Social Indicators Research

, Volume 125, Issue 1, pp 191–241 | Cite as

Internal Migration and Life Satisfaction: Well-Being Paths of Young Adult Migrants

  • Malgorzata SwitekEmail author


Internal migration is typically associated with higher income, but its relation with life satisfaction remains unclear. Is internal migration accompanied by an increase in life satisfaction and does this increase depend on the reason for moving? What are the aspects of life underlying overall life satisfaction that change following migration? These questions are addressed using longitudinal data from the Swedish Young Adult Panel Study. Migration is defined as a change in municipality of residence. Comparing migrants to non-migrants, it is found that internal migration is accompanied by a short to medium term increase in life satisfaction for those who move due to work (work migrants), as well as those who move for other reasons (non-work migrants). However, only work migrants display an improvement in life satisfaction that remains significant 6 or more years following the move. Work and non-work migrants also differ in the aspects of life that change following migration. For work migrants the move is accompanied by an improvement in occupational status positively associated with well-being 6–10 years after the move. For non-work migrants, a persisting increase in housing satisfaction follows migration, but this housing improvement is accompanied by only a short to medium term increase in overall well-being.


Internal migration Life satisfaction Occupational status Domain analysis 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Southern California and IZALos AngelesUSA

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