Measuring emigration at the census
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United Nations Economic Commission for Europe Statistical Division. Measuring emigration at the census. Regional Training Workshop on Population and Housing Censuses for South Eastern European Countries Ohrid, 24-26 November 2008. Summary of previous episodes.

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Measuring emigration at the census

United Nations Economic Commission for EuropeStatistical Division

Measuring emigration at the census

Regional Training Workshop on Population and Housing Censuses for South Eastern European Countries

Ohrid, 24-26 November 2008


Summary of previous episodes

Summary of previous episodes

UNECE analysis of experience of 4 countries at 2000 Census Round:

Georgia

Tunisia

Moldova

Poland

Data compared with those from destination countries


Two critical issues

Two critical issues

Resident population count vs. emigrants count

Accuracy of emigrants’ count


1 resident population count

1. Resident population count

Accurate count of resident population: first goal of the census

Strict application of 12-months rule

Exclusion of nationals residing abroad from population count


1 practices from 4 countries

1. Practices from 4 countries

Georgia and Tunisia:

separate module

emigrants excluded from population count

Moldova and Poland:

questions in main census form

emigrants included in population count


In view of next census

In view of next census..

Different approaches can be used:

Questions in the main form

Separate module

Separate list

But distinguish:

‘temporary absent’  IN

‘long-term absent’  OUT


2 accuracy of emigration count

2. Accuracy of emigration count

Information is collected on absentees

Two problems:

Reliability of answers from proxy respondent

Proxy respondent does not exist


2 accuracy of emigration count1

2. Accuracy of emigration count

Three cases:

Entire household (HH) leaves the country

Some members of HH remain but, before the census, the HH dissolves

Some members of HH remain and fill in the form


2 accuracy of emigration count2

2. Accuracy of emigration count

There are cases where proxy respondent does not exist  undercounting

However, there can also be overcounting


Citizens of poland living in other countries 2002

Citizens of Poland living in other countries (2002)


Poland emigrants by year of migration

Poland: emigrants by year of migration


Accuracy of emigration count

Accuracy of emigration count

Data collection worked well for emigrants that:

Had left the country in the years just before the census (up to 5 yrs.)

Are more likely to keep close ties with the country (Polish data were better for Italy and Germany than for emigrants in the US or Canada)

Are members of the family nucleus that is left behind (e.g. Tunisian males)

Are still included in an administrative register (Poland)


To conclude

To conclude…

It’s fundamental to keep separate the count of population from the count of emigrants (persons residing abroad for 1 year or more)

The census cannot provide a good estimate of the total number of emigrants living abroad

It’s important to identify what group of emigrants we can reasonably count in a census. (For example, those having left the country in the last years and having close family ties)


To conclude1

To conclude…

An emigration module can provide important information, not on the total count, but on other aspects (geographical distribution of emigrants, information on households left behind, reason of migration, socio-economic characteristics)

Accurate test of questions/module is necessary (use experience of other countries)

Choice of respondents is fundamental (undercounting vs. overcounting)


Emigration topics in the census

Emigration topics in the census…

A practice to recommend?

No accurate count of nationals living abroad

However:

Strategy to have more accurate population count

Some useful information on emigration related topics


Appendix

Appendix

Measuring emigration through immigration data of receiving countries

Documentation at:

http://www.unece.org/stats/documents/2008.03.migration.htm


First step

First step

Identify information needs

For example:

Total outflows for population estimates

Outflows of nationals

Nationals residing abroad (expatriates)

Short-term emigration


Second step

Second step

Map information needs and data sources of receiving country:

For example: population census can give data on stocks of nationals living abroad, not on annual flows


Third step

Third step

To better use data of receiving country, check:

coverage of the source;

definition of international migrant/migration;

data accuracy;

availability of origin-destination data;

different time references


Fourth and final step

Fourth and final step

Compare your data with data from receiving countries, on flows and stocks

Do demographic analysis

Identify weaknesses and strengths of your data

Possible methods to adjust your data?


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