Estimating False Migrations in Spain

By Carmen Ródenas Calatayud, Mónica Martí


In Spain, apart from statistical sources such as population censuses or surveys, the Estadística de Variaciones Residenciales is also used to study migration among the population residing, legally or illegally, in the country. The advantage of using this source – which is linked to the Municipal Population Registers – is that it provides a constantly updated record of inter-municipal migrations among the whole population, through which individual migratory trajectories can be constructed. Despite recent attempts to improve its quality, however, it may provide a distorted perspective of migration, as there is no guarantee that all its registrations are associated with real migrations.
Through the reconstruction of the “migratory lives” of the resident population, this study covers the extent of the false migration phenomenon in Spain in the period 2003-2005.

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