Migration and housing regimes in Sweden 1739-1982

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This article aims to analyse the changes in migration regimes in Sweden over the period 1739–1982. We have chosen to divide this into four periods where each is characterized as a specific regime: the pre-industrial period (1739–1860), the laissez faire period (1860–1932), the rising ambitions period (1932–1951) and the Rehn-Meidner period (1951–1982). These four periods reveal different approaches held by the state regarding labour migration and housing. During the pre-industrial period, rules and regulations hindered mobility and aimed to keep the labour force in agriculture. During the laissez faire period, migration increased, but construction and housing was largely left to the market. During the rising ambitions period, a laissez faire approach was maintained towards migration, but both the government and non-profit organizations became increasingly involved in housing. During the Rehn-Meidner period, internal migration was stimulated, and in the course of ten years, one million homes were built with government support. The differences between the periods are not clear-cut. There were dual and contradictory ideas and policies during each period. This duality provides an important theoretical starting point for this study. Other significant starting points are the long-term perspective taken and the idea that these periods can be analysed as regimes.


External organisations
  • Malmö University
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Economic History


  • Mobility, million programme, own-home movement, Servant Act, migration regimes
Original languageEnglish
JournalScandinavian Journal of History
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2020 Dec 12
Publication categoryResearch