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Migrations Map
September 18, 2011 7:11 AM   Subscribe

Migrations Map elegantly visualizes migration data for every single country using an interactive world map.

The data is taken from the Global Migrant Origin Database.
posted by Foci for Analysis (32 comments total) 34 users marked this as a favorite

 
Via.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 7:12 AM on September 18, 2011


That's very interesting! Also, a lot of patterns seemed a bit odd to me until I noticed that this is visualized from 2007 data. It's like a snapshot of the world before the financial crash. I'd love to see what has changed since.
posted by Kattullus at 7:21 AM on September 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


Surely the American numbers aren't right. According to the latest US census data, Germany isn't even in the top ten countries of origin for foreign-born Americans.
posted by craichead at 7:27 AM on September 18, 2011


This is fascinating. Even if it is not 100% accurate, it gives a good sense of migration patterns. But I wonder how the Democratic Republic of the Congo made the top ten departure list for Mexicans.
posted by Captain Sunshine at 8:12 AM on September 18, 2011


Built using Raphaël, jQuery, etc. Supports offline browsing, which is pretty slick. The source doesn't seem obfuscated, either, if you want to see how it's done. (Yes, I'm risking the wrath of the anti-HTML5 weenies.)
posted by Nelson at 8:19 AM on September 18, 2011


According to the latest US census data, Germany isn't even in the top ten countries of origin for foreign-born Americans.

Looking at the fineprint in the Origin database linked in the FPP, I do wonder whether the higher proportion of "born in Germany" migrants might not in fact be children of servicemen returning to the US in their own ebbs and flows of postings around the world in the past decade?
posted by infini at 8:50 AM on September 18, 2011


Its also cumulative - as the sum total of Indian migrants to the US (over a million) is shown in departures.

They are stocks not population flows in a strict sense but are, for international migration, the equivalent of “lifetime migration” in studies of internal migration. Four versions of the database are currently available, giving increasing levels of completeness, but decreasing levels of accuracy as the missing data are added via assumption and interpolation with each successive version. Users of the higher numbered versions should be aware of the limitations that this imposes. The four versions are described in the table below. In the first three versions, information is reported on both place of birth and citizenship, compiled in separate matrices (see tabs on each sheet), to maintain the clear distinction between the data, which are clearly based on different concepts. Version 4 combines the two concepts to create a single complete bilateral matrix of stocks.
posted by infini at 8:54 AM on September 18, 2011


I'm surprised that Greenland doesn't have Denmark in its list of top departures. Isn't it officially part of Denmark? I would have guessed that Denmark would have preferential treatment towards would-be immigrants from Greenland.
posted by Flunkie at 9:20 AM on September 18, 2011


I think this is the first html5 tech demo thats actually useful.

Also, I'm surprised there's that much migration out of the US. I wonder if that number's gone up much since 2007.
posted by tempythethird at 9:34 AM on September 18, 2011


The lack of delineation between a multiline country name and the next country name can make for some strange first-glance combinations. For example, Mexico's departures have:
Congo, the
Democratic Republic
of the
Jordan
Out of which at first glance I parsed "Democratic Republic of the Jordan".

Or, especially striking, out of the USA's departures:
Palestinian Territory,
Occupied
France
Out of which I got "Occupied France".
posted by Flunkie at 10:10 AM on September 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


I was initially really confused by the "Palestinian Territory, Occupied," because I assumed that meant that huge numbers of Americans were migrating to the West Bank. Then I realized they meant Israel. Oh. Is that coming from their source data, or was that a choice that the person who made the website made?
posted by craichead at 10:17 AM on September 18, 2011


No, craichead, it lists Israel separately.
posted by Flunkie at 10:24 AM on September 18, 2011


And Myanmar/Burma refuses to show itself?
posted by jsavimbi at 10:26 AM on September 18, 2011


Huh, interesting. So more Americans are emigrating to the occupied territories than to Israel proper? Is that right?
posted by craichead at 10:29 AM on September 18, 2011


Well, it's saying there are more lifetime immigrants to the Palestinian Territories from the United States than there are lifetime immigrants to Israel from the United States.

Also, it should be noted that its "about" page includes the following:
The Global Migrant Origin Database is the main source of the data. As said on the site, it "consists of a 226x226 matrix of origin-destination stocks by country and economy". Put differently, this is a matrix showing for each pair of country X and Y "the number of persons born in a country X and now living in country Y." Globally, the map is only as good as this data is and it is quite clear, even for a non specialist like me, that obtaining accurate number on such topic is really difficult: you have to use many different sources with different counting criteria, and for some country, it would probably be better politically not to give the precise numbers. So, take the map with a grain of salt.
Incidentally, that page also seems to indicate that the "2007" that someone mentioned in this thread is about the data like population and GDP that you see by hovering over a country, not about the migration data.
posted by Flunkie at 10:53 AM on September 18, 2011


Maybe the USA -> Israel thing and my previous Greenland -> Denmark thing can be explained similarly: Perhaps a Greenlander moving to Denmark doesn't actually count as an immigrant, since both countries are part of the Kingdom of Denmark?

