The rural-urban dynamics and the Swedish speaking Finns: Challenges and opportunities for a regionally based ethnic group

A3 Book section, Chapters in research books

Internal Authors/Editors

Publication Details

List of Authors: Kjell Andersson, Kenneth Nordberg, Erland Eklund
Editors: Kjell Andersson, Stefan Sjöblom, Leo Granberg, Peter Ehrström, Terry Marsden
Publication year: 2016
Publisher: Emerald
Book title: Metropolitan ruralities
Title of series: Research in rural sociology and development
Volume number: 23
Start page: 39
End page: 66
ISBN: 978-1-78560-797-4
ISSN: 1057-1922


The aim is to depict the effects of the rural-urban transformation visible in most western societies during the last few decades by examining the Swedish-speaking part of Finland, a geographically divided region kept together by a common language and culture. Everything from the remotely rural to the very central urban is represented here, as well as all possible types of outcomes of the post-industrial urbanisation process: growing metropolitan centres, suburbs and commuting areas, declining smaller regional centres, counter-urbanisation and both viable and declining rural areas.

Population mobility may upset the formation (or preservation) of communities, and while these are vital for any sound and well-functioning society, we see a sense of community as especially crucial for the survival of minority populations. The empirical study consists of an overview of demographic trends during the time period from 1980 onwards to 2012, and in parallel, an overview of mobility patterns between urban and rural areas as well as of commuting.

The late modern trend of counter-urbanization is visible in our material, but still, while this does not extend outside the narrow commuting area, counter-urbanization may not me comprehended as a major trend in the Swedish-speaking regions. The main finding is the effect on communities of urbanisation and counter-urbanisation, depicted by the ability to ‘live in Swedish’ in the different types of areas on the rural-urban scale. The study shows that while an area seemingly thrive, with evidence of population growth and in-migration, a high level of mobility may still hurt the prerequisites for community formation.


counter-urbanisation, Minority policies, mobility, ruralities

Last updated on 2020-25-05 at 01:29