Traditionally, the emotional attachment older adults have to their homes and the economic and health burden caused by residential moves have had a deterrent effect on mobility during old age. In spite of this static general trend, 20% of older Europeans change their residential location after the age of 65. Some studies point out that this percentage will increase in the coming decades along with the onset of baby-boom cohorts reaching older ages. The main objective of this article is to describe the residential mobility trends during old age in some European countries and identify the main features of those elderly that move after 65, using data from the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE).


residential mobility, older adults, Continental Europe




ALLEN, J., BARLOW, J., LEAL, J., MALOUTAS, T. and PADOVANI, L. (2004), Housing and Welfare in Southern Countries, Oxford: Blackwell.

ARBER, S. and EVANDROU, M. (1997), ‘Mapping the Territory. Ageing, Independence and Life Course’, [in:] ARBER, S. and EVANDROU, M. (eds.), Ageing, Independence and Life Course, London: Kingsley, British Society of Gerontology.

BLOEM, B., TILBURG, T. and THOMÉSE, F. (2008), ‘Residential Mobility in Older Dutch Adults’, International Journal of Ageing and Later Life, 1, pp. 21–44.

BOELHOUWER, P. and HEIDEN, H. van der (1993), ‘Housing Policy in Seven European Countries: The Role of Politics in Housing’, Journal of Housing and Built Environment, 8 (4).

BONVALET, C. and OGG, J. (2008), ‘The Housing Situation and Residential Strategies of Older People in France’, Ageing and Society, 28, pp. 753–777.

BOYCE, A., WETHINGTON, E. and MOEN, P. (2003), ‘Continuity and Change in Well-Being’, [in:], KROUT, J. A. and WETHINGTON, E. (eds.), Residential Choices and Experiences of Older Adults. Pathways to Life Quality, New York: Springer.

BUTLER, A. (1986), ‘Housing and the Elderly in Europe’, Social Policy and Administration, 20 (2), pp. 136–152.

CASTLE, N. (2001), ‘Relocation of the Elderly’, Medical Care Research and Review, 58, pp. 291–333.

CLAPHAM, D. (2005), The Meaning of Housing. A Pathways Approach, Bristol: Policy Press.

CLARK, W. A. V. and DIELEMAN, F. (1996), Households and Housing. Choices and Outcomes in the Housing Market, New Brunswick: Centre for Urban Policy Research.

CLARK, W., DEURLOO, M. and DIELEMAN, F. (2003), ‘Housing Careers in the United States, 1968–1993. Modelling the Sequencing of Housing States’, Urban Studies, 40.

CORTÉS, L. and LAÍNEZ (1998), ‘La condición residencial de las personas mayores’, Documentación Social, 112, pp. 193–211.

COSTA-FONT, J., ELVIRA, D. and MIRÓ, O. M. (2009), ‘Ageing in Place? Exploring Elderly People's Housing Preferences in Spain’, Urban Studies, 46, pp. 295–316.

DYKSTRA, P. and van WISSEN, L. (1999), ‘Introduction: The Life-Course Approach as an Interdisciplinary Framework for Population Studies’, [in:] WISSEN, L. V. and DYKSTRA, P. (eds.), Population Issues: An Interdisciplinary Focus, New York: Kluwer, Plenum.

EVANS, G., KANTROWITZ, E. and ELSHELMAN, P. (2002), ‘Housing Quality and Psychological Well-Being Among the Elderly Population’, Journals of Gerontology, 57 (4), pp. 381–383.

FEIJTEN, P. (2005), Life Events and the Housing Career: A Retrospective Analysis of Timed Effects, Delft: Eburon.

GONZÁLEZ PUGA, D. (2004a), ‘El comportamiento residencial de los mayores. Análisis biográfico de la movilidad en la vejez’, Revista Española de Investigaciones Sociológicas, 105, pp. 72–102.

GONZÁLEZ PUGA, D. (2004b), Estrategias residenciales de las personas de edad. Movilidad y curso de vida, Barcelona: Fundación La Caixa.

GRUNDY, E. and JITLAL, M. (2007), ‘Socio-Demographic Variations in Moves to Institutional Care 1991-2001: A Record Linkage Study from England and Wales’, Age and Ageing, 36, pp. 424–430.

GURNEY, C. and MEANS, R. (1997), ‘The Meaning of Home’, [in:] ARBER, S. and EVANDROU, M. (eds.), Ageing, Independence and the Life Course, Londres: Kingley, British Society of Gerontology.

HARPER, S. (2006), Ageing Societies: Myths, Challenges and Opportunities, New York: Oxford University Press.

KENDIG, H. L. (1984), ‘Housing Careers, Life Cycle and Residential Mobility: Implications for the Housing Market’, Urban Studies, 21, pp. 271–283.

KULU, H. and MILEWSKI, N. (2007), ‘Family Change and Migration in the Life Course: An Introduction’, Demographic Research, 17, pp. 567–590.

MALMBERG, B. (2010), ‘Low Fertility and the Housing Market: Evidence from Swedish Regional Data’, European Journal of Population, 26, pp. 229–244.

MYERS, D. (1990), Housing Demography, Madison: University of Wisconsin Press.

MULDER, C. and HOOIMEIJER, P. (1999), ‘Residential Relocations in the Life Course’, [in:] WISSEN, L. V. and DYKSTRA, P. (eds.), Population Issues: An Interdisciplinary Focus, New York: Kluwer, Plenum.

MULDER, C. (2007), ‘The Family Context and the Residential Choice: A Challenge for New Research’, Population, Space and Place, 13, pp. 265–278.

OSWALD, F. and WAHL, H. W. (2005), ‘Dimensions of the Meaning of Home’, [in:] ROWLES, G. D. and CHAUDHURY, H. (eds.), Home and identity in Later Life: International Perspectives, New York: Springer.

ROSSI, P. H. (1955), Why Families Move? A Study in the Social Psychology of Urban Residential Mobility, Glencoe: Free Press.

TATSIRAMOS, K. (2006), ‘Residential Mobility and Household Adjustment of Older Households in Europe’, Discussion Papers Series, Bonn: Institute for the Study of Labour.

TOMASSINI, C., GLASER, K., WOLF, D., BROESE VAN GRENOU, M. and GRUNDY, E. (2004), ‘Living Arrangements Among Older People: An Overview of Trends in Europe and the USA’, Population Trends, 115, pp. 24–34.

First Page


Last Page