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Data downloads

The database is downloadable for free in the following formats:

Stata: Complete dataset for 45 countries, except the full descriptions of policy changes.

Excel: Country datasets including the full descriptions of policy changes and codes.

If you draw on information tracked in DEMIG POLICY for your qualitative or quantitative research, please cite the database in the following way:

  • DEMIG (2015) DEMIG POLICY, version 1.3, Online Edition. Oxford: International Migration Institute, University of Oxford.

If you update or complement any aspect of DEMIG POLICY (countries, years, policy dimensions, migrant groups) for your own research, please get in touch with us. In the spirit of sharing data collection efforts with the entire academic community, we would like to make the additional data available on this homepage as an add on to DEMIG POLICY for which you will of course be credited.


© DEMIG June 2015. All rights reserved.

The DEMIG databases are protected under Directive 96/9/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 March 1996 on the legal protection of databases.

Accompanying documents

In order to correctly use the DEMIG POLICY database, we advise you to carefully study the following accompanying documents:

The following two articles offer insights into the data collection process, the rationale of the coding system developed for DEMIG POLICY, as well as its limitations:

-          de Haas, H., Natter, K. and Vezzoli, S. (2014) Compiling and coding migration policies: Insights from the DEMIG POLICY database. IMI Working Paper Series 87. Oxford: International Migration Institute, University of Oxford.

-          de Haas, H., Natter, K. and Vezzoli, S. (2015) Conceptualizing and measuring migration policy change. Comparative Migration Studies 3(15)

Country files (Excel)

Argentina Australia Austria Belgium Brazil
Canada Chile China Czech Republic Czechoslovakia
Denmark Finland France Germany German Democratic Republic
Greece Hungary Iceland India Indonesia
Ireland Israel Italy Japan Korea
Luxembourg Mexico Morocco Netherlands New Zealand
Norway Poland Portugal Russia Slovakia
Slovenia South Africa Spain Sweden Switzerland
Turkey Ukraine United Kingdom United States Yugoslavia

Complete dataset (Stata)


Main limitations of DEMIG POLICY

  • The focus of DEMIG POLICY was the post-1945 period, therefore historical policy changes are less comprehensively tracked.
  • The focus of DEMIG POLICY was national policy making, therefore supra-national policies such as bilateral agreements are not comprehensively recorded (with the exception of post-WWII recruitment agreements) and sub-national policies are not tracked at all.
  • The focus of DEMIG POLICY on migration policy change is due to its underlying aim to analyze the evolution and effectiveness of migration policies. DEMIG POLICY allows performing cross-country comparisons of the change in migration policy restrictiveness over time. It does however not allow comparing absolute levels of migration policy restrictiveness between countries at a given point in time.

Geographical coverage

EuropeNorth America, OceaniaLatin AmericaAsiaAfrica, Middle East

Australia Argentina China Israel
Belgium Canada Brazil India Morocco
Czech Republic

New Zealand Chile Indonesia South Africa
Czechoslovakia United States of America Mexico Japan Turkey

Finland South Korea

German Democratic Republic
Slovak Republic
United Kingdom

Time coverage (approximate)

Before or since 1850Since 1900Since 1918Since 1945Since 1990
Argentina Australia Austria China Czech Republic
Canada Brazil Belgium Denmark Slovak Republic
Chile South Africa Czechoslovakia* German Democratic Republic Slovenia
France United Kingdom Finland Hungary Ukraine
Mexico Germany India
New Zealand Greece Indonesia
United States Iceland Ireland
Italy Israel
Russia Japan
Spain Luxembourg
Sweden Morocco
Switzerland Netherlands
Turkey Norway
Yugoslavia Poland
South Korea

*Until 1990