New study to explore the economic and social impacts of migration in Britain

  • Date

    Wed 13 Apr 22

photo of Dr Neli Demireva

War in Ukraine has fuelled further heated debate about immigration in Britain but what’s the real impact on communities with high levels of migration? A researcher in the Department of Sociology at the University of Essex aims to find out.

Dr Neli Demireva will focus on communities that have high concentrations of migrants and minorities, using longitudinal surveys and in-depth case studies to explore how prosperity, cohesion and employment have been affected.

Funded by the Leverhulme Trust, she’ll look at a diverse range of residential areas and workplaces.

At a time when the British Government’s approach to immigration has been described as “hostile” and migration informing debates around the Borders and Immigration Bill, exploring the real impact of migration has never been more important.

Dr Demireva explained: “Places with high concentrations of migrants and minorities often receive negative press. I will identify local areas, and communities with low, stable or rising levels of migration. This project will then use a longitudinal perspective to provide evidence-based knowledge on the socio-economic outcomes of the individuals living in them. Census data, Labour Force Survey, and British Household Panel/Understanding Society data will be used. Five case studies will be identified for in-depth interviews and focus groups.

“It is more important than ever now to provide evidence of the economic and social outcomes of residents of local communities. I will be particularly focussing on ethnic enclaves and local areas with an increasing share of migrants and minorities that are considered to be under pressure, which sit outside the protective shield of the mainstream society but which also happen in many cases to be beleaguered by a range of economic stress factors that present a challenge to integration and social cohesion. In this way, the project will find the reality of life in these communities for all their residents.”