Unravelling the migration decision-making process: English early retirees moving to rural mid-Wales

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Abstract

There are established migrant reasons to explain rural in-migration. These include quality of life, rural idyll and lifestyle motivations. However, such one-dimensional sound bites portray rural in-migration in overly simplistic and stereotypical terms. In contrast, this paper distinguishes the decision to move from the reason for moving and in doing so sheds new light on the interconnections between different domains (family, work, finance, health) of the migrant's life which contribute to migration behaviour. Focussing on early retirees to mid-Wales and adopting a life course perspective the overall decision to move is disaggregated into a series of decisions. Giving voices to the migrants themselves demonstrates the combination of life events necessary to lead to migration behaviour, the variable factors (and often economic dominance) considered in the choice of destination (including that many are reluctant migrants to Wales), and the perceived 'accidental' choice of location and/or property. It is argued that quality of life, rural idyll and lifestyle sound bites offer an inadequate understanding of rural in-migration and associated decision-making processes. Moreover, they disguise the true nature of migrant decision making.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)161-171
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Rural Studies
Volume34
Early online date23 Feb 2014
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 01 Apr 2014

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