Linking Migration Administrative Migration Records and the Electoral List for Estimating the Number of Costa Rican Emigrants

Gilbert Brenes-Camacho, Universidad de Costa Rica

As part of the demographic evaluation of the 2011 Population Census of Costa Rica, we found that emigration from Costa Rica was increasing, but there was no trustworthy figure of the number of emigrants. Based on the Costa Rican national identification number, we linked four datasets: the Births Master Dataset, the Electoral List (“padrón”)–which is the basis for the census evaluation–,the Deaths Registry or Death Index, and the Migration dataset, that contains all the entries and exits through “ports of entry”. Based on the linked datasets, we estimated that between January 2000 and May 2011, 124,539 Costa Ricans left the country and did not return. Among them, 117,478 were still recorded in the Electoral List: 60,786 men and 56,692 women. By characterizing the emigrant population by sex, age, and last county of residence, we described the main patterns of the Costa Rican emigration process of the last decade.

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Presented in Session 83: Using Linked Data from Separate Sources