BSPS Day Meetings

The British Society for Population Studies holds several events throughout the year. These are organised by members on topics that they feel merit discussion. Suggestions for future events are always welcomed by the Secretariat, and may be jointly promoted with other organizations. BSPS provides a limited amount of funding and administrative support for these seminars. If you would like to organise a seminar or other event, please use the proposal form available below, which includes additional information. 

Download proposal form for an event

Recent meeting - 
Is internal migration slowing down? 

A meeting to celebrate the publication of ‘Internal Migration in the Developed World: Are we becoming less mobile?’, convened jointly by the British Society for Population Studies (BSPS) and the RGS-IBG Population Geography Research Group (PGRG)

Thursday, 11 January 2018 

Presentations from the meeting can now be accessed by clicking on the hyperlink in the title below: 


10.30   Registration 

11.00   Session 1: Key findings from the book (Chair: Piers Elias)

11.00   Piers Elias (BSPS President) – Introduction: a more mobile world or not?

11.10   Anne Green (Birmingham) – Understanding the drivers of internal migration

11.25   Tony Champion (Newcastle) – Overview of the book’s findings

11.40   Tony Fielding (Sussex) – The Japanese experience

11.55   Ian Shuttleworth (Belfast) – The Swedish experience

12.10   Nik Lomax (Leeds) – The UK experience

12.25   Q&A

12.50   Formal book launch 

13.00   Lunch break (attendees get their own) 

14.00   Session 2: Submitted contributions (Chair: John Stillwell)

14.00   Brad Campbell (Belfast) – Declining internal migration in Northern Ireland, 1981-                2011

14.30   Darren Smith (Loughborough) – Blocking the pipeline for rural gentrification: where are the migrants? 

15.00   Break (coffee/tea provided) 

15.20   Session 3: Discussion and summing up (Chair: Tony Champion)

15.20   Discussants: Ben Corr (GLA), Ian Gordon (LSE) and Christine Whitehead (LSE)

15.50   Open discussion

16.20   Summing up

16.30   Book launch reception

17.00   Close 


Previous events


With funding from the Biosocial Society

Organised by LSE and LSHTM

Wednesday 24 May 2017 

SUMMARY A key factor determining a woman’s experience of menopause is the culture in which she finds herself before, during, and after menopause. In our youth-idolizing Western culture, menopause can seem like an ending. However, in many cultures, menopause is a time of new respect and freedom for women. Even though hormonal changes after menopause produce similar symptoms in many women, cultural differences can still shape how people experience this stage of life. These may arise from variation in a wide range of factors, including stigma (or lack of it) within cultures, access to health services and gender inequalities.

Considerable research shows significant variation across populations in the menopausal experience. Biological, psychological, social and cultural factors are associated with either positive or negative attitudes, perceptions or experiences of menopause in various cultures. Comparative international literature shows that neither biological nor social factors alone are sufficient to explain the variation in experiences of the menopausal transition.

The aim of this workshop is to gather current research on the menopause and its cultural and socio-economic aspects. The objectives are to get a multidisciplinary approach to the topic, including both qualitative and quantitative work. Ultimately we want to highlight a variety of issues surrounding this neglected topic which can have repercussions on health in later life.

The meeting is free and open to everyone however registration is required. Email Alexis Palfreyman (  to reserve your place.

We welcome poster submissions, especially from early career researchers and students. Please email the title and a short abstract of the poster to Alexis Palfreyman ( : -deadline 10 May

For more information please email the organisers Tiziana Leone and Rebecca Sear



Introduction: Tiziana Leone, LSE


Lynnette Sievert, UMass Amherst

"Measurement of hot flashes: cross-cultural research highlights thechallenges"

Gillian Bentley, Durham University

"Developmental effects on the menopause among migrant Bangladeshi women in the UK"

11:00-11.30 tea break


Isabel de Salis, Bristol University

"Experiencing menopause as transformative: re-thinking rites of passage"

Mwenza Blell, Cambridge University

"What changes when you go through the change? An exploration of British Pakistani women's views and experiences"

Emily Freeman, LSE

"Understandings of the menopause among older adults in Malawi"

13:00-14:00 Lunch


Doaa Hammoudeh, Oxford University and Ernestina Coast, LSE

"Age of hope, power or despair? Palestinian women’s menopause narratives"

Taniya Sharmeen, Reading University

""Allah’r hukum"-It’s God’s will, it’s not an ending-it’s the beginning"-Exploring meaning of menopause and menopausal symptom experiences among Bangladeshi women."


