Iron Cove, near Padstow Cornwall

London Eye

A student emailed me with a request for a case study on internal migration in an MEDC. This got me thinking about the reasons people might leave beautiful Cornwall for busy London/South East.  There are a range of push and pull factors.


  • PUSH Factor = The reasons why people leave a place
  • PULL Factor = The reasons why people are attracted to a place

“Push” factors from Cornwall – Why People Leave

  • Only seasonal tourism jobs available – Think of all those lifeguards, restaurant workers, souvenir shops only open for 6 months of the year. Newquay’s population soars from 25,000 to as much as 100,000 between Easter and September
  • Low paid jobs – minimum wage and little overtime –  Average salary – £17,628 – Good if dated article here –  BBC 2005
  • House prices too high – Second home ownership is pushing up the price of homes in COrnwall – See this BBC article here
  • Fewer opportunities – Not the range of jobs available
  • Not as many services e.g. specialised hospitals, entertainment, sports facilities (Cornwall has no League football team! – The nearest is Plymouth Argyle)
  • Fairly isolated and lack of a motorway – Only the A30 which is only dual carriageway until Truro

“Pull” factors of South East/London – Why People are attracted to London

  • Well paid work – Average salary is £33,634 – See the graph here
  • Greater number of jobs and opportunities
  • Good communications – motorway links, airports (Gatwick, Heathrow, City)
  • Cultural / Social attractions (galleries, theatres, restaurants etc… especially in London)

Negative effects on Cornwall:

  • Less money in local economy
  • Brain drain of educated individuals
  • Services closed
  • Crime increase
  • Ageing population – Many young people leave 

Positive effects on Cornwall

  • More jobs for those left
  • Government assistance – cheaper for new businesses to set up in Cornwall

Negative effects on South East:

  • Overcrowding
  • Traffic congestion
  • Higher house prices

Hope this helps!  Any more suggestions are welcome!