Improving European statistics on international migration: developments and examples of potential analyses
David Thorogood, Eurostat
The efforts of policy makers and researchers working on migration issues in Europe are hampered by the poor availability and lack of international comparability of relevant statistics. Since 2007, Eurostat has been working with the administrations in the EU Member States to implement European legislation that covers statistics on international migration and asylum. The aim is to make freely available to all users a set of complete and comparable European statistics covering the main migration-related topics – including migration flows, the composition of population stocks, asylum applications and decisions, acquisition of citizenship, refusals of entry at the border and returns of unauthorised residents, and residence permits issued to third-country nationals (non-EU citizens). The improved completeness and comparability allow greater scope for data analysis. As part of its work to better understand the data collected, Eurostat will be undertaking analyses of the relationships that exist between these different migration-related data. For example, the age and sex structures of asylum applicants and the main migration flows will be compared. Similarities and differences in the main citizenships of asylum applicants and labour migrants may also be identified.