Using social media data to ‘nowcast’ migration around the globe

Social media network and remote work illustration, photo by peshkov/Adobe Stock

peshkov/Adobe Stock

What is the issue?

In recent years, unprecedented waves of refugees, economic migrants, and displacement triggered by a variety of factors has made migration a high-priority policy issue around the world.

Despite this, official statistics often come with a time lag and can fail to correctly capture the full extent of migration, leaving decisionmakers without timely and robust data to make informed policy decisions.

How are we helping?

In this RAND-initiated, self-funded research study, we will develop an approach to compute near real-time migration estimates for Europe and the United States, using both official statistics and social media data from the Facebook Marketing API.

These estimates will offer unique information on the characteristics of migrant populations, including age groups, gender, and country of origin, to help inform policy debates in the United States and Europe.