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The concept of the international migration statistics system in poland
THE CONCEPT OF THE INTERNATIONAL MIGRATION
STATISTICS SYSTEM IN POLAND
The hitherto work on an improvement of international migration statistics has led to
the development of a new system of migration statistics in Poland within the scope of official statistics. It has been assumed that migration statistics should provide information on both migration flows and stocks. The data on flows allows the following of the size and directions of the inflow/outflow of people from abroad/ to abroad during a given period – most frequently during a given year. In turn, the data on migration stocks, which is based on the information on citizenship, country of birth or country of previous residence, allows additional description of the population of a given country. Such analysis is very valuable for foundations of the appropriate policy on migration.
Considering the national and international migration informational needs as well as the
present capabilities of official statistical surveys in Poland a system of international migration statistics was established on the basis of three types of data sources: administrative systems, statistical surveys and foreign data sources, including statistics and administration systems of other countries (see Chart 1). Such sources usually provide information on a certain type of migration or certain group of migrants.
1. Administrative data
The general source for administrative data on migration is the PESEL
register (Universal Electronic System for Registration of the Population
), which provides information on permanent-stay migration flows. Such migrations are assumed to be mobility of a permanent or settlement nature. The number of such migrations during the years 2004 - 2008 fluctuated between 9-15 thousands for immigration into Poland and 19-47 thousands for emigration from Poland.
Chart 1. System of international migration statistics in Poland
In compliance with Polish law, each person intending to permanently reside in Poland
is obliged to register for permanent stay in the gmina (the smallest administrative unit in Poland)
. Analogically, each person departing Poland permanently should deregister their permanent stay in Poland. This registration and deregistration data is forwarded to the PESEL register, which is administered by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Administration (MSWiA)
. The statistics receive quarterly data on international migration from this register.
The scope of the acquired data includes the following:
• country of the previous/target stay, • location of the current permanent stay (for immigrants), • location of the permanent residence in Poland prior to departure (for emigrants),
• date of registration/deregistration, • sex, age, marital status and citizenship of migrating people.
It should be noted that a person who arrives in the country with the intention of
settlement is included in the statistics only following the official registration procedures – regardless of the time passed from the arrival to Poland. Therefore, the key factor is the registration process, not the time of migration.
The PESEL register is also a source of data on the population according to citizenship,
as well as – since 2009 – on migration for permanent stay according to the country of birth. This register does not contain data directly naming the country of birth, but only of the birth place. However the CSO does collect this data and specifies the country of birth on the basis of the available data on the birth place.
Another important source of data on international migrations in Poland is the POBYT
, which is maintained by the Office for Foreigners (OF).
This system facilitates the
maintenance of registers and records of foreigners in the field of settlement, international
protection, visas, invitations, deportations and unwelcome people. This system includes
information concerning EU citizens and their family members, as well as on the citizens of
third countries. It is the only source of data for the statistics required by Regulation No.
862/2007 in the domain of permit statistics, international protection and deportations from
the Republic of Poland territory.
The statistics acquired from the POBYT system is also among the significant sources
for the preparation of estimates of immigrants in Poland by the CSO.
The registers of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Administration
also provides data on
people returning to Poland by force of repatriation, and people who were granted Polish citizenship during a given year. This information concerns all people who acquired Polish citizenship through means other than birth and repatriation – not only through appointment by the President of the Republic of Poland (this is the most numerous group) but also acquired through other modes, foreseen by the Act on Polish citizenship.
2. Statistical surveys
The surveys performed by the CSO are a significant element in the foreign migration
statistics system in Poland. They include the survey of population (permanent residents of
other countries) registered for a temporary stay exceeding three months, and population
(permanent residents of Poland) not present due to being abroad for a temporary stay
exceeding three months
. The survey is conducted according to the state at the end of the
calendar year, which means that the received information concerns the stocks of immigrants
temporarily residing in Poland and Polish emigrants temporarily residing abroad.
It should be noted that the main sources of this data are the registers maintained by the
gminas. However, this is not complete (actual) data on temporary migrations, since not all migrants (i.e. both people arriving in Poland and departing the country for a temporary stay) perform the registration/deregistration obligation. Therefore the data acquired from this survey reflects the official and legal situation, not the actual level of temporary migration.
