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Retirement migration

Migration A–Z


  1. Per Gustafson

Published Online: 4 FEB 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781444351071.wbeghm452

The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration

The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration

How to Cite

Gustafson, P. 2013. Retirement migration. The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration. .

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 4 FEB 2013


Retired persons migrate for several different reasons, even though the migration rate in general is lower for retirees than among younger persons (Bradley & Longino 2009). One common form of retiree migration is the return migration of former labor migrants to their previous home countries or home regions. Another form can be described as family-oriented migration, as retired parents move in order to be close to their children (Warnes 2009). However, in academic discourse, the term retirement migration, or sometimes international retirement migration (IRM), primarily refers to amenity-oriented migration among retired persons from the Western world who move, permanently or temporarily, to new home places in search for an improved quality of life (King et al. 2000; Migration Policy Institute 2006).


  • Central America;
  • globalization;
  • immigration;
  • postcolonialism;
  • social change