Steiner, Ilka and Philippe Wanner

Towards a New Data Set for The Analysis of Migration and Integration in Switzerland


To fully understand migratory flows, their determinants and their consequences for the host countries, researchers increasingly use methods based on life course – or longitudinal – approaches. Such approaches aim at following migrants from their arrival until their departure and at analyzing, among other factors, their integration and assimilation processes into the host society. These kinds of analyses inform to which extend (and after which duration of stay) migrants benefit from the same opportunities as native citizens. The introduction of a unique Personal Identification Number (PIN – corresponding to the social security number) in 2010 in the Swiss administrative registers and a new decree, which came into force in 2013, regulating data linkage for statistical purpose, allow today the development of longitudinal statistics based on population registers and official surveys. One objective of the NCCR On the Move was to create such a database in order to develop longitudinal analyses on migration issues. In this context, the aim of this working paper is to review the process leading to the creation of a new longitudinal database (called Swiss Longitudinal Demographic Database – SLDD). Therefore, we first describe its conceptual framework, by presenting the different available registers, the aims and the target population. Secondly, the article discusses the data linkage and the validation procedures. The paper ends with two examples of possible applications.