Elderly Immigrants in Rural America: Trends and Characteristics

  • Douglas T. Gurak
  • Mary M. Kritz
Part of the Understanding Population Trends and Processes book series (UPTA, volume 7)


Older immigrants are the fastest growing subgroup of the elderly in the United States, and they differ considerably from older native-born Americans in their settlement, socioeconomic characteristics, health status, and living arrangements. Although 95 % of older immigrants lived in metropolitan areas between 2006 and 2008, their numbers in rural areas are increasing rapidly and that trend should continue in the years ahead. This chapter looks at how older immigrants in rural, or nonmetropolitan, and metropolitan areas differ, focusing in particular on patterns for 11 national and regional, foreign-born groups. Drawing on decennial and American Community Survey data, the chapter tracks changes in the composition of older immigrants in recent decades as immigration has picked up and shows that most of the older immigrants settled in rural areas are more assimilated than their metropolitan counterparts. With the exception of older Mexicans, the rural elderly are more likely than their metropolitan counterparts to have lived in the United States for several years, to live independently or in households where at least one native lives, to be English fluent, and to be more educated and better off economically than older natives. Older Mexicans, in contrast, who constitute the largest group of elderly from a single origin, are a disadvantaged population relative to other immigrant groups. Analyses of the elderly immigrant population should take population diversity into account.


American Community Survey Supplemental Security Income Metro Area Group Quarter Elderly Immigrant 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht. 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Development SociologyCornell UniversityIthacaUSA
  2. 2.Department of Development SociologyCornell UniversityIthacaUSA

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