01The nature of migration to and from Coventry
This section combines data on all migration within England and Wales from the ONS and the 2011 Census to look at migration to and from Coventry by age and qualifications.
Most migration is between Coventry and the rest of the West Midlands
Between 2009 and 2015, 107,480 people moved into Coventry and 113,050 people moved out, resulting in a net outflow of 5,570 people over that six year period. In comparison, Bournemouth experienced the largest net inflow of 15,100 people and London the largest net outflow of 340,300 people.
Much of this migration flow was between Coventry and the rest of the West Midlands: 31 per cent of people moving into the city came from the rest of the region and 42 per cent of those who left the city remained in the region. The result was a considerable outflow to the rest of the West Midlands, as shown in Figure 1. For other regions, Coventry saw a net outflow to the South West and East Midlands. Meanwhile it had net inflows from all the other regions with the largest ones being from the South East, East and London.
When we look at cities, the largest net inflow into Coventry was from London whilst the largest net outflow was to Birmingham (see Figure 2).
Coventry gains 16 to 21 year olds but lost people in all the other age groups
When broken down by age, the pattern of migration varied greatly. Figure 3 shows that:
- 16 to 21 year olds dominated migration patterns: this age group accounted for 10 per cent of the population but 41 per cent of inward migration and 25 per cent of outward migration.
- 22 to 25 year olds accounted for only 8 per cent of the population but 23 per cent of outward migration.
- 31 to 45 year olds accounted for 19 per cent of population but 17 per cent of outward migration.
As a result of these patterns, Coventry experienced a net inflow of 16 to 21 year olds as shown in Figure 4. For this age group, the net inflow was equal to 15,570 over the period. However it experienced a net outflow of all the other age groups with the largest net outflow being in the 22 to 25 age group.
Coventry lost degree holders to all regions
While ONS data on migration does not give information on the qualifications of migrants, the 2011 Census provides us with this information for movers between 2010 and 2011. When the data is split into three age groups, 16 to 21, 22 to 30 and 31 to 45 year olds, three distinct trends emerge.
Coventry saw a net inflow of 16 to 21 year olds from all regions in England and Wales apart from the West Midlands. This was dominated by people with A-level qualifications, who most likely were moving for university. Figure 5 shows the resulting net inflow of these young people with the largest net inflow of people with A-level qualifications from London.
Breaking down the net outflow of 22 to 30 year olds by qualification shows that there was a large net outflow of degree holders. Coventry lost degree holders to all regions with the exception of the North East. The largest net loss of degree holders was to London, followed by the West Midlands (Figure 6).
The second wave of degree holders leaving Coventry was of those aged 31 to 45. However, the geography of this net outflow was slightly different from that of the younger age groups. While the city lost degree holders to all regions, by far the largest net loss was to the rest of the West Midlands. The city also experienced net outflows to London, East and the South East but these were smaller than for younger age groups.
Looking again at the wider migration data for the 2009-2015 period, which allows us to look at the movement between local authorities, shows that the majority of these 31 to 45 year olds did not go very far. On a net basis, Nuneaton and Bedworth was the authority that Coventry lost most people to, followed by Rugby and Warwick. This means that the movers remained within commutable distance to Coventry, even if they no longer lived there.
Overall, Coventry experienced a net outflow from the city between 2009 and 2015. Breaking this down adds nuance to the overall picture:
- There was a large net inflow of 16 to 21 year olds to the city. A large share of these were likely to have been students going to university, which is explored in the next section.
- The city experienced a large net outflow of young people with a degree and this was driven by graduates moving to the Greater South East and the rest of the West Midlands.
- There was also a net outflow of degree holders aged 31 to 45. But the largest net outflow was to the rest of the West Midlands, suggesting that they did not move very far.