The Retirement Transition and the Celtic Fringe: Mobility Trends and Migrant and Rural Community Well-being?

The current project seeks evidence of a ‘retirement transition’ affecting the mobility patterns of the 50 to 64-year-old age group within the UK’s Celtic fringe. The retirement transition concept refers to the behavioural changes affecting pre-retirement age groups and assumes that the expectation of retirement acts as a catalyst for change, including a change of residence. Such migration in the UK is commonly associated with peripheral and scenically attractive areas. Accordingly, the project focuses on rural areas of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The research project has two main aims. Firstly, to examine the ‘retirement transition’ concept and secondly, to evaluate its consequences for an ageing society, individual migrants and rural destination communities. The methodology involves four main phases (including household surveys, postal surveys and interviews). However, the phase of the methodology which is of concern to this application is the secondary analysis of Census datasets. This is required in order to explore the migration patterns of the 50 to 64-year-old age cohort and to identify case study areas in which surveys and interviews will be distributed/conducted. The datasets of interest to this research project include the Census 2001 data, the Special Migration Statistics (SMS), the Origin-Destination Statistics, the Samples of Anonymised Record’s (SAR’s) and longitudinal surveys for Northern Ireland (NILS), Scotland (SLS) and Wales (E & WLS).



Stockdale, A. and Catney, G. (2014) A Life Course Perspective on Urban–Rural Migration: the Importance of the Local Context. Population, Space and Place doi: 10.1002/psp.1758.

Other Outputs:

Catney, G. (2012) ‘Urban to Rural Migration in Northern Ireland: A lifecourse perspective’ – presented at the Third Biennial British-Irish Population Geography Conference, Queen’s University Belfast, 18 April 2012.

Research Team: Aileen Stockdale and Gemma Catney
Database: NILS
Project Status: Complete
Organisation(s): Queen’s University Belfast