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MIPEX, what does it include?

The Migrant Integration Policy Index (MIPEX) is a unique tool which measures policies to integrate migrants in countries across six continents, including all EU Member States (including the UK), other European countries (Albania, Iceland, North Macedonia, Moldova, Norway, Serbia, Switzerland, Russia, Turkey and Ukraine), Asian countries (China, India, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, United Arab Emirates), North American countries (Canada, Mexico and US), South American countries (Argentina, Brazil, Chile), South Africa, and Australia and New Zealand in Oceania.

The project identifies and measures integration policies in eight policy areas: Labour market mobility; Family reunification; Education; Political participation; Permanent residence; Access to nationality; Anti-discrimination; and Health.

MIPEX consists of 58 indicators that have been updated since 2007 (see Methodology).


Why is MIPEX interesting?

How could/should this tool be used?

Policy makers, Members of Parliament, Members of the European Parliament, Non-governmental Organisations and journalists have used the Migrant Integration Policy Index (MIPEX) extensively to inform and widen the debate and conversation with the public

Since policies are one factor influencing integration, MIPEX can be used as a starting point to evaluate how policy changes can improve integration in practice.

Does MIPEX criticise particular countries?

MIPEX does not criticize any country; it creates fact-based, informed debate. MIPEX compares how countries create the conditions for immigrants to participate in society.

Policymakers and civil society organisations can use this tool to propose new policy changes that would better create equal opportunities. MIPEX helps to make integration policy changes based on evidence, not just discourse.

Why does it matter?

With the ongoing economic crisis, there are growing concerns of discrimination getting worse or policies promoting equality and diversity getting less importance and funding. In particular immigration can be politicized in this delicate time and there is a risk of countries reverting integration policies.

Immigrant are an important part of society. According to the United Nations, the number of international migrants globally reached an estimated 272 million in 2019, an increase of 51 million since 2010. Most foreigners still face more difficulties and limitations to fully participating in their host countries than natives. There is, therefore, a need to understand how policies in each country are affecting immigrants, to see if they are helping or hindering their integration.

Why compare countries?

Policy is incredibly complex, with much of it dating back many years.The countries evaluated in MIPEX are natural partners which can work together on shared issues.

Migrant integration is an area:

(i)Where there is a lot to learn and to share between countries (some countries have changed a lot in recent years e.g. nationality laws in Greece and Portugal)

(ii)Where there's a strong case for collaboration.Migration trends and EU laws impacts many of the countries studied and social integration in one country will affect that in another.

MIPEX highlights policies that score well and possible areas for improvement.

Are governments doing this kind of research?

Integration actors can struggle to find up-to-date, comprehensive research data and analysis on which to base policies, proposals for change and projects to achieve equality in their country. Instead they may find anecdotal, outdated information and piecemeal statistics that are too disconnected from the real impact on people’s lives to assist in formulating improvements. MIPEX promotes transparency by increasing public knowledge and visibility of national policies, changes and international trends. It is not always easy for a government to assess the policies of its neighbours. The tool aims to take remove this obstacle and provide local and EU policy makers with:

(i)Independent/objective results (with no political or national bias)

(ii)Truly comparative results

(iii)A complementary tool (not to replace, but to go alongside local data)

Is MIPEX telling countries what policies to implement?

MIPEX simply brings the facts to this important area for its countries. It is not the purpose of this study to make decisions but to encourage and facilitate the debate. 

The study highlights policies that score well and possible areas for improvement. It is for policymakers to decide what to do with this information. 

It also allows civil society and migrants to bring their expertise and experiences to the debate. Neither CIDOB nor the Migration Policy Group are arguing what policies should be adopted, indeed full open access to the results and data is provided so that each policy point can be explored and debated in each country. However, national partners have been encouraged to present policy recommendations that are included in each country profile. For this each partner has taken into consideration the MIPEX results as well as the current ongoing debates in their country.

Has MIPEX been useful?

