The war in Ukraine and the potential of Facebook’s Social Connectedness Index to anticipate human displacement

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This Migration Research Series paper examines the impact of the war in Ukraine on migration and displacement. It emphasizes the considerable displacement of individuals from Ukraine, the European Union (EU)'s activation of the Temporary Protection Directive, and the need of understanding the factors driving migration from Ukraine in order to forecast arrivals in specific EU nations. The presence of a Ukrainian diaspora in the EU has been highlighted as a significant factor influencing displacement patterns, referred to as the "network effect."

The paper investigates how the Ukrainian diaspora influences the mobility of people displaced from Ukraine inside the EU, as well as the potential value of innovative data sources, including Facebook's Social Connectedness Index (SCI), in anticipating migratory patterns.


The paper examines the relationship between the size of the Ukrainian diaspora in EU nations and the number of people fleeing Ukraine who apply for temporary protection. It shows that the link is especially strong in countries with a more recent diaspora.

Facebook's SCI is introduced as a novel data source for measuring diaspora connections. When combined with total population data and geographical location, Facebook's SCI can effectively measure the diaspora at a granular spatial level, and may supplement traditional migrant stock statistics by providing more timely and thorough insights into movement patterns and connections with the nation of origin.


Last modified
6 Septembre 2023