Migration and Commuting

Andy Turner


In early 21st Century Britain, most people work in different places to where they spend most of the rest of their time. A large proportion of all journeys are for work purposes and the characteristics of this traffic are complexly related to various social and environmental factors. Geography of commuting behaviour and commuting patterns is at one level related to the push and pull factors influencing human migration.

Migration is the general process of moving from one place to another to live for a period of time. It is not necessarily human or even related to work, but I am most interested in human migration, and that which is to, from and within Britain. People migrate for various reasons. Internal migration in the UK is commonly related to peoples stages of life and changes of workplace, and is usually described in terms of a change in usual residence from one fixed address to another.

UK Data

My Research

I first started to process and examine the SWS and SMS when working on project: Commuting Patterns in Rural Areas . This research involved investigating relationships between migration, commuting, transport and area classification data in England with a specific focus on rural commuting patterns. The work I did was to develop programs to aggregate SWS flow data from Enumeration Districts (EDs) to Wards and Local Authority Districts (LADs). I developed Various aggregated statistics of commuting flows, some were distance weighted, some were proportional, and some were broken down based on transport mode and socio-economic group.

In 2000 I developed code to aggregate commuting flow data from EDs to constituencies. Danny Dorling supplied some constituency boundary data, a cartogram of constituencies, and results of the 1997 general election. I produced a set of cartogrammy constituency maps .

I plan to follow up this work by processing 2001 census data, aggregating flows from Output Areas (OAs), and investigating differences between 1991 and 2001 flows for aggregate regions.

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