This Data Bulletin explores the important role of census data in measuring migrant stocks and flows. Censuses provide an ideal opportunity for the enumeration of international migrants in a society, and most countries already include in their census a question on nativity and/or citizenship status. The value of census data for migration studies extends far beyond published tabulations describing the size of the migrant population. Individual-level census microdata allow researchers and policymakers to investigate the demographic and socioeconomic characteristics of migrants, compare migrants to non-migrants on a range of metrics, and to disaggregate population-level statistics and indicators by migratory status. For countries without comprehensive administrative data infrastructure, censuses are the only sources of such information.
IOM’s “Data Bulletin Series: Informing the Implementation of the Global Compact for Migration” spans a broad range of topics covered by the Global Compact for Migration, highlighting currently available data sources as well as data gaps and challenges relevant to each of them. Each Data Bulletin contains illustrative examples of initiatives and recommendations of investments needed to strengthen the evidence base underpinning the respective thematic area. The Data Bulletins are meant to provide a useful resource for decision makers as they begin to think about implementation of the Global Compact for Migration and the related data needs.