Retiring to rural areas: evidence from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland

Aileen Stockdale, Marsaili MacLeod, Lorna J Philip

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract

Abstract

The role of pre-retirement (50-64 years) mobility in the repopulation of rural areas has received relatively little academic scrutiny from geographers in the European context. This paper deploys the concept of a ‘retirement transition’ (Bures, 2007) to examine how the life-course intersects with attitudes and motives traditionally associated with moves into rural areas. The retirement transition concept refers to the attitudinal and behavioural changes affecting pre-retirement age groups and assumes that the expectation of retirement acts as a catalyst for lifestyle change, including a change of residence. Such migration is commonly associated with rural areas including peripheral areas experiencing demographic decline and which are, connectedly, socially and economically fragile. Using empirical data from a household survey conducted in rural Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, this paper examines whether a ‘retirement transition’ can explain processes of repopulation in peripheral rural areas. It analyses how motives for pre-retirement migration cohere and diverge from other age-cohorts and, through a case study analysis of life-narrative interviews with in-migrants and non-migrants, identifies in what ways socio-cultural expectations and experiences can be important in shaping the processes by which people identify (or dis-identify) with place. This analysis sheds some light on the possible implications of in-migration for the socio-cultural sustainability of remote rural communities.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2010
EventAnnual conference of the Royal Geographical Society with the Institute of British Geographers (2009) - Manchester, United Kingdom
Duration: 24 Jul 200728 Aug 2009

Conference

ConferenceAnnual conference of the Royal Geographical Society with the Institute of British Geographers (2009)
CountryUnited Kingdom
CityManchester
Period24/07/0728/08/09

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