1 European Parliament and Council Regulation (EC) No 862/2007 on Community statistics on migration and international protection and repealing Council Regulation (EEC) No 311/76 on the compilation of statistics on foreign workers
The scope of data acquired through this survey includes the following:
• for immigrants:
• place of the temporary residence, • previous country of residence, • planned duration of stay in Poland, • sex, age, marital status, education and citizenship of the immigrants.
• for emigrants:
• place of permanent residence in Poland, • target country, • planned duration of stay abroad, • sex, age, education and citizenship of the migrating persons.
The dynamics of the temporary-stay migrations, especially emigration, are
significantly higher than those of definitive migrations. However this study includes a relatively low group of migrating people. The results of temporary migration surveys are applied to the preparation of the estimate of the number of Polish citizens temporarily staying abroad.
The subsequent statistical survey providing information on migration is the
Labour Force Survey (LFS).
Since 2010 the size of the sample in this survey was doubled
(50700 private households were actually surveyed), but it is still insufficient for the survey of
international migrations. The LFS survey does not include all groups of migrants, e.g. the
persons who emigrated with their entire families, people who created single-person
households and resided alone prior to their departure, etc. The LFS also does not encompass
immigrants residing in collective accommodation facilities (households). The discussed
survey does not provide data on the size of international migration, however – according to
our evaluation – it sufficiently represents the trends and main directions of emigration, which
allows its results to be applied to the estimates of international emigration from Poland. It
should be noted that the scope of information on these migrants is very broad, since it
includes the following:
country of birth of the surveyed people (for people born abroad, the collected data
concerns the duration of their stay in Poland),
residence one year prior to the survey (if the person is staying abroad, the collected information concerns the objective country).
The above information is collected for all people (regardless of their age) included in the
Additionally, due to the national need, the Polish LFS introduced a set of questions
concerning temporary-stay emigration. The collected data relates to the number of people (regardless of their age) who were previously members of a private household and remain associated with it, and are temporarily staying abroad for a period exceeding three months. The scope of this information includes the following: sex, age, education, relation to the head of the private household, country of residence, period of absence (up to one year or longer), and reason for absence (labour, education, others) of the emigrants.
The information on emigrants is acquired from other members of the private household,
who remain in the country. Therefore this puts a certain burden on the quality of the acquired data on migration and limits analytical capabilities.
Starting in 2005, Poland introduced the European Union Survey on Income and Living
. The main target of the implementation of the survey in EU is to
collect the data on the income and poverty situation and other aspects of the population’s
living conditions, comparable at Community level. It also recognises certain issues on foreign
migration. The following information is collected on all members of the private household
(regardless of their age):
country of citizenship (in the case of holding dual citizenship, the data is collected on the second citizenship),
reason for the absence (in case of a person being a member of the private household
Furthermore, due to national needs, Poland implemented the question on the number of
people temporarily staying abroad who were members of the surveyed private household prior to their departure. Such people are characterised according to the following:
The size of the sample observed in the EU-SILC survey is not sufficient for surveying
international migration. However, much like the LFS data, the results of this survey are applied to the preparation of estimates of the actual level of temporary emigration from Poland.
There are also other surveys on international migration conducted in Poland
They are performed in the domain of official statistics, independently by the CSO or in collaboration with other institutions. Such surveys include the following:
• Survey performed collectively by the CSO and the Ministry of Labour and Social
Policy, concerning foreigners who have acquired authorisation to work in Poland.
The data collected concerns both individual permits and work permits for foreigners
posted to Poland in order to perform export services.
However, it should be noted that this data does not include all people taking up work
in Poland - only those subject to the obligation to carry a work permit. Following Poland’s accession to the EU, the residents of the European Economic Area (EEA), who did not implement or abandoned limitations in access to the labour market for citizens of Poland, could have assumed work in Poland without the necessity of obtaining a work permit. Since 17 January 2007 – when Poland abandoned the utilisation of equivalent solutions – this law has encompassed all residents of the EEA. There are numerous other exceptions concerning foreigners who do not have to obtain a permit for working in Poland.
