Migration case study: Poles to the UK

I have summarised this case study in 4 short videos.

Introduction to the case study:

Impacts on source region

Impacts on host regions

The future…..

Social and economic factors affecting population and migration in the UK

Social and economic factors affecting population and migration… (UK)



Population factors

  1. Infant mortality increased
  2. Increased number of women in the workforce
  3. Increased divorce rates
  4. Medical advancements have increased
  5. The acceptance and availability of contraception have increased
  6. Women are having children later
  7. Fashion/Lifestyles have changed
  8. People are more aware of health
  1. Increased and improved education and training
  2. The cost of raising children has increased
  3. The need for children has decreased
  4. There was a depression in the 1930s
  5. A global recession in 2008 (oil crisis)
  6. Better economic incentives elsewhere compared to kids
  7. It is more profitable and economical for women to work rather than have kids.


  1. We have an ageing population.
  2. Our birth rate has decreased
  3. Our death rate has fallen too
  4. Natural increase has fallen too
  5. The replacement level has reduced too

Migration factors

  1. English is claimed to be a universal language
  2. The UK once had a large empire hence it has  many colonial links
  3. There are also many ethic enclaves which influence friends and families decisions to migrate
  4. More displaced persons due to conflicts such as the war in Iraq
  5. “Health tourists” are becoming popular
  6. We have a generous welfare system
  7. Has the world’s best universities and people are reluctant to go back after studying
  1. The EU has a free movement of labour act with A8 and A2 countries
  2. Exchange rates means that sometimes people can earn 10 times as much in the UK than elsewhere
  3. There is political stability in the UK
  4. Economic migrants are popular
  5. Remunerations and child benefits even if the child is in the source country are easy to access
  6. The retirement age is increasing in the UK


  1. Immigration has increased
  2. Emigration of economically active people have fallen
  3. Net immigration
  4. Immigrants manly from EU sources (esp. Eastern Europe)
  5. The ageing population are migrating to spain

Case Study: Britons Migrate to Spain


This case study looks at the ‘Sun-seeking’ migrants from the UK to Spain. These are generally retired citizens. The tend to settle in locations such as Valencia, Andalucia and Galica


Pull Factors

  • It is financially cheap to migrate to Spain because of the value of the pound against the euro.
  • Mediterranean climate
  • Easy access through cheap flights, Eurostar etc.
  • The lifestyle of Spanish people particularly in the South attract many people.
  • Health care tends to be better in Spain than the UK 
  • Availability of leisure and recreational facilities in Spain e.g. Gardening
  • The Spanish landscape is prettier than the British one
  • Work or business connections may already exist there
  • The development of tourism has increased awareness of the destination attracting people there
  • Taxes are lower

Push Factors

  • The language can be difficult to grasp leaving some isolated.
  • Antipathy towards Britain and its politics
  • Higher retirement age
  • Life expectancy rates are higher in spain – people are said to be more fit and healthy there
  • Increased crime rates towards the elderly in the UK
  • Lack of space, congestion and poor environmental quality



  • Ethnic enclaves in places like Valencia can lead to tensions between locals and migrants and sometimes even racism.  
  • If migrants try to get involved in local politics or make significant impacts on the local area this can lead to resentment from locals as many of them may be patriotic.
  • House prices increase die to excess demand from Britons. This upsets many locals and furthers tensions between them.
  • Visual, noise and air pollutions will increase
  • Land development on coastal regions can destroy coasts and biodiversity.
  • Puts strain on water systems especially in semi-arid places putting pressure on the government.
  • Flood risk is increased due to this development. This puts pressure on the government to invest in defence etc. This is particularly hard for the government as there are increasing global pressure to be environmental friendly.


  • Through the Grey Pound, Spain’s economy gets a boost and this helps with job creation etc.
  • It also makes Spain’s resources more valuable e.g. large unproductive scrubland become valuable land to be build on.



  • The spending of the grey pound which stimulates the economy 
  • Loose out on the possible education opportunities grandparents can provide. They can also provide care allowing mothers to get back into work quickly
  • Family breakup, as Grandparents move away (loss of potential childcare)
  • Loss of highly experienced workforce especially if they retire early


  • Balance Britain’s top heavy population structure
  • It is a way of exporting issues such as more healthcare for the retired
  • Relieves pressure of resources such as land e.g. less pressure on greenfield sites to build new homes


In the past it was possible to sell of a house in the UK and buy one in Spain easily but the slumping of the pound against the Euro and the collapse of the housing market in Spain has made this difficult. This now become a push factor leading a fall in the number of sun seeking migrants.

However, this isn’t a long-term problem relatively because once the UK became financially strong again the pound will strengthen and people will continue to migrate to Spain. One of the reasons for this is technology. Technology has allowed us to created and interconnected world. For example the internet has made it easier to communicate with people and research places. Firms which exist in more than one country can help people with moving. One of the reasons why firms like this can exist is technology!