The European Social Survey (ESS) revealed that European residents believe that migration has made their countries worse places to live.
Research data includes over 40,000 face-to-face interviews conducted in 21 countries in Europe and the UK.
The study finds that respondents across the majority of European countries believe that their country became a worse place to live in because of migration, with the most prominent differences being recorded in Sweden, Norway, Austria, and Germany, which can be related to the large number of asylum seekers in these particular countries. The survey highlights the difference in how migrants are perceived in 2014 and 2022.
The survey also reveals the preferences that Europeans have regarding migrants – with the debate on whether low-skilled migrants from third countries should be restricted in number, being still active in Europe.
The most preferred were people from the same race or ethnic group as the majority, while Jewish people were far more welcome than Muslims, who were more welcome than Roma people.
This outcome was very common among all 21 countries, while some countries, like Hungary, had more distinguished results, and Sweden had less distinction among migrants.
The increase in polarisation was different among all countries – Austria, Finland, Spain, Sweden, and the UK saw the largest increases in migration, but the polarisation for people who felt that many migrants coming from poorer countries should be allowed entry – from 11 to 12 per cent.
An increase in the share of people who believe the same was also recorded in Hungary, Poland and Slovenia.
The survey further reveals that respondents in 2002 believed that migrants had mainly a good effect on the country’s cultural life. Pretty much the same beliefs stood even in 2014, but that is not the case for jobs, as Europeans believe that jobs were impacted by migration more in 2002 than in 2014.
The share of people who believe that migration impacted jobs more positively was larger in 2014 than in 12 years prior to that.