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The University of Southampton
Economic, Social and Political Sciences

Are Older Migrants in Nairobi 'Returning'?

Published: 12 July 2011 Origin:  Ageing & Gerontology

Centre for Research on Ageing academics join with ESRC Centre for Population Change to explore the determinants of migration in the older age groups.

Circular and return migration between urban and rural areas in Sub-Saharan Africa is not a new phenomenon, however the majority of previous research has focused on labour migration. Rather than focussing on migration among people of working age, this new research carried out by Jane Falkingham , Gloria Langat and Maria Evandrou , explores the determinants of migration in older age groups, recognising that old age also marks a stage in the life course associated with migration.

Investigating out migration of older people from the slums of Nairobi the research found that, on average, the longer an individual had lived in the slum the less likely they were to leave. Being involved in community activities also decreases the likelihood of leaving. Conversely, having an adult child who lives outside the city increased the chance of out-migration. Interestingly, the poorest older people are the most likely to out migrate, emphasising the importance of poverty in asserting a departure.

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