Working Structure and Commuting Patterns in Ostwestfalen-Lippe

Study developed by Elifcan and Luiza Maciel, both international interns, respectively from Turkey and Brazil.

This work is an analysis of the working structure and commuting pattern within Ostwestfalen-Lippe (formal: Detmold region; German: Regierungsbezirk Detmold). Maps are the visualization of the data that contains total number of inbound and outbound commuters for each municipality in the region. Maps were created by utilizing QGIS and the application Flow Mapper[1].

The data was taken from IT.NRW. Existing data is consisting of five different data sets for all municipalities in the Detmold Region:

  • Total number of employments in municipalities,
  • Total population employed in their own municipality or another,
  • Number of people who are commuting into the municipalities,
  • Number of people who are commuting out of the municipalities,
  • Net number of outbound and inbound commuting per municipality

Additionally, statistics are indicated into two categories as male and female employees for each municipality.

According to Marvakov and Mathä (2007), “commuting provides the spatial link between the location of residence and the location of work”. The fundamental principle of commuting lies in the idea that commuting costs need to be compensated by either cheaper housing or higher wages (“compensation principle”).

Marvakov and Mathä (2007) affirm that previously studies have confirmed that “commuting is positively related to the labour force in the origination region and the employment in the destination region, and negatively to the travel costs or distance between them”.  According to Marvakov and Mathä (2007, as quoted in:  Benito and Oswald, 2000; Hazans, 2004) commuting time or distance increases together with the level of educational attainment and a person with higher education is more likely to commute.

Considering the bibliographical references consulted about commuting, a research about the daily displacements of the population of the Detmold Region was carried out.

Figure 1 displays the overall number of employments in municipalities. It is easy to identify that municipalities such as Bielefeld, Paderborn, Gütersloh and Minden have the largest number of employments within the region. However, municipalities such as Willebadessen, Marienmünster and Nieheim have very few jobs comparing to the rest of region. However, it is important to investigate the relationship between number of employments and municipality’s overall population.

As shown in Figure 2, Willebadessen, Altenbeken, Petershagen, Nieheim, Schieder-Schwalenberg have few job opportunities compared to population size. In addition to this, Halle, Verl, Lübbecke, Gütersloh and Herford have remarkably bigger employment to population ratios than the other areas. Bielefeld has a quite large population, so this is the reason why, although it has the largest job offer in the region, it does not stand out so much when compared to its population size. The same happens, to a lesser degree, with Paderborn and Minden.

Figure 1: Number of Employments

Figure 2: Employment to Population (2013) Ratio

Figure 3 shows the net commuting number of works in Detmold Region (incommuters minus outcommuters). It has been obtained by subtracting the number of workers who are commuting out of the municipality from number of workers who are commuting into the municipality. Negative numbers are indicated in shades of grey colour whereas positive numbers are shown in shades of orange colour.

The result (Figure 3) show that, in comparison to the number of outcommuters, Bielefeld is the municipality which has the largest number of commuters who are coming in to work, followed by Paderborn, Gütersloh and Minden. Nevertheless, Petershagen and Lage are the municipalities with the largest number of outcommuting in comparison to incommuting.

Figure 3: NET Commuting Number of Workers

A analyse with the Flow Mapper application allows to identify from where in Ostwestfalen-Lippe people are commuting to Bielefeld. Flow lines with values less than 400 have been filtered and therefore are not visible on maps.

As shown in Figure 1, most of the commuters live in Oerlinghausen (5312 daily commuters), Herford (4599 daily commuters), Schloß Holte-Stukenbrock (3588 daily commuters), Steinhagen (3287 daily commuters) and Leopoldshöhe (3131 daily commuters). All these municipalities are bordering Bielefeld and are smaller both in terms of population and area.

It’s important to mention, though, that there are some cities more distant to Bielefeld that have a large number of daily commuters, such as Paderborn (2163 daily commuters) and Minden (795 daily commuters), which are distant 47 km and 49 km, respectively, from Bielefeld. These people probably spend around 80 minutes[2] commuting every day (going and coming back to the municipality they live).

Figure 4: Daily Commuters to Bielefeld

Figure 5 shows from where in Ostwestfalen-Lippe people are commuting to Paderborn. Salzkotten (3647 daily commuters), Borchen (3160 daily commuters), Delbrück (3076 daily commuters) and Bad Lippspringe (2803 daily commuters) are the municipalities with the largest number of daily commuters to Paderborn. All these municipalities are bordering Paderborn and are smaller both in terms of population and area. It’s also important to mention that there are a lot of commuters from Höxter, Gütersloh, Bielefeld, and Warburg, which are quite distant from Paderborn (around 55 km, 49 km, 47 km and 45 km, respectively).

