Counter-Urban Activity out of Copenhagen: Who, Where and Why?

Counter-Urban Activity out of Copenhagen: Who, Where and Why?
Whereas migration is often understood as movement towards cities, it can also assume another direction traditionally termed counter-urbanisation. This paper contributes to the study of counter-urbanisation by investigating data on settlement patterns to places outside commuting distance to the Copenhagen labour market. Counter-urban migration outside the Copenhagen commuting area is compared with out-migration from Copenhagen to suburbs and commuting areas in the period from 2005 to 2020, reflecting periods of both economic growth and recession. In this paper we explore this development in terms of the numbers and characteristics of migrants moving out of commuting distance in comparison to those migrants who leave the city to settle in the suburbs or within commuting distance. The quantitative findings are combined with qualitative findings from a survey of the motives of migrants. In line with earlier studies, this study finds that family, friends, place-specific relations and job opportunities are important motives for moving. However, the results also show that an increasing share of migrants have higher education. This will contribute to the future economic and social sustainability of rural and peripheral places in Denmark.

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