Half of developed world has negative view of immigration

Immigration has recently become a divisive issue in the United States, but a new poll reveals that nearly one in two people in the world’s most advanced economies believe that immigration is changing their country in negative ways.

Ipsos surveyed more than 17,000 adults across 24 developed nations. The results reveal significant differences of opinion across the globe:

The proportion who agree immigration is causing their country to change in ways they don’t like is below 30% in China, South Korea, Brazil and Japan. It is also a view shared by only a minority of citizens in the US, Spain, Canada and Germany.

In Turkey (92%), Italy (71%) and Russia (69%), respondents also believe that there are too many immigrants in their respective countries, compared with 60% in France and Britain. The numbers are lower in Germany and Sweden (43%), the US (49%) and Spain (48%).

Across the 24 countries polled, half of all people surveyed say there are too many immigrants in their country.

Saudi Arabia (52%) and India (49%) are the only two countries where anything like a majority say immigration has generally had a very positive or fairly positive effect on their country.

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This wide-ranging trend continues on how immigration effects the economy:

When it comes to the economic effect of immigration, only 28% agree it has been good for the economy. This ranges from 52% in Saudi Arabia, 48% in India, 44% in China and 43% in Australia, to 15% in France, 14% in Italy and Turkey, and 13% in Hungary and Russia.

In Britain, 38% agree that immigration has been good for the country compared with 30% in the US and 27% in Germany.

Interestingly, the survey shows that 48% of Americans believe immigrants have made it more difficult for native citizens to find work, a sentiment shared by Britain and France.