Ipsos survey on Migration

A new Ipsos survey on 24 countries reveals nearly one in two people in the world’s most advanced economies believe migration is changing their nation in ways they don’t like.
Do you agree with this response? According to you, why is a negative perspective on migration currently prevailing in the developed world?

Proposed by

on 11 August 2015

11 persons shared their opinion! Join the discussion!

  • Patricia said on Reply

    Are these 24 countries in Europe/ the European Union or also other continents? How reliable is this survey? Thanks

    • Serena Romeo said on Reply

      I am not very surprised about what this poll reveals. I do not agree with the results, I am among those people who strongly believe migration makes our countries more interesting places, and yet I do not completely blame those who answered otherwise. People often rely on their own representatives and also the media to understand a big phenomenon like migration, especially in those countries where this is still a new or recent thing. So, when both the government and the media constantly criticize and criminalise migration, how can we expect people not to fear it? This is my opinion on why many developed countries view migration negatively.

  • Patricia said on Reply

    I agree with you Serena. I also think that migration makes our countries more interesting places, not to mention the fact that people have always migrated looking for better opportunities and better living conditions. I also think that the state can benefit from it. I also think media plays a key role, since media can depict in a good or a bad way a situation, a minority, etc. Governments are also to be blamed for it,because there were periods in time when they were welcoming it and now some of them are complaining about it. It always depends on the historical moment, because now in Europe for example due to the crisis people have plenty of reasons not to be so understanding and are also easier to manipulate. Even with social media, I do not think that this “unlimited access” to information is good for everyone, the concept is great, but if you promote “the right” things online people will have the “right” reaction.

  • Adina Nistor said on Reply

    It will take some research, but I think it’s interesting to see the full report and look at the specific reasons why people in certain countries have a negative view on immigration. And are we talking immigration in terms of for example: Romanian workers in Italy? Refugees? Both? This is a bit unclear to me. And although by looking at the results one might say most countries oppose the flow of immigrants, I think these kind of surveys tend to create an unwanted generalization.

  • gandharva sharma said on Reply

    in my opinion people fear that migrants bring negative impact in terms of economy/culture to a particular place and in many times even violence (as in history all the wars etc.)

    but in now a days when migrants are mostly due to homeland wars and other natural catastrophies saying all migrant will bring negative impact is totally wrong

    it should be the governments duty to help such migrants and help them get proper settlement/jobs/resources and thus treat those migrants as not enemies but as friends and humans who also want to live a good and healthy life.

  • Lidis said on Reply

    Nice questions, Serena! 🙂 Well, my answer to the 1st question is obviously, I don’t. As per the 2nd one, this is something more complex, today’s societies seem to forget that migration is more than a millennium old phenomenon. People always migrated, for so many reasons. And they will always. I think Migration should be taught in schools, as a subject, just like geography and history are. The media is playing a big role in shaping a negative and exaggerated opinion on migration, while the right wing governments are inciting to hatred towards non-nationals. These are, apparently the 2 important factors that one can point out to. Apart from that, another potential answer lies in the way the survey was conducted: “in the world’s most advanced economies”. People most probably associate migrants with those coming from “less advanced economies”, thus taking a share of the good, safe, democratic and peaceful country/society they have built with their own efforts. But, as somebody rightly pointed out in another article I was reading today, international students make 27% of the migrants in the UK today, while refugees make 4%. So who are the migrants? I would recommend that people who design these surveys make a distinction between the types of migrants they want to talk about and they also convey clear information to the public they question.

    • Patricia Papuc said on Reply

      Good point Lidis. Everyone talks about migration as if migration is a new thing and as if all the migrants are refugees. Migration is all about evolving, societies evolve because they trade, because they build jobs for people… Look at N America or Australia, if they would have not been pro migration then what would have happen to them? to the evolution of their societies? France as another example, they invite citizens from their colonies to come and work in the country. So honestly I do not understand how media can be so subjective and often be so against migration when its the cornerstone of the society we live it.

