Statistics on residence permits in the scope of demographic estimates

Xavier Thierry, Institut National d'Études Démographiques (INED)

Administrative sources are an important mode for gathering statistics on international migration. However few researches have raised the methodological aspects of this field. The aim of this study is to consider how the residence permit databases may be used in order to provide statistics on international migration flows (estimate on first issuances or changes of status) as well as foreign population stock (number of valid residence permits). This approach is based on the knowledge of the features of the information system from the ministries of interior in the 25 European Member States. It focuses on availability, reliability and comparability of the data. It is illustrated by various misleading estimates due to erroneous computational procedures (confusion between first issues and renewal for instance) or insufficient conceptualization of the phenomenon measured (usual residence is supposed within the country even if residence permits have been issued abroad).

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Presented in Session 25: Data collection and measurement of international migration