Ipsos Survey on World Refugee Day

Paradox among Indians towards Refugees – 65% Indians want victims of war and persecution to be given refuge in India & other countries; 64% Indians do not want influx of refugees in India – feel they come for economic reasons

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  • Madhurima Bhatia Media Relations and Content lead
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New Delhi, June 18, 2019:  20th June is World Refugee Day.

So, how do Indians perceive refugees?

Ipsos global survey shows, it is a paradox – 65% Indians want victims of war and persecution to be given refuge and shelter in India and other parts of the world; but at least 64% Indians are averse to mass influx of refugees and we feel that we should close our borders to them – this sentiment is the strongest and the highest among Indians, vis-à-vis other markets covered in the survey. 


“This dilemma stems from India having to grapple with uninhibited exodus into the Eastern border, which has been a strain on the resources. Earlier on, even faced it in the Southern borders. At the same time, Indians have firmly stood with those victimized and have displayed their philanthropic side, when there have been glaring problems,” says, Parijat Chakraborty, Country Service Line Leader, Public Affairs, Customer Experience and Corporate Reputation, Ipsos India.

Why are refugees not welcome in India?

70 per cent of Indians feel that the mass influx of refugees is mostly for economic reasons – they feel that most of the refugees are poverty stricken and want to avail the welfare schemes in India.

This fear is further exacerbated by another view expressed by Indians – 68% Indians feel that most refugees that come to India, will successfully integrate in the society.


“Government provides subsidy to economically weaker sections of society – so refugees can easily avail those with fake Identity-Cards. Also, those who come from neighbouring countries – whether Bangladesh, Myanmar or SriLanka – since they seem to look like locals, they have managed to easily merge in the society,” added Chakraborty.

Notes to editors:

18,027 online adults aged 16-74 across Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, France, Germany, GB, Hungary, India, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Turkey and the US

The fieldwork was conducted from 19th April-3 May 2019

Where results do not sum to 100 or the ‘difference’ appears to be +-1 more/less than the actual, this may be due to rounding, multiple responses or the exclusion of don't knows or not stated responses.

The precision of Ipsos online polls are calculated using a credibility interval with a poll of 1,000 accurate to +/- 3.1 percentage points and of 500 accurate to +/- 4.5 percentage points. For more information on the Ipsos use of credibility intervals, please visit the Ipsos website.

 Data are weighted to match the profile of the population



The author(s)

  • Madhurima Bhatia Media Relations and Content lead

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