Latin American Migration Project

The Latin American Migration Project (LAMP) is a collaborative research project based at Princeton University and the University of Guadalajara. The LAMP was born as an extension of the Mexican Migration Project (MMP), which was created in 1982 by an interdisciplinary team of researchers to advance our understanding of the complex processes of international migration and immigration to the United States. Data gathered by the MMP have been the source of a sizable amount of research on international migration. The purpose of the LAMP is to extend this research to migration flows originating in other Latin American countries.

The LAMP and the MMP share the same methodology. An ethnosurvey focusing on the migration process is at its core. In addition to basic demographic data, the survey gathers information on family composition, fertility, infant mortality, marital history of the household head, labor history of the household head and his/her spouse, and ownership history of properties and businesses. Furthermore, detailed data on internal migration, migration to the mainland US, and multiple aspects of key US trips (work experience, income, social networks, remittances, welfare use, etc.) are also collected.

The LAMP began operations in 1998 with a set of surveys conducted in Puerto Rico. It expanded later with fieldwork carried out in the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Haiti, Peru, El Salvador, Colombia and more recently Ecuador. In addition, a modified version of the LAMP survey was implemented in Paraguay to study migration from that country to Argentina. The surveys in Nicaragua and Costa Rica were made possible through an association between the LAMP and the Central American Population Center of the University of Costa Rica. The surveys in Paraguay were designed and implemented by an associated project. The surveys in El Salvador were made possible through an association between the LAMP and the Sociology Department at Texas A&M in College Station. The surveys in Colombia were made possible through an association between the LAMP and the Red de Universidades Publicas del Eje Cafetero - Alma Mater, Fundacion Esperanza, and the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana. Finally, the surveys in Ecuador were made possible through an association between the LAMP and the department of PYDLOS of Universidad de Cuenca.

For more information please visit the LAMP website at http://lamp.opr.princeton.edu.

Public Use Data

Data from Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Paraguay, Peru, Haiti and Colombia are available, and can be downloaded from this website. Future releases will be made available through this website as well.

The data include six types of files:

  • An initial file with general demographic and migratory information for each member of a surveyed household (PERS file)
  • More detailed information on the migratory experience of each migrant household head (MIG file)
  • General characteristics of the household, its members, and other holdings (HOUSE file)
  • Detailed labor and family histories for each head of household (LIFE file)
  • Detailed labor histories of their spouses (SPOUSE file)
  • A community-level data file with information on the communities surveyed (COMMUN)

For more information on these datasets, including questionnaires and codebooks, please visit the LAMP website, especially the databases We strongly recommended that you download the documentation, particularly the codebooks and their appendices, before you proceed to register and/or download the data.

Registration Required

To access these datasets, please login or register as a user of the data archive.