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12 July 2017

Europeans more divided over immigration, says study

A new European Social Survey (ESS) report finds that, whilst Europeans have become slightly more favourable towards migrants from the same racial or ethnic group, they have become less positive about migrants from poorer countries outside Europe.

Key findings

  • Of the 19 countries where data was also collected in 2002/03, only Austrians and those from the Czech Republic think that migration has made their country a worse place to live.
  • In both 2002/03 and 2014/15, Sweden, Demark and Finland are the most positive towards immigration and the Czech Republic, Hungary and Portugal the most negative.
  • In both years Britain tended to be quite negative too – similar to France but more negative than the Nordic countries, Germany and the Netherlands.
  • When looking at the data for all countries, Europeans are becoming more divided in their views of migrants from poorer countries outside Europe.
  • The number of Europeans who felt that none of these migrants should be allowed to come to their country increased from 11% in 2002/03 to 20% in 2014/15. But there was also a small increase in the number thinking that many should be allowed to come.