  • Aleksandra Semeriak said on Reply

    Thank you for sharing Serena! Although I am also of the opinion that diversity and concretely migration have a positive impact to our society and economy, I wanted to share my perspective of the perception of migration in Latvia, as I’m currently spending some days here (this is my own opinion based on what I heard from people and should be further analyzed to have more accurate data, but still, it might give some insight): Since Latvia joined the EU, which allowed its citizens (excluding Latvian non-citizen population of almost 300,000 people) visa-free travel and work permission in other EU countries, many Latvians decided to emigrate to more economically stable countries, especially the UK and Ireland. This number increased heavily during the economic crisis, but this emigration was never reported in the media as something that could cause a negative impact on the host countries. Latvians who stayed where of course worried on how this high emigration rate would affect the demographic structure, especially because most of the emigrants were of working age and had plans to stay abroad for a long term, but still it was seen as something necessary and “natural” due to the economic situation in the country and the lack of employment. Thus, from this perspective, Latvian immigrants in other countries should not be seen as something negative as they are “fleeing” horrible economic conditions and needed to move to survive. Then, the other side of migration: Latvia has been never known for high immigration rates (except during the Soviet era) and the little immigration that has arrived has been mostly from the CIS or EU countries. Therefore the topic of resettling refugees in Latvia has been kind of alarming for the general population. Under EU’s recent plan to distribute refugees around the Member States, Latvia has agreed to take in 250, which led to concerns and protests as these refugees are mostly coming from other cultures. Although the government assures that this number is not a threat to Latvia, its culture or economy, the news have been very confusing and incomplete: people argue whether it is 250 people or 250 families; they are not sure where the money for these people will come from, worrying that there will not be enough money to cover the needs of the Latvians, who still have not fully recovered from the crisis; and one of their main concerns is also the religion and the use of religious symbols, concretely the hijab or the burka, as this is something they are not used to and they are actually afraid of. Although nobody confirmed that all 250 people that Latvia is taking in are Muslims or if the women will be wearing any covering, I have myself witnessed how wrongly informed people are (“They want to ban the bikini on our beaches. They want us all to wear a burka.”).
    In my opinion the weak economic situation in Latvia will not cause a bid increase in immigration rates (nationalists fear that the resettled refugees will bring their relatives and they will end up occupying the country), but more like these refugees will themselves emigrate, as a big part of Latvians did.
    To conclude, I believe there is a double standard in regards to migration – while Latvian emigrants are people who left the country because they had the need and they’re doing no harm in working in another country, those who are in need and come to Latvia are seen as a threat, especially if they are of another culture.

  • Mirela said on Reply

    I read the interesting phrase for 2/ 3 times … why is a negative perspective on migration currently prevailing in the developed world? … It is not easy to build an easy answer, but, in my opinion, people look suspiciously when we talk about things that they only hear on tv, newspaper, internet etc. If we thing about migrants, we should be sure that we, as a nation, can be a case study. Many researchers/ politicians had spoken negative about migrants starting from their impact in / on economy/ culture/ politics etc. Today, the wars are the most important event leading to the migration act. And, therefore, I agree with Gandharva Sharma and Serena Romeo. However, I want to say that the today political discourse to often manipulates the voters, the issue of migration, in favor of their own interests and not to solve this situation that affects us more or less ….

    • Patricia said on Reply

      Aleksandra thanks for sharing info on Latvia and the perception of migration in that country. Do you think that the situation in Latvia is unique or maybe is it similar to the situation in other baltic countries? Or maybe with all the countries which joined the EU in 2004? Because migration did increase in the western European countries after 2004 with the 10 newly countries, situation which repeated in 2007 with Romania and Bulgaria. The reason why I am asking you this is because when I read your comment i had the impression that this perception on refugee/ migration is similar in many places. Just as an example, I don`t think Romanians are very positive about it either. Also many Romanians left the country after 2007, going to the UK, Germany, etc. If you would ask them about migration, about migrants coming to Romania, especially if they are muslim I am not sure they would fancy the idea too much. When the media is always emphasizing the extremists and their actions people start fearing them, disliking them. I see a big problem here because people get only part of the story

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