Cities Outlook 1901

A city’s economic past has a profound influence on its future. Current economic differences across the UK can be traced back not just decades but a century or more.

Report published on 11 July 2012 by Naomi Clayton

Cities Outlook 1901 takes data from the 1901 Census to trace the economic fortunes of cities in the UK over the course of the 20th century.  What factors determine the growth paths individual cities take?  Why did cities that saw such rapid expansion in the 19th century experience a change of fortunes in the 20th century?

Cities Outlook 1901 illustrates the way that lack of investment is compounded over time. Failure to invest in skills or infrastructure in 1901 had knock-on long-term impacts on a place and its people over decades,while targeted investment in infrastructure and ongoing investment in skills succeeded in helping some places and people improve performance.


Cities, then and now

Birmingham  • Bristol  • Leeds  • Liverpool  • 
Manchester  • Newcastle  • Nottingham  • Sheffield

Download the methodological note.

Supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund

Contact us

Policy and Research Manager