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Kiwis More Positive About Immigration Than Most Countries

New Zealanders more positive about immigration than most countries: Ipsos global study

New Zealanders are the most likely of 25 surveyed countries to feel that immigrants make the country a more interesting place to live.

New Zealanders are also the most likely to want highly-skilled immigrants to fill shortages.

New Zealanders are more comfortable about the changes brought on by immigration than most other countries surveyed.

But the pressure placed on public services is of a greater concern to New Zealanders.

Out of 25 countries surveyed by Ipsos around the world, New Zealanders have emerged as one of the most pro-immigration, according to new data from the Ipsos Global @dvisor survey.

The survey, conducted among online adults aged under 65 in 25 countries world-wide, found that while attitudes about immigration are particularly negative in Turkey, Italy and Russia, New Zealand is almost the opposite.

Skilled immigrants: Globally, 40% agree that priority should be given to immigrants with higher education and qualifications, and New Zealanders are the most likely to agree with this (58%), followed by Saudi Arabia (56%), and Britain (55%)

Interesting immigrants: Only 31% globally believe immigrants make their country a more interesting place to live, with the highest scores seen in New Zealand and Britain (both 49%). In contrast, Serbia (8%), Russia (10%), and Hungary (10%) are the countries with the fewest people showing positive attitudes towards immigration’s cultural impact.

Economic effects: Compared to the global average of 28%, New Zealanders are significantly more positive about immigrants’ effects on the economy – 47% of New Zealanders agree that immigration is good for their economy, the same level recorded by Great Britain and second only to Saudi Arabia.

Immigrant numbers: Although 48% globally say that there are too many immigrants in their country, fewer New Zealanders (44%) agree, which is a similar level to Australia (43%) and Great Britain (45%). Turks were the most likely to feel they had too many immigrants (83%), and Japanese the least (15%).

Public services pressure: In 17 of the 25 countries surveyed at least half agreed that immigration is placing too much pressure on national public services. At 53%, New Zealanders are slightly more concerned with this issue when compared with Australia (51%) and the global average (49%).

Disliked changes: Just under half (44%), on average, say that immigration is causing their country to change in ways that they do not like. Again, those in Italy and Turkey were most likely to say this (77% and 63% respectively) while New Zealanders are less likely to say that immigration is causing their country to change in ways that they do not like (38%). At 45%, Australians are more negative about immigrants than are New Zealanders.

Commenting on the findings, Nicola Legge, Research Director, Ipsos NZ Public Affairs said: “Clearly, New Zealand has not experienced the same immigration pressures we have seen in Eastern Europe, where more anti-immigration sentiment lies. So, while there has been considerable debate about immigration levels in New Zealand, we see that New Zealanders are relatively positive about immigration. The key immigration issues uncovered in our survey have been echoed during the election campaign, as New Zealanders express concern about the inability of our public services to cope, and the need to focus more on those who can help fill shortages in the skilled job market. This indicates that New Zealanders are not concerned so much with the numbers of immigrants as they are with the government’s management of the issue.”


• The data is available at https://www.ipsos.com/en

• 17,903 interviews were conducted between June 24th – July 8th 2017 among adults aged 18-64 in the US and Canada, and adults aged 16-64 in all other countries.

• The survey was conducted in 25 countries around the world via the Ipsos Online Panel system: Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Britain, Germany, Hungary, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Poland, Russia, Serbia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Turkey and the United States.

• Data is weighted to match the profile of the population.

• Ipsos is an independent market research company controlled and managed by research professionals. Founded in France in 1975, Ipsos has grown into a worldwide research group with a strong presence in all key markets. Ipsos ranks third in the global research industry. With offices in 86 countries, Ipsos delivers insightful expertise across six research specializations: advertising, customer loyalty, marketing, media, public affairs research, and survey management.


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