The complete aggregated and anonymised data from the INE study have been made available to the CCAA

  • The Government is promoting a set of mobility studies to make data available during the COVID-19 health emergency that will contribute to decision-making
  • The information of the studies, prepared by the INE and the Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda, is now available on their corresponding web pages
  • These analyzes use positioning data from mobile devices, anonymously and aggregated, guaranteeing strict compliance with data protection regulations and the privacy of users.
  • According to the INE, more than 85% of Spaniards remain in their area of ​​residence during the state of alarm, a figure that exceeds 90% during the term of the recoverable paid leave

The Government is developing a set of studies on population mobility with the aim of having data on movements throughout the national territory and contributing to decision-making in the current scenario derived from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Among these analyzes is the mobility study promoted by the Secretary of State for Digitization and Artificial Intelligence, DataCOVID, which is being prepared by the National Statistics Institute (INE), whose information can be consulted from today on its website.

The information reflects that, in general, since the state of alarm was decreed, 85% of citizens have not moved from their area of ​​residence to other places. That figure exceeds 90% in the weeks in which the recoverable paid leave was in force.

The complete aggregated and anonymized data have been made available to all the autonomous communities and 11 are already using them (Basque Country, Catalonia, Galicia, Andalusia, Asturias, La Rioja, Valencian Community, Aragon, Extremadura, Madrid and Castilla y León).

Likewise, the Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda (MITMA) has also published on its website a mobility analysis tool during the period of application of the containment measures.

These mobility studies, which provide complementary information, aim to know and characterize mobility throughout the national territory during the COVID-19 health emergency, to analyze the variations in mobility derived from the application of containment measures, as well as identify areas with more displacement or with a higher concentration of population.

The MITMA study starts from the sample data of a single operator and is made into a statistical projection on the population as a whole, while the INE data is available for the three main operators in the country.

The areas and objectives of both studies are different, so that the reading of the results should be done in a complementary way and after an analysis of their methodological notes (INE / MITMA).

In this sense, the use of different methodologies, as well as their contrast with other modes of direct measurement of mobility, aim to provide the most complete picture possible.

The use of positioning data from mobile devices, anonymously and aggregated, guarantees strict compliance with Organic Law 3/2018, of December 5, on the Protection of Personal Data and guarantee of digital rights.

Similar studies on the mobility of people are being carried out in other European countries, in the case of Germany, Italy or Austria.

DataCOVID, aggregated data on positioning of mobile devices developed by the INE

The mobility study developed by the INE and called DataCOVID allows an estimate of the mobility of the Spanish population during the period of application of the containment measures in relation to a normal situation.

With the data provided by mobile operators, INE obtains the total number of mobile phones that move from one area to another and those that are kept in the same areas. The results allow to know if, after the enforcement of the containment measures, the movements of the population between territories increase or decrease, if there are areas with a greater agglomeration or affluence, or if there are areas with a high concentration of population in relation to their sanitary capacity.

There are results for the entire national territory, which is divided into some 3,200 mobility areas. This information allows a good approximation to the mobility or immobility of the population. The data collection model is identical to the one used by this organism in the study it carried out last November.

However, unlike other analyzes that can be carried out using mobile telephony, this project does not analyze the number of journeys made or the journeys made or the distance traveled during them.

Analysis of mobility in Spain during the MITMA alarm state

In the analysis carried out by MITMA, daily mobility is compared with that of an equivalent standard week prior to the crisis. This was set in the week of February 14 to 20, 2020, which had a normal mobility behavior, as it had no public holiday in any autonomous community.

The Ministry has used in this study the experience acquired in the work already carried out in 2018 by the Ministry on the use of technology big data for the definition and quantification of interprovincial mobility at the national level.

The main conclusions of the study focus on the strong reduction in mobility that has occurred during the state of alarm, in line with the data already obtained through the traditional means of road gauging, measurement of travelers in the different modes of transportation etc., which are available in the Ministry as a whole.

The results of the study will be updated daily during the alarm state and throughout the de-escalation period of the measures to control the pandemic of COVID-19.

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