In the presence of the above, the data on the number of issued permits for work in
Poland does not reflect the level of foreigners employed in Poland.
• CSO survey on foreigners studying in Poland.
The statistical offices receive a broad scope of data on graduates and students from
their academies. This information also concerns foreign graduates and students (including first-year students). The data is prepared according to the sex, age and citizenship of the foreigners, as well as the types of schools and majors. There is also accessible data on foreign students of Polish origin and foreign students holding permits to settle in Poland. The data
presents the state as of 30 November of each year and includes students of both public and private academies.
• CSO survey providing information on foreigners working in Poland – performed
in the field of standard employment statistics.
This survey supplies information on the overall number of foreigners taking up work
in enterprises employing over nine workers. The data is available according to sex and the PKD (NACE) classification sections; it is not possible to acquire data according to citizenship. The level is low – approx. six thousand foreigners employed in enterprises in 2008.
3. International migration in censuses 2002 and 2011 in Poland
The population censuses are an extremely valuable source of data, as they supply
much information on migration stocks, an in a certain area also on migration flows.
most recent census conducted in Poland in 2002 allowed to describe of the population of
Poland according to citizenship and country of birth. This is valuable information, which had
not been previously available to Polish statistics. The collection of such data allowed to
distinguish the people with immigration origins. The 2002 population census also served as
the base for the following:
- emigrants, i.e. the group of persons – permanent residents of our country, temporarily
staying abroad for a period exceeding two months; the collected information concerned the country of stay of the emigrant, reasons for the departure and the period of staying abroad, which allowed the separation of the short-term emigrant group – staying abroad between two and twelve months – and long-term emigrants – staying abroad at least twelve months. The year of departure was additionally defined for the long-term emigrants,
- immigrants, i.e. the group of persons who are permanent residents of another country,
but temporarily staying in Poland. The acquired information allowed the preparation of a detailed demographical and social description of the immigrants. However, it should be noted that the results on the number of immigrants temporarily residing in Poland acquired through the 2002 census turned out to be understated. It is possible that most of the immigrants with a non-resolved status of residing in Poland were not registered, as well as a certain part of immigrants holding authorisation for temporary stay.
The results of the 2002 census remain as the basic information source for the
preparation of the estimate of the number of persons temporarily residing abroad.
Due to the growing significance of migration in the world, especially in the European
Union, the recommendations for the next population census (in 2011) place specific pressure on the survey of migration, which is presented by the definition of four subjects as obligatory. Furthermore, it is recommended to expand the survey by six additional subjects, which will allow the acquisition of additional information on the migrants.
The 2011 Polish census primarily plans to acquire information on migrants, in the
same field as the 2002 census (in order to perform comparison analyses), but also intends to expand the scope of information which is important for international statistical obligations in relation to migration. In the context of the aforementioned Regulation No. 862/2007, it is important to collect data on the people who acquired Polish citizenship by way of naturalisation. The examination of the reasons for migration will in turn allow for the isolation of forced migration, i.e. refugees or persons under international protection, and also for the observation of the increasing migration flows (including financial) in relation to the opening of the borders and Poland accession to the European Union.
In relation to the above, the 2011 census it is supplemented the following issues:
country of birth, country of citizenship and previous stay abroad for at least twelve months – which will aid in the characterisation of immigration resources. Furthermore, it is supplemented with questions on the previous place of residence, the date of arriving at the location of the present residence, reason for migration, and the birthplace of parents, which will allow the isolation of the so-called second generation of immigrants.
Cyclical statistical surveys
During the years between the censuses, public statistics perform, which include defined
categories of migrants.
As mentioned in the introduction, the acquisition of data on the actual level of
migration, especially for temporary stay, is very difficult, for a number of reasons. Foreigners, especially those with unsettled residential status, tend to stay in dwellings or facilities deprived of collective residence characteristics and at the same time not considered dwellings (e.g. summer houses, garages, industrial buildings, etc.) without registration. Therefore the examination of such a group is seemingly impossible. In turn, the scope of data on migration for temporary stay – available from administrative registers – is insufficient.
