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Why Return Migrants Return: Survey Evidence Of Motives For Internal Return Migration In Sweden

Thomas Niedomysl, A. Jan
Published 2011 · Sociology

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Internal return migration has received limited attention in most western countries, despite studies attesting to its potential for helping understand population redistribution. This paper compares differences in self-reported motives for migration between return and non-return migrants. Particular attention is paid to differences in individual characteristics and in the types of places these two migrant groups seek. The large-scale Swedish survey data employed in this study make it the most exhaustive on the subject to date, enabling the exploration of different perspectives on migrant motivations. The results indicate signifi cant differences in motivation between return and non-return migrants, even after controlling for differences in individual characteristics and migration patterns. In particular, return migrants are much more likely to move for social reasons and much less likely to move for educational reasons. The evidence is less clear-cut regarding the other motives investigated in this study: although there are indications that employment factors may facilitate return migration, return migration is largely driven by social considerations. (Less)
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