Tackling spatial disparities: geographical mobility and commuting

When: Thu 9 Jul 2020 10:00 am - Thu 9 Jul 2020 11:30 am
Where: Online - View Map

Social and economic spatial differences between communities present a challenging picture as one travels around the country – inequalities rising in terms of productivity but falling in terms of employment and household incomes. The government’s “levelling up” agenda is aimed at improving places that have historically experienced relatively low growth, stagnation or decline as well as stimulate relatively more dynamic places. This challenge will only become much bigger where the economic recession from the Covid-19 crisis further accentuates deep-seated differences between places in the UK.

In theory, as some places decline and others grow, people and businesses move from one to another – but the depth and persistence of spatial disparities suggest that geographical mobility is not working as expected. The evidence suggests a slow long-term decline in geographical mobility. With a new immigration policy, places will become even more dependent on retaining and attracting talent.

There were an estimated 2.9 million internal migration moves between local authorities in England and Wales according to data (2014). Understanding geographic mobility is important for economic development, wellbeing, climate change, social integration and managing an ageing society, so Understanding Society, the UK Household Longitudinal Study, and the Centre for Cities have combined forces to organise a virtual event on this strategic issue.


  • Kiron Chatterjee, University of West England
  • Elena Magrini, Senior Analyst, Centre for Cities
  • Michael Thomas, Statistics Norway
  • Ian Shuttleworth, Queen’s University Belfast

This event is in partnership with Centre for Cities.