AP/Ipsos Polls: Reactions To Immigration In Leading Nations
The following is based on data collected between May 7 and 17, 2004, in Japan, the U.K., France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Canada, Mexico, and the United States by Ipsos Public Affairs and the Associated Press. The subject is citizens' reactions to immigration, based on responses to the following questions: Immigration A Touchy Subject In Some Countries Within a context of high concerns over unemployment and terrorism, and in Europe, worries that the EU's expansion will usher in a flood of immigration, citizens in many of the countries that Ipsos/AP polled expressed negative feelings about immigrants in their country. But in one country after another, those with more education tended to have the most positive view of the influence of immigration.
- Despite thinking that immigrants mostly take jobs that other citizens wouldn't want, more citizens in the U.S. and the European countries surveyed consider immigrants as having a negative influence on their country than consider immigrants' influence as positive. Britons expressed the strongest negative feelings (60%) of any of the nine countries polled.
- In Mexico, almost half of citizens do not agree that it's mostly bad jobs that immigrants are taking, in addition to a majority opinion that immigrants are a negative force on the country.
- The situation changes in Canada, where most citizens think that immigrants are good for the country and that they fill positions other Canadians wouldn't want.
- In Japan, opinion is split on whether immigrants represent a positive or negative force in their country, though a large majority believes that it's mostly undesirable jobs that are being occupied by immigrants.
- In Mexico, a large majority (71%) said they think it's better if almost everyone in a country shares the same customs and traditions. But in Canada and especially the U.S., such a statement received only minority agreement (40% in Canada and 27% in the U.S.). In Japan, too, more people disagreed than agreed with the statement "It is better for a country if almost everyone shares the same customs and traditions."
- In Europe, citizens were divided in their responses to the statement, with nearly half agreeing in the U.K., Italy, and Germany and just over half agreeing in Spain and France.
- The statement " It is better for a country to have a variety of people with different religions" elicited broader and stronger agreement across the survey, though a large minority of Germans (42%) disagreed.