Micro-Mobility in Flux: Municipal Migration Levels in the Provinces of Flanders and Antwerp, 1796-1846

Anne Winter, Nick Deschacht

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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In this paper we use new, unique data on population composition and socio-economic structure for the c. 670 municipalities of the Belgian provinces of East Flanders, West Flanders and Antwerp in 1796, 1815 and 1846, in order to gain insight into the changing patterns of local migration intensity from the late eighteenth to the mid-nineteenth century. Although so-called micro-mobility is often disregarded in migration studies, this paper argues that a spatial and diachronic analysis of local migration rates provides insight into dynamics of social and economic change in relation to migration behaviour. The data show that the proportion of non-native residents varied strongly in accordance with different regional economies at the end of the eighteenth century, but that spatial variation declined markedly as overall migration rates converged on a higher average level by the mid-nineteenth century – leading to a re-interpretation of the mobility transition hypothesis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-30
Number of pages30
JournalJournal of Migration History
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 26 Apr 2019


  • Belgium
  • Eighteenth Century
  • Micro-mobility
  • Migration History
  • Mobility Transition
  • Nineteenth Century
  • Population censuses

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