Modelling Multilevel Variations in Distance Moved between Origins and Destinations in England and Wales

Michael Thomas, John Stillwell, Myles Gould

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Using individual records from a large and geographically detailed national research opinion survey, this paper uniquely adopts a multilevel cross-classified statistical framework to demonstrate the relative importance of individual and simultaneous origin/destination contextual (neighbourhood and city region) variations in the distance moved by residential migrants in England and Wales. The model results confirm distinct microlevel variations in the distance moved according to certain key variables such as household income, educational attainment, and housing tenure whilst simultaneously revealing the importance of substantial origin and destination place-based macrogeographic variations. More specifically, the results indicate the extent to which those out-migrants from the main metropolitan cores, together with those in-migrants to the rural/coastal (amenity-rich) destinations, move over considerably longer distances than the average distance of move.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)996–1014
Number of pages19
JournalEnvironment and Planning A
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • residential mobility
  • origin and destination context
  • distance moved
  • cross-classified multilevel model
  • place-based preferences

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