Fewer people moving between Denmark and Sweden: report

Michael Barrett
Michael Barrett - [email protected]
Fewer people moving between Denmark and Sweden: report
File photo: Jens Nørgaard Larsen/Ritzau Scanpix

Despite a small recovery in 2017, the number of people relocating across the Öresund between adjacent regions in Denmark and Sweden has stagnated in recent years.


Total numbers moving from the southern Swedish region of Skåne to the eastern part of Denmark have fallen substantially since a peak in 2007, according to a report by official agency Statistics Denmark (DST).

That trend is mirrored in figures for people moving in the opposite direction.

In 2017, 55 more people moved from Skåne to East Denmark than in the previous year, while a there was a small decline in people moving the other way.

With onset of the global financial crisis now nearly a decade ago, property prices in Copenhagen are currently increasing sharply, just as they were in the mid-2000s, when the figures peaked, according to DST.

But relative prosperity has not yet had the same consequence of people moving en masse across the Öresund.

That is because house price differences between Copenhagen and Skåne are smaller than they were in the mid-2000s, DST writes on its website, with Malmö in particular seeing a similar boom to the one in the Danish capital.

The number of people moving from East Denmark to Skåne is now at a third of the level it was in 2006-7, and was in 2010 overtaken by the figure for movements in the opposite direction.

"It's known that if an increase in relocations develops, then house prices can be seen to change. What I wrote in the [DST] newsletter is based on our Öresund data bank… you can see in the 2010s that there are marked house price increases in Copenhagen but there are also marked increases in Malmö," DST statistician Michael B. Rasmussen, who put together the report, told The Local.

That stood in contrast to figures taken from the 2000s, when Malmö house prices were more stable, he said.

But further comment on the economics of the statistical trend would require a specialist approach, Rasmussen clarified.

READ ALSO: 'The bridge made Malmö a suburb of Copenhagen'

A further interesting aspect of the report is the nationality of people moving across the Öresund.

Since 1998, Danes have remained well ahead for moves to Skåne and reached 70 percent of the total in the mid-2000s. Since then that figure has decreased to 45 percent, with the proportion of Swedes moving from Denmark to the country of their birth has increased from just under 10 percent to over 20 percent in 2017.

That means the proportion of third-country nationalities making the short journey from East Denmark to Skåne has also increased since the mid-2000s peak.

Of these, Middle Eastern (6.5 percent) and Asian (6.3 percent) were the most prominent groups in 2017, according to DST.

Looking at moves in the opposite direction – Skåne to East Denmark – a different trend is apparent.

Significantly more Swedes are now moving to East Denmark from Skåne than they did just over a decade ago. The proportion has increased from just over 20 percent of total movers to 32.4 percent in 2017.

Danes' share in the numbers migrating from Skåne to East Denmark has decreased from around 65 percent to 38.2 percent in 2017.

Going further back, the early 2000s saw a significant shift in the composition – prior to 2000, when the Öresund bridge opened, the two nationalities were near-equal contributors to this statistic.

"If you were to move from Copenhagen to Malmö [before 2000], you'd have had to load a moving van, take a ferry, go back again… It's become faster and cheaper. Infrastructure has improved and that appears to be something that can benefit relocation," Rasmussen said.

Meanwhile, third-nationality movers now make up a growing part of those relocating from Skåne to East Denmark: 8.2 percent of these were in 2017 from non-EU countries, according to DST.

READ ALSO: Öresund crossing sets new Denmark-Sweden traffic record


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