Rural Migration
School of Planning, Architecture and Civil Engineering

About Us

Migration is a major social driver of contemporary change in rural areas.  In remote and rural areas the age structure can be imbalanced by a ‘rural exodus’ of younger people. In such places, the maintenance of population levels is generally dependent upon net migration. In most rural regions the direction of migration flows is out of urban areas.

In-migrants to remote and rural parts of the UK are often understood to comprise either retirees, who do not necessarily have a prior connection to the area, and return migrants in their 30s or 40s who move back to raise their own families. However, as transitions from a working life to retirement become increasingly blurred and as rural areas become further connected to urban centres, pre-retired migrants are likely to constitute a third major migration flow to rural areas.

This project aims to advance our understanding of how retirement transitions relate to the movement of people into rural areas of Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. It also considers the complex balance of positive and negative effects these mobilities have on rural communities.