Exploring the household impacts of migration in Britain using panel survey data

Publication type

Journal Article


Publication date

June 1, 2006


This paper explores the relationship between migration and household formation drawing on British panel data. The starting point is a hypothesis that migration might be associated with higher rates of separate household formation. The paper asks whether this is the case, how this comes about, and why. Using data from the British Household Panel Survey (BHPS), this paper assesses this link and explores two distinct approaches to measuring it based on household headship rates and household transitions. Descriptive data show an apparently strong link, at least for younger age groups. The transitions approach provides more insights into how migration affects different kinds of household-changing events. The paper offers hypotheses about possible causal effects, and goes on to use multivariate models to explain the levels of and changes in household status in a simultaneous framework. It finds that the apparent association between new household formation and migration reflects both common background factors underlying general mobility and unmeasured selection or experience factors that may act causally in both directions, while also identifying distinct factors more specifically associated with migration or new household formation.

Published in

Regional Studies


Volume: 40 (8):907-926



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