The changing geography of the Swedish school system: Mobility patterns, attitudes, and performance in a multi-ethnic society


The aim of the project The Changing Geography of the Swedish School System: Mobility Patterns, Attitudes, and Performance in a Multi-Ethnic Society? is to explore the links between rapid institutional change and increasing divergence in school-level results in a Swedish context. Moreover, we will argue that an explicit geographical perspective is required if this issue is to be fully understood. Our research will focus on three areas. (1) What factors determine which school a child will attend? As described below, this question will be answered by a mixed-method approach. We will use information contained in the PLACE database to explore the mobility patterns of student and we will conduct a questionnaire survey in order to explore how parents make decisions on where to send their children. (2) To what extent does ethnical and socio-economic residential segregation hinder the establishment of integrated -to-home schools? Although there have been many studies of residential segregation, most of these focus on areas that are smaller than lower-secondary-school catchment areas. This implies that school segregation in close-to-home school need to be as severe as residential segregation measures indicate. (3) What are the determinants of increasing between-school variation in schools of graduation? Is it due to measurement issues, selectivity in school-choice, or a result of cumulative process of accumulating advantages and disadvantages at the school level?


Social Policy and Family Dynamics in Europe (SPaDE), Stockholm University and the Swedish Research Council grant 2009-­‐6299.


Malmberg, Bo, Andersson, Eva, & Bergsten, Zara (forthcoming) Composite geographical context and school choice attitudes in Sweden: A study based on individually defined, scalable neighborhoods, Accepted for publication in Annals of the Association of American Geographers.

Malmberg, Bo, Andersson, Eva and Östh, John. (2013) Segregation and urban unrest in Sweden. Urban Geography 34(7), 1031-1046. Doi: 10.1080/02723638.2013.799370.

Östh, John, Andersson, Eva, & Malmberg, Bo (2013). School Choice and Increasing Performance Difference: A Counterfactual Approach. Urban Studies 50(2), 407 – 425.

Andersson, Eva, Malmberg, Bo. & Östh, John (2012) Travel-to-School Distances in Sweden 2000-2006 - Changing School Geography with Equality Implications. Journal of Transport Geography 23, Special Issue on Time Geography, pp. 35–43.

Malmberg, Bo, Andersson, Eva & Östh, John (2011) How does segregation vary between different urban areas? Using a k-nearest neighbour approach to segregation measurement. Work shop 16, ENHR conference in Toulouse, July 5-7, 2011.

Andersson, Eva, John Östh & Bo Malmberg (2010), Ethnic segregation and performance inequality in the Swedish school system: A regional perspective. Environment and Planning A 42(11), 2674-2686.