The first edition of MIPEX was published in 2004, the second edition in 2007, and the third edition in 2010, and the fourth edition in 2015, the fifth in 2020 leading to its use by governments, press, and civil society organisations. See MIPEX History to find out more about the previous editions. See MIPEX in use for more information about the different applications and uses MIPEX has had in different countries. 

Literature using MIPEX has also shown that the integration policies identified by MIPEX shape migrants’ integration outcomes and public opinion on migration and migrants’ integration (see Main Findings section).

How solid is this approach and methodology? 

How were the standards set?

MIPEX identifies the highest European and International standards aimed at achieving equal rights, responsibilities and opportunities for all residents. The highest standards are drawn from Council of Europe Conventions, European Union Directives and international conventions (for more information see: Sources of MIPEX equality standards). Where there are only minimum standards, European-wide policy recommendations are used.

What is the potential for error/bias?

There is a process of rigorous expert selection in each of the analysed countries:

- At least one independent expert for each country completed the questionnaire

- MPG/CIDOB researchers checked the questionnaires and conducted data verification

- Other national experts were involved when additional information was needed.

- MPG research team finalised the questionnaire based on their checks and national experts’ answers.

All data and findings are open access and available for downloading. If you think you found an error we want to hear about it and we have a formal procedure. To initiate this procedure, please contact us. 

Who designed the questions?

The scientific partners for each strand reviewed the indicators to guarantee that they were clearly worded, policy-relevant, and sustainable for future updating.

With the final review of the indicators among the scientific partners, the Migration Policy Group approved the final list of 58 indicators.

How was the research designed?

The indicators were completed by the national experts. MPG’s and CIDOB’s team of experts checked the experts’ responses to guarantee that they properly understood the questions and answered them in a consistent manner as in other countries. Other national experts were involved when additional information was needed.

Are there any other studies of this kind?

MIPEX is unique. There is no other study that provides such a comprehensive comparable view with publicly available data. The MIPEX publication refers to other individual studies on the different areas if users want to read more in-depth.

What is the scope? 

Does this provide a complete picture?

Integration policies are just one factor influencing how immigrants are faring in practice.  There are other factors of relevance, including the age/gender/country of origin of migrants, etc. Policies are an important factor in this, as demonstrated by literature showing the significant effect of MIPEX on the integration situation of migrants (see Main Findings).

What timeframe does MIPEX measure?

MIPEX measures policies that were passed as of the end of the latest considered year. Some policies and some countries could have been altered since this time.

What will happen next?

Many stakeholders and governments are already using MIPEX. The project aims to update the data in the future.

Who ran the study? 

Who ran the study? Are they credible? 

The project was managed by MPG and CIDOB, with partners throughout the world. It was a collaboration between CIDOB, MPG and the national partners with co-funding from the European Commission and the Centre for Global Development.

What was the role of CIDOB?

CIDOB (Barcelona Centre for International Affairs) is a think tank that focuses on international relations; in this project, it set up and stimulated debates among stakeholders across four continents. 

CIDOB has worked together with MPG in different aspects of the research process. At the same time, it reviewed the content for the country profiles and policy strands and was in charge of the editing. 

What was the role of the Migration Policy Group (MPG)?

The Migration Policy Group (MPG) is a think tank, which aims to inform the debate with comparable facts together with an international network of experts. MPG brought: science and expertise, a network of associations, foundations, and think tanks working on integration, and a track record of providing facts on migration to policymakers. MPG coordinated MIPEX since its first edition in 2004.

MPG coordinated the project together with CIDOB, and was in charge of the research desk. It analysed the results sent by the national partners, and wrote the country profiles. MPG also played a key role in the dissemination and communication strategy of this edition of MIPEX.

How is the project funded?

MIPEX 2020 was associated with the CrossMigration project, funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the grant agreement Ares (2017) 5627812–770121.

MIPEX 2020 was co-funded by the Centre for Global Development Europe.


New results of MIPEX

We are pleased to announce that the new results of MIPEX (2014-2020) will be published by the end of 2020. MIPEX 2020 will include 52 European and non-European countries: Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, EU28, India, Japan, Mexico, US and much more. Stay tuned!