Geographical Location and Urbanization of the Swedish Manufacturing Industry, 1900-1960: Evidence from a New Database

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This article introduces a new database, based on official statistics, of regional manufacturing industries in Sweden. We employ this database to examine the distribution of manufacturing activity across Swedish regions and cities, 1900–1960. Over this period we observe an increasing concentration of manufacturing activities, reaching a peak around 1940, across the northern, southern and western parts (NUTS-I areas) of Sweden. Over the same period, the North-South divide in terms of manufacturing employment grew larger. Across counties (NUTS-III) and cities we, however, observe two shorter periods of convergence of manufacturing activities, in the early twentieth century and in the post-war period, whereas the inter-war period was characterised by divergence. These developments occurred to the backdrop of the urbanisation of industry in Sweden, as the rural share of manufacturing employment declined from roughly 60 to 25% between 1900 and 1960. We also find that the regional patterns of individual industries over time followed different trajectories, suggesting that that the determinants of industry location differed significantly across industries.


Enheter & grupper

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ) – OBLIGATORISK

  • Ekonomisk historia
  • Kulturgeografi


Sidor (från-till)290-308
TidskriftScandinavian Economic History Review
Utgåva nummer3
StatusPublished - 2012
Peer review utfördJa