Cohort analysis of the socio-economic outcomes of migration to Cornwall since 1971

Malcolm Williams, Katarzyna Jaksina and Carole Sutton, University of Plymouth and Malcolm Brown, Cornwall County Council

[Project number 30066]

This research is an investigation of the comparative socio-economic position of migrants to Cornwall and other residents of Cornwall over the thirty years period. The aim is to compare various groups of migrants and non-migrants. It will be achieved by distinguishing 6 groups: non-migrants, long term in-migrants, medium term in-migrants, short term in-migrants, out-migrants and return migrants. Each population group will be compared using variables such as age, marital status, qualifications, social class, economic activity, tenure and some household/family level variables. Additional analysis will add area type classification to differentiate migration patterns and test the impact of lifestyle migration.

Cornwall has traditionally faced many economic problems, high unemployment rates and one of the lowest earnings in England. At the same time it experienced a continuous high level of in-migration (higher than the English average). However the in-migration of high levels of economically active in-migrants of working age has failed to regenerate the Cornish economy and many of them become inactive after moving. The question remains whether the conditions of the host economy increase the levels of inactive population or it is something to do with the characteristics of the in-migrants themselves or interaction of both? There are hypotheses about the influence of lifestyle motivation on the attitudes of in-migrants towards work. They have not been sufficiently tested yet.

Previous research into migration to Cornwall has identified that more meaningful geographical data is required to widen the knowledge about issues such as pull factors, counterurbanisation and lifestyle migration. Most significant spatial dimensions, including coastal/inland and rural/urban categories, better represent settlement patterns in Cornwall and will allow investigation of new aspects of migration to Cornwall. This approach also limits the risks of disclosure. The suggested typology contains fewer categories (5) than the number of districts in Cornwall (7). Codes for area type classification will be provided by the user of the data. Cornwall will also be compared with Cumbria and Wiltshire.