Elderly Migration and Development in Small Communities


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73 Scopus citations


ABSTRACT This paper develops a conceptual model of the process of community change in response to elderly immigration. Analysis of intra‐regional variation in elderly migration patterns in Appalachia, and synthesis of an emergent literature on the benefits and costs of attracting elderly migrants, serve as a backdrop for case studies, based on field observations and interviews, of three contrasting Appalachian communities at different stages of development as retirement destinations. The analyses suggest a temporal model of community development involving overlapping phases of emergence, recognition, restructuring, saturation, and the development of new concerns, as the process of demographic change evolves and its economic, environmental, infrastructural, social, and political correlates become manifest. It is concluded that communities considering attraction of elderly migrants as a development option should carefully consider both the diverse characteristics and needs of potential migrants and the long‐term implications and desirability of the community transformation that results from adopting such a strategy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)509-538
Number of pages30
JournalGrowth and Change
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Global and Planetary Change


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