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Baltic State migration system: the case of latvian immigrants in Sweden
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Geography and Economic History.
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Geography and Economic History.
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Geography and Economic History. (Arcum)
2012 (English)In: Journal of Northern Studies, ISSN 1654-5915, Vol. 6, no 1, 31-52 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Sweden, with a particular focus on Latvia. Two historical turns in the BalticStates’ recent history have contributed to an out-migration from the region—the restoration of independence in the early 1990s and accession to the EuropeanUnion (EU) in 2004. Although these events were considered positive asthey meant “open” borders for Baltic State citizens, lately the out-migrationfrom Latvia has increased. Likewise, the global economic crisis that started in2008 and the consequential unemployment draw attention to emerging patternsand the composition of emigrants to several destinations, but in this caseparticularly to Sweden. After the EU expansion Sweden did not receive as manyEastern European migrants as was expected at the time, but recent trends revealthat there has been a steady increase in the migration flow since then. TheNordic countries as a potential destination initially lacked pioneer migrants toestablish social support networks that would attract newcomers, but this is nowchanging; statistics for 2010 show that the number of Baltic State immigrantsin Sweden has grown significantly since 2008. With the economic recessionand unemployment in Latvia in 2009, 2010 had even higher emigration activitythan in 2004 just after the country’s accession to the EU. Nordic countriesemerge as welcoming destinations to recent migrants, who state that the proximityto their home country and the labour market opportunities are the mainattraction but also that a positive view of Sweden and the Swedes plays a part.Contemporary trends of migration from the Baltic States and especially Latviaunder conditions of economic downturn lead to emerging pattern of migrationsystems between Latvia and Sweden, combining a mixture of motives and diversityof the people involved in migration chains.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå University & The Royal Skyttean Society , 2012. Vol. 6, no 1, 31-52 p.
Keyword [en]
international migration, east-west migration, Latvian emigration, Baltic, migration system
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
Social and Economic Geography
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-60195OAI: diva2:558688
Available from: 2013-02-25 Created: 2012-10-04 Last updated: 2016-05-26Bibliographically approved

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Apsite, ElinaLundholm, EmmaStjernström, Olof
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