International migration, citizenship - Migration and Asylum

Background information: International migration, citizenship

Icon International migration & citizenship

What information can I find in this section?

This section provides information and demographic data on:

  • International immigration and emigration flows
  • Acquisitions and loss of citizenship by various breakdowns, such as country of birth, citizenship, etc.

Which migration statistics are available in the Eurostat database?

Eurostat publishes migration data and indicators at national level.

The available time series collected and published varies depending on the migration breakdowns:

  • From 1990: by age and sex
  • From 1998 by country of citizenship, country of previous/next residence
  • From 2008 by country of birth

More information

 Overview of all datasets on international migration and citizenship datasets available in the database

Where does Eurostat data come from?

Eurostat collects demographic data at national and at regional level from the National Statistical Institutes (NSIs) of the EU Member States and from almost all non-EU Member States in Europe, including EFTA countries, candidate countries and potential candidates. 

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Main annual data collections

There are two main annual data collection in the area of international migration and citizenship:

  1. The Demographic Balance data collection
    • By end of June of year n, this collection provides the first demographic data for the year n-1 and an estimate of the total population on 1 January of year n
    • At the beginning of July, data are disseminated in the database table demo_gind together with  Eurostat and national metadata information
    • Based on these data, Eurostat calculates the “net migration plus statistical adjustment
  2. Detailed data on different breakdowns of international migration flows and acquisition and loss of citizenship:
    • By the end of each year n, countries provide data for the year n-1
    • In February (year n+1), the series are released in the Eurostat database, together with Eurostat and national metadata information. At the same time, information provided in demo_gind is updated on this occasion

When is data released?

For each reference year T, Eurostat releases data as follows:

Time Release

February - March year T+2

Detailed annual data on international migration by various breakdowns

How is data quality ensured?

In line with the European statistics Code of Practice and the ESS quality assurance framework, Eurostat carries out controls and validation checks on raw data transmitted by the National Statistical Institutes to check if the 'totals' of a variable across different breakdowns are consistent. For example: the total population of a country obtained by summing up the breakdown by age should be equal to the total population of the same country obtained by summing up the breakdown by citizenship.  

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Consistencies between the different breakdowns available for one variable are verified by cross validation. This validation includes checks of the plausibility of the most updated annual value and of two consecutive annual values. In addition, mathematical verification using standard deviation and weighted average are applied. 

Eurostat also asks data providers to supply specific metadata describing the definitions used and the quality of the statistical outputs to assess uniform standards.

For more general information on, please visit our dedicated webpage on data validation

What is the data revision policy?

Countries may send updates of the data they previously provided throughout the year. Accordingly, updates in the Eurostat database may occur outside of the major updates outlined above.