Figure 5: Daily Commuters to Paderborn

Gütersloh is ranking third of all municipalities in Ostwestfalen-Lippe in regard to the largest number of NET commuting workers. As shown in Figure 6, the majority of daily commuters come from Bielefeld (5782 daily incommuters) and Rheda-Wiedenbrück (4355 daily incommuters), cities that are really close to Gütersloh.

Figure 6: Daily Commuters to Gütersloh

The fourth municipality with the largest number of daily commuters – in comparison to people commuting out – is Minden and, as can be seen in Figure 7, it polarizes only the municipalities of its immediate surroundings and especially of its own district (Minden-Lübbecke). Most of the commuters come from Porta Westfalica (4718 daily commuters) and Petershagen (4340 daily commuters).

The results demonstrate that Minden exerts a strong polarity in the Minden-Lübbecke District and that there is a relation of dependence between the municipalities of that district. Thus, roughly speaking, many jobs in Minden are occupied by people from neighboring municipalities, and Minden’s own population, who are probably in search of better job offers, are employed in Bielefeld, a quite distant municipality.

Figure 7: Daily Commuters to Minden

As shown in Figure 3, Petershagen and Lage are the municipalities with the largest number of outcommuting, in comparison to people commuting in. A analyse of the flow lines allows to identify where to in Ostwestfalen-Lippe people are commuting from Petershagen and Lage.

Figure 8 confirms what was discussed previously about the polarity exerted by Minden for the other municipalities of its region, in particular Petershagen.

Figure 9 shows that most of outcommuters from Lage are commuting to Detmold (3288 daily commuters). Also Bielefeld, Lemgo and Bad Salzuflen receive a lot of employees from Lage every day.

Figure 8: Daily Commuters from Petershagen

Figure 9: Daily Commuters from Lage

The following research is finding the ratio of incommuters to population and of outcommuters to population (2013).

What motivated the analysis about incommuters was identifying municipalities that, by receiving a large number of daily trips for work purposes, should have the incommuters considered in its urban planning in order to offer services to a larger amount of people than its official population, once they demand extra infrastructure (hydrographic structure, sanitary structure, road structure etc.). In the literature, the incommuters are also called “floating population”[3]. As shown in Figure 10, Halle is the city that deserves more attention, as well as Lübecke, Blomberg, Verl, Kirchlengern and Herford. These municipalities daily receive a lot of people in comparison to their population and had already been highlighted in previous maps (overall number of jobs and NET commuters).

The analysis of outcommuters, on the other hand, aims to identify dormitory cities (also known as commuter towns, exurbs, or bedroom towns). A dormitory city is a town in which its residents normally work elsewhere. In this study, these cities have a high number of outcommuters in comparison to the number of inhabitants, indicating that there is a possibility that these cities shall remain empty during the day, with underutilized infrastructure and possible impacts to the local economy. Figure 11 shows that the municipalities where there is a big ratio of outcommuters to population are: Langenberg, Marienmünster, Enger, Rödinghausen, and Hille.

In addition, Figure 12 shows the overall number of commuters (considering both incommuters and outcommuters) in relation to the population of 2013. The purpose of this map is to highlight the municipalities in which there is a greater exchange of people, both leaving and entering the municipality. According to the map, Halle, Verl and Kirchlengern are the municipalities with the biggest ratio of commuters to population. Bielefeld, on the other hand, has the smallest ratio.

Figure 10: Ratio of commuting-in to population

Figure 11: Ratio of commuting-out to population

Figure 12: Ratio of overall number of commuters to population

Figure 13 investigates and compares the numbers of female employees to male employees in municipalities. While blue shades are showing the municipalities with the majority of men workers, red shades are displaying the ones with majority of women employees. Findings support that in Bad Driburg, Halle, Horn-Bad Meinberg, Detmold, Bad Lippspringe, Bad Oeynhausen there are more women workers than men workers. Yet, number of men workers are greater in the rest of the region, highlighting Verl, Lichtenau, Borgholzhausen, Harsewinkel, Schloß Holte-Stukenbrock and Leopoldshöhe.

Figure 13: The Ratio of Male to Female Employment

[1] Flow Mapper is a free and open source software for flow mapping that is fully integrated to QGIS, a desktop GIS application. It was developed by Naim Cem Güllüoğlu in 2014. | Güllüoğlu, C., 2008, Development of free and open source software for flow mapping integrated to Geographic Information Systems, Geodetic and Geographic Information Technologies Department, Middle East Technical University, 2014, Ankara, Turkey.

[2] According to the Google Maps computational tool, using car.

[3] Population can be categorized into two groups: the residents – who live permanently in the city and are part of the official population count, and the floating population – who are in the area but do not live there permanently and are not considered part of the official census count.

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