Ronneby och drömmen om Amerika

En kvantitativ undersökning av utvandringen från Ronneby mellan 1898-1914

  • Dino Helmefalk Mittuniversitetet, Institutionen för humaniora


Swedish emigration saw an increase during the final years of the 19th century which would
remain high until the start of the First World War. A large number of industrial workers,
craftsmen and servants left their native Sweden in pursuit of a better life elsewhere, mainly in
North America. This study aims to investigate the demographical and socio-economic trends
related to the emigration during this specific period in the town of Ronneby in the south of

The source material, church accounts from the period, has been gathered, quantized and
analyzed in order to create plausible emigrants based on socio-economic factors, in order to
give us answers to the questions; who the emigrants from Ronneby were during 1898–1914?
If the emigration did change during the period of investigation? Did the emigration from
Ronneby during the investigated period, roughly follow similar patterns as on the national
level during the same period?

The study has showed that the average emigrant was, in case of a male, a craftsman or
industrial worker. In case of a female emigrant, she would most likely be a farmhand or
housewife. In both cases, the emigrants was generally in their early 20’s. However, the study
also does show exceptions. The results also show that the emigration indeed did follow
similar patterns as Sweden as a whole, but that no observable and particular trend in the
emigration from Ronneby during the period could be measured.