E.g., 06/30/2023
E.g., 06/30/2023
British Attitudes to Immigration in the 21 st Century
October 2009

British Attitudes to Immigration in the 21 st Century

By  Ben Page

Since 1999, concern about immigration in Britain has reached levels never seen before in the history of public opinion research, and surveys show strong support for tougher immigration laws. Higher immigration has corresponded with increased concern, and media coverage of asylum in particular has caused people to report immigration as a national problem even if not in their area.

But opinions vary: younger, better-educated people and those who tend to live in areas with a longer history of immigration are more tolerant than older, less-educated people in more settled communities with low levels of immigration. In general, the British support multiculturalism but want newcomers to learn English and earn citizenship, and are concerned about the rate of change in some communities.

Thus far, the economic downturn has not caused concern about immigration to increase.

Table of Contents 

I. Executive Summary

II. Introduction

III. Who is Most Concerned About Immigration?

IV. Has the Downturn Exacerbated Public Concern?

V. More Immigrants, Increasing Concern

VI. Immigration through a Media Prism

VII. National, Regional, and Local Concerns

VIII. Multiculturalism and the Muslim Community

IX. Policy and Political Responses

X. Conclusion