Researchers explore co-existing trends in migration and its effect on aging across the world

2 min read

New research released in the peer-reviewed journal The Gerontologist dove into co-existing trends among migrants and its effect on aging across the globe. Migrants from over a dozen countries, including Australia, Canada, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States, took part in the study.

In a few of the 16 studies conducted, three were based in the U.S. and centered around immigrants from China. As noted by researchers, two of those studies gathered data from Chinese immigrants residing in Chicago, Illinois, while one study was comprised of data from immigrants in Hawaii. Other studies were the subject of data from migrants of Mexican and Korean descent residing in the US.

Similar to the studies in the U.S., others initiated in European, Asian, and Middle Eastern countries found that trends in migration, immigration, and refugee resettlement are responsible for the evolving of cultural, ethnic, and age dynamics on a global scale, as researchers indicated.

“The papers … address the needs and perspectives of older adults who have experienced im/migration,” Suzanne Meeks, the study’s lead author, stated. “They illustrate the rich variety of communities in which im/migrants live and the cultural and social ties that support and protect the well-being of older im/migrants despite disruptions inherent in relocating across national borders.”

“Trends in migration, immigration, and refugee movement and resettlement are dramatically changing cultural, ethnic, and age dynamics across the globe,” according to Meeks.

In the findings, social ties was considered the most vital for boosting well-being among communities. Meanwhile, language barriers, discrimination and lack of accessible services were regarded as factors inhibiting appropriate care.

Moreover, researchers also found that “the percentage of the population composed of foreign-born individuals peaked around 1890, declined until 1970, and has risen steadily since that time. These trends result in important generational differences in population composition.”

The findings were published as part of the organization known as the Gerontological Society of America, dedicated to advancing research on aging.

Image courtesy of europa.eu