Small town residents more likely to move

by Steve Randall09 Jul 2018

People from small towns are far more likely to move than those in large cities according to an academic study.

University College London researchers looked at internal migration patterns across the US. They found that residents in smaller cities (fewer than 100,000 population) are twice as likely to migrate as those from large cities (more than 10 million population).

But they are not seeking the bright lights of a big city, as the study found that migrants from both small and large cities tend to move to cities of a similar size.

"The results could have an impact on future integration policies as governments can more accurately predict where citizens are likely to move from and to within their country,” said lead researcher UCL PhD student Rafael Prieto Curiel (UCL Mathematics).

The researchers found that international migration follows a different pattern, with individuals more likely to head to a large city where they are perhaps more likely to find jobs, housing and other people of a similar culture. More data on the origins of international migrants is needed to extend this work.

The report is published in open access journal PLOS ONE.

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