Round table discussion with the presenters: Where next. Chair Rebecca Sear, LSHTM

16:00 Poster reception

BSPS menopause meeting flyer

International Seminar on Urban Health Transformations

11-12 July 2017

Homerton College, Cambridge, UK

Seminar organized by the Historical Demography Panel of the International Union for the Scientific Study of Population (IUSSP), British Society for Population Studies  & University of Cambridge

Generously supported by the IUSSP, Galton Institute, Wellcome Trust, and British Society for Population Studies

Health in urban areas has played a major role in determining trajectories of demographic growth, economic success and individual and community well-being across time. However the relationship between health and urban space has not been constant over either time or place. Before the early twentieth century, towns and cities suffered a probably universal urban mortality penalty, and in some periods acted as ‘demographic sinks’, characterized by high death rates largely due to air and water-borne infections. The improvement of urban environments, together with the development of better preventive and curative medical services which tend to be based in cities, means that urban areas today have lower mortality than their surrounding areas. Although the decline of mortality in urban areas has been studied, there is little consensus about how urban spaces were transformed from unhealthy to healthy places. Such changes are unlikely to have happened at the same time or stage of industrial, economic or infrastructural development in every place, but it has not been established whether there are any key developments which are necessary or sufficient for such transformations to occur. Attempts have been made to link declines in mortality to the introduction of sanitation and water supply, but with mixed success. The roles of housing, street paving, air pollution, and animal keeping in fostering a hostile disease environment have been addressed less often. Municipal governance and institutions have been linked variously to poorer and to better health. How migration contributes to observed mortality rates is also poorly understood: migrants seeking work or a better life are often selected for better health, but may lack immunities to specific urban diseases. Chronic conditions such as tuberculosis may be linked to return or health-seeking migration, and such factors make it hard to disentangle the ways that migration, as other possible influences, might be linked to health outcomes.


A full programme is available online.


To book, please complete the booking form available online and return it by email to Sophy Arulanantham at no later than Thursday 6 April 2017.

Recent BSPS day meeting

UK Variant Sub-national population projections & Population Projections by Ethnic Group 

27 March 2017, 10.30am – 4.00pm.

A report of the meeting will follow in due course


The 2012-based Household Projections for England: methodological issues

Monday 18th May, 2015, 2:00pm - 5:30pm

London School of Economics (LSE), Ground Floor Lecture Room STC.S75, St Clement’s Building, Clare Market, London WC2A 2AE 

The official projections of household numbers in England are of vital importance for debate and decision-making about the amount of land for housing development. Future needs for housing have been a hot topic in the General Election Campaign. Initial results from the 2012-based projections of households in England were published by the Department of Communities and Local Government (CLG) in February 2015. Further work is promised, as the full set of Census data needed for a complete review of long-term trends was not available in time. This event aims to examine the methodology and data used for the 2012-based projections and to provide an update on CLG’s intentions for further analysis. It will include contributions from CLG, academics and local authority practitioners and will allow attendees the chance to ask questions and make their views known


13.30-14.00 Registration (No refreshments)
14.00-14.05 Welcome from Tony Champion, BSPS President
14.05-14.10 Chair’s Introductory Remarks, John Hollis, past President of BSPS

14.10-14.40 2012-based Household Projections for England: lessons learnt & next steps - Bob Garland (Department for Communities & Local Government)

2012-based Household Projections for England - Bob Garland

14.40-15.00 Questions and discussion
15.00-15.20 Tea Break (Refreshments provided)

15.20-15.40 Explaining changes in household size - Ludi Simpson (University of Manchester)

Explaining changes in family size - Ludi Simpson

15.40-16.00 The uncertain drivers of change in the new projections at the local authority level - Neil McDonald (University of Cambridge)

Uncertain drivers -  Neil McDonald

16.00-16.20 Questions and discussion
16.20-16.40 The London Perspective - Ben Corr (Demography Manager, Greater London Authority)

 2012-based household predictions - Ben Corr

16.40-17.00 Trends, data & Definitions - Greg Ball (former principal demographer, Birmingham City Council)

Trends data and definitions - Greg Ball

17.00-17.30 Questions and discussion
Members and non-members welcome. There is no charge but please register in advance by emailing or by phoning the BSPS secretariat on 020 7955 7666.

Myths of migration: the changing British population, a joint BSPS/BA event held at the British Academy on 17 November 2014

Myths of migration meeting report - also reproduced below

As part of its celebrations of the 25th anniversary of the publication of The Changing Population of Britain (edited by Heather Joshi, Blackwell, 1989), the BSPS teamed up with the British Academy for an evening meeting on UK migration. Three speakers were invited to address the following questions: Given that the movement of people shapes our neighbourhoods and communities, what are the realities of these changes, and where do the myths of migration end and the realities of population change begin? What are the new patterns of internal and trans-national migration? Who are the new immigrants, where are they from, and where do they go? Do immigrants isolate or integrate? Are we flocking to the cities, or escaping to the countryside? The meeting was chaired by Francesco Billari, the President of EAPS and a BSPS Council member, who welcomed the full house of attendees and introduced the speakers.

