Home About the DRC Research Partners Publications News/Events Links Contact us
  More About or or

> All research projects

Types of Migration
Internal Migration
Global Labour Mobility
Child Migration
Skilled Migration
Forced Migration
Return Migration

Key Themes
Modelling Causes and Consequences
Links between Migrations
Rural Poverty and Livelihoods
Social Protection
Gender and Generations
Health and Education

UK / international
Albania / Eastern Europe
Ghana / Africa
Egypt / the Middle East
Bangladesh / South Asia




Global Migrant Origin Database
Updated March 2007

The global data base of the Development Research Centre on Migration, Globalisation and Poverty (Migration DRC) consists of a 226x226 matrix of origin-destination stocks by country and economy. The data are generated by disaggregating the information on migrant stock in each destination country or economy as given in its census. The reference period is the 2000 round of population censuses, so the data do not refer to precisely the same time period. They are stocks not population flows in a strict sense but are, for international migration, the equivalent of “lifetime migration” in studies of internal migration. Four versions of the database are currently available, giving increasing levels of completeness, but decreasing levels of accuracy as the missing data are added via assumption and interpolation with each successive version. Users of the higher numbered versions should be aware of the limitations that this imposes. The four versions are described in the table below. In the first three versions, information is reported on both place of birth and citizenship, compiled in separate matrices (see tabs on each sheet), to maintain the clear distinction between the data, which are clearly based on different concepts. Version 4 combines the two concepts to create a single complete bilateral matrix of stocks.

In essence, the Migration DRC database extends the basic stock data on international migration that is published by the United Nations (http://www.un.org/esa/population/
) and is subject to the weaknesses that characterize all stock data derived from censuses. Users need to be fully aware of these weaknesses when drawing conclusions from the data. The Migration DRC accepts no responsibility for the quality of the data sources.

For a detailed elaboration of the methods and limitations of the construction of the database see the World Bank discussion paper at:


An earlier version of this paper is also on the Migration DRC website here:

The four versions of the data are as follows (please click on the links in the left column to download each spreadsheet):

Version* Number of migrants treated Information contained Main countries whose status is changed from previous version
Version 1 FB 108.5m
Nat 55.3m
Raw data collected including older primary sources where later information unavailable. Meaningless "unknown" totals omitted. Those countries where totals reported prior to break-up redistributed according to bilateral migration stocks post break-up. Aggregated in dependences. Entered zeros where applicable.  
Version 2 FB 111.0m
Nat 56.2
Separated jointly reported nations, and those prior to break-up where no post break-up migration data available, according to population shares. Disaggregated according to subsequent migration stats: Germany, Italy, Canada, Denmark, Sweden, Finland
Version 3 FB 111.0m
Nat 57.6
Removed ethnic nationalities with little or no correlation to states or regions. Added additional DFID figures on the number of Indians residing in Middle Eastern Economies. Removed "unknown" or "ignored" categories as these most likely accounts for domestic population and not migrants. Removed those recorded with dual nationality. Removed meaningless ethnicities: Bulgaria, Romania, Slovakia, Croatia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan Removed unknown and ignored figures: Argentina, Netherlands, Sweden, Thailand, Greece, Bulgaria, Hungary Added DFID figures: Qatar, Oman, Bahrain, Kuwait Removed dual nationality: Liechtenstein
Version 4 FB = Total = 175.7m
Entered United Nations data for country of birth totals where data missing. Used entropy measure to compare nationality and country of birth shares. Having confirmed that the series were highly correlated, used the additional information content in the nationality matrix to supplement the foreign-born matrix with additional coefficients of interest.
Disaggregated remainder categories based on countries’ propensity to send migrants abroad.
Used shares based on countries’ propensity to send migrants abroad to fill all remaining bilateral coefficients. Scaled data to United Nations (2004)
Countries included where no data previously: China, Indonesia, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Morocco, Algeria, Yemen Countries that had nationality data used to supplement FB Matrix: Japan, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Italy, Mozambique

*Please acknowledge the source in all published materials resulting from analysis using this database, and send a copy of such publications to the Migration DRC.

A composite matrix based on a slightly earlier version of these data, which uses some different assumptions to complete the missing values, has been prepared by the Development Prospects Group of the World Bank. See www.worldbank.org/prospects/migrationandremittances


  © University of Sussex 2003 Text-Only
MDW Site design: Meta Design Work Ltd.
With thanks to IOM and Claudia Natali for the photographs