From a Swedish regional development policy perspective, increased long-distance commuting is viewed as a means for creating larger local labour markets and thus stimulating regional economic growth. One of the prerequisites for such a development is that individuals are willing to commute longer distances. In the context of a relatively peripheral and sparsely populated area in northern Sweden, this paper aims to study commuting behaviour and factors influencing individuals’ propensities to commute longer distances. Using a longitudinal set of geo-referenced data, individuals’ commuting propensities were estimated in a binary logistic regression, and significant effects were found for a range of socio-economic and demographic factors. The results also show that the local labour market’s geographical structure is important. Overall, most individuals commute within their locality of residence and women commute shorter distances than men do – a pattern that has been relatively stable since the beginning of the 1990s. This article attempts to outline causes and effects of this commuting behaviour, which are important to understand in the development of regional development policies aimed at increasing geographical labour mobility.