UNFPA/UNECE/NIDI Training programme on international migration, Geneva, 24-28/01/2005
MONDAY January 24
Session 4
DATA SOURCES ON INTERNATIONAL
MIGRATION
Jeannette Schoorl, NIDI
UNFPA/UNECE/NIDI Training programme on international migration, Geneva, 24-28/01/2005
Why do we need migration statistics?
• Knowledge-based policy making and
planning
– control
– assistance and support
• to immigrants
• to expatriate citizens
• Policy evaluation
• Information for the public debate
UNFPA/UNECE/NIDI Training programme on international migration, Geneva, 24-28/01/2005
What sort of data are needed?
• Policy-driven research questions --> type
of data needed.
– ‘Simple’ statistics on numbers of ‘migrants’ or
‘foreigners’
– More detailed statistics, e.g. for specific groups
(refugees, trafficked women, highly skilled
workers, characteristics of returnees, expected
future number of school-age children,
unemployment among dependants, etc.)
– Varied type of statistics: on people, but also on
e.g. remittances and their development potential
UNFPA/UNECE/NIDI Training programme on international migration, Geneva, 24-28/01/2005
Data sources
• National sources
• International sources
UNFPA/UNECE/NIDI Training programme on international migration, Geneva, 24-28/01/2005
National data collection systems
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Population censuses
Population registers
Registers of foreigners
Border statistics
Residence permits
Work permits
UNFPA/UNECE/NIDI Training programme on international migration, Geneva, 24-28/01/2005
Population censuses
• Place (country) of birth
• Country of citizenship
• Year & month of (first) arrival
Plus:
• Place of residence n years ago
Or:
• Place of previous residence, and
• Year (+ month) of arrival in current place of
residence)
UNFPA/UNECE/NIDI Training programme on international migration, Geneva, 24-28/01/2005
Population censuses
• Stocks, (net) flows
• International comparability depends on type of
coverage and type of questions included
• Advantages:
– covers approx. total (legal) population, also small
immigrant groups; allows for regional / local info
– wealth of additional data on characteristics
• Disadvantages:
– infrequent data collection
– no reliable data on emigration
– some under-representation of migrants likely
UNFPA/UNECE/NIDI Training programme on international migration, Geneva, 24-28/01/2005
Population registers
• Continuous recording of population changes
• Stocks, in-flows, out-flows
• Reliability depends on compliance to (de)register
– underestimation of emigration
• Considerable variation in rules for (de)registration
[esp. intended length of stay; coverage of asylum seekers]
– affects comparability between countries
• Nevertheless: one of the best sources for flows
– especially long-term flows (> 1 year)
– often timely availability
UNFPA/UNECE/NIDI Training programme on international migration, Geneva, 24-28/01/2005
Population registers
• Relatively few additional characteristics
– e.g. reason for admission usually not available
– but: trend to link data from different sources
• employment, education
• Countries: few, mostly in Western Europe
UNFPA/UNECE/NIDI Training programme on international migration, Geneva, 24-28/01/2005
Registers of foreigners
• Much like population registers but only for (legal)
foreign residents
• Data on:
– residence status / reason for admission
– duration of validity of permits (therefore also shortterm migration)
– citizenship, etc.
