Nordic welfare states and the dynamics and effects of ethnic residential segregation

In this comparative research project we aim to study the dynamics and effects of ethnic residential segregation in four Nordic countries. Ethnic residential segregation has been studied quite extensively through mapping and statistical indexes, but less is known about the complexities behind the spatially and statistically observable segregation patterns. Our research project has been designed to capture the links between welfare state policies, and trajectories of social spatial integration. The overall research questions are: How are the Nordic welfare states shaping the conditions for ethnic residential segregation and de-segregation and how are the patterns and processes of segregation affecting the wider social and spatial developments in the different host societies?

The project is designed to combine both within-case and across-case variations. The design is thus hierarchical, conceiving ethnic segregation as a phenomenon that is nested within urban and national structures, which in turn are nested within a Nordic political-ideological context. Empirical research is carried out in five subprojects, which explore the underlying causes and impacts of ethnic segregation through statistical analyses of international migration flows, housing careers and selective migration patterns and qualitative analyses of the effects of housing ambitions, strategies, preferences and neighbourhood stigmatisation. The national welfare and integration policies are also critically scrutinised. The project contributes to the call by advancing research-based knowledge on the dynamics of migration and settlement, and their current and potential future impacts on society and politics on a larger scale.

Find out more about the project at the NORFACE web


  • Characteristics of international migration flows and migration policies in the Nordic countries.
  • Longitudinal statistical analysis of housing careers of selected ethnic minority groups.
  • Trapped or in transit? – Effects of selective migration moves, stigmatisation and perceptions of place and neighbourhood.
  • Housing ambitions, strategies and choices of selected ethnic minority groups.
  • Cross-case conclusions on ethnic segregation, integration and settlement policies in the Nordic welfare states.

Project start





Roger Andersson
Lena Magnusson Turner
Emma Holmqvist
Lina Hedman


Contextualising ethnic residential segregation in Sweden: welfare, housing and migration-related policies (Anderson et el., 2010, Country Report for Sweden)

Last modified: 2022-12-06