Railways and Migration in England and Wales, 1845-1914

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  • Concentration: the main trend of population change during the nineteenth century was the increasing concentration in urban centers.
    • This trend is indicated , for example, in the pattern of change due to net migration in the decade 1851-1861.
    • On the map for this period, the London area, in particular, shows the building concentration in most districts due to in -migrration.
    • A few districts foreshadow a later trend of dispersion
  • Dispersion: by the beginning of the 20th century, a new pattern of dispersion begins to take hold, as urban populations shift from central to outlying districts. In the later maps, dispersion is particularly in evidence in
    • in the North, from Hartepool on the eastern coast to Liverpool on the western coast
    • in Greater London and the Southeast.
  • The importance of rail: this dispersion was greatly facilitated by railways (and tramways), for the extension of rail and the introduction of inexpensive "communting service" permitted permitted people to live further from their places of work.

From Concentration to Dispersion:
Population Change due to Net Migration
1851-61 and 1901-1911

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