Microdata for migration analysis: A comparison of sources in the US, Britain and Canada

A. Stewart Fotheringham, Pasquale A. Pellegrini

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


This paper provides a brief survey of current microdata sources suitable for national and regional level migration studies within the USA, Britain and Canada. Of the three national-level census products reviewed, the United States Public Use Microdata Samples (PUMS) are shown to be superior in terms of geographical resolution, the number of individual and household characteristics available, and sample size, while the UK and Canadian microdata provide a shorter time interval over which to study migration. PUMS data provide the focal point of this paper and the standard by which the British and Canadian data are judged. The paper therefore has a dual purpose: it provides information to migration analysts on a very useful but relatively little used source of microdata and it highlights differences between the collection and release of microdata in the three countries. The latter is particularly pertinent to the UK where discussions are underway regarding the format in which the UK microdata sample, the Sample of Anonymised Records (SAR), is released from the census of 2001.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)347-357
Number of pages11
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 1996
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development


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