International migration statistics produced by a country usually refer to inflows and outflows of international migrants and stocks of international migrants. Who is counted as an international migrant in the official statistics varies across countries, the criteria usually taken into account being the duration of living abroad and either the country of birth or the country of citizenship.
Statistics on flows of international migrants (over the course of a specified period, usually a calendar year):
Number of incoming international migrants by sex, age, country of citizenship and previous country of usual residence. These data can be disaggregated by reason for admission for foreigners or non-citizens, and by purpose of staying abroad for returning migrants.
Number of departing international migrants by sex, age, country of citizenship, future country of usual residence and purpose of migration.
Statistics on stocks of international migrants may be derived by countries based on country of birth or citizenship. Here are some examples of statistics related to lifetime migrant stocks and recent migrant stocks.
Statistics on lifetime migrant stocks:
Population by sex, age, and country of birth.
Population by sex, age and country of citizenship.
Population by sex, age, citizenship status (citizen, foreigner/non-citizen, unknown citizenship) and country of birth.
Number of citizens currently living abroad by sex, age, country of destination and year or period of departure.
Statistics on recent migrant stocks:
Foreign-born population in the country for less than five years by sex, age, and country of birth.
Foreign-born population in the country for less than five years by sex, age, and previous country of usual residence.
Additional breakdowns. When possible, the statistics on international migration stocks should be further disaggregated by marital status, educational attainment, employment status, status in employment and occupation. This will allow assessing gender differences in migration propensity for various population groups; and differences in gender gaps in education and work between the migrant population on one side and, on the other side, the overall population in the country of origin or in the country of destination.
Additional statistics and information necessary to understand the consequences of international migration on families of origin and women’s empowerment:
Number of international migrants sending remittances to their countries of origin by sex of migrant. Additional breakdowns that should be considered are age, duration of staying abroad, marital status of the migrant, and the family relationship of the recipient with the migrant - family member (spouse or children), parent, siblings or others.
Although important, statistics showing the effect of international migration on empowerment of women are more difficult to produce as part of a regular programme of official statistics. When the subject is the empowerment of women migrants, the statistics needed may have to be based on data that are produced both in countries of origin and countries of destinations. Such studies would compare, for example, the demographic behaviour (fertility or use of modern contraception, for instance) of migrant women with the demographic behaviour of women of the same age and educational attainment in the countries of origin. Empowerment of women back home in the community of origin may also be difficult to capture through official national statistics. In this case, more in-depth studies of small areas with high prevalence of international emigration may be a more efficient tool for understanding some of the gender-specific consequences of migration in communities of origin.