The least-accepting countries in the world for migrants are former Soviet countries and the most-accepting countries are part of the Oceania region, according to Gallup’s latest Migrant Acceptance Index.
The index, published 23 August, was based on three questions in which each answer counted towards a final sum of scores. The highest score was 9.0 and the lowest 0.
Luxembourg’s score was 7.54.
Gallup said that Macedonia was the world’s least-accepting country with a score of 1.47. It was followed by Hungary (1.69), Serbia (1.80) and Croatia (2.39), countries that are located in the Western Balkan migrant route.
An explanation for their ranking is the heavy increase of displacements after the beginning of the conflict in Syria. However, Gallup stated that suspicion towards migrants in these nations is based on their “long histories of conflicts with neighbouring countries” which caused “geographically and culturally clustered” circumstances.
As the highest-receiving country worldwide, the US did not figure in the top 10 countries but made the top 20, scoring 7.27.
By region, Oceania scored the highest with 8.02 and the EU scored 5.92. The Commonwealth of Independent States scored the lowest with 3.26.
Influence of educational attainment
The demographical part of the study has shown that higher levels of education and wealth increase the acceptance rate. Adults with at least four years of education after high school or with college degrees are most accepting, scoring 5.67. The richest income groups score 5.53 as compared to the poorest with 5.04.
Younger generations are generally more accepting. The only exception are the Traditionalists (those born before 1946), who scored higher than the Baby boomers (1945-1964) and the Gen Xers (1965-1979).
A big exception in demographical patterns were the Commonwealth of Independent States in which acceptance is low regardless of income or age and in which the less educated residents were slightly more accepting.
Gallup stressed a growing challenge of accepting migrants because of global political tensions and changes. Moreover, Gallup noted that the answers of most participants were conditioned. The acceptance rate for some of the participants depended on the identity of the migrant.