Survey Variable: Region of Residence

The people who answered the Privilege and Participation survey are similar to the population at large in terms of the region in which they currently reside. As we can see in Figure 1 (above, using weighted data), they are spread relatively evenly across England’s nine regions, Wales, and Scotland (panel A). A plurality resides in the South East of England, though this group only constitutes one in seven people (13.7%) and is closely followed in size by those residing in London (12.8%) and the North West (11.1%). Between one in ten and one in eleven people reside in each of the East of England (9.8%), the West Midlands (9.6%), Yorkshire and the Humber (9.3%), the South West (9.0%), and Scotland (8.7%). The smallest groups are those living the East Midlands (6.8%), Wales (5.0%), and the North East (4.2%), each of which constitutes fewer than one in fourteen people.

The people who answered the survey were also asked about where they grew up (panel B) and we can see that the largest group, one in six people (16.8%), did so in the South East of England. One in eight people (12.2%) grew up in the North West and between one in ten and one in twelve grew up in London (10.3%), Yorkshire and the Humber (9.3%), the West Midlands (9.0%), and Scotland (8.6%). Fewer than one in twelve people grew up in the South West (7.8%), fewer than one in sixteen did so in the East Midlands (6.1%), and one in twenty or fewer grew up in the East of England (5.1%), the North East (4.7%), Wales (4.5%), and Northern Ireland (0.6%). The region with the largest gap between current and childhood residence is the East of England, where one in ten people are resident but only one in twenty grew up. By contrast, whilst one in seven people currently reside in the South East of England, more than one in six people grew up there.[1]

Finally, roughly one in twenty people (4.8%) grew up outside the United Kingdom, either in Europe (2.2%) or elsewhere in the world (2.6%). In this respect, as with the related concept of ethnicity, the survey under-represents key minorities within the population. In the wider population a far larger group, constituting one in seven people (14.0%), grew up outside the United Kingdom. Thus, whilst the survey is representative of the population in terms of where they currently live, it does a much worse job of representing where they grew up. This is reflective of a wider issue with the survey, which is representative of the population on only a small number of specific ways. Whilst this is less of a problem for our investigation of the relationships between variables, it does mean that we should be particularly cautious when making descriptive inferences about the population based on other things that the survey measures.


[1] Part of this discrepancy may stem from people misattributing the place where they grew up (e.g., around the Thames Estuary) to the South East rather than the East of England.

Published by joegreenwoodhau

Joe Greenwood-Hau is a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow in the School of Government & Public Policy at the University of Strathclyde, where he works on the Capital, Privilege and Political Participation in Britain and Beyond project.

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