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International migration [message #1854] Fri, 04 April 2014 10:28
schoumaker is currently offline  schoumaker
Messages: 51
Registered: May 2013
Location: Belgium
Senior Member
1. What is the information needed?

International migration.

2. What questions will elicit this information?

The sibling survival histories collected in DHS already include the list of all the brothers and sisters, and their age (or age at death and duration since death). Three simple questions could greatly improve the knowledge on international migration and be used to compute rates of international migration.

The three new questions in the sibling survival history would be, for each brother/sister, the following ones:

- QA1. "Has [name] ever left [country of survey] for at last one year?"
- QA2. "If yes, in what year did he/she leave" (ore how old was he/she ?)
- QA3. If yes, "to which country did he/she go?"

Given that international migration is a relatively rare event, Q2 and Q3 would not be asked for most people, and the additional cost of these questions is probably limited.

The same method that is used to measure adult mortality in DHS surveys could be used to measure the risk of first migration. To use the same method as for mortality, an additional question should be included in the socio-economic section of the questionnaire to identify return migrants among the respondents. This question would be asked to the respondents of the survey (who are by definition living in the country).

- QB4. "Have you ever left [country of survey] for at last one year?"

A person answering yes to this question is a return migrant. In order to use the same method as for measuring mortality and obtain unbiased estimates, information on siblings collected from return migrants would be dropped, as if migration were an absorbing event as mortality.

3. How will the resulting information be used?

Measurement of international migration

These questions would allow the following analyses (among others):
- Measuring the risk of first migration by age for a recent period, to any destination
- Measuring the risk of first migration by age for a recent period, to specific regions (e.g. Africa, Europe...)
- Reconstructing trends in the risk of first migration

Improvement of quality of data on siblings

Some siblings might be omitted because they have left the country of residence. Including a question on international migration may limit omissions due to migration. It may also improve the quality of the information on age at death.

Health and migration

Including information on migration in sibling survival histories can be used to evaluate mortality differentials between migrants and non-migrants.

4. What is the priority of suggested additions compared with what is already in the questionnaires?

Important. It would allow documenting a major demographic component.

5. If suggesting more than one addition, what is the priority among the suggested additions?

Not applicable.

6. Should the additional data be collected in all countries, or only in selected types of countries (e.g., countries with a particular type of program, countries with prevalence of a particular infection >5% or 10%)?

We suggest this should be offered to countries as an optional module.

Bruno Schoumaker
Centre for Demographic Research
Université catholique de Louvain
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