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Variations in internal migration by ethnic group: a longitudinal and multi-data approach

27th April 2017 1pm, Room 1/G/8, Ladywell House, Edinburgh

Nissa Finney, University of St Andrews and Centre for Population Change

This presentation has two concerns: how levels of internal migration since 2001 in Scotland and the UK have differed by ethnic group; and how different datasets provide similar or different perspectives on this issue. The analyses of internal migration use the Scottish Census Longitudinal Study (SLS) 2001-2011 linked to annual NHS data geocoded by postcode for 2001-2015; and the UK Household Longitudinal Study, Understanding Society, for 2009-2015. This study is the first to examine internal migration for ethnic groups longitudinally in the UK and to compare the potential of two datasets. The findings show ethnic differences in levels of internal migration that are persistent since 2000. Some ethnic differences hold after controlling for demographic and socio-economic characteristics. In particular, Polish and African groups are the most residentially mobile; Bangladeshi and Pakistani are least residentially mobile. There has been a decline in migration rates since 2000, for all ethnic groups, though the decline in internal migration at young adult ages has not been experienced equally across ethnic groups. Some ethnic differences are related to the relatively high proportion of immigrants in minority ethnic groups: for migrants, length of residence in the UK is associated with reduction in internal migration rates. However, this is less so for some ethnic groups - such as Polish - than for others. For broad patterns and trends the two data sources corroborate each other but the presentation will raise discussion about measuring ethnicity and internal migration for understanding residential change across the UK. The presentation will conclude by drawing out implications for migration theory in terms of ethnic differentials in secular rootedness and migrant settlement/integration; for research methods in terms of the longitudinal and multi-data approach; and for policy in terms of understanding the ethnic dimensions of small area population change. Nissa is Reader in Human Geography at the University of St Andrews. She is a member of the ESRC Centre for Population Change (CPC), member of the ESRC Centre on Dynamics of Ethnicity (CoDE) and Chair of the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) Population Geography Research Group. Her research is concerned with residential patterns, their drivers and consequences in the context of understanding social inequalities. Acknowledgement: this work is in collaboration with David McCollum, Annemarie Ernsten and Glenna Nightingale and is funded by the ESRC through the Secondary Data Analysis Initiative. We acknowledge the help provided by the staff of the Longitudinal Studies Centre - Scotland (LSCS).