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Migration Trajectories and Education: Measurement, Spatial Patterns and Integration Pathways of Adult Migrants
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Human Geography.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2270-9729
2024 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Following the substantial influx of migrants to Sweden in recent decades, the socioeconomic integration processes of migrants have become a key focus for scholars and policymakers. In this thesis, I acknowledge the multifaceted role of education for both individuals and society, and aim to describe, explain, and examine the determinants and geographical manifestation of educational attainment and educational enrollment trajectories of adult migrants in Sweden, employing quantitative analyses and longitudinal register data. This thesis consists of an overarching introduction and three scientific articles, building upon empirical studies and a wide-ranging body of theories and conceptual frameworks, including human capital and neoclassical theories, the aspirations-capabilities framework, and the concept of lifelong learning, reflecting different conventions and assumptions relevant to this thesis.

Paper I examines the sources of educational information for migrants upon arrival and the time to registration of migrants’ education over a ten-year follow-up period. The paper shows that the Swedish Employment Service and a survey of foreign-born individuals are the primary sources providing self-reported information about migrants’ education upon arrival. Using event history analysis, I show that registration of migrants' education improves with longer residency in Sweden, particularly two years after arrival, with variations among migrant groups. The majority of refugees and family migrants have their education registered after two years, while for Nordic migrants, length of residency has little impact on registration of their education.

Paper II, drawing upon neoclassical migration theories and the aspirations-capabilities framework, characterizes migrants’ initial settlement patterns across the urban hierarchy, considering their educational attainment, alongside region of origin, migration purpose, and stage in the life course. The findings reveal that education strongly influences the spatial settlement patterns of migrants, with higher- and medium-educated migrants being more likely to reside in metropolitan areas. The results also show that rural settlement is particularly common among Nordic and African migrants, resettled refugees, older migrants, and families with young children.

Paper III uses sequence analysis to examine the educational enrollment trajectories of refugees. Five typical pathways are identified: exclusion, short language courses and early career, mixed career, long participation in municipal adult education and late career, and emigration. The results show that refugees from vulnerable backgrounds, including women, older, lower educated refugees, and those originating from less developed countries, often face marginalization and exclusion in Sweden, while those from less vulnerable backgrounds are more likely to follow an early career path.

The thesis increases awareness of the advantages and disadvantages associated with using register data on migrants' education. It also demonstrates that migrants' educational attainment is a strong determinant affecting their initial spatial sorting patterns. Furthermore, it shows that refugees follow different educational enrollment pathways with varying labor market outcomes depending on their pre-migration educational level, gender, age, place of living in Sweden, presence of children in the family, use of parental leave, as well as structural factors.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Human Geography, Stockholm University , 2024. , p. 96
Series
Meddelanden från Kulturgeografiska institutionen vid Stockholms universitet, ISSN 0585-3508 ; 166
Keywords [en]
Educational attainment, Educational enrollment, Trajectories, Socioeconomic integration, Migrants, Refugees, Sweden, Longitudinal data analyses, Register data, Educational registers
National Category
Human Geography
Research subject
Geography with Emphasis on Human Geography
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-227201ISBN: 978-91-8014-699-9 (print)ISBN: 978-91-8014-700-2 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-227201DiVA, id: diva2:1842515
Public defence
2024-04-26, De Geersalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 14, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2024-04-03 Created: 2024-03-05 Last updated: 2024-03-22Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Registration of immigrants' educational attainment in Sweden: an analysis of sources and time to registration
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Registration of immigrants' educational attainment in Sweden: an analysis of sources and time to registration
2022 (English)In: Genus, E-ISSN 2035-5556, Vol. 78, no 1, article id 16Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Swedish register data include a number of variables related to individuals' educational level. In contrast to many other countries, the registers even include information on the education obtained by immigrants outside Sweden. For studies on immigrants' labour market integration, this is an important asset. However, the quality of data in terms of the source and extent of data coverage for different migrant groups is less well-known. This explorative paper investigates the sources of information for immigrants' educational levels, and examines the time taken until their education is registered for different migrant groups. Employing register data on immigrants who arrived in Sweden in the period 2000-2016, the methods include a descriptive analysis of the main sources of educational attainment, and event history analysis to estimate survival rates for not being in the educational registers. The results indicate that the 'survey of foreign-born' and the Swedish Public Employment Service are the two major sources of information regarding immigrants' educational attainment in their year of arrival. However, the survey's non-response rate is high. Results from the event history analysis show that as the length of stay in the country increases, the share of immigrants with missing educational information decreases substantially, especially after 2 years, with rather large differences for groups of immigrants. For the majority of refugees and family migrants, 2 years after arrival their educational levels are registered, while the educational levels of many Nordic migrants remained unregistered even after 10 years. In addition, attained education of women and younger immigrants is more often registered. Measuring the educational level of refugees and family migrants from 2 years after arrival can provide a reasonable representation of their educational characteristics at the time of migration, while it is questionable to use Nordic migrants' educational level at any time.