With this in mind, there was an attempt to define the present immigration resource in
Poland, based on two additional surveys conducted in 2008: The situation of migrants and their descendents on the labour market
” – as a module to the LFS with an expanded range of questions for national needs, and a complementary survey entitled “Immigrants in Poland
” performed in collective residence facilities (not planned to be included in the LFS survey) as the target surveys.
The acquired results were not entirely satisfactory, due to the relatively low number of
respondents, i.e. immigrants from abroad, while the target of both surveys was the recognition of the actual dimensions of the immigration resources in Poland, as well as the possibly broad demographic, social and economic description of such resources.
The acquired experience confirms that the surveying of foreign immigration is a very
difficult task, especially in the conditions of open borders and free flow of people. Nevertheless, the conclusions reached during the preparation of the results of these surveys will allow the improvement of both the foreign immigrant survey method itself, and the survey tools.
4. Foreign sources of data
Foreign sources, i.e. statistics conducted by statistical offices of other countries, are
another type of data sources applied by Polish migration statistics, including the reflection statistics and foreign registers and databases.
Poland utilises data originating from the administrative registers of other countries,
e.g. the data on the number of people registered in the Worker Registration Scheme (WRS),
administered by the Home Office
of Great Britain, and data on the persons who were granted the National Insurance Number (NINo)
in this country – published by the Department for Work and Pensions
, as well as data on the number of Personal Public Service Numbers (PPS)
2 Implemented through the Regulation of the European Commission No. 102/2007 of 2 February 2007, assuming the specification of the ad hoc module for 2009 concerning the situation of migrants and their descendents on the labour market.
issued in Ireland, published in reports. The above data is applied to the process of estimating data on the emigration of Polish citizens.
When applying the aforementioned sources it is necessary to take account of their
nature, i.e. for what purpose the given country (administrator) creates the register or database. It should also be remembered that many systems do not include all immigrants, and simultaneously includes those who have already departed the country of emigration for other countries of the Community, which e.g. subsequently opened their labour markets or moderated their regulations on employment of foreigners.
5. Estimation of migration statistics
The full implementation of the aforementioned migration statistics system requires
time and intensive methodological work. The available data sources differ in methodology, scope of acquired data, analysed population, classification, interpretation and availability. This system has not yet been fully implemented in Poland. The CSO continues to work on its full implementation and improvement, but most of the system’s elements are partly or fully applied in Polish public statistics, e.g. for the preparation of estimates.
As previously emphasised, the foreign migration statistics utilise numerous sources of
data, including a broad scope of information originating from administrative sources. However, the number of these sources makes the connection of information to define the sizes of migration flows extremely difficult; there is always the danger of double-counting certain groups of persons, and simultaneously omitting others.
The shortages of recording systems, legal gaps and the individual “approach” of
people to the issue of registering in various administrative systems do not favour the acquisition of quality-oriented statistical data on international migrations.
Similar difficulties are presented when attempting to properly assess the migration
stocks. The population censuses, which seem to be a good source for such information, are usually conducted once every ten years, and their results quickly become outdate when facing a dynamic process such as migration.
Since the acquisition of data on the actual level of migration from a specific survey or
register is extremely difficult, it seems rational to connect various available national and foreign sources and assign them as the basis for the adequate estimates of migration (immigration and emigration) stocks and flows. This approach is currently applied in Polish migration statistics, however, with the recognition of the full complexity of migration phenomena, resulting not only from various systems of recording migrants, but also from the changing legislations.
The CSO prepares estimates of the number of persons temporarily residing abroad and
the geographical structure according to emigration target countries since 2006. The starting point for the estimates is the 2002 population census data which is supplemented by the statistical survey (including LFS and EU-SILC), and registers and statistics of other countries. The often-quoted Regulation No. 862/2007 implements expert assessments as an official source of statistical information.
It should be noted that the estimates present the number of emigrants from Poland
temporarily residing abroad according to the states as at the end of each year. Therefore the presented data reflects the so-called immigration stocks of Polish citizens in other countries. The results of the estimates do not include the seasonal emigrations of Polish citizens, which
are subject to simplified official and legal procedures or not registered at all in most countries of the Community due to their duration – most frequently less than three months.
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