Case Study

UK Internal Migration GCSE Geography Case Study


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!


Japan Tohoku 2011 Earthquake/Tsunami Case Study

Japan Tsunami Devastation 2011

Japan Tsunami Devastation 2011

This is a brief case study with links and information on the Japan Tohoku Earthquake/Tsunami of 11 March 2011


Japan 2011 Earthquake location

Japan 2011 Earthquake location

The earthquake occurred 140km off the coast of Honshu (the largest of the Japanese islands) in Japan.  The focus (sometimes referred to as a hypocentre)  of the earthquake was 32km.

The USGS recorded the information here.

Click here to see an excellent timed interval of the earthquake and the many aftershocks that occurred following the earthquake.

Japan Sendai 2011 Earthquake Location


Japan Earthquake Clock Time

Japan Earthquake Clock Time

Friday 11 March 1446 local time

The earthquake occurred at 2.46pm which resulted in many lives being lost in the initial earthquake due to many office buildings being full as well as busy roads however a large number of lives were saved as it meant that many people were ready to act when the tsunami warning was heard.  Had it been early in the morning many people would have been at home where the chances of their homes collapsing would have been less but then they would probably have responded slowewr to the tsunami warning.  This however is a point of debate.  Please feel free to comment below.

How strong?

The earthquake was originally described as 8.9 on the Richter scale but then later upgraded to 9.0 making it the 4th largest earthquake ever recorded since 1900.  See the article here.


What were the causes?  This is a complex tectonic area.  Japan is located at the boundary between many tectonic plates.

The Sendai earthquake was caused by the Pacific Plate descending beneath Japan at the Japan trench/subduction zone.


  • 15,845 deaths
  • 5,893 injured
  • 3,380 people missing
  • 125,000 buildings damaged or destroyed
  • Heavy damage to roads and railways and other infrastucture
  • Fires
  • Fujinuma Dam collapse
  • 4.4 million households without electricity
  • 1.5 million without water
  • Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant complex shutdown and meltdown – 20km radius evacuated (US Citizens were told to evacuate by at least 80km)
  • Loss estimates £150 billion (US$235)
  • The tsunami broke icebergs off the Sulzberger Ice Shelf in Antarctica, 13,000 kilometres away
  • Along the Pacific Coast of Mexico and South America, tsunami surges were reported, but in most places caused little or no damage.

What Happened Next?

Japan Three Months After the Tsunami

Japan Three Months After the Tsunami

3 months later these pictures from the Boston Globe showed the progress that was being made in the slow clean up.  The before and after pictures are particularly interesting


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