This study deals with long distance migration together with the importance of social networks and geographical preferences for the choice of destination when moving. Thus, the main purpose of this study is to analyze and specify the importance of the mover's social contacts when choosing a new place-of residence. In this connection, the social contents of the destination are chiefly focused. It has also been of interest to estimate in what degree these social contents have influenced this choice of destination by the individual. The differences in quality, intensity, dispersion and direction of social contacts is essential for explaining destination decisions. The basic hypothesis claims that the existence of social networks influences the individual's inclination to move and the choice ofplace-of-residence.
In this study, empirical material is used, and its base is 2500 "movers" and a group of "stayers" of equal size. Data from public registers as well as data from inquiries have been used as empirical material. Far away moving is defined as moving across the communal boundaries. The examination of the empirical facts provides input paramétrés for a model, where a number of factors might explain the destination. The model work is implemented in three stages. In the multiple regression model, the impact of a number of variables is estimated. In the logistical regression model the probability of moving into a 'network commune' is estimated, i.e., moving to a commune where there are social contacts. In a third stage, the same variables are tested in a multi-nominal model.
Strictly empirically, this study reveals, that there is evidence that the social networks influence the choice of destination when moving. Equally important, perhaps is to find out how strong an impact these networks have. Moving to a geographically and socially recognizable place is possibly regarded as having a more positive impact than the structure of the labour market. It can be stated that, in spite of the widespread migration within post-war Sweden, most people maintain some sort of social and geographical relation to the place where they grew up. The increased mobility per se has also implied that the individual, spatial and social contacts have become more widely spread. The place where one grew up is central and could be said to represent the place where there are many social contacts and the place you always refer to.
Social contacts connected to relatives constitute one of the most important single factors. Previous place-of-residence is undoubtedly the most important single factor. Migration to a place of previous residence also implies that there already exists a social network. The access to a holiday cottage and the location of this cottage proves to have a great impact on destination- decisions. Many people simply move to the commune, where they own, or have access to, a holiday cottage. Of several plausible explanations two seem to be relevant. One concerns moving into former cottages, for year round residence, the other implies that the cottage could be regarded as the tangible link to the former home area. If there is no possibility of staying on in one's home area, the cottage represents a link to the past.
Umeå: Umeå universitet , 1998. , 199 p.
Migration in Sweden, Migration theory, Social network, Migration decisions, Geographical preferences