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
7. Concluding comments

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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