• Immigration, 2015

Gallup International Association opinion poll in 69 countries across the globe

November – December 2015

Global Data Findings

When asked ‘Generally speaking do you think the immigration of foreign workers is a good thing or a bad thing for your country?’ 57% of the world’s population believe it is a good thing against 32% believing it is a bad thing. The net support score of 25% is equal to the % of people that believe it is a good thing minus the % of people that believe it is a bad thing.

Globalization and the possibilities of travel and relocation divide the world into three groups of countries: the Poor countries where the majority supports immigration, the Middle and Upper Income countries where the majority is in opposition to immigration and the Rich whose majorities are divided between supporting and opposing nations. Among the 18 Poor countries, where the average per capita annual income is less than 10,000 USD, the majority is opposed in only 3 of them. Among the Middle and Upper Income countries, that have an average annual per capita income of between 10,000 USD and 35,000 USD, the views held by the majorities are exactly the opposite: only 3 are in favour while 31 are opposed. Interestingly in the Rich countries with incomes above 35,000 USD, the majorities are divided: In the 17 countries polled, 9 were in favour of and 8 were opposed to immigration.

There are important differences in attitudes towards immigration across age and income groups. The Young, under Age 35 are globally more favourable than the older population towards immigration, the net support among them is +30%, compared to over Age 55, among whom the net support drops to +15%. Among the Bottom Income quintile, the net support globally is only +2%, but among the top quintile it is +53%. Thus globally as well as within regions, the Poor are more opposed to immigration than the Rich in the same societies.

Gallup International Association poll findings suggest that in a rapidly globalizing world Immigration will continue to remain a subject of controversy, debate and split opinions for a long time to come. It is a complex issue which triggers emotional chords blending economic, social and political considerations. As global pollsters GIA members will continue to monitor and track popular opinions on the subject objectively and comprehensively across all parts of the world.


The End of Year Survey is an annual tradition initiated by and designed under the chairmanship of Dr. George Gallup in 1977. It is conducted every year since then. This year it was carried out by the Gallup International Association in 69 countries around the world.

A total of 68 595 persons were interviewed globally. In each country a representative sample of around 1000 men and women was interviewed either face to face (30 countries; n=35 028), via telephone (15 countries; n=11 996) or online (23 countries; n=21 571). The field work was conducted during November 2015 - December 2015. The margin of error for the survey is between +/- 3-5% at 95% confidence level.