Impact of children's residential (im)mobility on migration in later life

Residential mobility characterises contemporary society. Within Britain in an average year, at least one person in every ten will move house (2001 Census). Children today are growing up in a mobile society. Traditionally, residential mobility has been associated with (economic) opportunity and upward social mobility.

However, the meanings, experiences and implications of residential mobility are changing, in particular in relation to two social shifts: changes in family, family structures and fertility (second demographic transition), and the ‘global’ economic downturn.

Very little is known about migration of children within Britain, or the impacts of moving in childhood. Thus, this project will address the following questions:

  1. What are the characteristics of residentially mobile and immobile children (class,gender, ethnicity, place, family structure)?

  2. Is residential mobility during childhood associated with residential mobility in later life?

  3. Can differences be observed in later life socio-economic outcomes (education, employment, class) between those with residentially mobile life courses and those with residentially immobile life courses?

This project uses the British Cohort Study 1970 and is intended to provide a foundation for a larger project looking at migration across the lifecourse and its consequences.


  • British Academy Small Grant

Grant amount


Manchester people

  • Nissa Finney

Affiliates and partners

  • Dr Naomi Tyrrell (Plymouth University)