Public opinion on migration
Surveys of public opinion on migration are common in many countries. Typically, these polls tend to ask questions about the population’s general views on immigration and immigrants. Public opinion on migration can shape and influence migration policy, although the public may not have an accurate understanding of the number and type of migrants residing in their country. Some evidence suggests it is policy that drives public opinion on migration. Public opinion on migration may also influence the degree to which a migrant integrates into their receiving community. Data on public opinion on migration can be a useful indicator of how open receiving societies are towards immigration and ethnic diversity and can sometimes also indicate different attitudes than what the media suggest.
Migrant integration has gained prominence on the global agenda with the advent of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda’s call to “leave no one behind”—including migrants. The field of migrant integration, however, has traditionally been polarizing and related data are generally limited to high-income countries. The increased interest in migrant integration highlights the need for more research and better data. Integration cuts across different policies and various aspects of migrants’ lives and therefore data on migrant integration cover a wide range of information, including whether migrants are integrating into the economic, social, cultural, and political spheres of society, the discrimination they face, how policies affect migrants’ inclusion, and how the public perceives migrants and immigration.