An investigation into the socio-economic effects of migration in small spatial areas in Cornwall

Stuart Burley, Malcolm Williams and Carole Sutton, University of Plymouth, and Malcolm Brown, Cornwall County Council

[Project number 30024]

The study aims to investigate the socio-economic effects of migration to, from and within Cornwall. Cornwall has been shown to be somewhat of an anomaly regarding its migratory profile and economic performance (Williams & Champion 1998) possibly as a result of the nature of the migratory flows to and from the county (Williams et al 1995). From some preliminary analyses of 1991 & 2001 Census data it is also clear that characteristics associated with different migrant groups differ. This study will examine the demographic and socio-economic factors associated with differing types of migratory flows over the 1991 to 2001 period. The research project deals primarily with Cornwall but will also involve some comparative analyses with West Wales and Wiltshire.

The research aims to draw comparisons between the demographic and socio-economic characteristics of different types of migrants:

  1. In-migrants, those moving to Cornwall (sub-divided by long and short distance in-migrants).
  2. Out-migrants, those moving away from Cornwall (sub-divided by long and short distance out-migrants).
  3. Internal migrants, those moving within the county.
  4. Cornish non-migrants, those residing in Cornwall who did not move.
  5. The remainder of the LS sample, those residing outside of Cornwall in 1991 and 2001. The analysis of Cornwall is to be repeated for West Wales and Wiltshire to draw comparisons with two other areas that have similar migratory patterns.

The second stage of the research is to investigate the geographical variation that occurs within Cornwall. Therefore, the analyses will need to be carried out again for each local authority district in Cornwall albeit without sub-dividing the in- and out-migrant study populations and with less detailed cross-tabulations, to ensure that cell counts remain above the required threshold. This stage of the research is not to be repeated for West Wales or Wiltshire. The frequency of the regional origins and regional destinations of in-migrants and out-migrants, respectively, is also required for both stages of the research.

The LS will allow me to identify individual level data for each specified migrant type, such as in-migrants, internal migrants or non-migrants. The LS will also distinguish between different types of moves, for example in-migration to Cornwall needs to be distinguished further between suburbanisation short-distance in-migration, which is characteristically different from long-distance in-migration.

While it is possible to identify net change between 1991 and 2001 in each district without the LS, it is impossible to accurately estimate the component of change, the amount of in or out-migration that has occurred. The LS can identify this with a far greater accuracy than relating single-year census data from 91 and 01 to estimate the components of the net decennial change. For example, the LS data can identify those districts that have grown as a result of high levels of in-migration or high internal migration or even where it may be due to low levels of out-migration.

The most significant contribution that the LS will provide to my research is to identify the patterns of individual level socio-economic change that may be associated with different types of migration or indeed non-migration. The LS has the unique ability to achieve this aim.

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