Browse Ageing Research Programmes

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Funder/CentreCaisse Nationale d'Assurance Vieillesse
Programme:Transition to retirement of French immigrants
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Caisse Nationale d'Assurance Vieillesse

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Transition to retirement of French immigrantsResearch Programme

Programme type

Research programme

Programme status


Total number of funded projects


Summary of key aims

The French survey concerning immigrants aged between 45 and 70 was undertaken in 2003. The object of this survey was to gain a global vision of the immigrant population, regardless of their country of origin. A random sample was therefore taken of the entire immigrant population in this age group living in France.The choice of this methodology allows an examination of the migration process in both a life course and comparative perspective.

The survey was undertaken by CAPI (Computer Assisted Program Interviewing) in the homes of the respondents. The interviewers were from INSEE, the main French state statistical institution and the interviews lasted about one and a half hours. The sample frame was a random selection taken from the Census of people aged 45 to 70 who were born outside France and with a nationality other than French at birth (some of whom became French citizens). A total of 6,211 interviews were completed. The size of the sample was large enough to enable analyses of three countries from southern Europe (Spain, Italy and Portugal) and North Africa (Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia). There were a large number of respondents from Turkey who, for some analyses, can be considered as a seventh group. Respondents from other countries were recoded into larger geographical zones.

Proceeding in this way, the organisation of the survey data allows an analysis of the main migration patterns from within and outside Europe and also an evaluation of the diversity of these patterns. By focusing on the middle part of the life course and the transition to retirement, the sample includes different migratory cohorts with profiles and characteristics peculiar to a particular point in time within the recent history of migrations. Given that the focus of this survey is on ageing and retirement, it differs from other immigration research where the aims are more focussed on how immigrants integrate into the various host countries. We are interested in how people finish their careers in the context of a migration history, that is to say the conditions and quality of life of immigrants as they move towards and into retirement, as well as their future projects. The survey also examines several aspects of family and social life, such as intergenerational relations, social networks, ethnic and professional identities. Retirement is also a time for reflection, a stepping back, offering us the opportunity to look at the intricacies of cultural heritage, and the effects of levels of education and professional careers on the life courses of the respondents.

Management contact

Claudine Attias-Donfut
49 Rue Mirabeau

Admin contact

01 40 37 37 37
49 Rue Mirabeau

Scientific contact

05 34 25 26 27
21 Rue Apollo
ZAC de Montredon
31240 L'Union

Funding contact

Claudine Attias-Donfut
49 Rue Mirabeau

Is the project externally evaluated?


Who has evaluated, or will evaluate, the programme?

National Scientific Commission and leading researchers in the field

What forms of international collaboration does the programme support?

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Interdisciplinary research is a strategic priority...

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