Return migration within England and Wales

Tony Champion, University of Newcastle

[Project number 40002]

Previous research on longer-distance migration within England and Wales has primarily revolved around two concepts: 'escalator region' and 'counterurbanization cascade'. Thus far, studies have been based on two observations in time; namely mainly 1971-81 in the former case and mainly 1981-91 in the latter. As such, they have been limited to one change-of-address transition. In the counterurbanization work, for instance, they have been able to profile people moving from rural regions to metropolitan areas and people moving in the opposite direction, as well as identify the changes in characteristics and circumstances associated with these moves. But they have not tracked the longer life-course trajectories of individuals.

In this study, advantage will be taken of the 30-year life span that the 2001 Census link-up provides, covering a significant portion of the working lives of those who were teenagers in 1971. The study will focus on those who changed area of residence in the relevant manner between 1971 and 1981 and examine their later moves within the same framework, distinguishing returners. Bivariate and mulitvariate analysis will be used to compare the characteristics of the latter with those who remain in their 1981 areas.

This is a self-contained project. It will link 2001 usual residence data of individual persons to their usual address recorded in 1991, 1981 and 1971 in order to measure the extent to which people return to a former area and identify relationships with key changes in their circumstances.