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Accuracy and reliability

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Population and Education, Social Statistics
Dorthe Larsen
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Migration to and from Denmark (Discontinued)

Emigration numbers are systematically underestimated. This is due to the fact that many people move abroad without telling the authorities. It is the municipalities who are responsible for the maintenance of the CPR. The correct numbers for emigration is estimated to be about 15-20 percent higher than the published.

A similar problem is not an issue for immigration where the underestimation is about 1-2 percent.

Therefore it is not possible to have a correct measure for net migration simply by subtracting emigration from immigration. That would overestimate net migration.

Persons who take up residence in Denmark without being registered in the CPR are not included among immigrated in the statistic.

Asylum seekers are not included among immigrated in the statistic. It is only when they get a residence permit and are registered in the CPR that they will counted as immigrated.

Overall accuracy

Emigration numbers are underestimated by about 15-20 percent due to registrations occurring later than 30 days after the end of the reference period. Immigration number are underestimated by about 1-2 percent for the same reasons.

Net migration calculated using published number for immigration and emigration are therefore too high and not accurate.

Sampling error

Not relevant for these statistics.

Non-sampling error

These statistic are based on the Central Person Register.

The statistic is based on the date of registration for immigration and emigration instead of actual date of occurrence. Experience shows that delays are a big issue especially concerning emigration reported to CPR. It causes that the level for migration will be more correct, but some migrations can be shown in the wrong year.

Quality management

Statistics Denmark follows the recommendations on organisation and management of quality given in the Code of Practice for European Statistics (CoP) and the implementation guidelines given in the Quality Assurance Framework of the European Statistical System (QAF). A Working Group on Quality and a central quality assurance function have been established to continuously carry through control of products and processes.

Quality assurance

Statistics Denmark follows the principles in the Code of Practice for European Statistics (CoP) and uses the Quality Assurance Framework of the European Statistical System (QAF) for the implementation of the principles. This involves continuous decentralized and central control of products and processes based on documentation following international standards. The central quality assurance function reports to the Working Group on Quality. Reports include suggestions for improvement that are assessed, decided and subsequently implemented.

Quality assessment

An important strength is the possibility to break down immigration and emigration by municipality, sex, age and citizenship.

A important weakness is that emigration is systematically underestimated due to late registrations.

The sum of the quarterly published statistics is not equivalent to the annual statistic. It is due to the fact that the annual statistic is processed later than 1st, 2nd and 3rd quarter and therefore more updated in terms of later registrations.

The statistic is based on registrations in the CPR. Illegal immigrants´ immigration and emigration are not included. Neither are asylum seekers. Only when they are given a residence permit will they be able to register in the CPR. People who move to Denmark with an intended duration of less than 3 months are not required to register in the CPR. The same goes for persons who moves abroad with the intention of staying abroad for less than six months.

Data revision - policy

Statistics Denmark revises published figures in accordance with the Revision Policy for Statistics Denmark. The common procedures and principles of the Revision Policy are for some statistics supplemented by a specific revision practice.

Data revision practice

No revisions are made.