How to measure diasporas using absentee voters' censuses: the case of the Spanish Diaspora

Victoria Prieto Rosas, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
Joaquin Recaño Valverde, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

Availability of data is probably one of the most important determinants of progress in Social Sciences and the Demographic Discipline in particular. The widespread system of extra-territorial vote introduces a new source of data for diaspora´s studies that allows analyzing two of the main dimensions of this category: dispersion over territory and demographic characteristics. First, we discuss the advantages and drawbacks of the use of the census for absentee voters as a proper data source for the demographic approach to diasporas. Second, paying special attention to the case of the Spanish Census for absentee voters we describe the current geography of Spaniards abroad from a sociodemographic perspective.Differences by place of birth have been specially considered in the study of the geography and demographic structure of this Diaspora. Results point to a broad increase in the size of this population, largely explained by the substantial rise in the new generations of Spanish citizens born abroad, and its consequent feminization and rejuvenation. From a spatial perspective, North American and Asian countries report net gains in Spanish-born population, while Europe has experienced a net loss. The great increase in registries from Spanish citizens born abroad is located in Latin America, and has entailed a Latinization of the Diaspora over the last decade. Key words: International migration, Spanish emigration, Diasporas, Spanish nationality.

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Presented in Poster Session 2