How Accepting Are Western Countries of Immigrants Today?


The number of international migrants (people living in a country that is different from their country or territory of birth) reached 244 million in 2015 — over 3 percent of the world’s population today — according to the United Nations.

Some migrants have moved by choice to seek economic opportunities, while others have been forced from their homes by persecution, political turmoil, or war to seek asylum in Australia, Europe, and the United States.

The cultural, ethnic, and linguistic backgrounds of migrants has sparked intense concern in these countries, so the Pew Research Center conducted a cross-national poll among nearly 15,000 respondents last year. As their report states:

Debates over what it means to be a “true” American, Australian, German, or other nationality have often highlighted the importance of a person being born in a particular country. But contrary to such rhetoric …. people generally place a relatively low premium on a person’s birthplace. Only 13 percent of Australians, 21 percent of Canadians, 32 percent of Americans, and a median of 33 percent of Europeans believe that it is very important for a person to be born in their country in order to be considered a true national.

Here are some results from their Spring 2016 Global Attitudes Survey. The full results of their survey are available to read online.


This infographic was first published in the Winter 2018 issue of Brain World magazine.

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