The Future of Elderly Migration Essay


Studies show that there are different factors that lead to decisions to migrate. Age is a major factor that is involved. Other factors include race, class and gender. Previous studies carried out, seek to determine the causes of migration, the trends in migrations, patterns of migration and the effects on economy and other social behaviors. Migration in the elderly is linked to the changes in family situation especially in Great Britain. The factors here are, the extend to which the elderly are joint to existing house holds, marital status and the relationship with the house holds they want to join. Elderly migration becomes a major concern when the situation comes to a point where there are many older people than the young implying an imbalance or lack of productive age group. Such information can be obtained from population census and other demographic studies and are crucial for effective planning. Most population studies are mandatory for governments planning and such studies should be done regularly and controls for migration can be put in place to ensure that resource allocation is fare enough. Many researchers have concluded that the patterns of migration and factors that determine decisions to migrate differ so much between the young and the old.


Migration at times posses serious problems in urban centers especially in the developing countries where some of the problems include increased crimes rates, lack of employment, housing problem and environmental pollution due to human activities

Factors determining migration decisions differ greatly in among the young and the old. Basically the younger person’s decision may be based on exploratory grounds such as search for employment, while elder people may be looking for affluent places to settle down, for vacation or away from noise. Migration in elderly is linked to changes in family situations in Great Britain (Al-Hamad et al, 1997)

            Other major factors are marital status, relationship with the house hold they want to move with age. Return migration is also another factor though not a strong one since this accounts for only 5% of those who return to their birth places upon retire (Serow, 1978). Return migration refers to a situation where people move back to their places of birth after retiring their jobs. This is also a major migration pattern. Another form of migration common among the elderly is amenity migration; this is when people migrate to affluent places with better climate, or environment such as at the coast. This is common in England. There are temporary migrations that are sometimes difficult in older people late in life that undermine them, these trips like business trips, vacations, seasonal migrations and visiting family friends. This may interfere with their ability to perform basic activities of daily life hence they may prefer not to move.

Reasons for Migration

Several reasons lead to decisions to migrate most of the reasons are personal while others are common, and they include:

Religious reasons.
Racial persecution
Economic deprivation
Poor living conditions
Overpopulation due to increased population growth
Apart from above reasons the elderly may have special reasons to migrate e.g. health concerns, may older people fear migration for the reason that they might fall ill. Another factor is family ties, most older people would like to live with their family members.

Patterns of migration

Step migration
Chain migration

The future of Elderly Migration is a complex topic for study since the determinants are so much diverse as the people are and others are quite personal. However the common factors involved maybe different depending on geographical settings, race, gender, social class and heterogeneity. Information in this text should not be assumed fully satisfactory but as step for further research and findings. Otherwise the future trends in migration can be determined by study of Life Course Principle which involve; timing of lives, linked lives and social ties, variability, personal control and how the past shapes the future from demographic and social attributes.


Al-Hamand A, Flowedev, R. & Hages, R (1997): Environment and planning A. 29(7):

1, 243-255.

Joanne F, Daciuk A & Marshal W.V (2000). Health Concerns as a Determinant to seasonal migration of Elderly Canadians. Netherlands Publishers;-197

Liao T.F & Hrong C. (1993) .The Polish Peasant and Sixth Life Coarse Principle: Polish Sociological Review. Ed Polish sociological Association: 173-185

Serow WJ (1978), Journal of Gerontology; 33(2): 288-295.