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Title:United States Military Retirement Migration: Patterns and Processes
Author(s):Barnes, Carroll Taylor
Department / Program:Geography
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Abstract:Department of Defense policy concerning the stationing of the military population has a direct impact on population redistribution patterns. The rate and volume of the movement of military personnel and their dependents represents an important element in this redistribution. There is, however, an important additional population redistribution impact resulting more indirectly from Defense Department actions. With a strength in excess of 1.3 million persons, the geographic patterns of the retired military population reflect the long term effects of governmental relocation policy. Each year approximately 45,000 to 50,000 military members retire from active military service and select a retirement location. These retirees have considerable impact on the areas in which they choose to live. However, because of a dearth of published information on the location and movement of military retirees, the magnitude of their impacts is unknown.
The purpose of this research is to analyze the spatial aspect of the military retirement process in order to determine the factors contributing to the selection of a retirement location and the impact of that process on population redistribution within the United States. The model for the research is based on the premise that retirees select a specific retirement location as a result of their military and/or civilian experiences. This experiential base model is tested at an aggregate and individual level using regression, chi-square, and probit analytical models.
The findings of the research indicate that military retirees are making their retirement location decisions based on their experiences resulting from a military career rather than from pre-military or civilian experiences. First, they have a high propensity to retire near a military installation, preferably one to which they have been assigned previously. Secondly, birthplace or place of origin is not a significant pull factor. Retirees are not returning "home" upon retirement from military service. Friendship ties, economic factors, and environmental amenities are significant variables when selecting a retirement location. Consequently, the implicit military assignment policies of the Department of Defense are in effect acting as catalysts in redistributing the United States population.
Issue Date:1984
Description:193 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1984.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8422014
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-15
Date Deposited:1984

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