Statistical data have been classified by countries of return. To date, the RDP has carried out comparative research investigations in Algeria, Armenia, Mali, Morocco and Tunisia.
Available statistical sources do not provide a comprehensive and precise vision regarding the socio-demographic characteristics of returnees. Nor do they allow the return migration phenomenon and the link between return migration and development in migrants’ countries of origin to be properly understood and analysed.
Short description of national sources:
Data regarding Moroccan returnees allow the return migration phenomenon to be assessed, while taking into consideration the former-residence criterion. Actually, a returnee is viewed as a person who declared, when the census operations were carried out, that he/she was residing in another country before being resident in his/her country of origin. The notion of residence which was adopted in the context of the Moroccan census presupposes that the person stays or intends to stay for at least six months.
The statistical census data which were collected in Algeria and Morocco allow the regional distribution of the Moroccan and Algerian returnees to be studied, while taking into account the area of settlement (urban/rural), the former immigration country, age, sex, civil status and professional occupation. Various tables and graphs combine these variables together.
In Tunisia, the Institut National de la Statistique (INS) used a rather similar definition to the one adopted in Morocco. According to INS, a person is part of the “return population” (i.e., population de retour) when he/she resides in Tunisia during the census operations and when he/she declares a residence in a foreign country before 1999. Various variables have been crossed together, such as the former country of immigration, sex, age, the level of education, the current governorate of residence, the professional situation and the sector of activity of the returnee. Moreover, various categories of returnees could be identified.
In Mali, scant attention has been paid so far, from a statistical point of view, to return migration. Available data are extremely limited as reflected by the scarcity of quantitative data. Moreover, notions and definitions used are unclear or not consistent with international standard definitions. This limits their use for analysis and, more specifically, for comparative research. The last two censuses carried out by the Malian National Statistical Institute (INSTAT) – Recensement Général de la Population et de l’Habitat du Mali (RGPH) – in 1998 and 2009 included few data on return migration. According to these data, 41,824 migrants returned to Mali between 1993 and 1997. The stock of return migrants in 1998 was estimated at 287,497. The RDP team is currently checking the reliability of these data which will be analysed in a short report published on the website of the RDP by mid February 2012. In the current dataset (see below), data stem from the Délégation Générale des Maliens de l’Extérieur/Bureaux d’Accueil, d’Information et d’Orientation des Maliens de l’Extérieur. Such available data pertain to Malian nationals who were expelled from 2002 to 2011.
The Republic of Armenia does not collect data on Armenian returnees in a systematic way. The few existing statistics on the number of Armenian returnees suffer from a lack of accuracy and consistency. Moreover, data mainly focus on the number of unauthorized Armenian nationals who were removed or expelled from their former destination country, which is far from reflecting the composite nature of return migrants’ stocks and flows. Eurostat data inform about the number of Armenian nationals who were ordered to leave the territory of an EU Member State and about the number of Armenian nationals returned from each EU-27 Member State, from 2008 to 2010.
Statistics will be updated and added on a regular basis.