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Cross-national comparison of internal migration: issues and measures


  • M. Bell
  • M. Blake
  • P. Boyle
  • O. Duke-Williams
  • P. Rees
  • J. Stillwell
  • G. Hugo


Our objectives are to identify the issues that researchers encounter when measuring internal migration in different countries and to propose key indicators that analysts can use to compare internal migration at the 'national' level. We establish the benefits to be gained by a rigorous approach to cross-national comparisons of internal migration and discuss issues that affect such comparisons. We then distinguish four dimensions of internal migration on which countries can be compared and, for each dimension, identify a series of summary measures. We illustrate the issues and measures proposed by comparing migration in Australia and Great Britain. Copyright 2002 Royal Statistical Society.

Suggested Citation

  • M. Bell & M. Blake & P. Boyle & O. Duke-Williams & P. Rees & J. Stillwell & G. Hugo, 2002. "Cross-national comparison of internal migration: issues and measures," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 165(3), pages 435-464.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jorssa:v:165:y:2002:i:3:p:435-464

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    Cited by:

    1. Aude Bernard & Martin Bell, 2015. "Smoothing internal migration age profiles for comparative research," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 32(33), pages 915-948, May.
    2. repec:spr:demogr:v:54:y:2017:i:6:d:10.1007_s13524-017-0626-7 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Martin Bell & Elin Charles-Edwards & Philipp Ueffing & John Stillwell & Marek Kupiszewski & Dorota Kupiszewska, 2015. "Internal Migration and Development: Comparing Migration Intensities Around the World," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 41(1), pages 33-58, March.
    4. repec:spr:anresc:v:59:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s00168-016-0753-x is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Jack DeWaard & James Raymer, 2012. "The temporal dynamics of international migration in Europe: Recent trends," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 26(21), pages 543-592, June.
    6. World Bank, 2012. "In Search of Opportunities : How a More Mobile Workforce Can Propel Ukraine’s Prosperity (Vol. 2 of 2) : Technical Report," World Bank Other Operational Studies 12287, The World Bank.
    7. Katherine Curtis & Elizabeth Fussell & Jack DeWaard, 2015. "Recovery Migration After Hurricanes Katrina and Rita: Spatial Concentration and Intensification in the Migration System," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 52(4), pages 1269-1293, August.
    8. Martin Bell & Dominic Brown, 2014. "Analysing spatial interactions: inter-regional migration flows," Chapters,in: Handbook of Research Methods and Applications in Spatially Integrated Social Science, chapter 19, pages 403-435 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    9. Olga Kupets, 2012. "Characteristics and Determinants of Internal Labor Mobility in Ukraine," World Bank Other Operational Studies 26804, The World Bank.

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