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Migrant Populations Approaching Old Age: Prospects in Europe

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The 1950s was the crucial decade for the initiation of mass migration in postwar Europe. By 1960 many countries of North-West Europe had witnessed the establishment of what were to become significant communities of immigrant origin. Although a number of the early migrants have since returned to their places of origin, considerable numbers remain in their migratory destinations. They constitute a population sub-group that has recently approached retirement age and where the further ageing of the migratory cohort will be of particular significance over the next decade. This study considers the demographic legacy of mass migration in Europe, paying particular attention to the age structure of the immigrant populations. The paper considers the projection of immigrant age structures in a number of countries over the period to 2010. It is shown that the numbers of older first-generation migrants are set to increase very considerably, but with some variations between groups. The paper ends with a consideration of the significance of such demographic evolution for areas such as health and social services support.

Keywords: Ageing; Immigrants; Population Projections; Western Europe

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: November 1, 2006

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