What data do we provide?

Migration policy is a complex research subject covering everything from border controls and asylum rules to citizenship laws and diaspora policies. Identifying the right data with sufficient information across countries and over time can be a difficult task. That is why we created one central “Codebook of codebooks” for all partner projects of MIGPOL. It is generated from a joint compilation file, the Migration Policy Indicators Dataset (MIND), which contains all meta information of all datasets in a standard table format. The coding that was used to harmonize the data and hierarchical structure of all MIGPOL projects is made available open access via a dedicated GitHub page.

The data that is described in the MIGPOL codebook can be accessed in either of three ways:

  • All original datasets are made available open access on the websites of our partner projects.
  • Individual variables from each of the respective datasets can be identified, assembled and downloaded into a personalized file using the search function on the website of the Demscore infrastructure. The output will also provide a personalized codebook and a replication code that can be posted in academic publications.
  • A common static file for all variables of all MIGPOL projects can be found in a separate thematic dataset on migration. All variables of the MIGPOL projects can be linked to any other dataset of the DEMSCORE infrastructure.
Image of the first page of the MIGPOL codebook with a link to the codebook.

MIGPOL Codebook

This “Codebook of codebooks” contains the meta data on all items, indicators and indexes of all MIGPOL partner projects. Descriptions of data entries are copied verbatim from the original codebooks of the corresponding datasets. Some minor details were added for the purpose of data harmonization. This was done in close cooperation with the partner projects. The codebook is primarily intended as a guidance for students and researchers who would like to get an overview of existing data in comparative migration policy research.

MIGPOL employs a broad conceptualization of “migration policy” in order to incorporate a wide array of data projects. It is made up of projects on all types of policies, including admission rules and exit regulations (“immigration” and “emigration” policies) as well as diaspora policies and naturalization rules (“immigrant” and “emigrant” policies). Compiling information on all indexes, indicators and items across all projects requires a particular data management strategy which aims to harmonize existing codebooks and datasets, rather than building new ones from scratch. Details of this process are explained in the codebook.

MIND file

The migration policy indicators dataset (MIND) is a comprehensive excel file containing all meta information on the various indexes, indicators and items that make up the datasets of our partner projects. MIND is the ideal source for scholars and students who would like to get an overview of the data currently made available in comparative migration policy research. It should be noted, however, that the MIND file does not provide information on the hierarchical structures of the original datasets. This information is documented more in detail in the MIGPOL Codebook.

Image of MIND excel sheet with link to MIND file.


Transparency and accessibility are at the heart of the MIGPOL project. We therefore created a dedicated GitHub page with the code that we developed to generate the content on this webpage. We only use open source programs such as R, LaTeX, and Zotero.