Native region is defined as the centre of the native town and its surrounding area with a radius of 15 km. This broader definition avoids the problem that for many people their town of birth is not the same as the town of residence of their parents because they were, for instance, born in hospital.
The data are based on the Social Statistical Database kept by Statistics Netherlands. They refer to all persons over the age of 55 born in the Netherlands and still living in the Netherlands in 1999 and in 2005. Those who died or emigrated in the period 1999-2005 have not been taken into account. For a more accurate calculation of the proportion of over-55s who returned to their native town, address of residence in 1999 and address of residence in 2005 have been compared. A person is assumed to have returned, if they were not living in their native region in 1999, but had moved to their native region in 2005.