European Journal of Population

, Volume 31, Issue 2, pp 207–230 | Cite as

Between Flows and Places: Using Geodemographics to Explore EU Migration Across Neighbourhoods in Britain

  • Albert SabaterEmail author


During the past decade, the growing significance of EU migrants in Britain has attracted considerable media and policy attention. While the rhetoric and public policy debate has focused on national and regional levels, surprisingly, little is known about the emerging settlement patterns of EU migrants at the local level. This paper sheds some light on this important issue by exploring the socio-spatial characteristics of the places of destination/residence of EU migrants and, in doing so, reveals the extent to which the concentration-dispersal framework applies to their settlement pattern. To evaluate whether and in what ways EU migrants have settled across neighbourhoods in Britain, 2001 and 2011 census estimates as well as geodemographic data are used. The findings suggest that EU migrants have consolidated their national presence in Britain because of their growing numbers and unprecedented geographical dispersal. While EU migrants’ settlement does not seem to translate into strong clustering patterns, diverging socio-spatial experiences are found among the largest groups (Polish, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish).


EU migrants Socio-spatial experiences Geodemographics Britain 



Census output is Crown copyright, and all tables containing Census data, and the results of analysis, are reproduced with the permission of the Controller of Her Majesty’s Stationery Office and the Queen’s Printer for Scotland. The author alone is responsible for the interpretation of the data. The author is grateful to David McCollum Sharon Leahy and Georgina Lloyd for helpful comments on earlier drafts of this paper and to two anonymous reviewers for their useful insights and suggestions.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Geography and GeosciencesUniversity of St AndrewsSt AndrewsScotland, UK
  2. 2.Department of Geography and Sustainable Development, ESRC Centre for Population ChangeUniversity of St AndrewsSt AndrewsScotland, UK

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