Tony Champion, the current BSPS President, focused on within-UK migration. He set up three ‘straw men’ (the term that he preferred to ‘myths’) and managed to demolish two of them. ‘Migration’ is not synonymous with ‘immigration’, despite the high salience of the latter in the media and indeed ONS’s usage in 2011 Census outputs. Ten times as many residents moved home within the UK in the 12 months leading up to the Census as had been living outside the UK a year earlier and have the potential for considerably altering the size and composition of local populations. Secondly, the latest research shows that, while we may be living in an increasingly mobile world, residential mobility in the UK is lower now than 20-30 years ago, with an especially steep fall in shorter-distance moving. The jury is out, however, on his final question as to whether the recent signs of urban resurgence spell the end of net migration from city to countryside. Most important in UK policy terms is whether a sustained recovery from the 2008/09 recession will lead to the acceleration of the exodus from London that has been experienced in previous cycles. The major changes since the early 1990s recession, including the drop in home moving rates just mentioned, the altered housing behaviour of younger adults in recent years and the rising ethnic minority share of city populations, may be combining to produce to a new internal migration regime.

Ludi Simpson, the immediate past President of BSPS, described the two eras of globalisation, both connecting demographic and economic change. The first, in the 18 thand 19 th centuries, was associated with emigration from Europe, and the second, which we have experienced since the middle of the 20th century, is associated with widening inequalities which make Europe and North America particularly attractive. Within this context, immigration to the UK is not extreme, and may not be amenable to legal attempts to change it. The impact on sub-national Britain has been to create a diversity of diversities that continues to change. Movement from city central zones to suburbs and beyond began before significant immigration rather than being caused by it, and continues for all ethnic groups. Analysis of segregation is technically unable to answer questions about the barriers to equal movement, but suggests steady and slow geographical integration of ethnic groups as we currently measure them. A crude projection of ethnic diversity suggests that diversity will increase, but the most diverse local authority of Britain, the London Borough of Newham, is about as diverse as any authority will become in the next twenty years. There will be few areas in which a single group other than White British is the largest group. Often, the next largest group will be what we now call ‘Other’, a mix of different origins relatively new to Britain. The measurement of ethnicity will have to change in response to the increasingly diverse nature of local diversity.

Norma Cohen, who has just retired as Demography correspondent after 27 years at the Financial Times, challenged perceptions of the relative attractiveness of Britain as the destination of first choice for those seeking to uproot themselves. In fact, migrants tend to choose countries that already are host to a significant community of their own citizens and which bear some similarity in language and culture to their own. While that makes Britain very attractive to migrants from other English-speaking nations, it makes it less so to many others. A quick look at UN migration data suggests that far more migrants – including residents of countries likely to attract the most alarmed headlines – choose destinations other than Britain. For example, migrants from India ranked Britain sixth on the list of most likely destinations, with 760,000 from there making a home here. But that compares with 2.9m Indians in the UAE, 2.0m in the USA and 1.8m in Saudi Arabia. Pakistanis rank Britain fourth, with 1.3m and 1.1m in Saudi Arabia and India respectively compared with 460,000 in the UK. And despite fears that Britain would be swamped by an influx from Albania, Romania and Bulgaria, the UK appears far down on the list of choices for residents from these nations. For Albanians, nearby Greece is the first choice with 570,000, Italy second with 450,000 and Britain 7th choice with only 20,000 Albanian-born residents. There are more than 10 times as many Bulgarians in Turkey as in the UK, and as many choose Italy or Greece as choose Britain. There are 10 times as many Romanians living in Italy and 8 times as many in Spain as are living in the UK. In fact, there are more Romanians in Israel than in Britain. Thus, the fear that failure to close the gates to migrants will leave Britain ‘swamped’ with foreigners is greatly overblown.

Predictably most of the ensuing discussion from the floor focused on immigration to Britain. Could Ludi’s projections to 2031 provide ammunition to the UK Independence Party? How can the government resolve the tension between following the public desire to limit immigration and allowing employers to plug labour and skill shortages in finance, elderly care, etc.? How is it that the majority population can happily co-exist with ethnic minority neighbours in the same street, but want to see the UK close its doors to new arrivals? It was suggested that people should try hard to suppress their Ids and develop their Superegos, also that public acceptance of immigration would increase if newcomers quickly learnt to speak good English. Some links to internal migration were also made. Why is there a general perception that ‘white flight’ exists when the urban exodus rates are similar across all ethnic groups? Is there a parallel between trying to stop immigration to the country and trying to stop people moving into the countryside? What, if any, is the link between net immigration to the UK and the patterns of within-UK migration, especially in relation to London? To what extent is it population ageing that is slowing down within-UK migration? Ultimately, the discussion turned on two main points: the need for more research focusing on the processes behind migration and, above all, the need to do better at getting the key messages from research into the public domain. It was felt that meetings such as this were a useful way of doing this, but more could and should be done. To help towards this, an audio recording of this meeting is available on the British Academy website at

Archive of meetings


Overview of book findings ChampionOverview of book findings ChampionOverview of book findings Champion