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Statistics and Reality

Statistics and Reality: Concepts and Measurements of Migration in Europe

Heinz Fassmann
Ursula Reeger
Wiebke Sievers
Series: IMISCOE Reports
Copyright Date: 2009
Pages: 320
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  • Book Info
    Statistics and Reality
    Book Description:

    In the last decade, there has been a distinct trend towards a worldwide harmonisation of migration statistics, chiefly pushed by international bodies and organisations that need comparative data. Statistics and Reality shows that these attempts have as yet not been very successful. It provides an accessible account of the history of migration measurement in Europe and analyses the current conceptualisations of migration and data gathering procedures in twelve European countries in the context of their migration histories. Based on this analysis, the authors provide a critical insight into the migrant stocks and flows in their countries. This title is available in the OAPEN Library -

    eISBN: 978-90-485-0637-8
    Subjects: Political Science, Sociology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. 1-4)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. 5-8)
  3. List of figures
    (pp. 9-10)
  4. List of tables
    (pp. 11-16)
  5. Preface
    (pp. 17-20)
    Heinz Fassmann, Ursula Reeger and Wiebke Sievers
  6. European migration: Historical overview and statistical problems
    (pp. 21-44)
    Heinz Fassmann

    Public perception always lags behind actual migration development, and statistical surveys react even more slowly. On the one hand, this has to do not only with the institutional sluggishness of the statistics bureaus, but also with the persistence of their conceptual frameworks and counting methods. What migration constitutes and how it is measured is anything but a matter of consensus, which implies that the resulting data are not comparable, either across national borders or over time. On the other hand, statistics influence the public’s perception of the issue. The concepts and techniques used to measure migration structure the understanding of...

  7. Part 1 Post-colonial countries

    • 1 Belgium
      (pp. 47-66)
      François Gemenne

      Belgium first attracted immigrants through its industries in the then prosperous region of Wallonia. In the nineteenth century, workers were recruited in Flanders and neighbouring countries. During that period, Belgium was a colonial empire exporting officers, merchants, priests and workers. The most important among Belgium’s colonies, Congo, was acquired by King Leopold II at the Berlin Conference in 1885 and then transferred to the Belgian government in 1908. Between the 1880s and the 1920s, a considerable number of Belgians left to administer, explore and exploit the resources of Congo. Between 1880 and 1960, Belgium’s economy was largely dependent upon Congo....

    • 2 France
      (pp. 67-88)
      Xavier Thierry

      France has received successive waves of immigrants who arrived in the country from the second half of the nineteenth century in order to offset sluggish population growth. This demographic revolution, in combination with the industrial revolution, created a strong demand for new immigrant workers in France, a country of early fertility decline and early economic prosperity. This labour demand was satisfied by migrants from other European countries that were unable to support a more rapidly growing population, as these sending countries did not have enough jobs to offer their young adults.

      Migration from Belgium, Italy, Poland and Spain peaked in...

    • 3 United Kingdom
      (pp. 89-108)
      François Gemenne

      Britain has never considered itself a country of immigration (Coleman 1994), and this is reflected in the absence of comprehensive data on immigrants (Coleman 1995: 159), even though some improvements have been made in recent years.

      One of the reasons for this perception is that Britain has always been a country of emigration: ‘Throughout its history it has exported population, particularly to its English-speaking former colonial territories and dominions, both those that broke away – the United States and the Republic of South Africa – and those that remained within the Old Commonwealth – Canada, Australia, and New Zealand’ (Coleman...

  8. Part 2 Guestworker receiving countries

    • 4 Austria
      (pp. 111-130)
      Ursula Reeger

      In its eventful history, Austria has been both a sending and receiving country of migration. In the past, these movements were often linked to the changing borders of the country. This no longer holds true for the more recent history of Austrian migration. Since the 1950s, two groups of migrants have been of particular importance: 1) refugees from the communist countries and 2) labour migrants and their families. Due to its neutrality during the Cold War, Austria received three major waves of refugees, namely from Hungary in 1956, from Czechoslovakia in 1968 and from Poland in 1981. However, for most...

    • 5 Germany
      (pp. 131-150)
      Stefan Rühl

      The first years after the Second World War were characterised by large-scale immigration to Germany. These immigrants were, in the main, German refugees (Vertriebene) from the eastern parts of the former ‘German Reich’, from Eastern European countries and from the Soviet Union. According to the 1950 Census, when the forced resettlements came to an end, 7.9 million refugees and expellees were resident in the Federal Republic of Germany and 3.6 million in the German Democratic Republic. In the same period (1945-1950), about ten million people (forced labourers, prisoners of war and concentration camp prisoners) left Germany and returned to their...

    • 6 Switzerland
      (pp. 151-166)
      Philippe Wanner, Denise Efionayi and Rosita Fibbi

      In the nineteenth century, Switzerland was a poor, rural country. Emigration was common and some examples of this are well known. The so-called Swabian children (Schwabenkinder) – the children of poor mountain farmers – were sent to rich farmers and households in Bavaria or Württemberg in spring and returned with presents and money in autumn. Young Swiss men earned their livelihood by serving as soldiers in the armies of various countries. The ‘Swiss Guard’ protecting the Pope in Rome stands as a reminder of the poverty prevailing at that time.