• Limited publication (strict privacy rules)
• Countries: a.o. Germany
UNFPA/UNECE/NIDI Training programme on international migration, Geneva, 24-28/01/2005
Household surveys
• Examples: labour force surveys, housing
surveys, conditions-of-life surveys
• Basic requirements:
– large sample size (and/or over-sampling of
migrant population)
– Sizeable immigrant population
– If relevant: interviewing in other languages
• Types:
– regular single-round surveys
– panels (same individuals interviewed in
multiple rounds)
UNFPA/UNECE/NIDI Training programme on international migration, Geneva, 24-28/01/2005
Household surveys
• General household surveys:
– limited usefulness for the study of international
migration/migrants
• small samples
• risk of under-representation
• captures only the post-migration situation
– serious limitations to produce estimates of flows
and stocks
UNFPA/UNECE/NIDI Training programme on international migration, Geneva, 24-28/01/2005
Household surveys
• Special migration/migrant surveys:
– detailed and targeted information on migrant
populations and migration processes
– complicated sampling and designs
– may lack comparability with native population groups
• Examples:
– Longitudinal Survey of Immigrants to Australia;
DIMA, 1994 – Survey on the push and pull factors of international
migration (1997-1998), in sending and receiving
countries (NIDI)
UNFPA/UNECE/NIDI Training programme on international migration, Geneva, 24-28/01/2005
Border data collection
• Data collection at points of entry and/or departure,
of all travellers or of (specific groups of) foreigners
only
– sometimes carried out as a survey (UK)
– advanced system in Australia, with pre-border checks
• In-flows; sometimes also out-flows
• Type of data:
– based on documents (passports, visas)
– forms filled in by cross-border travellers
• Countries: many
UNFPA/UNECE/NIDI Training programme on international migration, Geneva, 24-28/01/2005
Border data collection
• Advantages:
– Reflection of actual moves (but not: people)
• Disadvantages:
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–
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complexity of (vast) data collection and processing
very few migrants among millions of travellers
limited reliability of forms from travellers
purpose: administrative & security; limited statistics
UNFPA/UNECE/NIDI Training programme on international migration, Geneva, 24-28/01/2005
Border data collection
• Reliability influenced by:
– degree to which the country is a destination for
irregular migrants
– accessibility of the country: ease with which official
border points can be bypassed
– degree to which own citizens are reluctant to provide
border information
– whether or not a legal framework for the production
of statistics from border data exists
– degree of formal control of the information provided
by the traveller
UNFPA/UNECE/NIDI Training programme on international migration, Geneva, 24-28/01/2005
Residence permits
• Sub-set of foreign citizens who are required to
apply for such a permit
• Data reflect administrative procedures rather than
people
• Usually only data on inflows
• For meaningful interpretation of permit statistics it
is necessary to have information on:
– new permits versus permit renewals
– duration of validity
• Countries: many (e.g., USA, Australia, Canada)
UNFPA/UNECE/NIDI Training programme on international migration, Geneva, 24-28/01/2005
Work permits
• Sub-set of foreign workers who are subject to such
a permit (often application is by employer)
• Data reflect administrative administrative cases
rather than people
• In-flows; with sufficient data also stock estimates
• Advantages:
– data based on documentary evidence
• Disadvantages:
– undocumented workers excluded
– limited international comparability
• Countries: many
UNFPA/UNECE/NIDI Training programme on international migration, Geneva, 24-28/01/2005
Work permits
• To interpret statistics, need information on:
– first permits
• to new arrivals
• to foreigners already in the country
– change of status (e.g., tourists, students,
dependants, undocumented workers)
– renewals of permits
– duration of validity
UNFPA/UNECE/NIDI Training programme on international migration, Geneva, 24-28/01/2005
Information on irregular migration
• Illegal migrant:
– illegal entry
– overstaying visa / permit
– relapsed into irregularity after previous
regularisation
– legal residence but illegal worker
UNFPA/UNECE/NIDI Training programme on international migration, Geneva, 24-28/01/2005
Information on irregular migration
• Specialised data sources
– Regularisation amnesties
– Refused entries / border apprehensions
– Expulsion statistics
UNFPA/UNECE/NIDI Training programme on international migration, Geneva, 24-28/01/2005
Data on refugees and asylum seekers
• General statistical sources
– asylum seekers usually not included in
migration statistics, but differences between
countries and over time (population registers)
– sometimes counted upon and by status
granted (instead of by time of arrival)
– sometimes minor dependants not included
separately
UNFPA/UNECE/NIDI Training programme on international migration, Geneva, 24-28/01/2005
Data on refugees and asylum seekers
• Specialised data sources
– asylum applications and decisions
– refugee resettlement schemes
– data on assistance provided, etc.
