Incorporating Migrant Populations in Thailand’s National Census 2010

This project will develop a survey method that will include migrants in the 2010 national census. The project specifically helps the National Statistical Office (NSO) establish better census mechanisms for migrants by translating the revised census questionnaires and draft operational guidelines on carrying out a pilot survey, and training census teams, enumerators and interviewers. The result will enhance the capacity of the government in making decisions on policies related to migrants.

Approximately 1,250,000 migrants from Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia are registered with the Ministry of Interior in Thailand as of 2004. In addition, there are at least as many unregistered migrants, a lot of whom are employed and contribute much to the economy. Accurate household-level information about these migrants – such as where they live, the composition of their families, their education, and their living conditions – is necessary for creating effective policies related to them and helps the government to address immediate concerns such as providing them with social and health services.

Key Objectives

  • To build the Royal Thai Government's ability to monitor the living conditions of migrants.
  • To build the Government's ability to enhance migration management.
  • To support the National Statistical Office's efforts to include migrants in Thailand in the Household Census in 2010.


  • The National Statistical Office of Thailand
  • Migrant communities in Thailand

Concrete Benefits

  • Workable census questionnaires and operational guidelines in the languages of migrants.
  • Census team and enumerators become familiar with working with migrant communities and employers.
  • A public information campaign and a survey targeted at migrants in selected areas.

Project Description

The project supports the National Statistical Office of Thailand in its efforts to include migrant workers from Myanmar, Cambodia and Lao People's Democratic Republic and their dependents in the Household Census that the NSO will conduct in 2010.

Under the project, IOM will carry out a public information campaign and a survey in selected areas where there are many migrants. This will allow the NSO and its enumerators to work in migrant communities and test the questionnaires and interview methods. The information campaign and the survey will help prepare the NSO for the upcoming Census.

IOM will provide technical support and expertise on survey techniques and outreach strategies related to migrant communities in Thailand.

Principal IOM Activities

  • Review the international practice of including migrants in housing census.
  • Revise the census questionnaire and operational guidelines.
  • Translate the census questionnaire and operational guidelines into languages widely used by migrants in Thailand.
  • Run a public information campaign on the census for migrants.
  • Train central and provincial census staff, enumerators and NGO assistants in targeted areas.
  • Launch the survey in targeted areas where there is a concentration of migrants.
  • Train NSO staff in lessons learned from the project.
  • Hold a workshop to share lessons learned with other countries in the Greater Mekong Subregion (Cambodia, People's Republic of China, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Myanmar, Thailand, Viet Nam).