01The nature of migration to and from Derby
This section combines migration data from the ONS and the Census to look at migration to and from Derby by age and qualification.
Derby experienced a small net outflow of people
Between 2009 and 2015, 69,990 people moved into Derby from England and Wales and 75,330 moved out. As a result there was a net outflow of 5,340 people from the city. In comparison, Bournemouth experienced the largest net inflow of 15,100 people and London the largest net outflow of 340,300 people. Derby’s neighbour Nottingham also experienced a small net outflow of 1,660 people between 2009 and 2015.
Much of this migration flow was between Derby and the rest of the East Midlands – 43 per cent came from the East Midlands and almost half of those who moved out remained in the region. The result was a considerable net outflow to the rest of the East Midlands between 2009 and 2015, as shown in Figure 1. Beyond the East Midlands, Derby saw a net outflow to the South West, Wales and London and small net inflows from all other regions.
On a city basis, Derby saw its largest net outflow of people to Nottingham whilst the largest net inflows were from Stoke and Sheffield, and this highlights that the majority of migration took place between Derby and its neighbouring cities (see Figure 2).
Derby gains 16 to 21 year olds but loses 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 accounted for 25 per cent of inward migration but only 8 per cent of Derby’s population.
Outward migration is more common than inward migration for all other age groups. Those aged 22 to 25 accounted for 17 per cent of all outward migration and only 6 per cent of population. 31 to 45 year olds accounted for the largest share of outward migration, 22 per cent, and also accounted for a large share of inward migration and population, 20 per cent and 19 per cent respectively. This is different to what we see in large cities, where 22 to 25 year-olds account for the largest share of outward migration.
Every age group experienced a net outflow from Derby except 16 to 21 year olds, as shown in Figure 4. For this age group, the net inflow was equal to 4,680. The largest net outflow was of 2,980 31 to 45 year olds.
Derby loses degree holders, first to the southern regions and second to the rest of East Midlands
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.
Derby saw a net inflow of 16-21 year olds from all regions in England and Wales apart from the North West and the Yorkshire and the Humber, with the biggest net inflow from the West Midlands. Of the 16 to 21 year olds moving to Derby, 64 per cent had A-level qualifications, compared with 59 per cent of those leaving the city. Figure 5 shows the resulting net inflow of these young people. The largest net inflow of people with A-level qualifications occurred from the West Midlands, East Midlands and East. There was also an outflow of A-level holders to the Yorkshire and the Humber, Wales and the North West.
Overall, Derby gained a small number of 22-to-30-year-olds but breaking this down by qualification shows that the reverse was the case for degree holders. Whilst it gained people with a degree in this age group from the Yorkshire and the Humber, North West, North East and East Midlands, it lost degree holders to East, London and South East.
The second wave of degree holders leaving Derby was of those aged 31 to 45. However, the geography of this net outflow was different from that of the younger age groups, with the majority of those leaving the city staying in the East Midlands.
Looking again at the wider migration data for 2009 and 2015, 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, South Derbyshire was the authority that Derby lost most people to, followed by Amber Valley. This means that the movers remained very much within commutable distance to Derby, even if they no longer lived there. There was also a very small net inflow of older graduates from London back to the city.
This trend of older degree holders moving out of a city but staying within commutable distance is common to many UK cities. Previous work by Centre for Cities has shown that those aged between 35 and 54 tend to place more value on the size and type of their houses and access to local schools, leading many to prefer living outside cities.2
Derby experienced an overall small net outflow from the city between 2009 and 2015. But breaking this down shows nuance to the overall picture:
- There was a net inflow of 16 to 21 year olds. Many of these are likely to have been students going to university, which is explored in the next section.
- The city experienced a small net outflow of young people with a degree and this was driven by graduates moving to the Greater South East.
- But there was a larger net outflow of degree holders aged 31 to 45. Though some of these older graduates also moved to the South East, West Midlands and North West, the majority remained in the East Midlands.