Data and research

The major sources of data on international migration levels and trends are: (a) administrative records; (b) surveys, including both specialized surveys and surveys that include migration modules, and (c) population censuses and population registers. The way in which international migrants are defined can vary between data sources. Collection and tabulation of such data can also vary by geography, by time frame and by the overall scope of data collection. Data on international migrants should be disaggregated by country of citizenship, country of birth, and country of previous residence and also be cross-tabulated by age and sex. Where possible, this data should be collected regularly, covering the entire population of a country, or, at minimum, a representative sample of it. It should always be accompanied by documentation, including definitions and commentary.

This section includes practical guides on migration data collection, analysis and use. It also includes data sources on international migration and related topics, including remittances and research studies focusing on the nexus between international migration and development.


Thank you for your interest in the Global Migration Group.

Please be advised that following extensive system-wide consultations and the proposal by the UN Deputy Secretary-General and the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for International Migration, the UN Secretary-General decided, at a meeting of the Executive Committee on 23 May 2018, to establish a UN Network on Migration, as a successor to the Global Migration Group, to ensure effective, coordinated system-wide support to the implementation of the Global Compact on Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration.


The UN Network on Migration can be contacted via its Secretariat at [email protected]