UNFPA/UNECE/NIDI Training programme on international migration, Geneva, 24-28/01/2005
National data collection: different practices
• Many countries produce no migration statistics
• Stock statistics more widely available (census)
• Flow statistics least (population registers, border
statistics, residence permits)
– Emigration may be estimated using immigration data
available from countries of destination
UNFPA/UNECE/NIDI Training programme on international migration, Geneva, 24-28/01/2005
Coverage and comparability
Comparability problems:
• international - between same type of source
• national - between data sources
Coverage problems:
• irregular / illegal migration mostly not included in
the data sources
UNFPA/UNECE/NIDI Training programme on international migration, Geneva, 24-28/01/2005
National data collection: room for improvement
• Inventory of data sources
– which data sources (purpose)
– coverage (which groups)
– concepts and definitions used
– what information (variables) included
– format of data base
UNFPA/UNECE/NIDI Training programme on international migration, Geneva, 24-28/01/2005
National data collection: room for improvement
• Exploitation of available data sources
– producing more detailed tabulations
– producing statistics from administrative sources
• collaboration between administrators and
statisticians; different departments
• adapting legal frameworks
– adding to or revising forms to improve or enable
the production of meaningful statistics
• Data sharing & integration
• Capacity building
UNFPA/UNECE/NIDI Training programme on international migration, Geneva, 24-28/01/2005
A “Generic model” for the collection,
application and sharing of migration data
• IOM, OSCE, Danish Immigration Service & IGC
• Can be applied irrespective of a country’s
sophistication in migration data management
• For any type of migration data
• Aim: timely, consistent and objective data
UNFPA/UNECE/NIDI Training programme on international migration, Geneva, 24-28/01/2005
MONDAY January 24
Session 4
DATA SOURCES ON
INTERNATIONAL MIGRATION
UNFPA/UNECE/NIDI Training programme on international migration, Geneva, 24-28/01/2005
A “Generic model” for the collection,
application and sharing of migration data
• Main elements:
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–
–
–
–
–
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establishing a national network of core institutions
inventory of existing data sources
identifying national demand for data
properly documenting the data
establishing a data sharing mechanism
data dissemination
capacity building
UNFPA/UNECE/NIDI Training programme on international migration, Geneva, 24-28/01/2005
International data collection systems
• Mostly based on national data sources
– a selection of nationally available data
• Efforts to improve quality, documentation,
and comparability
– research and capacity building
UNFPA/UNECE/NIDI Training programme on international migration, Geneva, 24-28/01/2005
International data collection systems
• United Nations
– Population Division
• global stocks
• policies
– Statistical Division
• recommendations on stock and flow data
collection
– UNHCR
• asylum seekers
– Regional Commissions (UNECE, CELAC)
– UNFPA
UNFPA/UNECE/NIDI Training programme on international migration, Geneva, 24-28/01/2005
International data collection systems
• European Commission / Eurostat / DG JFS
– flow and stock statistics; citizenship acquisitions
• New Cronos data base (MIGRAT)
– harmonisation efforts
– monitoring of migration trends (CIREFI) and
asylum applications and decisions (CIREA)
– policy development
– capacity building
– regional focus: EU plus bordering countries
UNFPA/UNECE/NIDI Training programme on international migration, Geneva, 24-28/01/2005
International data collection systems
• European Commission
– European Migration Information Network (EMIN)
• virtual observatory UK/UCL
– European Migration Network (EMN)
• national contact points that will collect information
(statistics, legislation, trends and patterns, research)
that is to be shared via a web-based system
Berlin Institute for Comparative Social Research
– IMISCOE (International Migration, Integration
and Social Cohesion in Europe)
• research ‘network of excellence’
UNFPA/UNECE/NIDI Training programme on international migration, Geneva, 24-28/01/2005
International data collection systems
• IOM
– data collected in IOM programme activities
(e.g., voluntary return, trafficking, repatriation)
• OECD
– SOPEMI system: country reports on migration
trends and issues (mostly industrial countries)
UNFPA/UNECE/NIDI Training programme on international migration, Geneva, 24-28/01/2005
International data collection systems
• ILO
– statistics and other data on migrant workers
(e.g. rights, discrimination, exploitation,
legislation)
• International Labour Migration Data Base (ILM)
• Council of Europe
– migration statistics; integration; human rights
– regional focus: member states plus some
others
UNFPA/UNECE/NIDI Training programme on international migration, Geneva, 24-28/01/2005
International data collection systems
• World Bank
– a.o. remittances
• think tanks, e.g.,
– Migration Policy Institute
• Migration Information Source
– Intergovernmental Consultations on asylum,
refugee and migration policies (IGC)
UNFPA/UNECE/NIDI Training programme on international migration, Geneva, 24-28/01/2005
International data collection systems
• The way forward:
– Further work on international recommendations
for data collection and harmonisation
– Timely production of statistics
– Data sharing and international co-ordination
– Reflecting the changing nature of migration:
improvement of data / statistics on e.g.
•
•
•
•
temporary migration
irregular migration
trafficking
remittances
– Further capacity building
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