A Spatial and Temporal Analysis of Immigrant Behavior in Northern Orkney, 1851-1901

Corey S Sparks, Pennsylvania State University

Many times historical demographic studies overlook migration, despite its primary role in human population dynamics. This study focuses on pre-industrial migration patterns and migrant behavior in two ways. The first analyzes the spatial and temporal dimensions of population movement within a small rural setting and the second analyzes how the fertility of immigrants within this setting differs from the non-migrant population. The data used are geo-coded decennial census returns for the parish of Westray, Orkney from the period 1851 to 1901 combined with data on settlement structure and local environmental variability. Results indicate that migrants are drawn to areas with low population densities and higher migrant populations, and the movement varies over time and space. Also, migrant status has a negative impact on period net fertility relative to non-migrants after controlling for household demographic and socioeconomic variables.

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Presented in Poster Session 6: Migration, Urbanization, Neighborhood and Residential Context