Viewpoint: Why are white British people leaving urban areas?


Dr Gemma Catney is a Leverhulme Trust Early Career Research Fellow in the University of Liverpool’ s Department of Geography and Planning

“Movement away from cities towards suburban and rural areas is a process which has been occurring in Britain for several decades.

“Those who can afford to move may opt to leave city life. The appeal of a larger house, a garden, a nice view, a quieter life for retirement or to raise a family – the rural idyll or life in the ‘burbs’ – is an aspiration for many.

“Internal migration data from the 2011 Census have not yet been released, but previous research has shown that this migration is taking place not only by the White British population, and is common for all ethnic groups. Those with these housing aspirations may choose to migrate, when financial resources permit.

“It is therefore not ‘White Flight’, but rather an economic-specific stream of movement which is not unique to any ethnic group.

“The spaces left by this out-migration from the city may be filled by the next generation of young professionals and students, and the escalator of movement continues.”

Follow Gemma on twitter @gemmacatney

For more information on the news story visit BBC News

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