International retirement migrants and their sense of home: The case of Malta

Alexandra Hamilton
School of Social Sciences, Oxford Brookes University
January 2015


With environmental, economic and cultural implications, international retirement migration (IRM) adds to the already complicated migration landscape. IRM is no longer a rare event, especially in the Mediterranean, and its increasing occurrence raises questions about migrants’ experiences and their impacts on destination areas. Focusing on international retirement migrants in Malta, this paper sets out to understand the way in which migrants live in host societies and construct their sense of home. Through the use of qualitative research, factors such as length of stay, self-identity, home in flux, and relationships with host societies are examined as key influences which contribute to a migrant’s sense of home. It is concluded that while length of stay may be of importance, a holistic approach, which considers other influences, must be used when assessing migrants’ sense of home.


retirement migration, sense of home, Malta, focus group

International retirement migrants and their sense of home: The case of Malta by Alexandra Hamilton is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

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Based on a work at

Original Papers - Geoverse
ISSN 1758-3411
Editor-in-Chief: Professor Helen Walkington