Thursday 18 October 2018
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ZongoNews Radio

ZONGONEWS EDITORIAL: International Migrant Destinations ( Part 45 )

In our last article we had a brief look into in to the origins of those who migrate and where they migrate to. This week we look at the results of a global survey conducted by Gallup which attempted to identify the most accepting place, rather than the most popular place, to emigrate to.
Between 2016-2017 a global Migrant Acceptance Index survey was conducted by Gallup involving 147,000 adults aged 15 and older from 140 different countries around the world.
The survey posed the following, “I would like to ask you some questions about foreign immigrant people who have come to live and work in this country from another country. Please tell me whether you, personally, think each of the following is a good thing or a bad thing.” The three questions were about 1. Immigrants living in the country in question, 2. An immigrant becoming a neighbour, 3. An immigrant marring one of your close relatives.
The results were very interesting. According to the Gallup World Poll 2016-2017, the ten most accepting countries were Iceland, New Zealand, Rwanda, Canada, Sierra Leone, Mali, Australia, Sweden, United States and Nigeria. The most accepting countries were primarily in Oceania, Western Europe, Sub-Saharan Africa and Northern America whose commonality appear to be their long history as receiving countries for migrants.
The ten least accepting countries were Egypt, Iraq, Belarus, Greece, Poland, Turkey, Ukraine, Georgia, Mongolia and Jordan. It was found that the least-accepting of migrants were located in Eastern or South-Eastern Europe and were on the front lines or touched somehow by the recent migration crisis
But is migrant acceptance linked to migrant evaluations of their current and future lives? This was discussed in an annex to the World Happiness Report (Helliwell, J., Layard, R., & Sachs, j. (2018). World Happiness Report 2018, New York: Sustainable Development Solutions Network). Analysis which looked at the potential relationship between migrant status/life rating and migrant acceptance found that “while newcomer migrants had higher life ratings than their native-born counterparts for both the most and least accepting countries, long-timer migrants in the least-accepting countries had significantly lower life ratings than either the native-born or newcomer migrants. Long-timer migrants in the most accepting countries had life evaluations that were equal to those of newcomer migrants”. It was also found that “people’s acceptance of migrants – or lack there of – is linked to how migrants themselves evaluate their lives”.
Additional studies which adjusted the data with regard to age, gender and education to facilitate fairer comparisons found that “those who live in countries that are the most accepting, regardless of whether they are newcomers or long timers evaluate their lives more positively”.
Perhaps if the impact of low migrant acceptance were more widely known and the negative impact of poor social inclusion in regard to social, economic and political enrichment of a nation, then programmes that address discrimination on the basis of country or place of origin would be of a higher priority.

Lesley Shepperson
Shepperson & Shepperson Consultants Ltd

Source: Lesley Shepperson / /