The state of migration and mobility data in Europe: A systematic quality assessment of Eurostat migration data

Maciej J. Danko, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (MPIDR)
Jarl Mooyaart, Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute (NIDI)-KNAW, University of Groningen, Groningen, Netherlands
Emanuele Del Fava, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (MPIDR)
Domantas Jasilionis, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research / Vytautas Magnus University
Dmitri A. Jdanov, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (Germany) / National Research University Higher School of Economics (Russia)
Emilio Zagheni, Max Planck Institute for demographic Research

The paper assesses, in a systematic way, the availability and quality of migration and mobility data in Europe, with a focus on bilateral migration flows based on the official statistics reported by the Eurostat. First, using real examples from specific countries, the paper discusses general data availability and comparability issues, including definitions, undercounting, coverage, and accuracy. Second, a thorough analysis of available metadata reported by national and international data repositories is performed in order to understand specifics of migration data collected by national statistical bodies. The study concludes that available metadata is often incomplete, imprecise, or even missing. The observed inaccuracies in migration statistics and lacking metadata may lead to wrong evidence for policymaking and should be taken into account in specific statistical models that estimate actual migration flows. The study lays the foundations for the Human Migration Database project, which aims at producing internationally comparable migration estimates on the basis of rigorous data quality assessment and advanced statistical framework.

Keywords: International migration, Harmonized data sets

See extended abstract.

  Presented in Session 169. Creating and Using International or Historical Datasets