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Migrants Count: Five Steps Toward Better Migration Data

5/25/09
Commission on International Migration Data for Development Research and Policy
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Those who migrate from relatively poor countries to relatively rich countries improve their well-being and their family's well-being, and new analyses are showing that such migration also benefits the communities and countries they leave behind. But what the research also shows is an extensive lack of good data—a lack that has stunted global understanding and domestic political discourse on a critical development issue.

In this CGD report, the Commission on International Migration Data for Development Research and Policy presents their five recommendations to remedy the lack of good data on migration and its effects on development. The recommendations are politically and technically practical and would allow countries to greatly improve their migration data at low cost, and with existing mechanisms:

  1. Ask basic census questions and make the data publicly available.

  2. Compile and release existing administrative data.

  3. Centralize Labor Force Surveys.

  4. Provide access to microdata, not just tabulations.

  5. Include migration modules on more existing household surveys.

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