Immigration survey reveals change in attitudes

Over four in ten people questioned for a new survey say that immigration is causing their country to change in ways they do not like.

What’s more, twice as many believe that immigration has had a negative impact on their country rather than positive.

However, attitudes towards immigrants in the UK have actually improved in the past few years.

The survey, carried out by Ipsos-Mori on adults aged under 65 in 25 countries worldwide, found that at least half of the people surveyed in each country believe that the number of immigrants coming into their country has increased in the last five years.

Around 21 per cent on average say that immigration has had a positive effect on their country compared with two in five (42 per cent) who say it has had a negative impact. Saudi Arabia, India, and Britain are the most positive countries where two in five or more say immigration has had a positive impact.

Turkey, Italy, Hungary and Serbia are most negative with at least three in five (58 per cent) ion each of these countries saying it has had a negative impact.

Interestingly, Britain and the United States are the two countries which have had the largest positive change in attitudes towards immigration since 2011. In Britain, approximately 40 per cent now say immigration has had a positive impact (up from 19 per cent in 2011) while 35 per cent in the US say the same (up from 18 per cent in 2011). Sweden has seen the largest movement of people becoming more negative, with a quarter (25 per cent) now saying immigration has been positive compared with 37 per cent in 2011.

The survey found that Most countries are concerned about immigration placing pressure on public services. In 17 of the 25 countries surveyed at least half said they agreed immigration is placing too much pressure on national public services.

On average half (49 per cent) think that immigration has placed too much pressure on public services in their country, while just one in five (19 per cent) disagree.

Britain, again, and Australia have seen the biggest decrease in the proportion of people agreeing to this since 2011 – down 20 points in Britain (now at 58 per cent) and down 13 points in Australia (now at 51 per cent).

The largest increase is seen in Turkey – now at 73 per cent (up from 45 per cent in 2011), and in Sweden – at 56 per cent (up from 40 per cent).

Article published 15th September 2017