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Is longer-distance migration slowing? An analysis of the annual record for England and Wales since the 1970s

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Anthony Champion



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC 4.0).


This paper is prompted by the widespread acceptance that the rates of inter-countyand inter-state migration have been falling in the USA and sets itself the task ofexamining whether this decline in migration intensities is also the case in the UK. Ituses annual inter-area migration matrices available for England and Wales since the1970s by broad age group. The main methodological challenge, arising from changesin the geography of health areas for which the inter-area flows are given, is addressedby adopting the lowest common denominator of 80 areas. Care is also taken to allowfor the effect of economic cycles in producing short-term fluctuations on migrationrates and to isolate the effect of a sharp rise in rates for 16-24 year olds in the 1990s,which is presumed to be related to the expansion of higher education. The findingssuggest that, unlike for the USA, there has not been a substantial decline in theintensity of internal migration between the first two decades of the study period andthe second two. If there has been any major decline in the intensity of addresschanging in England and Wales, it can only be for the within-area moves that thistime series does not cover. This latter possibility is examined in a companion paperusing a very different data set (Champion and Shuttleworth, 2016).

Publication metadata

Author(s): Champion T, Shuttleworth I

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Population, Space and Place

Year: 2017

Volume: 23

Issue: 3

Print publication date: 01/04/2017

Online publication date: 03/05/2016

Acceptance date: 26/02/2016

Date deposited: 15/08/2016

ISSN (print): 1544-8444

ISSN (electronic): 1544-8452

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons Ltd


DOI: 10.1002/psp.2024


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