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DEMIG POLICY tracks more than 6,500 migration policy changes enacted by 45 countries around the world mostly in the 1945-2013 period. The policy measures are coded according to the policy area and migrant group targeted, as well as the change in restrictiveness they introduce in the existing legal system. The database allows for both quantitative and qualitative research on the long-term evolution and effectiveness of migration policies.

DEMIG POLICY was compiled between 2010 and 2014 as part of the DEMIG project (Determinants of International Migration: A Theoretical and Empirical Assessment of Policy, Origin and Destination Effects). It tracks 6,500 migration policy changes (both immigration and emigration) in 45 countries, most of them enacted in the 1945-2013 period.

DEMIG POLICY assesses for each policy measure whether it represents a change towards more restrictiveness (coded +1) or less restrictiveness (coded -1) within the existing legal system. Besides this main assessment of change in restrictiveness, every policy change is also coded according to the policy area (border control, legal entry, integration, exit), policy tool (recruitment agreements, work permit, expulsion, quota, regularization, resettlement, carrier sanctions, etc.), migrant group (low- and high-skilled workers, family members, refugees, irregular migrants, students etc.) and migrant origin (all foreign nationalities, EU citizens, specific nationalities etc.) targeted.

The database has been compiled by the DEMIG team, in particular by Katharina Natter, Simona Vezzoli and Hein de Haas, and reviewed by national migration policy experts.

Read more about the DEMIG project

Our team

  • Hein de Haas
    Hein de Haas

    Professor of Sociology, University of Amsterdam

  • Simona Vezzoli
    Simona Vezzoli

    Research Officer, Leiden-Delft-Erasmus (LDE) Centre for Governance of Migration and Diversity (GMD), based at the Institute of History, Leiden University.

  • Katharina Natter
    Katharina Natter

    Assistant Professor, Institute of Political Science, University of Leiden

Selected publications

Download the data