Foreword | Table of contents | How to obtain this publication | Access the Database
A Profile of Immigrant Populations in the 21st Century: Data from OECD Countries
This publication presents some of the most comprehensive information currently available on the origin and structural characteristics of the immigrant population in OECD countries.
It includes a large set of tables and charts describing demographic characteristics (age, gender, duration of stay) and labour market outcomes (labour market status, occupation, sector of activity) of immigrant and native-born populations by educational level and country of birth.
These are covered in nine thematic chapters, each including a brief description of sources, a discussion of cross-country differences as well as a short analysis of a specific issue, such as the gender dimension of the brain drain, the international migration of health professionals, or the role of low-skilled foreign-born workers in domestic services.
The data are taken from the new OECD Database on Immigrants in OECD Countries (DIOC), which compiles information gathered from the last round of censuses. They are being published here for the first time.
An introductory chapter provides an overview of the data available and presents a picture of international migration to the OECD area from four regions, namely Africa, Asia, Latin America and OECD countries themselves. The chapter also focuses on a number of specific topics, such as the feminisation of migration, the role of high-skilled migration and the intra-OECD mobility of human resources.
This book is essential reading for experts and policy makers. It paves the way for further research and policy analysis of a range of issues around international migration which are of high priority for many OECD countries.
The ExcelTM spreadsheets used to create the tables and charts are available via the StatLinks printed in A Profile of Immigrant Populations in the 21st Century: Data from OECD Countries
Migration policies and the challenge of the integration of immigrants have risen to the forefront of the political agenda in many OECD countries. Migration flows around the world have grown rapidly in recent decades, and the immigrant population in OECD countries has more than tripled since the 1960s. At the same time, the links between migration and the economic development of sending countries are a topic of growing importance.
Design and implementation of sound migration policies needs to be backed up by relevant, reliable and comparative statistical analysis. Yet, little detailed cross-country comparable data are available on the socio-economic characteristics of the immigrants living in OECD countries. The OECD Database on Foreign-born and Expatriates, published in 2005, which contains information from census data on the level of educational attainment of the population of all OECD countries by place of birth, represented a first major step to filling this gap.
The new Database on Immigrants in OECD Countries (DIOC) goes a step further and provides, in a comparative perspective, comprehensive information on a broad range of demographic and labour market characteristics of the immigrants living in the OECD countries. The main sources of data for DIOC are population censuses and population registers, sometimes complemented by labour force surveys. The DIOC includes information on demographic characteristics (age and gender), duration of stay and labour market outcomes (labour market status, occupations, sectors of activity), fields of study, educational attainment and the place of birth.
This report presents a digest of the information available in the database. Synthetic tables on each topic covered give a preview of the richness of the data. Together, they provide a unique comparative overview of the socio-economic characteristics of immigrants in the OECD area. Each thematic chapter includes a short analysis of a specific issue. New perspectives are offered on topics such as the gender dimension of the brain drain, the international migration of health professionals and the role of low-skilled foreign-born workers in domestic services, paving the way for further research and analysis.
This publication provides the possibility of comparing immigrants both across OECD countries and with the respective native-born populations, thus shedding light on the differences and similarities between these groups. With parallel information on demographic and social variables on persons in origin countries who did not migrate, one can compare the situation of migrants with that of non-migrants on a broad range of characteristics, thus improving our understanding of the migration-development nexus.
Table of contents
Chapter 1. The Foreign and Foreign-born Populations
Chapter 2. Age Structure of the Immigrant Population.
Chapter 3. Education of the Immigrant Population
Chapter 4. Duration of Stay
Chapter 5. Labour Market Outcomes of Immigrants
Chapter 6. Occupations of Immigrant Workers
Chapter 7. Sectors of Activity of Immigrant Workers
Chapter 8. Fields of Study of the Immigrant Population
Chapter 9. Expatriates
Annex A. Methodology
How to obtain this publication
Readers can access the full version of A Profile of Immigrant Populations in the 21st Century: Data from OECD Countries choosing from the following options:
See also: International Migrants in Developped, Emerging and Developing Countries: An Extended Profile (Working paper, November 2010)