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Middle-class Immigration and Residential Preferences in Stockholm

This thesis reviews theories about migration, relocation and residential choice focusing on middle-class migrants as the target group within the Swedish context. I argue that middle-class migrants represent an increasing group of migrants within the European Union since the economic crisis of 2008.

This time period has seen increased migrant fluxes mainly from Southern to Northern European states. The middle-class migrants have particularities that distinguish them from traditional mass migration. This study aims to learn more about their reasons to move to another country (in this study, Sweden) and their process of settlement (and integration) within the urban context in Stockholm) assessing which factors affect their residential choices.

On the basis of qualitative methods, I assess the results of the research interviews of a convenient sample of 9 middle-class newcomers to Stockholm, with previous literature. Results of this study suggest that individual residential choices are related to socio-demographic variables, lifestyle, taste and previous personal experiences.

Nevertheless, residential choices and the process of settlement and territorial integration are also limited due to the nature of the housing market, the institutional context, tenure choice, sources of information and economic constraints.

In short, the middle-class immigrants represent a small group, which is heterogeneous in terms of culture, race, profession, level of education, country of origin, languages, that shows preference for diversity and the inner city. They do not show preference for co-ethnic or cultural concentration, neither tendency to segregation at the neighborhood scale.
Source: KTH
Author: Gumà Altés, Rosa

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