In Sweden, “white flight” is triggered with just 4% “non-whites” in a neighbourhood

The white flight phenomenon has been known and studied in the US since the 1950s and also more recently in the UK. It is observed also in Australia, New Zealand, The Netherlands and in the Scandinavian countries. It is the term applied to

the large-scale migration of whites of various European ancestries from racially mixed urban regions to more racially homogeneous suburban or exurban regions.

In Sweden the term “native-born” usually designates whites and the term “non-European birth” is the euphemism usually applied to non-whites. (It is politically incorrect to refer to “whites” and “non-whites” or “coloured” or “black”). A new study from Linnaeus University (Emma Neuman – “Essays on Segregation, Gender Economics, and Self-employment”) looks at the ethnic segregation in where people live and in the work place and the differences between the 1990s and the 2000s.

Press ReleaseThe results show that the native-born tend to move away from or avoid moving into residential areas when those of non-European birth reach a certain trigger level in an area. Thus the behaviour of the native-born is a major factor behind the rise of ethnic segregation in Sweden. Furthermore Neuman argues that ethnic segregation during childhood can have an impact on economic outcomes in adulthood.

Segregation and “ghettoism” is often blamed on immigrant populations but this study suggests that it may, to a great extent, be due to whites moving away. And then of course, the immigrant population is powerless to avoid this segregation by exclusion. Integration of immigrants is a two-way street. There may be many who don’t wish to integrate. But it would seem that the native-born also do not wish to be integrated into and actively avoid integration.


Economist Emma Neuman at Linnaeus University in Växjö has studied migration patterns in residential areas during the 1990 and 2000s to see how ethnic segregation has changed. Statistics show that the native-born begin to move away from or avoid moving to a residential area when it has reached a certain proportion of residents born outside Europe.

The breakpoints vary a little between different cities, but on average it stands at around four percent. “The process can take a long time, but it is around there somewhere we see that it starts – the native-born begin to move out or avoid moving in”, says Emma Neuman.

The trigger point may seem low, but still has increased from the 90s to the 00s. “One can see clearly that the breakpoint is higher in the second period than in the first. It can be interpreted that the native-born have become more tolerant”.

If the trigger for the Swedish white population to begin moving out of an area is just 4 non-whites in 100, I would have described the behaviour as being highly intolerant. Four percent seems incredibly low as the trigger point for resentments against non-whites to be expressed. If toleration of 3 non-whites in the 90s has now increased to 4 in a 100 a decade later, it is still a picture of overwhelming intolerance. In fact, the intolerance level is so high that I would suggest that it is an indicator of an irrational fear of non-whites. Perhaps the low level of integration of non-white immigrants in Sweden is not just because they don’t want to, but because they are not allowed to.

Tags: , , ,

%d bloggers like this: