Ethnic migration and mobility in England and Wales to 2011

Lucinda Platt, London School of Economics and Political Science, Gemma Catney, University of Liverpool, Eric Kaufmann and Gareth Harris, Birkbeck, University of London, Carolina Zuccotti, University of Brighton and Fiona Steele, University of Bristol

(Project no. 04010030, previously 401003)

This project explores three different types of individual-level mobility: geographical, socio-economic and identity, and their interrelation across different ethnic groups. In so doing, it utilises the particular strengths of the ONS Longitudinal Study: its long time-frame, linked individual-level data, and large sample sizes. These enable explorations of intra-individual ethnic differences and allow for a detailed focus on small geographies.

There are three main strands to the project: the first is concerned with intergenerational social mobility and its variation across ethnic groups; the second with intergenerational transmission of ethnic and religious identity; and the third focuses on different aspects of socio-geographical mobility, namely minority migration, “white flight”, and counter-urbanisation. All three strands are connected by an interest in the interplay between neighbourhood context, socio-economic position and ethnic identity.

More specifically, focusing on those LS members aged 4-15 and living with parent(s) in either 1981 or 1991, Strand 1 investigates LS members’ own social class position in 2011 or 2001, and how this relates to the socio-economic position of their parents and household when they were children. It enables consideration of cohort change since 2001 and also exploits some of the measures new to the 2011 census such as language fluency. Finally, Strand 1 draws on the detailed work from Strand 3 on area composition and migration to link that to differential patterns of mobility: trajectories of residential/social mobility are therefore studied in parallel for different ethnic groups.  

Strand 2 also tracks LS members from childhood and explores how their own adult account of their religious and ethnic identity is, or is not, consistent with that recorded for them as children. Focusing on those aged 6-15 and living with parents in 1991 and 2001, with a particular emphasis on the 2001 cohort, since that was the first point at which religion was asked, it explores patterns of identity stability and change relative to parental report and to parents’ own ethnicity, country and country of birth. Again it explores how this is mediated by the characteristics of area in childhood or adulthood and by socio-economic position.

Strand 3 is a multifaceted exploration of issues of internal migration, area composition and socio-economic drivers of (im)mobility. It investigates the socio-economic selectivity of migration from more to less diverse areas across the period 1991-2001, by asking: are those who move away from diverse areas more economically advantaged? Is this process of movement away from diverse areas different for different ethnic groups? And how is it affected by age, time since immigration or generation, English language fluency and mother tongue?

It also investigates whether migration between diverse and non-diverse areas involves a ‘step-wise’ migration of movement: first to the near-suburbs, then further away. In addition to focusing on ethnic and religious minorities, the research aims to identify the proportion of White British ONS-LS respondents who left highly diverse wards for less diverse areas over the period 1991-2011 to gauge whether 'white flight' is indeed taking place. It will also link geographical mobility patterns to identity to ascertain if White British people who left diverse for more homogeneous areas over the period to 2011 are more likely to identify as English in 2011 than those who stayed in, or moved to, more diverse areas. 

Page last modified on 28 jun 16 12:32 by Joanne Tomlinson