Toggle Main Menu Toggle Search

Open Access padlockePrints

Migration and socio-economic polarisation within British City Regions

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Anthony Champion, Emeritus Professor Mike Coombes



In recent years, census-based and other studies have documented a widening gap between better-off and more deprived residential areas in Britain. While much of this will have come about in situ, through increasing disparities in household wealth and incomes across the social scale, migration may also be contributing. The decennial population census is the only source that can provide robust statistical data on the social composition of residential movement between sub-regional and local areas. This chapter uses the 2001 Census Special Migration Statistics to examine whether migration is increasing the degree of socio-spatial polarisation within Britain’s larger city regions. Following an introduction to the study approach and the intricacies of the census data on migration, the results of data analysis are presented in three sections. The first looks at the social composition of the migration exchanges taking place between the 27 cities and the rest of their city regions, testing to see whether the cities’ migration balances are less favourable for people of higher occupational status. This identifies three types of city region, based on whether there is a positive, negative or no strong relationship between migration and socio-economic status. An example of each of these types of city region – London, Birmingham and Bristol respectively – is selected for a more detailed examination of the patterns of movement between their constituent residential zones. For these three cases, the second set of analyses compares the migration performance of each of the residential zones with its existing social status in order to see whether or not these within-city-region movements are reinforcing the existing socio-economic patterns. The third set of results seeks a better understanding of the dynamics of the migration through examining the residential movements between all pairings of the zones in each of the three city regions and identifying how consistently the balance of these migration exchanges favours the better-off of the two zones.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Champion T, Coombes M

Editor(s): Stillwell, J., Duke-Williams, O., Dennett, A.

Publication type: Book Chapter

Publication status: Published

Book Title: Technologies for migration and commuting analysis: spatial interaction data applications

Year: 2010

Pages: 197-211

Publisher: IGI Global

Place Published: Hershey, PA

Library holdings: Search Newcastle University Library for this item

ISBN: 9781615207558