This open data challenge of the European Commission-Joint Research Centre (JRC) made available to researchers worldwide grids of population distribution in cells of 100 metres by 100 metres in all cities of eight EU Member States (France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, the United Kingdom ). The new dataset was obtained through a spatial disaggregation and harmonisation of the 2011 Censuses data. It detailed migrants in three aggregational levels: by country of birth/citizenship, continent of origin, and EU versus third-country nationals. The data provided by the JRC allowed to calculate and compare indicators of migrant concentration, spatial residential segregation and ethnic diversity across EU cities of all sizes. 24 research teams participated in the challenge combining the D4I dataset with other data and socio-economic indicators from a variety of surveys, administrative, operational and geospatial datasets.
Ten of the participating research projects were selected for publication by the JRC on the basis of their scientific excellence and policy relevance. The findings of these multidisciplinary studies showcased the potential of place-based research to gain new insights on the integration of migrants and to enable cross-country comparison and benchmarking.
Overall, this open data challenge provided a proof of concept for devising innovative and better use of existing datasets that are both granular and representative. This approach, including the possibility to grant data access rights to external research teams, can be replicated in various contexts, using multiple migration data sources – for instance, anonymized call detail records (CDRs), survey data, or administrative data – for challenges, such as mapping migrant flows, stocks, or integration patterns.
(Image: © European Commission, Joint Research Centre)