March 29, 2017 | News | Suessmilch Lecture

Family ties, internal migration and immobility

On April 6, 2017, Clara H. Mulder from the University of Groningen, the Netherlands, will give a lecture at the MPIDR. She will present a new perspective on internal migration which takes into account that not only work and education but also family ties have an impact on the mobility of people.


Research on internal migration within western countries has generally relied on the premise that internal migration is mainly related to work and education and generally leads to favorable labor-market outcomes – particularly for men. Significantly, this premise overlooks an important factor: the role of family outside the household (parents, children, siblings, prospective co-residential partners) in deciding on whether and where to relocate. In this lecture I propose a novel perspective on internal migration and immobility: the family ties perspective.  I will clarify the concepts underlying this family ties perspective and will propose an agenda for research employing it.

About the speaker

Clara H. Mulder is professor of Demography at the Department of Geography of the University of Groningen and head of the Population Research Centre at the same university. Her research interests include households and housing, residential relocations, household formation and dissolution, home-ownership, and family relations. She has recently been awarded an Advanced Grant from the European Research Council (ERC) for the project ‘Family ties that bind: A new view of internal migration, immobility and labour-market outcomes’. She is co-ordinating Principal Investigator of the project ‘Partner relationships, residential relocations and housing in the life course’ (PartnerLife;, a collaborative project with the Universities of Cologne and St. Andrews. She is also joint editor of the scientific journal ‘Population, Space and Place’.

Time and Venue

Thursday, April 6, 2017, 3 p.m., in the Institute's Auditorium

The Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (MPIDR) in Rostock is one of the leading demographic research centers in the world. It's part of the Max Planck Society, the internationally renowned German research society.