Plenary speakers and abstracts

3.30pm Monday 7 September:   Chair: Professor Tony Champion

Monitoring Internal Migration in the United Kingdom   

John Stillwell, School of Geography, University of Leeds 

In recent years, interest in internal migration throughout the UK has been overshadowed by the inflows of migrants from the rest of the world that have caused national politicians to rethink immigration strategies. Yet spatial relocation of the population within the UK in any single year involves over one in ten individuals and is key in local development processes with implications for local planning and service provision. 

This presentation considers three broad questions relating to internal migration.  How has migration changed in the UK over the decade between 2001 and 2011?  How far do people actually migrate?  How important is scale in the analysis of migration indicators?  It draws on work undertaken as part of four recent and ongoing projects funded by either the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) or the Australian Research Council (ARC).

The presentation ends with a call to arms for  researchers to: (i) make greater use the under-exploited origin-destination migration data sets that have become available from the 2011 Census; (ii) investigate the potential of less conventional data sources for migration analysis particularly in the event of a possible shift away from census-taking after 2021; (iii) attempt more cross-national comparative research on internal migration (perhaps using data collected as part of the IMAGE project); and (iv) give more consideration to issues of scale when doing migration research.    


John Stillwell is Professor of Migration and Regional Development in the School of Geography at the University of Leeds. He is Director of the UK Data Service-Census Support and has worked on both the delivery of census data to users and its application in a research context throughout his academic career. He was the Coordinator of the ESRC-funded Understanding Population Trends and Processes (UPTAP) programme and has been the co-editor of Applied Spatial Analysis and Policy (ASAP) since its inception in 2008. 



3.45pm Tuesday 8 September: Chair: Professor Jane Falkingham

European migrants: new demographic questions and challenges? 

Helga A.G. de Valk, Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute/KNAW/ University of Groningen & Vrije Universiteit Brussels 

Migration to Europe has many faces these days. In addition to ongoing migration from outside the European Union to Europe, internal migration within the Union has become more important in the recent decades. Despite the fact that free mobility within Europe is one of the main achievements of the European unification process, it is at the same time also of one the largest challenges for European societies. Although the literature has covered migration processes, and the position of non-European migrants and their descendants, still little is known on European migrants, their characteristics and demographic behavior. 

In this presentation I will address three main questions related to the issue of European mobility. First, what patterns of European mobility do we find and how have they changed over time. Second who are these mobile European citizens and what are the consequences of mobility for these individuals, their families and society? Finally how does European mobility affect demographic behavior, intergenerational transmission and solidarity? In the presentation I will make use of new material and analyses that are part of an ongoing ERC starting grant and Norface funded project as well as a recent project supported by the European Science Foundation.


Helga A.G. de Valk is theme group leader Migration and Migrants at the Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute (NIDI, the Hague), professor of Migration and the life course at Groningen University and professor at Interface Demography Free University Brussels (VUB, Belgium). Her research focuses on migration and integration, the transition to adulthood of immigrant youth, educational inequality, union and family formation, the second generation, intergenerational relationships in immigrant families, and European mobility. She is the acting editor in chief of the European Journal of Population (EJP).