Measuring migration motives with open-ended survey data: Methodological and conceptual issues

Brian Joseph Gillespie*, Clara H. Mulder, Casey M. Eggleston

*Bijbehorende auteur voor dit werk

OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review

1 Citaat (Scopus)
1 Downloads (Pure)


Motives for migration are difficult to measure. Open-ended data collection can be an attractive option, but also comes with pitfalls. We use the “Motives for Migration” survey on internal migration in Sweden to identify some of these pitfalls. We identify five categories of methodological issues: how the respondents—and we—dealt with multiple motives for migration; who the motive pertained to (i.e., the respondents themselves or someone else in the household); whether the motive was related to a status or an event; which third-party person(s) the respondent meant to refer to; and which geographical unit the motive pertained to. We also identify two conceptual issues: (1) the distinction between reasons for moving and location choice and (2) the distinction between moving “from” and moving “to” somewhere. We present some suggestions that will be useful for future attempts to study the topic and possibly such other topics as motives for immigration, getting married, or leaving the parental home.

Originele taal-2English
Aantal pagina's14
TijdschriftPopulation, Space and Place
Nummer van het tijdschrift6
Vroegere onlinedatum17-mrt-2021
StatusPublished - aug-2021

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