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Why they moved - emigration from the Swedish countryside to the United States, 1881-1910

Journal article
Authors Jan Bohlin
Anna-Maria Eurenius
Published in Explorations in Economic History
Volume 47
Issue 4
Pages 533-551
ISSN 0014-4983
Publication year 2010
Published at Department of Economic History
Pages 533-551
Language en
Keywords international migration, Sweden, late nineteenth century, long swings, panel data, fixed effects
Subject categories Economics, Economic History


Swedish emigration rates were among the highest in Europe in the late nineteenth century. The majority of the emigrants originated from the countryside. In the article the determinants of emigration from the Swedish countryside to the United States are explored using panel regression methods on a newly constructed dataset consisting of yearly observations for 20 counties over the period 1881–1910. Amidst sharp fluctuations the emigration rate declined over the long term, which is explained by a rise in the standard of living and improved employment opportunities at home. Persistent regional differences in the emigration rate are explained by regional differences in population density and emigration tradition.

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