How Much Internal Migration Does a Census Generate? Estimates from a Small-Area Study in Bolivia

Jorge Derpic, University of Texas at Austin

On November 21, 2012, a new census will be fielded in Bolivia. Since the economic resources that each community or city receives from the state depends on the number of inhabitants recorded, maximizing the number of recorded residents has become a crucial goal for municipal leaders. Some leaders have threatened to sanction migrants who do not return to their communities for the census. Focusing on the city of El Alto and drawing on a mixed-methods approach that combines in-depth interviews, observations of neighborhood meetings, bus tickets sales and spot sampling of people’s movements before and after the census date, I will evaluate the extent to which the census generates internal migration between (1) urban areas and (2) urban and rural areas. Anecdotal evidence suggests that this may generate mismeasurement in the Bolivian census data. After preparatory visits made in July 2012, the main fieldwork will be conducted in November 2012.

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Presented in Poster Session 9