Applying and testing a forecasting model for age and sex patterns of immigration and emigration

James Raymer, Arkadiusz Wiśniowski

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International migration flows are considered the most difficult demographic component to forecast and, for that reason, models for forecasting migration are few and relatively undeveloped. This is worrying because, in developed societies, international migration is often the largest component of population growth and most influential in debates about societal and economic change. In this paper, we address the need for better forecasting models of international migration by testing a hierarchical (bilinear) model within the Bayesian inferential framework, recently developed to forecast age and sex patterns of immigration and emigration in the United Kingdom, on other types of migration flow data: age- and sex-specific time series from Sweden, South Korea, and Australia. The performances of the forecasts are compared and assessed with the observed time-series data. The results demonstrate the generality and flexibility of the model and of Bayesian inference for forecasting migration, as well as for further research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)339-355
Number of pages17
JournalPopulation Studies
Issue number3
Early online date6 Jun 2018
Publication statusPublished - 2 Sept 2018


  • Bayesian inference
  • forecast
  • international migration
  • time-series models
  • uncertainty

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Cathie Marsh Institute


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