Azara Blog: British internal migration switches northward

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Date published: 2005/12/16

The BBC says:

Increasing numbers of people in the UK are moving north in an "unprecedented" reversal of a southward trend seen since at least 1971, say researchers.

House prices were said to be a factor in the decision to sell up and move, and a deterrent to others moving south.

Figures also show an "exodus from the cities" to suburbs and rural areas is showing no sign of abating, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Over a quarter of the UK population lives in London and the South East.

The region and capital city combined house 15.5m people but cover less than a tenth of the UK's land area.

The study also looks at international migration, age structure and fertility rates to help chart population change.

The report said that with around 11% per cent of the population changing address each year, migration within the UK had the potential to cause large shifts in the patterns of where people are living.

Unfortunately demographic (so-called) experts look at data for N years and since the slope is one-way they say of course it will be the same way for the next N years. Other (so-called) experts do the same, with regard to air travel, car usage, etc. Of course it is the easiest prediction to make (and perhaps the one most likely to be true), but nobody ever admits the error bars are large. The (so-called) experts have also not thought through what will happen when all the baby boomers retire. Will the ones living in the London area really want to continue to live there or will they cash in their chips and move to somewhere more salubrious (e.g. the southwest or the north)? And the "exodus from the cities" also makes sense. British cities are rather squalid and the non-urban areas are less so. The ruling elite (protected from the squalor, so not understanding what the fuss is all about) are trying to turn that one around by strangulation of growth via the planning system and also by screwing car drivers.

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