Immigrant business proprietors in England and Wales (1851–1911)

Smith, Harry; Bennett, Robert J. and Van Lieshout, Carry (2019). Immigrant business proprietors in England and Wales (1851–1911). Continuity and Change, 34(2) pp. 253–276.



This article examines the history of immigrant business proprietors in England and Wales between 1851 and 1911. The newly available electronic version of the Census (I-CeM) allows all business proprietors in each Census year to be identified, and provides birthplace information that allows entrepreneurs from different countries to be compared to each other and to business proprietors born in the United Kingdom. Immigrant populations had higher rates of business proprietorship than the English and Welsh-born population. This article argues that this was caused by labour market structure and demography rather than cultural differences between English- and foreign-born business proprietors.

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