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Exploring the use of mobile phone data for national migration statistics

Exploring the use of mobile phone data for national migration statistics
Exploring the use of mobile phone data for national migration statistics
Statistics on internal migration are important for keeping estimates of subnational population numbers up-to-date, as well as urban planning, infrastructure development, and impact assessment, among other applications. However, migration flow statistics typically remain constrained by the logistics of infrequent censuses or surveys. The penetration rate of mobile phones is now high across the globe with rapid recent increases in ownership in low-income countries. Analyzing the changing spatiotemporal distribution of mobile phone users through anonymized call detail records (CDRs) offers the possibility to measure migration at multiple temporal and spatial scales. Based on a dataset of 72 billion anonymized CDRs in Namibia from October 2010 to April 2014, we explore how internal migration estimates can be derived and modeled from CDRs at subnational and annual scales, and how precision and accuracy of these estimates compare to census-derived migration statistics. We also demonstrate the use of CDRs to assess how migration patterns change over time, with a finer temporal resolution compared with censuses. Moreover, we show how gravity-type spatial interaction models built using CDRs can accurately capture migration flows. The results highlight that estimates of migration flows made using mobile phone data is a promising avenue for complementing more traditional national migration statistics and obtaining more timely and local data.
2055-1045
Lai, Shengjie
b57a5fe8-cfb6-4fa7-b414-a98bb891b001
Zu Erbach-schoenberg, Elisabeth DP
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Pezzulo, Carla
876a5393-ffbd-479a-9edf-f72a59ca2cb5
Ruktanonchai, Nick
fe68cb8d-3760-4955-99fa-47d43f86580a
Sorichetta, Alessandro
c80d941b-a3f5-4a6d-9a19-e3eeba84443c
Steele, Jessica
5cbba8c8-f3fd-41ee-82c8-0aa13c04c04d
Li, Tracey
fe5c5275-227c-4cbd-b356-fddec8e8103a
Dooley, Claire
8caf4d90-5b57-4f92-a6e6-ff2399114af1
Tatem, Andrew
6c6de104-a5f9-46e0-bb93-a1a7c980513e
Lai, Shengjie
b57a5fe8-cfb6-4fa7-b414-a98bb891b001
Zu Erbach-schoenberg, Elisabeth DP
9a1f59b2-c661-42c9-ad94-96772c292add
Pezzulo, Carla
876a5393-ffbd-479a-9edf-f72a59ca2cb5
Ruktanonchai, Nick
fe68cb8d-3760-4955-99fa-47d43f86580a
Sorichetta, Alessandro
c80d941b-a3f5-4a6d-9a19-e3eeba84443c
Steele, Jessica
5cbba8c8-f3fd-41ee-82c8-0aa13c04c04d
Li, Tracey
fe5c5275-227c-4cbd-b356-fddec8e8103a
Dooley, Claire
8caf4d90-5b57-4f92-a6e6-ff2399114af1
Tatem, Andrew
6c6de104-a5f9-46e0-bb93-a1a7c980513e

Lai, Shengjie, Zu Erbach-schoenberg, Elisabeth DP, Pezzulo, Carla, Ruktanonchai, Nick, Sorichetta, Alessandro, Steele, Jessica, Li, Tracey, Dooley, Claire and Tatem, Andrew (2019) Exploring the use of mobile phone data for national migration statistics. Palgrave Communications, 5, [34]. (doi:10.1057/s41599-019-0242-9).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Statistics on internal migration are important for keeping estimates of subnational population numbers up-to-date, as well as urban planning, infrastructure development, and impact assessment, among other applications. However, migration flow statistics typically remain constrained by the logistics of infrequent censuses or surveys. The penetration rate of mobile phones is now high across the globe with rapid recent increases in ownership in low-income countries. Analyzing the changing spatiotemporal distribution of mobile phone users through anonymized call detail records (CDRs) offers the possibility to measure migration at multiple temporal and spatial scales. Based on a dataset of 72 billion anonymized CDRs in Namibia from October 2010 to April 2014, we explore how internal migration estimates can be derived and modeled from CDRs at subnational and annual scales, and how precision and accuracy of these estimates compare to census-derived migration statistics. We also demonstrate the use of CDRs to assess how migration patterns change over time, with a finer temporal resolution compared with censuses. Moreover, we show how gravity-type spatial interaction models built using CDRs can accurately capture migration flows. The results highlight that estimates of migration flows made using mobile phone data is a promising avenue for complementing more traditional national migration statistics and obtaining more timely and local data.

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Exploring the use of mobile phone data for national migration statistics - Accepted Manuscript
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Accepted/In Press date: 1 March 2019
e-pub ahead of print date: 26 March 2019
Published date: 26 March 2019

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 429109
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/429109
ISSN: 2055-1045
PURE UUID: 18b642c3-2fba-4e3e-a42f-385c9fbfd635
ORCID for Shengjie Lai: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-9781-8148
ORCID for Alessandro Sorichetta: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-3576-5826
ORCID for Andrew Tatem: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-7270-941X

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 21 Mar 2019 17:30
Last modified: 16 May 2020 00:58

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Contributors

Author: Shengjie Lai ORCID iD
Author: Elisabeth DP Zu Erbach-schoenberg
Author: Carla Pezzulo
Author: Jessica Steele
Author: Tracey Li
Author: Claire Dooley
Author: Andrew Tatem ORCID iD

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