Sampling migrants in six European countries: how to develop a comparative design?

Comparative Migration Studies. 2018;6(1):1-21 DOI 10.1186/s40878-018-0099-x


Journal Homepage

Journal Title: Comparative Migration Studies

ISSN: 2214-594X (Online)

Publisher: SpringerOpen

Society/Institution: IMISCOE (International Migration, Integration and Social Cohesion)

LCC Subject Category: Social Sciences: Communities. Classes. Races: Urban groups. The city. Urban sociology: City population. Including children in cities, immigration

Country of publisher: Netherlands

Language of fulltext: English

Full-text formats available: PDF, HTML



Hans-Jürgen Andreß (Universität zu Köln)
Romana Careja (Syddansk Universitet)


Double blind peer review

Editorial Board

Instructions for authors

Time From Submission to Publication: 13 weeks


Abstract | Full Text

Abstract This article discusses the possibilities and constraints of designing an identical or at least comparable sampling strategy across different European countries. It is based on expert reviews from six European Union member states that discuss the possibilities of sampling migrants in their respective countries. The country sample includes two countries from Northern Europe (Sweden, Denmark), two from Continental Europe (Germany, The Netherlands), and two from Southern Europe (Spain, Italy). After a discussion of various definitions of the target population and an overview of existing strategies to sample them, it is investigated which of them can be used in the six countries analyzed in the expert reviews. The focus is on probability samples and the use of population registers, while other sampling strategies are only briefly touched upon. The analysis shows that even with only six European countries an identical register-based sampling design is difficult. The authors propose that, by focusing on sampling immigrants in cities, researchers can better implement sampling strategies which result in comparable samples.