"Recent improvements in the use of administrative data for migration statistics in countries of Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia"

Prepared for UNECE by Michel Poulain and Anne Herm - December 2023

International migration is a subject at the top of the political agenda worldwide and reliable statistical data are needed to support policy development as recommended by the United Nations. Considering that population censuses and household surveys are not the most adequate tools to collect data on international migration flows, UNECE strongly recommends national statistical offices (NSOs) to use administrative data sources as much as possible.

handbook published by UNECE in 2016 provided a detailed overview how the NSOs of the countries in Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia (EECCA) used administrative data to produce statistics on international migration flows up to that time. The handbook included a number of concrete recommendations for NSOs and other migration data producers. Thereafter UNECE launched surveys in 2017, 2019 and a follow-up in 2022 aiming at identifying improvements resulting from the cooperation between NSOs and administrative agencies responsible for migration data management. 

This report analyzes all answers given by EECCA countries in these surveys. It emerges from these answers that the use of administrative data sources to produce statistics related to international migration has become a key priority. According to the 2022 survey, several countries reported improvements that took place since the previous surveys. These improvements include either methodological aspects of data collection or the signature of a formal agreement for data transfer or exchange between the NSO and agencies. In most EECCA countries individual anonymized data is currently transferred from agencies to NSO. Nevertheless, there are still several obstacles faced by NSOs to use of administrative data sources to produce statistics related to international migration. 

Download the report

Download the annex with comparative overview of replies to the UNECE questionnaires

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