Research locations


Sheffield is in South Yorkshire, on the edge of the Peak District. It is the second-largest city in the Yorkshire and the Humber region with a population of 582,500 people (Migration Yorkshire 2019) and it is well connected, by rail and road, to other cities in the region. 

It is built on seven hills, 61% of the city is green space and most residential areas in Sheffield are built on hillsides, with views into the city centre or out to the countryside.

The city of Sheffield played a crucial role in the industrial revolution and is built on the success of the steel industry. The demise of the steel industry in Sheffield from the 1970s has meant that the area has experienced significant socio-economic difficulties, particularly in the north and east of the city. The legacy of the steel industry is, however, celebrated and lives on in the ‘steel city’.

Sheffield has a lively, and growing, cultural scene that includes music, drama, and contemporary visual arts. The Crucible Theatre is a notable landmark in the city centre, and the Millennium Museum hosts collections that mark Sheffield’s historic reputation for skilled craftmanship in metalwork, craft and design. 

The steel industry, as well as the city’s two universities, have brought people from around the world to Sheffield and it became the UK’s first City of Sanctuary in 2007. 

As a result of both old and new migrations the city’s population is ethnically diverse, and this has increased in recent years; the number of people living in Sheffield that were born outside the UK increased from approximately 6% (30,700) in 2001, to 13% (78,000) in 2018 (Migration Yorkshire 2014; Migration Observatory 2018). 

People (and their families) migrate to Sheffield for many reasons. This may be for a short period of time (for example, as a student), or for longer periods of time, and to find employment opportunities, or to seek refuge from conflict and persecution.

Read more about our other research location, Hull.