Database on immigrants and expatriates

Last update: November 2005

This new database on immigrants and expatriates in OECD countries is the first internationally comparable data set with detailed information on the foreign-born population for almost all member countries of the OECD. Five data files are provided, one on the total population, one on the population 15+ by educational attainment and three files giving ‘emigration rates’ to OECD countries by country of origin of i) total population; ii) population aged 15 and over; iii) highly educated persons, for approximately 100 countries. This provides a broad view of the significance of highly skilled emigration, for both OECD and less developed countries.

The data sets are as follows:

  • Total population by nationality and country of birth (detailed countries)
    Two variables have been created to aid in tabulation. These variables indicate whether the country of birth is an OECD Member country and whether the population is foreign-born or native born. The variable names for these two variables are "OECD" and "FBORN", respectively.
  • Population 15+ by nationality, country of birth (detailed countries) and educational attainment
    The same two tabulation variables described above for the first file have been created here as well.
    ISO-3 codes are used to identify countries of residence and countries of birth. Some recodings have been carried out to make tabulations simpler for the Former Yugoslavia, Former USSR and Former Czechoslovakia.
  • Emigration rates by country of birth (Total population)
    The emigration rate from country of origin i is calculated by dividing the expatriate population from that country by the total native-born population of the same country (Native-born(i)= Expatriates(i) + Resident native born(i)).
  • Emigration rates by country of birth (Population 15+)
    The emigration rate from country of origin i is calculated by dividing the expatriate population (aged 15+) from that country by the 15+ native-born population of the same country (Native-born(i)= Expatriates(i) + Resident native born(i)).
  • Emigration rates for highly educated persons by country of birth
    The emigration rate of highly educated persons from country of origin i is calculated by dividing the highly educated expatriate population from that country by the total highly educated native-born population of the same country (Highly educated native-born(i)= Expatriates(i) + Resident native born(i)). Highly educated persons correspond to those with a tertiary level of education.
    Two different results are presented, using two reference data bases for the distribution of education of the population 15+ in origin countries. The first makes use of an updated version of Barro and Lee (1993, see paper) for the year 2000 which covers 113 countries (Barro and Lee, 2000). The second database covers 95 countries (Cohen and Soto, 2001). The highly educated emigration rates calculated on the basis of these two databases have been given, respectively, the following variable names: ERBLHS15 and ERCSHS15.

Codes and sources:

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