Spatial patterns of internal migration: Evidence for ethnic groups in Britain

Ludi Simpson*, Nissa Finney

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

111 Citations (Scopus)


Internal migration is responsible for the changing geography of Britain's ethnic group populations. Although this changing geography is at the centre of heated debates of social policy, relatively little is known about the internal migration behaviour of different ethnic groups. This paper reviews existing evidence and analyses 1991 and 2001 Census data to provide an overview of patterns and trends in the geographies of migration for each ethnic group. It finds that counter-urbanisation is common to all ethnic groups except Chinese. Both White and minority groups have on balance moved from the most non-White areas in similar proportions, with some exceptions including White movement into the most concentrated Black areas, and Chinese movement towards its own urban concentrations. 'White flight' is not an appropriate term to describe White movement, nor to explain the growth of ethnically diverse urban areas.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-56
Number of pages20
JournalPopulation, Space and Place
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jun 2009


  • Britain
  • Census
  • Ethnic group
  • Geography
  • Internal migration
  • Segregation


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