Research

Heading for a ‘Better Life’? Why Swedes Move to Portugal

Authors:

Abstract

This article discusses the drivers behind why Swedes move to Portugal and who these migrants are. The conceptual framework is based on lifestyle migration and considers migration as a process. Using a semi-structured interview guide, designed according to a life-course approach, 36 in-depth interviews with Swedes permanently residing in Portugal were conducted. The findings display that only a small minority of the respondents claimed that the climate, the sense of privilege/affluence and the prospects of being a permanent tourist made them move to Portugal. A majority of the respondents expressed a disenchantment with Sweden, political correctness, and a perceived collapse of the Swedish welfare system. Simultaneously, the respondents describe an escape from everyday problems. Notably, it is not the Swedish middle-class that seems to be moving, and emigrants come from mainly the top or bottom of the social hierarchy.

Keywords:

Migration driversDisenchantmentLifestyle migrationMigration process‘Elsewhereness’
  • Year: 2021
  • Volume: 11 Issue: 3
  • Page/Article: 341–360
  • DOI: 10.33134/njmr.441
  • Submitted on 13 Jun 2019
  • Accepted on 17 Feb 2021
  • Published on 3 Sep 2021
  • Peer Reviewed