This is a brief overview of the commuting flow changes presented by the 2011 National Household Survey (NHS) compared to the 2006 Census data for three economically polarizing locations in Elgin, Middlesex and Oxford (EMO) counties: London, St. Thomas, and Woodstock. The major themes dominating the commuting landscape of these locations are:

  • Commuting patterns are influenced by the economic cycles (recession-recovery in our case here) and the industrial structure of the local economy.
  • Smaller cities, like St. Thomas, experienced bigger changes in their commuting patterns than larger cities, like London. Exceptions for smaller cities can be found, i.e. Woodstock.
  • In general, there is a prevalent shift towards longer commuting patterns.
  • Explanations for the 2011 changes could be found in the distribution of the qualifications desired by the local and neighboring markets vs. more remote markets.

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