Migrating out of Poverty

Exploring the links between migration and poverty through research, capacity building and policy engagement

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Migration data

In recent years there have been significant improvements in the availability and use of migration data, however, gaps remain that hinder the extent to which conclusions can be drawn about the relationships between migration and poverty. Data on internal migration remains particularly patchy which in turn limits development of appropriate policies.

The migration data research stream focuses on developing new databases on migration and remittances to provide a critical resource for migration researchers globally and to provide insights into internal, regional, and international migration and poverty.

Migrating out of Poverty is in the process of completing a total of 9 quantitative surveys and many qualitative projects. Below are links to the quantitative data sets that are currently available for use. Qualitative datasets are a bit more difficult to give direct access to, due to the nature of the data. But if you have an interest in the areas in which we work, please email migrationrpc@sussex.ac.uk with details of your request and we will get back to you.

  • Quantitative Household Surveys


    The Migrating out of Poverty Research Programme Consortium has conducted research across Asia and Africa. Our research focuses on the relationship between internal, regional and international migration and poverty, and how those types of migration impact on development. Part of our research relies on a set of comparable quantitative household surveys, and after years of work we now have panel datasets for Ethiopia, Ghana, and Zimbabwe. The surveys have been conducted in Bangladesh, Indonesia, and Ghana in 2013, in Ethiopia in 2014, in Ghana and Zimbabwe in 2015 and in Ghana, Ethiopia and Zimbabwe in 2018. 

    Migrating out of Poverty is publishing this data online to facilitate further research by the wider community of academics, researchers and students. Approximately 1200 households were sampled in each country and interviewed using a near-identical questionnaire. The samples consist of households with current migrants and households with no current migrants.

    User guides and questionnaires

    Each survey is accompanied by a User Guide which summarises the sampling methodology adopted by each of the partners leading the in-country work; sets out key definitions and describes the data files. These are based on sources such as the fieldwork manuals and research reports provided by the partners. We recommend you read the User Guide before downloading the datasets.

    While our surveys use near-identical questionnaires we recommend you download and read the questionnaires for each country as there are differences in coded responses to reflect country contexts and also slight differences in ordering of questions.

    Data files

    Data for each country is available in both STATA and SPSS formats for the earlier surveys. For the 2018 work, we are publishing STATA and Excel files. The user guide for each survey contains further details.


    These are outputs from a project funded by UKaid from the UK government. The views expressed do not necessarily reflect the UK government’s official policies.

    Data may be used freely by academics, researchers and students. Please acknowledge your use of the Migrating out of Poverty data in any work you publish. See the User Guides for each survey for an appropriate phrase.

  • Past work

    The Consortium's work in this area also builds on data gathered by the predecessor of Migrating out of Poverty, the Development Research Centre on Migration, Globalisation and Poverty (Migration DRC) specifically the Migration in National Surveys database – a unique catalogue of existing household survey and census datasets that contain information about migration in developing countries, and the Global Migrant Origin Database which contains global data on origin-destination migrant stocks by country and economy. 

    Working papers
    DateTitle and downloadAuthors
    February 2009 Child Migration in National Surveys Adriana Castaldo, Saskia Gent, Gunjan Sondhi and Ann Whitehead
    September 2005 Quantifying the Bilateral Movements of Migrants Christopher R Parsons, Ronald Skeldon, Terrie L Walmsley and L Alan Winters
    Briefing papers
    DateTitle and download
    October 2008 Measuring the Migration-Development Nexus: An Overview of Available Data
    April 2005 Who is Most Likely to Migrate from Albania? Evidence from the Albania Living Standards Measurement Survey
    Resource guides
    DateTitle and download
    2008-2011 Migration in National Surveys
    2005-2007 Global Migrant Origin Database

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