      With the late industrialisation at the end of the nineteenth...

  9. Part 3 Post-communist countries

    • 7 Hungary
      (pp. 169-194)
      Ágnes Hárs and Endre Sik

      A general survey of the recent history and current situation of migration in Hungary has to include the country’s rapidly changing location in the world system of migration. At the turn of the nineteenth century, Hungary was a country of emigration, sending millions of poor young males (mostly from the fringes of the Monarchy) to the United States.¹ During and after the First and especially the Second World War large-scale forced resettlement movements took place.² Moreover, Hungary lost a substantial part of territories with an ethnically mixed population after the First World War. As a result, an ethnically highly homogeneous...

    • 8 Poland
      (pp. 195-216)
      Jakub Bijak and Izabela Koryś

      Poland is a perfect example of a country whose data on international migration have the typical shortcomings widely discussed in the literature (e.g. Bilsborrow, Hugo, Oberai & Zlotnik 1997; Eurostat 1997; Poulain, Perrin & Singleton 2006). Not only are migration flows severely underreported, but, additionally, the definitions in use do not comply with the international standards determined by the United Nations (1998). Moreover, information on irregular migration to Poland is generally limited to border guard statistics on apprehensions (cf. Futo & Jandl 2005; Kępińska 2005). All of these shortcomings have profound consequences for many areas of socio-economic life since reliable statistics on international...

    • 9 Romania
      (pp. 217-230)
      Ancuţa Daniela Tompea and Sebastian Năstuţă

      Romania has predominantly been a country of emigration. The first major wave of emigrants left the country at the turn of the twentieth century. Between 1890 and 1924, about 170,000 Romanians left for overseas destinations (predominantly for the United States, Canada and Brazil), mainly for economic reasons. However, a large number of these emigrants returned to Romania (Potot 2003: 89-90). Those who left or were forced to leave the country in the course of the twentieth century were largely members of three ethnic minorities, namely Germans, Jews and, to a lesser extent, Hungarians. Of these, only a small proportion of...

  10. Part 4 New immigrant receiving countries

    • 10 Greece
      (pp. 233-262)
      Martin Baldwin-Edwards and Katerina Apostolatou

      In all countries, official state data, such as the census, constitute institutions of power, through which the state ‘imagines’ its dominion – the nature of the human beings it rules, the geography of its domain and the legitimacy of its ancestry (Anderson 1991: 163-164). Since the late nineteenth century, Greece has been preoccupied with homogenising its population with respect to ‘ethnicity’ (although religion was actually the principal criterion) and with managing extraordinarily large population movements (in excess of two million in the period 1919-1926) with respect to neighbouring countries of the former Ottoman Empire (Pentzopoulos 1962). A popular perception was...

    • 11 Portugal
      (pp. 263-280)
      Maria I. Baganha

      Migration to Portugal, in sizable numbers, is a very recent phenomenon. In fact, until the mid-1970s only a few thousand foreigners, mostly from neighbouring Spain, were resident in the country.

      The migratory situation of the country changed remarkably in the aftermath of the 1974 Revolution and the subsequent independence of the former colonies in Africa.¹ During this period, close to half a million Portuguese nationals returned to Portugal. To clarify their citizenship status, Law 308 – A/75 (24 June 1975) established that only those returnees (retornados) who were not of African ancestry were entitled to Portuguese nationality.² As a consequence,...

    • 12 Turkey
      (pp. 281-296)
      Ahmet İçduygu

      Turkey has only recently come to be recognised as a country of immigration and transit. In the past, Turkey was considered, and indeed regarded itself as, a country of emigration. Since the early 1960s it has experienced an exceptionally high level of emigration of its own citizens. It is estimated that in the last four decades more than four million people have left the country, of whom some two million left after 1980 (Ayhan, Ergöçmen, Hancıoğlu, İçduygu, Koç, Toros, Türkyılmaz, Ünalan, Üner & Yiğit 2000). More than four-fifths of the emigrants left for Europe; in particular, more than two-thirds went to...

  11. Statistics and migration: Past, present and future
    (pp. 297-312)
    Ursula Reeger and Wiebke Sievers

    In his bookThe Politics of Large Numbers,Alain Desrosières shows that the developments in statistical institutes were particularly dynamic when their surveys were closely linked to contemporary issues. To prove his point, Desrosières cites the Public Health Movement in 1840s England, Engel’sVerein der Socialpolitikin 1860s Prussia, the economic crisis and the resulting unemployment in the United States of the 1930s and economic planning and growth in 1950s and 1960s France (see Desrosières 2005: 276 and chapters 5 and 6). The present publication shows that in many European countries statistical dynamism in recent decades has been closely linked...

  12. List of contributors
    (pp. 313-314)
  13. Back Matter
    (pp. 315-318)