Spatial mobility and tolerance towards immigrants: The case of Northern Iceland

Thorrodur Bjarnason, Clifford Stevenson, Ian Shuttleworth, Markus Meckl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


While the profound effects of spatial mobility on social structures and patterns of interactions have long been recognised, the association of mobility experiences and tolerance towards immigrants has received limited attention. In this paper, we examine such patterns in Iceland, a country with a long history of emigration and return migration of the local population but a recent surge in international immigration. We find in-migrants and locals who have lived in the
capital city area or abroad for at least a year to be more tolerant of immigrants than locals who have never lived elsewhere. These patterns of tolerance among more mobile respondents persist after controlling for other predictors such as age, gender, education and language skills, employment status, income, community integration, residential satisfaction and generalised
trust. These results are discussed in the context of changing patterns of mobility and immobility
in western countries.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEthnic and Racial Studies
Early online date17 Sep 2019
Publication statusEarly online date - 17 Sep 2019


  • Immigrants; Residential mobility; Return migration; Tolerance; Local community; Iceland


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