Publication - Research and analysis

Young people's attitudes to immigration: findings from the Young People in Scotland Survey 2017

Published: 15 Aug 2018

This report presents findings on attitudes to immigration from the Ipsos MORI Young People in Scotland Survey 2017.

Young people's attitudes to immigration: findings from the Young People in Scotland Survey 2017
3. Levels of immigration into Scotland

3. Levels of immigration into Scotland

The young people were asked whether they thought the level of immigration into Scotland should be increased, decreased, kept at the current level or stopped completely.

Across the whole sample, more than a third of respondents (35%) felt that immigration should be kept at the current level, and 15% thought the level should be increased. However, 30% thought that immigration should be decreased or stopped completely. A further one in five either said they did not know, or preferred not to say (Figure 3.1).

Figure 3.1: 'Overall, do you think the level of immigration into Scotland should be ...?' (N=1,781)

Figure 3.1: 'Overall, do you think the level of immigration into Scotland should be ...?' (N=1,781)

Source: Young People in Scotland Survey 2017, Ipsos MORI.

Variations in attitudes between sub-groups

Year group

The pattern of responses across the year groups was similar, except for the oldest group (S6). Almost a quarter of respondents in S6 supported increased levels of immigration. Young people in this group were also the least likely to select 'don't know' as an option (Figure 3.2).

Figure 3.2: 'Overall, do you think immigration into Scotland should be…?' By year group (N=1,755)

Figure 3.2: 'Overall, do you think immigration into Scotland should be…?' By year group (N=1,755)

Source: Young People in Scotland Survey 2017, Ipsos MORI.

Ethnicity

Young White people were more likely (22%) than those in BME groups (12%) to think that immigration should be decreased. However, there was very little difference in the proportions who felt that immigration should be stopped completely (9% of young White people took this view, compared with 8% of those in BME groups) (Figure 3.3).

Figure 3.3: 'Overall, do you think immigration into Scotland should be ...?' By ethnicity (N=1,672)

Figure 3.3: 'Overall, do you think immigration into Scotland should be ...?' By ethnicity (N=1,672)

Source: Young People in Scotland Survey 2017, Ipsos MORI.

Religious affiliation

More than a quarter of those young people who identified as non-Christian thought that immigration levels should be increased. This view was less popular in the Christian group (17%) and among those who said they had no religion (15%).

Young people who were Christians and those who said they had no religion were more likely than non-Christians to believe that immigration should be decreased. Between a fifth and a quarter of Christians and those with no religion took this view, compared with 10% of non-Christians (Figure 3.4).

Figure 3.4: 'Overall, do you think immigration into Scotland should be ...?' By religious affiliation (N=1,540)

Figure 3.4: 'Overall, do you think immigration into Scotland should be ...?' By religious affiliation (N=1,540)

Source: Young People in Scotland Survey 2017, Ipsos MORI.

Physical/mental health condition

Young people who said they had a physical or mental health condition were more likely than those who did not have such a condition to believe that immigration should be increased. 21% of young people with a health condition took this view, compared with 16% of those without a health condition. However, people with a health condition were also more likely to believe that immigration should be stopped altogether (15% of young people with a health condition said this, compared with 8% of those who did not have a health condition). 36% of young people who did not have a health condition believed that immigration should be kept at the current level, compared with 28% of those who said they did have such a condition (Figure 3.5).

Figure 3.5: 'Overall, do you think immigration into Scotland should be ...?' By physical/mental health condition (N=1,412)

Figure 3.6: 'Overall, do you think immigration into Scotland should be ...?' By physical/mental health condition (N=1,412)

Source: Young People in Scotland Survey 2017, Ipsos MORI.


Contact