Estimates of migration flows and recent immigration stocks in Latin America. How much are they alike?

Julieta Bengochea, Programa de Población, Facultad de Ciencias Sociales, Universidad de la República
Emanuele Del Fava, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (MPIDR)
Victoria Prieto Rosas, Universidad de la Republica
Emilio Zagheni, Max Planck Institute for demographic Research

This paper provides a critical examination of the data sources accessible to users interested in examining the Latin American and Caribbean migration system. We harmonized and analyzed existing estimates of five-year bilateral flows and dyads of recent migrant stocks from census data published by the IMILA project and IPUMS-I. We point out the pros and cons of using each data source in examining the Latin American and Caribbean migration system from 1995 to 2010. We conclude that recent migrant stocks published by IMILA provide robust estimates, avoid under or over counting of population exchange in unstable migration origin-destination dyads, and open a way to exhaustive analysis using migration data broken down by type of sex, age, educational attainment, activity status, and – potentially – migration type (one-way, return, and third country migration). Nevertheless, IMILA needs to cover a larger number of countries and become more user-friendly. We tackle this issue by providing R scripts to facilitate the extraction of IMILA data and a harmonized dataset on migration dyads from different data sources.

Keywords: Census data, Harmonized data sets

See extended abstract.

  Presented in Session 34. International Migration Projections, Determinants and Crossing Strategies