irregular migrants, illegal migrants, methods of population estimation


A balanced assessment of the number of foreigners who do not have a legal reason for staying in Ukraine is necessary for planning the activities of law enforcement agencies, determining the resources they need, assessing the effectiveness of their work, the effectiveness of migration policy in general. However, the data on detection and detention of illegal migrants is far from complete. An idea of the true volume and composition of illegal migration can only be obtained through estimates. A number of methods have been used to form them in foreign countries. Their review and determination of applicability in Ukraine is the purpose of this article. The analysis made it possible to divide the methods of estimating the number of irregular migrants into two groups. In the first group are the methods based on data directly related to the subject of the study, that is, the data on detected, detained illegal migrants. Their actual numbers are estimated using specific multipliers. The second group consists of methods that use the data on all population and on legal migration (the difference between them should be the amount of illegal migration) as well as other data not directly related to migration. The novelty of the study is the systematization of methodological approaches to the numerical assessment of the contingent of illegal migrants in the country and justification of the feasibility and possibility of their use in Ukraine. The article justifies that for the formation of the most probable estimates it is necessary to use a combination of different methods that complement each other. Using the approaches applied in foreign countries and adapted to Ukrainian realities, it is suggested to make calculations on the basis of different data and using different multipliers, and then evaluate the probability and summarize the results. The baseline for estimation may be statistics on population and migration in general, and on detected and detained illegal migrants. In order to clarify the proportions of legality / illegality, the composition of illegal migrants, it is advisable to use the results of expert polls. It would also be desirable to conduct a survey among migrants, both legal and illegal, which would provide information for estimating the proportion of illegal immigrants in total foreigners, as well as qualitative information on their arrivals, length of stay in the country, further migration plans.


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Author Biography

Olena Malynovska, National Institute for Strategic Studies

Dr. Sс. (Public Administration), Chief Researcher



How to Cite

Малиновська, О. (2021). METHODS OF ESTIMATING THE NUMBER OF IREGULAR MIGRANTS AND THE POSSIBILITY OF APPLYING THEM IN UKRAINE. Demography and Social Economy, 39(1), 33–46. Retrieved from



Demographic Processes