"Challenges and Opportunities of Data Collection on International Migration Jason Schachter Policy Section Population Division UN"
Challenges and Opportunities of Data Collection on International Migration Jason Schachter Policy Section Population Division UN/DESA Interregional Workshop on International Migration, Geneva, 23 September 2011 Background International migration is a growing trend • In 2010, an estimated 214 million international world- wide (178 million on 2000) • Increased demand for data 2006 High-Level Dialogue on International Migration and Development • Global Forum on Migration and Development To advance understanding and cooperation on the nexus between migration and development and foster practical and action-oriented outcomes Valid, comparable, accessible, and timely data are critical for improving policy making Examples of policy driven research questions “Size” of migrant population • Number of emigrants (people moving out of country) Are current levels of emigration acceptable? “Characteristics” of migrants • Who is moving in or out? (age, gender, education level, legal status, etc.) Need to attract highly skilled immigrants/encourage return of highly educated emigrants? “Impact” of migration on people and areas • Effect of migration on family in country of origin/on local labor market Need for integration policies of non-nationals? Defining International Migration • Change of usual residence (time component) • Geography (origin/destination) Migrant Classifications • Duration of stay • Reason for move • Legal status Measurement (Stocks and Flows) International Migration Data Sources Census National Household Surveys Population Registers Administrative Sources • Residence/work permits • Asylum applications • Consular data • Border collection data Countries asking three key questions on international migration Number of Percentage of Questions countries countries Country of birth 85 77 Citizenship 78 71 Year or period of arrival 47 43 Note: Based on 110 censuses undertaken between Jan 2005 and June 2011 Challenges to collecting migration data Data comparability • Between, and even within, countries • Data harmonization (using same time period, same definitions of migrant groups, same questions, etc.) Data validity • Coverage (hard-to-find populations) • Using sources whose main purpose is not to collect migration data Data availability (tabulation & dissemination) • Accessibility • Timeliness Challenges, cont. Resources to improve data quality • Sustainability • Getting more from limited resources Capacity Building Measurement of all migration-types • Emigration Remittances • Irregular • Environmental • Repeat/return/circular migration Opportunities Harmonization of terms and definitions Better utilization of existing data sources • Improve dissemination of data Release more detailed tabulations • Improve documentation and methodology for production of migration statistics • Take better advantage of administrative sources Automation of border control data UNHCR refugee databases Opportunities, cont. Development of new data sources • Better utilization of alternative sources like household surveys, registers Improve communication between country stakeholders and between neighbouring countries • Data sharing & exchange Commission on International Migration Data for Development and Research Policy Migrants Count: Five Steps Towards Better Migration Data Ask basic census questions (place of birth, country of citizenship, previous residence) and disseminate results Compile and release existing administrative data sources Centralize Labor Force Surveys Include standardized migration survey modules on existing household surveys Public access to Microdata Thank you