Project summary

The neighbourhood effects literature has evidenced that a person’s socio-economic situation may be affected by their place of residence. Most studies point to negative effects from living in socio-economically disadvantaged areas on outcomes such as employment and income. As ethnic residential segregation has increased in Sweden, it is to be expected that migrants are influenced substantially by segregation. This study examines the association between residential segregation and immigrants’ employment and income. Previous studies mostly used administratively defined geographical units of study, which may have led to an underestimation of neighbourhood effects. The current study uses individualized neighbourhoods, where neighbourhoods are constructed based on each individual’s closest neighbours using geocoded register data, on different scales. In this way more of the individual’s actual neighbourhood is captured. The longitudinal study follows three cohorts of migrants and examines the relationship between the initial neighbourhoods that migrants settle in and employment and income, on the short and long term. The results show clear associations between neighbourhoods of initial settlement and labour market integration. Starting off in neighbourhoods with high levels of deprivation is associated with lower levels of employment and lower income, while settling in elite neighbourhoods is associated with higher chances for jobs and higher incomes. Findings are stable for different migrant cohorts and on the short and long term. However, neighbourhood effects are relatively small compared to the effects of gender, education and grounds for settlement.


Wimark, Thomas, Michael Meinild Nielsen & Karen Haandrikman (2017), Boende och integration: Samband mellan invandrades initiala bosättning och deras sysselsättning och inkomst. Kulturgeografiskt seminarium 2017:2. Kulturgeografiska institutionen, Stockholms universitet.



The Delegation for Migration Studies (DELMI) from the Swedish government


Thomas Wimark, Michael Meinild Nielsen and Karen Haandrikman