From Argentina, Australia, Belgium and China to Britain, Hungary, India, South Korea and the United States, most people believe that immigration is increasing and has had a negative impact on their country.
New data from the Ipsos Global @dvisor survey shows very clearly that immigration remains a major global concern. The survey, conducted among online adults aged under 65 in 25 countries across the world, reveals that people are twice as likely to think that immigration is bad for their country than think it is good, and twice as likely to agree than disagree that there are too many immigrants in their country and that this is changing their country in ways they don’t like.
Most countries are also concerned about immigration placing pressure on public services.
And there is a sense that the issue is increasing: three-quarters think there are more immigrants than 5 years ago.
But there are huge differences between individual countries, and significant change in views in some. Surprisingly, Britain’s view on immigration has increased positively since 2011. We are now the third most likely country to say that immigration has a positive impact on us, behind only Saudi Arabia and India – with 40% saying immigration is positive, up from only 19% in 2011.
On the other hand, Turkey, Italy, Hungary and Serbia are most negative with at least three in five (58%) saying it has had a negative impact.
The more positive attitude of Britain toward immigration surprised me as the media coverage around this issue has been rather relentlessly negative, especially in the context of Brexit.
But Bobby Duffy, Managing Director of Ipsos Social Research Institute, says: “This may be explained by both those who had positive views being encouraged to express them more following Brexit, but also those who supported leaving the EU being reassured that we’ll have more control in the future.”
As the refugee crisis continues, the Ipsos research also shows that a narrow majority still believe they should keep their borders open to refugees, however many still have serious security concerns.