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Project: IMEM [concluded]

Integrated modelling of European migration

The overall aim of IMEM is to provide a general framework for modeling migration flows between countries in the world in the context of inconsistent, inadequate and missing data. The focus is on estimating recent international migration flows between countries in the European Union, using data primarily collected by Eurostat and other publicly available sources, as well as qualitative information from experts.

IMEM will develop a Bayesian statistical model for migration count data that allows for flows to be measured to different accuracies and that is able to incorporate auxiliary information on the associations between origins and destinations of migration (e.g., language, borders and distance) to estimate missing patterns. The various complexities in the reported international migration data will be accommodated in the modeling framework. This involves the reconciliation of reported flows based on various definitions used by countries to measure international migration and the use of multiple sources of data on particular flows, including the use of qualitative judgments.

IMEM is carried out by a consortium of research institutes led by the University of Southampton and further consisting of the University of Oslo and NIDI. The project started in the end of 2009 and will finish in 2012.

A simple way to get an idea of the trends in migration for all countries under concern is to look at the net migration calculated as total population change minus births plus deaths. In Figure 1 this trend is compared with the results of IMEM and MIMOSA

Net migration in the EU27+4 according to various sources (x 1 000)

Net migration in the EU27+4 according to various sources (x 1000)

It appears that the IMEM-median (I50) and MIMOSA estimates remain importantly below the reported numbers with an annual difference that fluctuates around one million. Hence if we adapt harmonized definitions and registers in Europe, the current population size of the EU should be millions lower in case the estimates are right. The main reason for the IMEM net migration estimates being lower than reported, is that the experts suppose more undercount on the side of emigration than on the side of immigration.

The differences between both I75 (IMEM 75 percentile) and I25 (IMEM 25 percentile) and I90 (IMEM 90 percentile) and I10 (IMEM 10 percentile) indicate a high degree of uncertainty. However, even the I90 estimates do not exceed the reported net migration numbers.

Publications

Erf, R. van der (2012),
Analysis of final results. Paper prepared for the IMEM progress meeting on 22-24 February in Asker, Norway.
Schoorl, J.J. (2012),
Case study: Romanian and Bulgarian migration flows. Paper prepared for the IMEM progress meeting on 22-24 February in Asker, Norway.
Schoorl, J.J. (2012),
Sex-specific migration flows. Paper prepared for the IMEM progress meeting on 22-24 February in Asker, Norway.
Erf, R. van der (2011),
Analysis of provisional results. Paper prepared for IMEM Workshop , Chilworth, United Kingdom , 25-27 May.
Erf, R. van der (2011),
Analysis of revised results. Paper prepared for the IMEM progress meeting on 28 September in The Hague.
Erf, R. (2010),
Initial assessment of the quality of international migration data. IMEM Report, Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute, The Hague.
Schoorl, J.J. (2011),
Case study: Romanian and Bulgarian migration flows. Paper prepared for IMEM Workshop , Chilworth, United Kingdom, 25-27 May.

NIDI Research team



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