineteenth century

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article


Journal publication date2013
JournalLocal Population Studies
Number of pages15
Original languageEnglish


This paper uses migration data for Britain and Sweden to critically examine the contention that locality or place influenced migration patterns and processes in the nineteenth century. Despite their very different geographies patterns of migration in Britain and Sweden in the nineteenth century were remarkably similar. Any differences can be accounted for by limitations in the available data. It is argued that at the national level geography had little impact on migration, but that at the local level most people in both countries were tied closely to particular localities. However, it is suggested that this is not primarily due to the specific characteristics of a place but, rather, can be attributed to the ties to family, friends and community which, while being situated in a place, are not produced by it. Finally, it is suggested that further comparative studies of demographic processes can aid the interpretation of local and regional population studies.