Why are some places more attractive to live in than others?
– A research overview of the determinants of migration in Sweden
The ability to attract and retain skilled labour, business and capital is important for local, regional and national development. Questions such as, “Why are some places more attractive than others?” are becoming increasingly important. Growth Analysis (The Swedish Agency for Growth Policy Analysis) has therefore been tasked with enhancing the knowledge in this area. This article constitutes our first report on this subject, and consists of a research overview of why some places are more attractive than others.
The term “attractiveness” can be subdivided into three areas – attractiveness for living, attractiveness for business, and attractiveness for tourism. A place with a high level of attractiveness for living is a place where people want to live and settle. A place with a high level of attractiveness for business is a place where enterprises want to settle. Finally, a place with a high level of attractiveness for tourism is a place which many people want to visit. This report focuses on attractiveness for living. This report also gives a brief description of factors that determine why some places are more attractive for business and enterprises than other places.
A place with a high level of attractiveness for living is a place where people want to move to, settle and live. Migration can therefore be used as a measure for attractiveness for living. This report therefore consists of an overview of the research on migration in Sweden.
Research shows that people’s migration decisions are influenced by a combination of factors such as: work and career opportunities, the living environment, social reasons, culture and entertainment facilities, or other amenities. The relative importance of these factors differs between people. For example; persons with a university degree have a higher tendency to migrate due to work and career opportunities than people without a university degree. People who migrate a relatively short distance tend to migrate due to factors related to housing and the living environment, whereas people who migrate a relatively long distance tend to migrate due to change of workplace or due to education and studies.
A prerequisite for migration is, however, that the person has a job or other means to support his or her livelihood. Regional differences in the labour market are thus an important explanatory factor for migration patterns in Sweden.