When will the Russians come?: On Post-Soviet immigration and integration in Sweden
2011 (English)In: International migration (Geneva. Print), ISSN 0020-7985, E-ISSN 1468-2435, Vol. 49, no 4, 93-117 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
The focus of this paper is one of the paradoxes of international migration: the unexpectedly low level of migration between neighbouring countries with large macro-economic differentials; in this case migration from the former Soviet republics to Sweden. In line with Faist (2000), one assumption in the study is that the dynamics of international migration are strongly influenced by the emergence of a transnational social space. Based on a database (ASTRID) containing individual information about all residents in Sweden for the period 1986–2003, the study includes an analysis of migration in relation to the transnational social space -- its bridging and adaptive functions -- including labour market integration, family situation, intermarriage, population circulation and the spatial clustering of immigrants.
The study reveals an over-representation of female immigrants and a high frequency of intermarriage among women migrants. Moreover, a changing migrant composition over the past decades was found, including a growing number of students, whereas the empirical analyses indicate a rather weak labour market position among immigrants from former Soviet republics. However, the position of recently arrived migrants has been enhanced over time, and migrants who stay for longer periods attain a stronger position on the labour market. The analyses also show an increasing number of highly educated persons among immigrants from the former Soviet republics. Furthermore, migrants from the former Soviet republics who move to Sweden tend to remain rather than return. In addition, the empirical analysis shows only minor tendencies of spatial clustering among the migrants. In sum, the study indicates that the lack of a more developed transnational social space may explain the rather low level of migration but also that the changing mobility patterns could represent an initial phase of a denser transnational social space that may trigger higher migration rates between the former Soviet republics and Sweden in the near future.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 49, no 4, 93-117 p.
Research subject Social and Economic Geography
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-32601DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-2435.2009.00600.xOAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-32601DiVA: diva2:304407