And perhaps an American moving to Israel is, presuming Jewish, also not counted as an immigrant, because the Law of Return says that person is already (or perhaps automatically becomes, I'm not really clear on this) an Israeli citizen?
posted by Flunkie at 10:59 AM on September 18, 2011


And perhaps an American moving to Israel is, presuming Jewish, also not counted as an immigrant, because the Law of Return says that person is already (or perhaps automatically becomes, I'm not really clear on this) an Israeli citizen?
I don't think so. For one thing, Jews are automatically eligible for Israeli citizenship, but I'm pretty sure they're not considered Israeli citizens until they apply for citizenship. (And that's a good thing, because I'd be pissed if Israel unilaterally declared me a citizen.) But also, citizenship doesn't seem to be an issue here. Puerto Ricans are US citizens and are not counted in US immigration stats for that reason, but they're counted in in-migration and out-migration stats here.
posted by craichead at 11:05 AM on September 18, 2011


A lot of migration data is erroneous. People don't often notify their original or host country that they're gone (or have arrived.)
posted by k8t at 11:05 AM on September 18, 2011


But also, citizenship doesn't seem to be an issue here. Puerto Ricans are US citizens and are not counted in US immigration stats for that reason, but they're counted in in-migration and out-migration stats here.
The thing is that there's not a monolithic entity that the Global Migrant Origin Database is getting its data from. It's getting it, for example, from censuses. And it's not beyond belief that the American census treats people who moved to the states from Puerto Rico differently than the Israeli census treats Jews who moved to Israel, or than the Danish census treats people who moved to Denmark from Greenland.
posted by Flunkie at 11:13 AM on September 18, 2011


I am pretty sure that the number of American's moving to Israel has dropped drastically in the last decade or so. Also note that large numbers of Israelis are moving to the occupied territories. I would guess the bulk of those are people moving into Jewish settlements in the Occupied Territories.
posted by molecicco at 11:20 AM on September 18, 2011


I don't think they're relying on US census data for the Puerto Rico thing. At least, none of the US census data I've ever looked at counts Puerto Ricans as immigrants. I'm not sure where they're getting that.

And I would be very, very surprised if Israeli immigration statistics ignored Jews. That would make it pretty useless data, I think!
posted by craichead at 11:44 AM on September 18, 2011


This thing is great but the visualizations are a little misleading. The intensity of the red for each country is only based on the migrations to/from a certain country relative to the other countries for your selected country as opposed to being relative to total migration for all countries. That was a mouthful and hard to say so here is an example.

At first glance it looks like there are as many people leaving to Mexico from America as there are people coming from Mexico to America. They're both dark red. The actual numbers? 342,137 going to Mexico and 9,336,719 coming from Mexico. Almost 30 times more people. Why would they be the same color?
posted by Defenestrator at 11:46 AM on September 18, 2011


the lifetime migration data is a bit odd to get your head around I think.

it states that there are about 1 Million british born people living in Australia and only 100,000 Australians living in the UK must be a little off. it can't possibly be that one sided can it?
posted by mary8nne at 12:34 PM on September 18, 2011


it states that there are about 1 Million british born people living in Australia and only 100,000 Australians living in the UK must be a little off. it can't possibly be that one sided can it?

Heh. Where would you rather live, the cold grey crowded expensive UK with its seven-daylight-hour midwinter days, or sunny warm Australia with its parrots and its beaches?

(Yes, I know, there are other ways of looking at it. Still, that particular mismatch doesn't surprise me at all.)

Top 5 destinations for British expats: Australia, USA, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand. I think we may possibly have some foreign language issues...
posted by ManyLeggedCreature at 1:42 PM on September 18, 2011


I wonder how the Democratic Republic of the Congo made the top ten departure list for Mexicans.

Or how Mexico made it into the top ten for arrivals into Mongolia.
posted by twoleftfeet at 2:50 PM on September 18, 2011


This kind of visualization really can give some insight. Shedding light on the post from yesterday about banning outdoor prayer in France, we can now see the notable fact that the top two countries providing immigrants into France are Islamic countries.
posted by twoleftfeet at 3:16 PM on September 18, 2011


Algeria was, until independence, part of metropolitan (i.e. integral) France, while Morocco, Tunisia and Vietnam are all former French colonies. Many of the Algerians, as well, have partial French ancestry.

Well, it's saying there are more lifetime immigrants to the Palestinian Territories from the United States than there are lifetime immigrants to Israel from the United States.

Anecdotally, this is certainly true (a number of the settlers are from places like Brooklyn's Hasidic community); although here, as in other instances, I wonder how much the figures are skewed by dual citizenship.
posted by dhartung at 4:47 PM on September 18, 2011


I can't reconcile the visualisation's claimed migration to Israel with the information in this page (PDF) from Israel's Bureau of Statistics. For instance, the PDF I linked to says that Israel has 50,700 Polish immigrants; the visualisation says that it has 78,900. The PDF says that it has 70,600 Ethiopians; the visualisation says 58,900.
posted by Joe in Australia at 5:26 PM on September 18, 2011


Very interesting, thanks!
posted by digitalprimate at 6:18 PM on September 18, 2011


I wonder how the Democratic Republic of the Congo made the top ten departure list for Mexicans

Mexico also tops the arrival in greenland -weird
posted by motdiem2 at 12:37 AM on September 19, 2011


Is our childrens leaving?
posted by blue_beetle at 10:21 AM on September 19, 2011


I'm surprised that Greenland doesn't have Denmark in its list of top departures. Isn't it officially part of Denmark?

For a very different reason, I'm amazed that South Korea isn't on the list for people leaving North Korea.

Also: top 10 countries' immigrants to DPRK < 35K. Top 10 countries of emigration from DPRK > 450K.
posted by psoas at 1:35 PM on September 19, 2011


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