How does MIPEX decide the scores?

MIPEX score is based on a set of indicators covering eight policy areas that has been designed to benchmark current laws and policies against the highest standards through consultations with top scholars and institutions using and conducting comparative research in their area of expertise. The policy areas of integration covered by the MIPEX are the following: Labour market mobility; Family reunification; Education; Political participation; Permanent residence; Access to nationality; Anti-discrimination; and Health.

A policy indicator is a question relating to a specific policy component of one of the 8 policy areas.

For each answer, there are a set of options with associated values (from 0 to 100, e.g., 0-50-100). The maximum of 100 is awarded when policies meet the highest standards for equal treatment.

Within each of the 8 policy areas, the indicator scores are averaged together to give the policy area score for each of the 8 policy areas per country which, averaged together one more time, lead to the overall scores for each country.


What does MIPEX measure?

Legal frameworks to promote integration

MIPEX measures policies that promote integration in all societies. Integration in both social and civic terms rests on the concept of equal opportunities for all. In socio-economic terms, migrants must have equal opportunities to lead just as dignified, independent and active lives as the rest of the population. In civic terms, all residents can commit themselves to mutual rights and responsibilities on the basis of equality.

When migrants feel secure, confident and welcome, they are able to invest in their new country of residence and make valued contributions to society. Over time, migrants can take up more opportunities to participate, more rights, more responsibilities and, if they wish, full national citizenship.

The process of integration is specific to the needs and abilities of each individual and each local community. Although government policy is only one of a number of factors which affects integration, it is vital because it sets the legal and political framework within which other aspects of integration occur. The state can strive to remove obstacles and achieve equal outcomes and equal membership by investing in the active participation of all, the exercise of comparable rights and responsibilities and the acquisition of intercultural competences.

A regular monitoring exercise

MIPEX aims to be a regular assessment on a widening range of policy areas, critical to a migrant's opportunities to integrate, where countries can benefit from benchmarking policies to the highest, newest international standards. This edition focuses on eight policy areas: Labour Market Mobility, Family Reunion, Education, Political Participation, Long-term Residence, Access to Nationality, Anti-discrimination and Health. A number of policy areas cut across the MIPEX strands, such as integration programmes and healthcare and housing.

What are the highest standards used by MIPEX?

For each of the 8 policy areas: labour market mobility, family reunion, education, political participation, long-term residence, access to nationality, anti-discrimination and health, MIPEX identifies the highest European and international standards aimed at achieving equal rights, responsibilities and opportunities for all residents. The European Union work programme 2010-2014 on Freedom, Security and Justice re-confirmed: ‘The objective of granting comparable rights, responsibilities and opportunities for all is at the core of European cooperation on integration.’ The highest standards are drawn from Council of Europe Conventions or European Union Directives. Where there are only minimum standards, European-wide policy recommendations are used.

Sources of MIPEX equality standards
- Europe -

  1. Tampere European Council Presidency Conclusions, 15 and 16 October 1999
  2. Immigration Law Practitioners’ Association and the Migration Policy Group, The Amsterdam Proposals: Proposed Directive on Admission of migrants, 2000
  3. EC Directive on the right to family reunification, 2003/86 of 22 September 2003
  4. Immigration Law Practitioners’ Association and the Migration Policy Group, The Amsterdam Proposals: Proposed Directive on family reunion, 2000
  5. EC Directive on the status of third-country nationals who are long-term residents, 2003/109 of 25 November 2003
  6. EC Directive on the right of citizens and their family members to move and reside freely within the territory of the Member States, 2004/38 of 29 April 2004
  7. Immigration Law Practitioners’ Association and the Migration Policy Group, The Amsterdam Proposals: Proposed Directive on long-term residents, 2000
  8. EC Council Conclusions of 26 November 2009 on the education of children with a migrant background 2009/C 301/07
  1. Council Directive 77/486/EEC of 25 July 1977 on the education of the children of migrant workers
  2. Council of Europe, Convention on the participation of foreigners in public life at local level, 1992
  3. Gsir, Sonia and Martiniello, Marco, Local Consultative Bodies for foreign residents – a handbook (Council of Europe; Strasbourg 2004)
  4. Council of Europe, European Convention on Nationality, 1997
  5. Bauboeck, R. et al. (eds.) “Evaluation and Recommendations” in “The Acquisition and Loss of Nationality in 15 EU Member States” (Amsterdam University Press; Amsterdam, 2006)
  6. Starting Line Group, Proposals for legislative measures to combat racism and to promote equal rights in the European Union, 1998
  7. Directive implementing the principle of equal treatment between persons irrespective of racial or ethnic origin, 2000/43 of 29 June 2000
  8. Directive establishing a general framework for equal treatment in employment and occupation, 2000/78 or 27 November 2000

Sources of MIPEX equality standards
- International -

  1. UN International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR)
  2. UN International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (IESCR)
  3. UN International Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC)
  4. UN International Convention on the Protection of All Migrant Workers and the Members of Their Families
  5. International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD)
  1. UNESCO Convention against Discrimination in Education
  2. ILO Convention No. 97 of 1949 on Migration for Employment
  3. ILO Convention No. 143 of 1979 on Migrant Workers (Supplementary Provisions)
  4. ILO Multilateral Framework on Labour Migration: Non-binding principles and guidelines for a rights-based approach to labour migration

