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Socio-economic dynamics in sparse regional structures
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Regional Science (CERUM).
2002 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The aim of the thesis is to describe and analyse socio-economic changes in northern Sweden. Focus is on the period 1985-2000. Population development, restructuring of economic activities, political and cultural changes are related to a theoretical discussion on the transformation of sparsely populated areas as an outcome of multi-dimensional and interrelated processes. Besides an introductory and concluding section, the thesis contains four papers.

The first paper deals with forestry's changed role in the local economy of four municipalities located in the inland areas of upper Norrland. The changes within forestry have been driven by adaptation to global competition and rapid technical development. Even though timber production has increased in some of the municipalities, job losses have greatly reduced the importance of forestry in the local economies. Many employees have left forestry for work in other branches, unemployment or retirement However, relatively few have moved from the area. A multiplier model was employed in order to analyse the impact on the local economy.

The second paper deals with population changes in the six northernmost counties. During the 1990s, most municipalities and rural areas in northern Sweden have experienced renewed depopulation. At the same time, some rural areas have shown significant population growth. Three types of rural areas with population growth have been identified. Firstly, there are rural areas within daily commuting distance from regional centres. Secondly, there is a group of rural areas, mainly a number of mountain villages close to the border with Norway, which has benefited from the tourist industry. Finally, there are a few rural areas characterised by attractive residential environments and leisure housing.

The third paper is based on a classification of 500 residential areas and villages in the county of Västerbotten into seven types of housing environments. In this way, the county is broken down into a mosaic of housing environments characterised by very different prerequisites for consumption and economic development A complex and dispersed pattern of disadvantaged residential areas all over the county indicates the difficulty in treating counties and municipalities as homogeneous regions.

In the fourth paper, focus is on young peoples' attitudes towards staying in or moving to small communities within a local labour market region in northern Sweden. The study is based on telephone interviews with 400 young men and women in the Umeå region. Half the interviewees lived in the university city of Umeå while the others were residents in five rural municipalities surrounding Umeå. In general, the males and females aged 19-25 had a much more positive attitude towards living in rural communities than did those aged 15-18. Nevertheless, only half of the young people already living in the rural municipalities wanted to stay there. Among the young people living in the city, slightly less than 50% showed an interest in moving to the surrounding rural areas, mainly the countryside within commuting distance from the city. The connection between higher education and out-migration of young people from rural areas is also highlighted.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå Universitet , 2002. , 47 p.
Series
GERUM, ISSN 1402-5205 ; 2002:2
Keyword [en]
Northern Sweden, Norrland, Sparsely populated areas, Countryside, Rural change, Regional development, Forestry, Population, Welfare
Keyword [sv]
Glesbygd-- Sverige -- Norrland, Regional utveckling-- Sverige -- Norrland, Norrland-- sociala förhållanden, Norrland-- ekonomiska förhållanden
National Category
Human Geography
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-94119ISBN: 91-7305-243-4 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-94119DiVA: diva2:753072
Public defence
2002-05-31, Samhällsvetarhuset, Hörsal C, Umeå universitet, Umeå, 13:15
Supervisors
Projects
digitalisering@umu
Note

Diss. (sammanfattning) Umeå : Univ., 2002

Available from: 2014-10-07 Created: 2014-10-03 Last updated: 2015-04-10Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Forestry restructuring in northern Sweden
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Forestry restructuring in northern Sweden
2002 (English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
National Category
Human Geography
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-9855 (URN)91-7305-243-4 (ISBN)
Available from: 2007-02-21 Created: 2007-02-21 Last updated: 2014-10-07Bibliographically approved
2. Contemporary population changes in north Swedish rural areas
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Contemporary population changes in north Swedish rural areas
2001 (English)In: Fennia, ISSN 0015-0010, Vol. 179, no 2, 159-173 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

During the 1990s most municipalities and rural areas in northern Sweden have experienced renewed depopulation. At the same time, many regional centres (mainly university cities), but also some rural areas, have shown significant population growth. This article focuses on the latter rural areas and describes their geographical location and the socio-demographic characteristics of their populations. Three types of rural areas with population growth have been identified. Firstly, there are the rural areas within daily commuting distance from regional centres. Secondly, there is a group of rural areas that has benefited from the tourist industry. Most of these tourist resorts are mountain villages close to the border with Norway. Finally, there are also a few rural areas characterised by attractive residential environments and leisure housing.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Helsinki: Geografiska sällskapet i Finland, 2001
National Category
Social and Economic Geography
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-94286 (URN)
Available from: 2014-10-07 Created: 2014-10-07 Last updated: 2017-12-05Bibliographically approved
3. Microregional fragmentation in a Swedish county
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Microregional fragmentation in a Swedish county
2001 (English)In: Papers in regional science (Print), ISSN 1056-8190, E-ISSN 1435-5957, Vol. 80, no 4, 389-409 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This study of the county of Västerbotten in northern Sweden reveals significant differences in socio-economic conditions between populations living in different residential environments. A cluster analysis was performed in order to classify the nearly 500 microregions into a manageable number of groups with distinctive profiles. A seven-cluster solution contains groups ranging from remote and sparsely populated areas with poor socio- economic conditions and a large proportion of elderly to the most prosperous residential environments within the major centers. Besides high disposable incomes, the relatively wealthy areas also show high educational levels and better-than-average health status. In this way the county could be broken down into a mosaic of local housing environments with very different prerequisites for consumption and economic development. Increasingly, we find socio-economic marginality problems even within densely populated regions. The complex and dispersed pattern of disadvantaged and underprivileged residential areas all over Västerbotten indicates the difficulty in treating counties and municipalities as homogeneous regions. Our findings may have major implications for regional planning and regional policy.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer, 2001
Keyword
Regional development, rural change, welfare, cluster analysis
National Category
Social and Economic Geography
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-24786 (URN)10.1007/PL00013630 (DOI)
Available from: 2009-07-14 Created: 2009-07-14 Last updated: 2014-10-07Bibliographically approved
4. Young Swedes' attitudes towards rural areas
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Young Swedes' attitudes towards rural areas
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This article deals with young people's attitudes towards living in rural communities. The study is based on standardised interviews with 400 males and females aged 15-25 years. Half the population lived in the university city of Umeå while the others were residents in five rural minicipalities surrounding Umeå. In general, the males and females aged 19-25 had a much more positive attitude towards living in rural communities than did those aged 15-18. Nevertheless, only half of the young people already living in the rural municipalities wanted to stay there. Among the young people living in the city, slightly less than 50% showed an interest in moving to the surrounding rural areas, mainly the countryside within commuting distance from the city. The connection between the need for higher education and out-migration of young people from rural areas is also highlighted. 

National Category
Human Geography
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-94288 (URN)
Note

Submitted 2002, 20 sidor.

Available from: 2014-10-07 Created: 2014-10-07 Last updated: 2014-10-07Bibliographically approved

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Pettersson, Örjan

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