Patterns of Migration in the European Union

Patterns of Migration in the European Union

March 13, 2019

Working Paper

This working paper aims to map the patterns and dynamics of migration within the EU of individuals of EU28 origin as well as those from outside the region. The descriptive analysis is based on existing data, largely drawn from Eurostat’s online database on population statistics. This data allows the mapping of intra EU-migration patterns and dynamics during the last four years. As well as analysing EU28-wide stocks and flows, the paper zooms in to explore intra-EU migration for five of the key migration countries within the EU28: Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden, and the UK.

One of the key findings is that, when analysing migration trends, metrics matter, as different metrics often tell different stories. For example, the total number of intra-EU migrants is consistently higher when using the country of birth metric than when using the citizenship metric. Likewise, it matters whether stocks are looked at in absolute numbers or in relation to the native or total population. The authors also find that focusing on stock data alone tends to give an incomplete picture of the patterns and dynamics of intra-EU migration. Once flow data is taken into account, we see that many more people move between member states each year than the stock figures suggest. Additional analysis of country-to-country flow corridors reveals a high rate of return and, likely, circular migration, especially of Romanian citizens and natives.

Accompanying the paper are Appendix A and Appendix B, which provide access to the data used by the researchers.

Latest Tweets

Don't forget to register for next week's webinar on the possibilities and limitations of intra-EU migration data, brought to you by @KatrinMarchand and @MelissaSiegel1. 19 Nov, 10:00am CET. The webinar is free, but registration is necessary in order to receive the link👇👇


On 19 November REMINDER researchers @KatrinMarchand and @MelissaSiegel1 from @UNUMERIT @MaastrichtU will host a webinar on what the available data can (and can't) tell us about intra-EU migration. Free and all welcome. Register here to receive the link:

Message to our students - To vote in the upcoming UK General Election, you need to register by midnight on 26 Nov. You can register online if you are eligible.

Want to be part of a crowd-sourced, public #photography exhibition? @snapshotox is inviting entrants from all walks of life to engage and participate from 2-9 Nov, by showing us a snapshot of what #migration in #Oxford means to you! #ESRCFestival @MigObs

Signup to our newsletter

Enter your email address to get the latest news direct to your inbox