Connected life-courses: influences on and experiences of 'midlife' in-migration to rural areas

Aileen Stockdale, Marsaili MacLeod, Lorna Philip

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)


This paper aims to contribute to the theorisation
of midlife migration into rural areas. Although
the factors influencing migration are known to
be variable at different stages of a person’s life,
much less well understood is how migration
decisions at different stages of the life course
are connected and how post-migration
experiences may be influenced by an earlier life
course stage. We argue that midlife migration
decisions are the product of the migrant’s
lifetime experiences and influences up until
that stage in their life alongside their
expectations and aspirations for future life
course stages. Using a case study of the Glens of
Antrim (Northern Ireland), this paper
specifically demonstrates the role of childhood
memories to explain midlife migration to a
rural area. In doing so, it argues that some
findings more commonly associated with
second-generation transnational migration are
also equally relevant to migration within the
UK. Roots migration and place attachment
alongside the midlife migrant’s post-migration
sense of belonging and permanency are found
to be influenced by the migrant’s earlier
memories, behaviours, and experiences.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)239-257
Number of pages19
JournalPopulation, Space and Place
Issue number3
Early online date1 Mar 2012
Publication statusPublished - May 2013


  • midlife migration
  • retirement transition
  • rural areas
  • childhood memories
  • identity and belonging
  • Northern Ireland


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