What is it about?

Surveys in countries of destination can capture immigrations if answers to the question "where have you been a year ago" is "in another country". Simultaneously, surveys in the origin country may have information on persons in a household who are abroad. By matching such data we can estimate migration and correct for potential measurement issues in both origin and destination data.

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Why is it important?

International migration is an important demographic factor shaping the composition of populations in many countries, impacting both sending and receiving countries' demographic structures. It is also often a topic of public and political debates. It is therefore important to have a reliable source of information on the size of migration flows between countries. Migration from Poland to the UK was such important issue since 2004 when Poland Joined the European Union and massive immigration to the UK ensued. However, the then existing methods of measuring migration were inadequate to capture the true size of this migration flow.


This article was based on a PhD dissertation and so was not that exciting, especially that it was about a very specific aspect of migration measurement for a specific flow between two countries. However, after receiving feedback to the early version, it became clear that it perhaps can show a potential of using surveys to measure international migration. I hope you will find it useful especially when trying to use (survey) data for a different purpose than they were originally intended.

Arkadiusz Wiśniowski
University of Manchester

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Combining Labour Force Survey data to estimate migration flows: the case of migration from Poland to the UK, Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A (Statistics in Society), March 2016, Wiley,
DOI: 10.1111/rssa.12189.
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