Reports 2019/40

Attitudes towards immigrants and immigration 2019

This publication is in Norwegian only.

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The purpose of this report is to provide an overview of attitudes to different issues concerning immigrants and immigration. This years’ survey shows a continuation of the latter years’ trend of increasingly more positive attitudes toward immigrants.

There have been only minor changes from 2018 to 2019, but the long-term trend indicates that we are becoming increasingly more receptive toward having immigrants in close relationships and toward agreeing that most immigrants provide a positive contribution in the labor market and in the cultural life. Fewer agree that immigrants are a source of insecurity in society or that they take advantage of welfare benefits. At the same time as attitudes are becoming more liberal, we also see increasing contact with immigrants living in Norway across different arenas, like the workplace, the neighborhood, among friends and acquaintances, in close family or other arenas.

We find differences in attitudes according to the background characteristics of the respondents. Women tend to display more positive attitudes toward immigrants than men, and younger respondents are more liberal than older respondents. Respondents that are studying or in school hold more positive attitudes toward immigrants than respondents receiving welfare benefits or pensions. Those engaging with immigrants in different arenas also display more positive attitudes than those having no contact with immigrants. There are also differences between city and countryside. Respondents living in densely populated areas are more positive than those living in sparsely populated areas. We also find more positive attitudes toward immigrants and immigration in Oslo and Akershus than in other parts of the country.

The gross sample of the survey has been selected in order to provide, as far as possible, a statistically representative sample of the target population. However, in all sample surveys there is drop-out. In this year’s survey on attitudes the drop-out percentage was 45.9 percent. This contributes to biases in the net sample, which is compensated for by using weights for drop-out based on sex, age and education. After using weights, we see a reduction of most biases, at least according to the characteristics that we are able to control, and a distribution in the weighted net sample more similar to the distribution in the gross sample. Biases may however occur. A further outline regarding this can be found in chapter 2.

In chapter 3 we look at some events and trends in society which may possibly affect attitudes toward immigrants and immigration in this year’s survey. Chapter 4 presents the main results of the survey, focusing on long-term changes occurring in the period from 2002 to 2019. In chapter 5 we cover the development that has happened during the last year – from 2018 to 2019 – with emphasis on the changes that are statistically significant. In chapter 6 we take a closer look at attitudes according to the background characteristics of the respondents, as well as on which correlations are significant.

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