Immigration Hostility Widespread in U.S. and 5 Largest European Countries Many people in all six countries see negative impact on economy, jobs and public services

NEW YORK, Sept. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- A new Financial Times/Harris Poll finds that immigration is widely unpopular in the United States and in all of the five largest countries in Europe.  The survey asked about immigration generally and not about illegal immigration. Majorities in four of the countries and pluralities in the other two believe that immigration makes it harder to find new jobs. Majorities in three countries and over 40% in the other three believe it has a bad effect on education. Majorities in four of the countries and 40% or more in the other two think it has a bad effect on health care services. Americans, even though they live in what has been described as a nation of immigrants are not, in general, any less hostile to immigration than Europeans.

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These are some of the findings of a Financial Times/Harris Poll conducted online by Harris Interactive® among 6,098 adults aged 16-64 within France (1,004), Germany (1,036), Great Britain (1,099), Spain (1,032), U.S. (989) and adults aged 18-64 in Italy (948) between August 18 and 25, 2010.  

The main findings of this new poll include:

  • Majorities in Britain and Spain, and large minorities in the U.S., France, Italy , and Germany think that immigration has a bad impact on the economy;
  • Majorities in the U.S., Britain, Italy, and Spain believe that immigration makes it harder to find a new job, as do 45% in France and 46% in Germany;
  • While most people who are working do not believe that immigration has had any effect on their pay, those who think they are paid less greatly outnumber those who say they are paid more;
  • Only minorities, between 13% in France and 40% in Italy, believe that immigration has made it more affordable to hire services such as cleaners, builders or plumbers;
  • Majorities in the U.S., Britain, France and Spain and over 40% in Italy and Germany believe that immigration makes the level of health care services worse; and,
  • Majorities in the U.S., Britain and Germany believe that immigration has made public education worse, as do over 40% in France, Italy and Spain.

Overall, many people in all six countries believe that the current level of immigration makes their countries worse places  to live in , varying from 64% in Britain, 60% in Spain, and 57% in Italy to 49% in the U.S., 44% in Germany, and 43% in France.

So What?

This survey underlines the political problems that confront governments and politicians when they are addressing issues of immigration, and the easy opportunities for populist leaders to win votes by advocating anti-immigration policies.  And of course the issue of illegal immigration, that was not addressed in this survey, is much more difficult.

TABLE 1
IMPACT OF IMMIGRATION ON SALARY

"Thinking about your current salary and immigration, do you think you are paid any less, more or no differently as a result of current immigration into Europe/the U.S.?"


Base: All employed adults


U.S.

Great
Britain

France

Italy

Spain

Germany

%

%

%

%

%

%

Paid less

18

27

24

21

32

30

Paid the same

76

69

74

67

64

61

Paid more

6

4

2

12

4

9

Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding



TABLE 2
IMPACT OF IMMIGRATION ON JOB FINDING

"Thinking still about immigration, do you think it is any easier, harder or the same to find a new job in Europe/the U.S.?"


Base: All adults


U.S.

Great
Britain

France

Italy

Spain

Germany


%

%

%

%

%

%

It is easier

2

4

1

2

4

5

The same

32

24

43

33

26

42

It is harder

57

57

45

60

67

46

Not applicable/I do not work and am not looking for a job

9

15

11

4

2

7

Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding



TABLE 3
IMPACT OF IMMIGRATION ON HIRING SERVICES

"In your experience has immigration made hiring services such as cleaners, builders, plumbers etc any more or less affordable?"


Base: All adults


U.S.

Great
Britain

France

Italy

Spain

Germany

%

%

%

%

%

%

It is more affordable to hire these services

22

26

13

40

27

26

It has made no difference

63

60

61

43

52

54

It is more expensive to hire these services

15

14

26

17

21

20

Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding



TABLE 4
IMPACT OF IMMIGRATION ON ECONOMY

"Overall, do you think immigration has a…?"


