Short-term migration measurement

Jonathan H Smith, Office for National Statistics, UK
Fiona Aitchison, Office for National Statistics, UK

European Union (EU) expansion in 2004 has been the catalyst for an increase in international migration to the UK. There is particular interest in migration for employment given the opening of the UK labour market to migrants from these new EU member states. Interest is in all such moves, regardless of how long the stay lasts for. This paper describes work undertaken by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) to estimate short-term migration. In developing these estimates three main areas are described: 1. How best to define short-term migration. Specifically does the United Nations recommended definition suit users requirements? This definition essentially only includes moves made 3 to 12 months for employment or study. ONS has consulted a range of users to consider alternative definitions. An alternative definition could include broader length of stay or reason for visit criteria. 2. Estimates of short-term migration (flows) in the years 2004 & 2005. These estimates, based on the definitions developed, cover the key period of European Union expansion and show the increased flow to the UK for employment. 3. A methodology developed to estimate short-term migration stocks (population present). Estimates resulting from this approach are also shown for the years 2004 & 2005. Inevitably, stock estimates are lower than flows.

  See extended abstract

Presented in Session 10: Statistical Sources, Measurement and Methodology in International Migration