Virtual Laboratory of Migration (VLM)

Survey Methodologies

The links and publications featured in this section provide examples and guidance for researchers conducting a migration survey. The best writing services use these resources to further improve their projects. Apart from sampling procedures virtually all other relevant points in designing a migration survey and evaluating the data are covered in the following publications:

  • Jasso, G., D. Massey, M. Rosenzweig, and J. Smith, J.:
    "The New Immigrant Survey in the US: The Experience over Time" Migration Information. Source, January 2003

    The report gives a detailed overview of the design and sampling procedure of the New Immigrant Survey (NIS). The NIS is a for nationally representative, longitudinal
    studies of immigrants. The report focuses on on the first full cohort (NIS-2003), which sampled immigrants in the period May- November 2003 and whose baseline round was in the field in the period June 2003 to June 2004. It also reports preliminary findings on schooling and language skill, labor force activity, health, earnings and wealth, home ownership, and remittances, based on both the NIS Pilot of 1996 and NIS-2003.
    The report can be access here:
    More details on the US New Immigrant Survey (NIS) ? including information on sampling procedures, stratification, and sample geography, questionnaires and codebooks ? are made accessible on the NIS webpage at Princeton University:
  • J. Costanzo, C. Davis, and N. Malone:
    ?Guide to International Migration Statistics: The Sources, Collection, and Processing of Foreign-Born Population Data at the US Census Bureau? (Population Division Working Paper #68, US Census Bureau, 2002)

    The report reviews the methodological issues related to migration data collected in the U.S. by the Census Bureau. The issues covered are relevant both for individual level data collection and for aggregate variables related to migration. It discusses survey methodologies, the international migration-related items covered by the surveys, and the post-collection processing of the data.
    The report can be accessed here:
  • Bilsborrow, Richard E., A. Oberai, and Guy Standing 1984:
    Migration surveys in low-income countries
    Croom-Helm (for the International Labour Office)

    This is considered as the classical reference: One important book addressing the collection of primary individual level data on migration and also providing relevant guidelines for designing surveys and questionnaires.
  • A list of commented bibliographical sources on longitudinal data ? including e.g. migration surveys like in

    Bilsborrow, R. E. and J.S. Akin:
    Data Availability versus Data Needs for Analyzing the Determinants and Consequences of Internal Migration: An Evaluation of U.S. Survey Data
    Review of Public Data Use 10,4 (December 1982): 261-284

    are listed in the NLS Annotated Bibliography page (Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor):
  • Additional useful guidance in designing and the econometric analysis of household surveys ? relevant particularly in the context of research on the migration-development nexus is provided by:

    Angus Deaton:
    The Analysis of Household Surveys: A Microeconometric Approach to Development Policy 1997 Johns Hopkins University Press
    accessible at
    Although this book is devoted to the analysis of household survey data from developing countries the issues covered cast light on relevant methods for migratino surveys.
Virtual Laboratory of Migration
Methodologies for Migration Data

Micro Data Collection
· Survey methodology
· Qualitative methods
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· Migration statistics
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Highly skilled migrants

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