Base: All adults


U.S.

Great
Britain

France

Italy

Spain

Germany

%

%

%

%

%

%

…good influence on the [insert: French, Spanish, German, Italian, British, American] economy

24

17

26

40

32

20

…neutral influence on the  [insert: French, Spanish, German, Italian, British, American] economy

33

31

27

18

17

47

…bad influence on the [insert: French, Spanish, German, Italian, British, American] economy

43

52

48

42

51

32

Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding



TABLE 5
IMPACT OF IMMIGRATION ON HEALTH SERVICE

"Thinking about the [for GB: National Health Service for all other markets: the level of health service available in your country], do you think that the current level of immigration…?"


Base: All adults


U.S.

Great
Britain

France

Italy

Spain

Germany

%

%

%

%

%

%

…makes the [GB: National Health Service, all others: the level of health service available in your country] better

3

9

6

3

8

7

…has no impact on the [GB: National Health Service, all others: the level of health service available in your country]

34

25

34

51

38

52

…makes the[GB: National Health Service, all others: the level of health service available in your country] worse

63

66

60

46

54

40

Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding



TABLE 6
IMPACT OF IMMIGRATION ON EDUCATION

"And thinking about education that the state provides, do you think that the current level of immigration…?"


Base: All adults


U.S.

Great
Britain

France

Italy

Spain

Germany

%

%

%

%

%

%

…makes state education better

5

6

7

13

10

8

…has no impact on state education

40

32

48

46

42

36

…makes state education worse

55

63

45

41

48

56

Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding



TABLE 7
IMPACT OF IMMIGRATION ON COUNTRY

"And do you think that the current level of immigration into [insert country] makes the country…?"


Base: All adults


U.S.

Great
Britain

France

Italy

Spain

Germany

%

%

%

%

%

%

…a better place to live

17

11

10

11

8

16

…a worse place to live

49

64

43

57

60

44

…the same place to live / has no impact

34

24

47

32

32

40

Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding



Methodology

This FT/Harris Poll was conducted online by Harris Interactive among a total of 6,098 adults aged 16-64 within France (1,004), Germany (1,036), Great Britain (1,099), Spain (1,032), U.S. (989) and adults aged 18-64 in Italy (948) between August 18 and 25, 2010.  Figures for age, sex, education, region and Internet usage were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was used to adjust for respondents' propensity to be online.

All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use probability sampling, are subject to multiple sources of error which are most often not possible to quantify or estimate, including sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments. Therefore, Harris Interactive avoids the words "margin of error" as they are misleading. All that can be calculated are different possible sampling errors with different probabilities for pure, unweighted, random samples with 100% response rates. These are only theoretical because no published polls come close to this ideal.

Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in Harris Interactive surveys. The data have been weighted to reflect the composition of the adult populations of the respective countries. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to participate in the Harris Interactive panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

The results of this Harris Poll may not be used in advertising, marketing or promotion without the prior written permission of Harris Interactive.

These statements conform to the principles of disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls and the British Polling Council.

The Harris Poll® #105, September 10, 2010

By Humphrey Taylor, Chairman, The Harris Poll, Harris Interactive

About Harris Interactive

Harris Interactive is one of the world's leading custom market research firms, leveraging research, technology, and business acumen to transform relevant insight into actionable foresight. Known widely for the Harris Poll and for pioneering innovative research methodologies, Harris offers expertise in a wide range of industries including healthcare, technology, public affairs, energy, telecommunications, financial services, insurance, media, retail, restaurant, and consumer package goods. Serving clients in over 215 countries and territories through our North American, European, and Asian offices and a network of independent market research firms, Harris specializes in delivering research solutions that help us – and our clients – stay ahead of what's next. For more information, please visit www.harrisinteractive.com.

Press Contact:

Corporate Communications

Harris Interactive

212-539-9600

press@harrisinteractive.net



SOURCE Harris Interactive



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