The research process

The research process started with the revision of MIPEX indicators. In order to ensure MIPEX sustainability over time, we decided to select a core set of indicators from the original list of 167 indicators from MIPEX 2015. Researchers comparing migration policy indexes have identified MIPEX as the most reliable, complete and cited index on integration policies (EC-JRC, 2018). Given that MIPEX number of indicators is much higher than any other index and following recommendations of MIPEX users in quantitative research, the team conducted a conceptual and statistical analysis of the 167 MIPEX indicators to determine which specific indicators were the key drivers of variation between countries. In other words, all MIPEX indicators are simply not necessary—if a country has Policy A, it’s high likely to have Policy B, C, D and E, which means that MIPEX only needs an Indicator of A and not 4 additional indicators on B, C, D and E. The statistical analysis consisted of checking indicators’ reliability by means of the following quantitative techniques: Distribution analysis; Correlation analysis, Cronbach’s Alpha; Categorical Principal Components Analysis. The team also performed a conceptual analysis to understand the indicators’ conceptual reliability, which was assessed based on indicators’ thematic scope: e.g., which indicators were the best suited to catch a policy area; whether or not indicators overlapped; item formulation: e.g., wording, terminology used, answer options; results of the statistical checks.

As part of the conceptual analysis, the MPG team had interviews and/or e-mail exchanges with leading experts on integration policies to assess the importance of indicators for each area and select the most relevant key indicators. The experts for each strand reviewed the indicators to guarantee that they were clearly worded, policy-relevant, and sustainable for future updating. By means of this process, MPG selected 58 indicators as “core indicators”. This core set of indicators still includes all 8 MIPEX strands. This core set of indicators represents the smallest set of indicators that provides the most accurate and comprehensive picture of the integration policy situation in a country. We tested the core set of indicators against the full set of indicators (on 2014) and the core set of indicators has the same statistical and conceptual accuracy that the full set of indicators. The scores produced by the core set of indicators are consistent with the scores from the MIPEX full set of indicators and reproduces the same national rankings and trends. The core indicators will not necessarily replace the full MIPEX indicators. Our aim is to update MIPEX full set of indicators in the future in order to provide more fine-tuned qualitative information on integration policies around the world.

The questionnaires for MIPEX2020, including indicators for the years 2014-2019 were completed by the national experts (at least one per country). The health strand was completed by a separate set of migrant health policy experts and only for 2014 and 2019.

MPG’s central research staff checked the experts’ responses to guarantee that they properly understood the questions and answered them in a consistent manner as in other countries. MPG’s research team also double-checked questions based on publicly-available data and legal texts (e.g., GLOBALCIT, the European Equality Law Network, the European Migration Network). Three MPG/CIDOB researchers checked each of the country questionnaires. When any doubts arose, the MPG’s research staff came back to the country experts asking for additional information. Other national experts were involved when additional information was needed. In addition, MPG research team conducted a final question-by-question consistency check and a check of the changes over time to ensure that similar situations and changes received the same score/change across all countries.

The finalised data for the 56 countries were inputted and analysed centrally by the MPG team. MPG research team conducted quantitative analyses to understand the state of integration policies in the MIPEX countries and overall trends and changes over time.

As a follow-up of MIPEX2020, in 2021 additional updates (on year 2020) for a selected number of countries have been published (in play with the data only). Additional updates are planned for 2022 and subsequent years. The team mainly conducted univariate analysis (distribution and measure of central tendency) and bivariate analysis (cross-tabulation, comparisons of means of different groups of country or years).
Categorical Principal Component Analysis, resulted in the identification of three dimensions:

  1. Basic rights: Can immigrants enjoy comparable rights as nationals? E.g., equal rights to work, training, health, and non-discrimination
  2. Equal opportunities: Can immigrants receive support to enjoy comparable opportunities as nationals? E.g., targeted support in education, health, and political participation
  3. Secure future: Can immigrants settle long-term and feel secure about their future in the country? E.g., family reunification, permanent residence and access to nationality.

Countries have been then sorted in groups based on their scores on those dimensions. Based on these analyses, the MPG and CIDOB teams were able to write up national country profiles. They focused on recent policy changes and investigated the justifications and potential impact of these changes. The results were also written up for each of the eight policy strands as well as for the overall score.

Policy outcomes and effectiveness

The major disparities in integration policies around the world reflect the major differences in integration outcomes and attitudes around the world. The integration policies identified by MIPEX also shape how immigrants and the public respond to these inequalities, as literature shows (see Main Findings section).

To provide this overview of data linking integration policies to outcomes, the MPG team conducted a full interdisciplinary literature review of all multivariate or multilevel analyses over the past decade that studied these links. The studies included are peer reviewed articles from scientific journals and academic sources.

These studies measure integration policies by using MIPEX. These studies measure outcomes in all the different areas of integration, such as labour market participation, participation in most other areas of life as well as public attitudes. In the end, this global literature review, which has been carried out in Google Scholar by using ‘MIPEX’ and ‘Integration Policy Index’ as keywords, identified 128 studies that analysed 414 links between a wide variety of integration policies and outcomes.


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!