To try to estimate a more realistic figure, Amparo González compared the INE’s figures for Residential Variation with the arrival of Spaniards in the United Kingdom and Germany. The statistical offices of these two countries offered a very different version of reality. In the UK, where she analyzed data from the Social Security register (NiNo is its acronym in English), a requisite for the investigation, she discovered that the figures could be between 3.7 and 7.2 times higher, depending on the year. The numbers in the population register of Germany for arrivals from Spain of non-Germans were also between 3.6 and 6.2 times higher.
“Obviously [the figures from the destination countries] are not perfect: some people are in irregular situations, some people have the number [Social Security] but you have no way of knowing if they’re still there. You have to really understand each and every source to see what it’s good for and what it isn’t good for, and in a worldwide context this is impossible” says the researcher. With all its potential shortcomings, she took these figures thinking that the difference would not necessarily so high in every country, and she took into account that these were EU countries and two of the preferred countries to emigrate to. In some places, such as countries in conflict or developing countries, the context may even be an incentive to register with the consulate or embassy. So he said to herself, “I’ll be careful, I won’t be alarmist and I will multiply the worldwide set by 2.5-3.” And this multiplication, which she calls “old school counting”, she got the resulting numbers. I may be under by a little or over by a lot in, and perhaps what’s happening Germany and the UK may not be happening in other countries. 700,000 is a number that means nothing concretely. It simply serves illustrative purposes,” she explains. And she immediately reaffirms: “I don’t really think that the figure is any lower, in fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if it were actually higher. Then we also don’t know how many have returned. What I say is that these are the ones who have left in that period, but obviously many of these have returned “.