Migrant Integration Policy Index (MIPEX)

The MIPEX Index

The Migrant Integration Policy Index (or MIPEX) measures integration policies in all European Union Member States plus Norway, Switzerland, Canada and the USA until 2010.

It uses 148 policy indicators to evaluate migrants' legal and political opportunities for participation in society provided by the governments’ activities in the field of Integration. By measuring policies and their implementation it reveals whether all residents are guaranteed equal rights, responsibilities and opportunities.

MIPEX data were gathered for three time-periods, evaluating policies before 2004 and tracking the major policy changes until 2007, as well as from 2007 to 2010. Over time the indicators used for the MIPEX grew in number and dimensions, therefore comparable raw data (using the same INDEX values) are only available for 2007 and 2010. Even so, the results allow for a rough assessment of countries' migrant integration policies in comparison with those of other countries. 

Austria and the MIPEX

In 2004 Austria performed less well than the average of all European countries considered in the MIPEX (15 in 2004) in all of the then five dimensions. While its rules for long-term residence come closest to the average European score, Austrian policies on labour market access, on family reunification and on anti-discrimination are rated particularly disintegrative. Overall the authors conclude that Austria demonstrates "less favourable performances" in terms of integrative policies if compared to the normative framework of the MIPEX.

2004: Europe overall (Map) | Country scores '04 (Bars) | Austria & EU average (Spider-Web)

The second version of the MIPEX not only expanded the range of countries covered by the analysis but also included a further dimension of analysis (political participation). With regard to this new aspect the evaluation of Austrian policy turns out comparatively favourable, as the index values the consultative networks that regional and municipal administrations established with immigrant minorities. Still, the country ranks last in granting nationality, second to last in terms of family reunification, and holds average positions with regard to anti-discrimination laws and long-term residence policies. The only dimension in which Austrian integration policy had become highly inclusive in 2007 is labour market access granted to third country nationals. Overall, this leaves Austrian policy at the lower end of "slightly unfavourable" countries for migrant integration according to the MIPEX Index. 

2007: Europe overall (Map) | Country Scores '07 (Bars) | Austria & EU average (Spider-Web)

In 2010 Austria improves for the first time in the overall MIPEX ranking, which had again been expanded by additional countries and another, vital, dimension of migration integration policy, i.e. educational integration. In fact, educational integration policies have added a dimension, in which Austrian integration policy actually fares better than the EU-27 average. These and a relaxation of the regulations governing labour market mobility and long-term residence, had finally moved Austria up from the group of slightly unfavourable countries to those halfway to best practice. Yet it still ranked only 17th of the 31 total countries included in 2010, as its migrant integration policy had not produced any improvement in migrants' access to nationality, family reunification or in broader political participation and anti-discrimination. 

2010: Europe overall (Map) |  Country Scores '10 (Bars) | Austria & EU average (Spider-Web)


Further sources: 

• MIPEX-Reports: I (2004) | II (2007) | III (2010)

Study on the explanatory power of MIPEX data for Austria (in German) 
(by Gudrun Biffl and Anna Faustmann)