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Population change and migration in Britain since 1981: evidence for continuing deconcentration


  • A G Champion


The counterurbanisation decade of the 1970s appears to have been followed by a period of more mixed trends in migration between metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas. This author examines the experience of Great Britain against the background of developments reported for other countries. The British Census small-area statistics are used to calculate 1981 - 91 rates of population change for a typology of local labour-market areas in order to test for the existence of population deconcentration, and the results are compared with the rates for the three previous intercensal decades. Annual population estimates are then used to examine the migration component of 1981 - 91 population change and to investigate the extent and timing of fluctuations in growth rates since the early 1960s. The results indicate that the differentials in the population growth rate between metropolitan and nonmetropolitan Britain narrowed somewhat between the 1970s and the 1980s, but the negative relationship between urban status and population change remained very clear. Moreover, contrary to the experience of the USA and a number of European countries, in the mid-1980s Britain saw a resurgence of nonmetropolitan growth which had widespread impact across the country. These results raise questions which can in part be addressed by in-depth research on the 1991 Census and related data sets.

Suggested Citation

  • A G Champion, 1994. "Population change and migration in Britain since 1981: evidence for continuing deconcentration," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 26(10), pages 1501-1520, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:pio:envira:v:26:y:1994:i:10:p:1501-1520

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    Cited by:

    1. Takatoshi Tabuchi & Jacques-Francois Thisse & Dao-Zhi Zeng, 2000. "On the Evolution of a Multi-regional System," CIRJE F-Series CIRJE-F-93, CIRJE, Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo.
    2. Burgess, Simon & Profit, Stefan, 2001. "Externalities in the matching of workers and firms in ritain," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 313-333, June.

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