Centre for Rural Economy


Responding to change: An investigation into the processes of rural place-making in the face of ageing

The number of people aged 60 and over worldwide will double from 11 percent of the global population in 2006 to 22 percent by 2050 (WHO, 2007).

This demographic shift cannot be understood as simply more older people whose values and needs are well known. Nor is the challenge simply one of scale and potential pressure on existing models of health and welfare. The big issue is that the current generation of retirees – the baby boomers (in the Japanese context, the dankai generation born in 1947-1949 and in the UK context, the first baby boomer cohort) are a generation who have been at the forefront of radical social, economic and political change. The adjustments they choose to make in response to retirement and to their own physical change will have profound consequences for each society from the planning and provision of facilities, to understanding the role and value of older people.

The overall aims of the project were:

Based on previous research this study conducted empirical analysis of the transformatory experience of older in-migrants in the selected rural localities in Japan (Hokkaido) and UK (the North East of England). The international project built on existing links between researchers in Newcastle University and Hokkaido University and Waseda University in Japan.

Key documents:

The full report from this project is available here: Responding to change 

The full report from the previous research is available here: ageing countryside  as a Centre for Rural Economy Research Report.

Lowe, P. and Speakman, L. (eds) (2006) The Ageing Countryside: The Growing Older Population of Rural England. London, Age Concern England. 第一章日本語訳 [Chapter 1 – Japanese translation] available here:  Japanese Translation

Responding to Change (interim report) in English available here: Ageing and Place Making 日本語「変化にどう対応するか・北海道伊達市の事例」(中間報告)Japanese transation here: Responding to change translation

Trend of ageing in Japan: presentation at a workshop, Medsin Regional Conference 2009 "The waiting room". Trend of Ageing