Britain is more worried about immigration than any other country in a poll of 25 countries around the world.
The Ipsos Mori poll shows that 42% of people in Britain are worried about immigration.
The debate over the subject has been widespread since the UK voted to leave the EU, and it is now a greater concern than in Germany, Sweden, and Turkey — all of which have been far worse affected by the Syrian refugee crisis.
41% of people in Germany and 33% of people in Sweden are concerned about immigration. Those lower figures are despite the fact that Germany received 431,000 asylum applications in 2015, and Sweden — a country of less than ten million people — received 163,000.
By contrast, Britain received 39,000 applications, 55% of which were rejected.
The study also found that Britain is more worried about the rise of extremism than any other country that was polled, with 28% of people citing it as a worry. Other countries where extremism is a major concern are Germany (27%), Belgium (25%), Sweden (25%), and France (21%).
18,000 adults aged under 65 were surveyed online in Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Britain, Germany, Hungary, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Poland, Peru, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, and the United States.
The poll asked respondents which issues most worry them, and whether they think things in their country are heading in the right direction.
It also found that the UK is more worried about the rise of extremism than any other country that was polled, with 28% of people citing it as a worry. Other countries where extremism is a major concern are Germany (27%), Belgium (25%), Sweden (25%), and France (21%).
Commenting on the findings, Bobby Duffy, Managing Director, Ipsos Mori Social Research Institute, said that the results show that “the concern very clearly flagged in the EU Referendum has not subsided.”
“It’s also striking how quickly initial fears that we’re heading in the wrong direction following Brexit have abated,” he added.
“People have not seen much impact on the economy or felt it on their own standard of living. Whether this will continue is a matter of fierce debate, but given the importance of consumer confidence to the economy, this is at least a positive.”
“This relatively relaxed economic view is backed up by comparing our worries with other countries,” Duffy said.
“In particular, unemployment is the top global concern — but it doesn’t even feature in the top five in Britain. Countries like Spain and Italy are in a completely different place, with around seven in 10 people saying unemployment is a key worry.”
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