Research Programme

Analysing mobility trends over time and space in relation to the increased fluidity of the lifecourse

Allan Findlay, Vernon Gayle, David McCollum, Glenna Nightingale, Ye Liu

(with Gunnar Malmberg and Maarten van Ham)

Project summary

This research investigates the mobility implications of increasingly fluid life courses with particular interest in moves at the beginning of the adult life course and in later life. Cooke (2011) argues that secular rootedness is dampening inter-regional migration, while on the other hand, understanding from CPC-I leads to the suggestion that increased disruptions to the life course (associated for example with insecurities in the workplace and the home) have triggered a range of new mobilities (e.g. to maintain child-parent links after marital dissolution).

Key question: ‘What does an understanding of life transitions bring to theories of residential mobility across the life course?’ Policy questions: ‘Which new mobilities (especially those arising from changes in people’s linked lives) are going to have an enduring impact on the UK population and what are the resource implications?’

The focus for this research is on the UK, but comparisons will be sought with Sweden using their rich register dataset. This project uses UK longitudinal datasets, (enriched by the linkage of 2011 census data) to distinguish cohort and period effects of economic and social change.

Project activities

Date Activity Description
28 June - 1 July 2017 ICPG Seattle 2017 Paper titled "Moving to move up? Disentangling the link between spatial and occupational mobility" presented at the Univeristy of Washington by Ye Liu.
8-10 September 2015 British Society for Population Studies Conference Census & Administrative data Longitudinal Studies Hub (CALLS Hub) conference poster
18-22 August 2015 International Geographical Union Regional Conference Abstract accepted on 'Immigration, Scotland and the constitutional change debate: Geography, difference and the question of scale'
22 May 2015 Preliminary project planning meeting All team members were in attendance, including Maarten Van Ham (Delft University of Technology), Gunnar Malmberg (Umeå University, Sweden) and Nikola Sander (Vienna Institute of Demography).







Coulter, R., Van Ham, M. and Findlay, A. (2015) Re-thinking residential mobility: Linking lives through time and spaceProgress in Human Geography, (In press).

Nightingale, G., McCollum, D., Finney, N. and Ernsten, A. (2017) Ethnic variations in internal migration in the UK, 2009-2015. ESRC Centre for Population Change Briefing Paper 38, ESRC Centre for Population Change, UK.

Nightingale, G., McCollum, D. and Ernsten, A. (2017) Who moves up the social ladder in the UK? ESRC Centre for Population Change Briefing Paper 39, ESRC Centre for Population Change, UK.


Media activities

Examining the case for union – borders and immigration
The Future of the UK and Scotland blog, 24 April 2014

You can also browse population-related articles from CPC members on our! page.