Using Future Age Profiles to Improve Migration Projections

Marianne Tønnessen, Statistics Norway
Terje Skjerpen , Statistics Norway

Young adults migrate much more than elderly people. As populations in many origin countries get older, this may affect out-migration – and thus immigration to other countries. This is usually not taken into account in projections of future immigration. We show how United Nations’ projections of future age profiles in origin countries can be combined with rates of emigration by age groups, in order to improve national projections of immigration to a destination country, exemplified by Norway. Using several methods for projecting future migration, our results show that projected immigration tends to decline when taking expected changes in age profiles in origin into account. Further, we show how such declines in projected immigration affects the projections for the total Norwegian population until 2100. Our results suggest that disaggregating by age in the immigration projections could have approximately the same effect on future population size as reducing the fertility assumption in the projections by 0.1 children per woman.

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 Presented in Session 33. Methods for Migration Research