012. The nature of migration to and from Norwich
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 Norwich by age and qualifications.
Most migration is between Norwich, and East Anglia and the eastern half of England
Between 2009 and 2015, 90,010 people moved into Norwich and 88,980 people moved out, resulting in a net inflow of 1,030 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 Norwich and the rest of the East of England: 57 per cent came from the rest of the region and 58 per cent of those who left the city, remained in the East of England, indicating a high level of churn. The result was a considerable outflow to the rest of the region, as shown in Figure 1. Beyond the rest of the East of England, Norwich saw a net outflow to London, the North East and Yorkshire and the Humber. Meanwhile it had net inflows from all the other regions with the largest ones being from the South East and the East Midlands.
City by city, we can see that the largest inflows into Norwich were from Southend, London, Chatham, and Ipswich. The largest outflows were to Sheffield and Cambridge (see Figure 2).
Norwich gains 16 to 21 year olds but loses people in all other age groups
When broken down by age, the patterns of migration varied greatly. Figure 3 shows that 16 to 21 year olds dominated migration patterns: this age group accounted for 8 per cent of the population but 27 per cent of inward migration and 16 per cent of outward migration. Those aged 22 to 25 also played an important role in the migration flows. This group accounted for only 6 per cent of the total population but 22 per cent of outward migration. In comparison, 31to 45 year olds accounted for 19 per cent of population and 20 percent of outward migration. This suggests that age is a key factor for mobility and migration, with younger age groups tending to be more mobile than older ones.
Norwich loses degree holders, mainly to London along with the rest of the East of England and the South East
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 20 and 31 to 45 year olds, three distinct trends emerge.
Norwich saw a net inflow of 16-21 year olds from all regions apart from the North West, Yorkshire and the Humber and Wales, with the rest of the East of England making the largest contribution (see Figure 5). Of the 16 to 21 year olds moving into Norwich, 89 per cent had A-levels compared to 55 per cent of those leaving the city. Figure 5 shows the resulting net inflow of these young people.
As shown in Figure 6 Norwich lost 22 to 30 year olds. Breaking this down by qualification shows that this was driven by degree holders (see Figure 6). While Norwich experienced small net inflows of degree holders from some regions, this was offset by a large net outflow to the Greater South East. The largest net outflow was to London, followed by the rest of the East of England. This suggests that while Norwich is an attractive place to study, young degree holders prefer looking for work in other places in the Greater South East.
There was also a second wave of degree holders leaving Norwich — those aged 31 to 45. But the destinations of this qualified age group looked somewhat different. Norwich gained degree holders from London, the South East and Wales but it lost them to all the other regions. The largest net outflow for this group was to the rest of the East of England (see Figure 7).
Looking again at the wider migration data for 2009 and 2015, which allows us to look at the movement between local authorities, the majority of 31 to 45 year olds did not go very far. On a net basis, nearby Great Yarmouth was the authority that Norwich lost most people, followed by Waveney. This means that the movers remained very much within commutable distance to Norwich, even if they no longer lived there.
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.1
Overall, Norwich experienced a small net inflow of people to the city between 2009 and 2015. Breaking this down shows nuance to the overall picture:
- There was a large inflow of 16 to 21 year olds to the city. Many of these are 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 other parts of the region, or to London and the South East.
- There was also a large net outflow of degree holders aged 31 to 45. Though it gained older graduates from London, the South East and Wales, this was offset by residents moving to the rest of the East of England.