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

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

7. Concluding comments

Findings from the survey give a nuanced picture of young people's feelings about immigration into Scotland. In general, participants thought that the impacts of immigration were both good and bad. More than a third of those interviewed felt that immigration should be kept at the current level, and 15% thought the level should be increased. However, more than one in five of the young people thought immigration levels should be decreased, and 9% felt that immigration should be stopped completely.

There is recognition that people who come from abroad to live and work in Scotland have a positive contribution to make, particularly in relation to the economy. Although a sizeable proportion of the sample (between 25% and 28%) had concerns about Scotland beginning to lose its identity if more immigrants came to live and work here, a larger proportion of respondents (between 41% and 45%) were positive about the prospect of greater diversity.

Findings relating to sub-groups are relatively consistent across all questions. Generally, the oldest group (S6) had the most positive attitudes, as did the least socio-economically deprived group, people from BME groups, those whose religion was non-Christian, and those who did not have a long-standing physical or mental health condition. Where there were differences between the attitudes of boys and girls, girls were more positive about the impacts of immigration.

A substantial proportion of the sample (up to 20%) gave a 'don't know' response to every question. Analysis by year group indicated a consistent pattern across all questions: the older respondents were, the less likely they were to say they did not know.


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