Keywords
Swedish register data, Educational registers, Missing educational information, Immigrant population, Lack of registration
National Category
Sociology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-204563 (URN)10.1186/s41118-022-00159-5 (DOI)000784132400001 ()2-s2.0-85128579346 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2022-05-10 Created: 2022-05-10 Last updated: 2024-03-05Bibliographically approved
2. The Initial Residential Patterns of Immigrants across the Urban Hierarchy in Sweden: The Role of Educational Attainment
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The Initial Residential Patterns of Immigrants across the Urban Hierarchy in Sweden: The Role of Educational Attainment
2023 (English)In: Tijdschrift voor economische en sociale geografie, ISSN 0040-747X, E-ISSN 1467-9663Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

This study employs the aspirations-capabilities framework to explore the intricate interplay between choices and constraints shaping migrants' settlement patterns, with a particular emphasis on the often-overlooked aspect of educational attainment. Using Swedish register data containing information about migrants' educational level, this paper examines and typifies the initial residential sorting patterns of migrants arriving in Sweden in the period 2000–2014. Employing multinomial logistic regression to understand how migrant sorting takes place, the results show a clear distinction in settlement patterns, with higher educated migrants being more likely to settle in metropolitan areas, and lower educated migrants ending up in rural areas, even when controlling for region of origin and purpose of migration. Nordic and African migrants, resettled refugees, older migrants, and migrant families with younger children are most likely to live in sparsely populated areas. The paper concludes that these trends exacerbate existing patterns of spatial polarization.

Keywords
initial settlement patterns, residential sorting, migrant educational attainment, Sweden, register data, logistic regression
National Category
Human Geography
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-225555 (URN)10.1111/tesg.12608 (DOI)001133979500001 ()2-s2.0-85180260579 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2024-01-17 Created: 2024-01-17 Last updated: 2024-03-25
3. Unveiling Integration: Educational Enrolment Pathways of Adult Refugees in Sweden
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Unveiling Integration: Educational Enrolment Pathways of Adult Refugees in Sweden
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Keywords
adult educational enrollment, adult refugees, labor market integration, Swedish register data, sequence analysis, Swedish language courses, Swedish municipal adult education
National Category
Social and Economic Geography Human Geography
Research subject
Human Geography; Sociological Demography
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-227200 (URN)
Note

Adult refugees often struggle in the host country's job market, largely due to a lack of destination-specific human capital. Participating in adult education programs may promote refugees' labor market integration. This study examines the educational pathways of adult refugees arriving in Sweden in the period 2000-2006, following them over a ten-year period after arrival. By applying sequence analysis to longitudinal register data, containing information about participation in different types of education, five typical patterns are identified: (1) Exclusion, characterized by labor market inactivity, (2) Short enrollment in language courses and early labor market establishment, (3) Mixed careers, (4) Long participation in municipal adult education and late labor market establishment, and (5) Emigration. A multinomial logit model reveals distinct differences between refugees in the exclusion pathway and those in the early career pathway. Women, lower educated, older individuals, and those originating from less privileged countries are more likely to follow the former, while men, higher educated, younger refugees, and those from European countries are more likely to be in the latter. Additionally, having children upon or shortly after arrival and spending longer time in the first three years after arrival on parental leave decreases the likelihood of following an early career trajectory. Furthermore, male, and higher educated refugees are more likely to undertake the emigration path. These findings underscore the importance of structural factors, including discrimination and gender norms, which can impede the labor market integration pathways of specific groups of refugees, despite their participation in Swedish educational courses. 

Available from: 2024-03-05 Created: 2024-03-05 Last updated: 2024-03-06Bibliographically approved

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