IPUMS harmonized migration variables

IPUMS now provides harmonized migration variables coded to match the corresponding harmonized place-of-residence variables at the first administrative level for all countries as well as for selected countries at the second administrative level. In addition, a set of global migration variables combine all relevant country-specific codes into one variable to facilitate cross-national analysis of intra-national migration. The codes in the global migration variables correspond to those in GEOLEV1, the global place-of-residence variable.

The work to develop spatially harmonized migration variables at the second administrative level for all countries is ongoing. At this time, the second-level migration variables for several countries still reflect an older method of organizing this information. These variables are harmonized over time and by name only. They do not necessarily represent the same spatial footprint over time, and the codes may not match the household place of residence variables in those samples.

In the near future, we intend to develop spatially consistent second-administrative level migration variables for all countries where we have the necessary information. Additionally, to eliminate redundant variables with differing codes, we have phased out the old country-specific migration variables that were not fully harmonized spatially. Original unharmonized sample-specific migration data will remain available via the source variables. A complete list of migration variables, with new and old names is available here

Mapping migration

All new migration variables can be mapped. Click to download the appropriate GIS shapefile for first level and second level administrative units. Use the geography code in the attribute table to join the migration data to the shapefiles. Note that foreign places and missing value codes do not have corresponding geographical code in the GIS shapefile.

Global migration variables

The following variables combine all relevant data into one mappable international variable recording previous residence at the first administrative level. Although these are multi-national variables, they only record migrations within each country's borders. Their primary use is for comparative subnational migration research. International migration is available in a corresponding set of variables (e.g., MIGCTRY1, Country of residence 1 year ago).

Country-specific migration variables: Iran example

Migration variable Label Note
MIG1_P_IR Province of previous residence, Iran; consistent boundaries, GIS Corresponds to GEO1_IR
MIGRATEP Migration status, previous residence Calculated from source migration variables
MIGIR Province of previous residence, Iran Has been phased out, see MIG1_P_IR

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