Es­to­nia among coun­tries least ac­cept­ing mi­grants

The Baltic Times - - BALTIC NEWS - BNS/TBT Staff

Es­to­nia ranks among the ten coun­tries that are least ac­cept­ing of mi­grants, it ap­pears from a sur­vey taken by the polling agency Gallup.

Es­to­nia scored 2.37 points in Gallup's new Mi­grant Ac­cep­tance In­dex, out of a pos­si­ble 9.0, be­ing ninth from the bot­tom over­all and one of the ten coun­tries that scored a 2.39 or lower.

Ac­cord­ing to the sur­vey, the coun­try the least ac­cept­ing of mi­grants is Macedonia with a score of 1.47, fol­lowed by Montenegro, Hun­gary, Ser­bia, Slo­vakia, Israel, Latvia and the Czech Repub­lic. Es­to­nia, in ninth place, is fol­lowed by Croa­tia with a score of 2.39.

Gallup pointed out that many coun­tries on the front lines of the re­cent mi­grant cri­sis in Europe are among the least-ac­cept­ing coun­tries in the world for mi­grants. Most of them, lo­cated along the Balkan route, that once chan­neled asy­lum seek­ers from Greece to Ger­many. Israel, which has dealt with its own in­flux of asy­lum seek­ers from Africa in the past decade, is the only non-euro­pean coun­try that scored be­low 2.39 points.

Gallup cre­ated the Mi­grant Ac­cep­tance In­dex to gauge peo­ple's ac­cep­tance of mi­grants based on in­creas­ing de­grees of per­sonal prox­im­ity. The in­dex is based on three ques­tions that Gallup asked in 138 coun­tries in 2016 and the U.S. in 2017.

Specif­i­cally, it asked peo­ple if they viewed im­mi­grants liv­ing in their coun­try, an im­mi­grant be­com­ing their neigh­bor, and an im­mi­grant mar­ry­ing one of their close rel­a­tives as "a good thing" or "a bad thing," with a vol­un­teered re­sponse "it de­pends" or "don't know" as the third op­tion. The re­sponse "a good thing" was worth three points, a vol­un­teered re­sponse of "it de­pends" or "don't know" was worth one point, and "a bad thing" was worth zero points.

As op­posed to the least-ac­cept­ing coun­tries, which are ge­o­graph­i­cally and cul­tur­ally clus­tered, the most-ac­cept­ing coun­tries for mi­grants are lo­cated in dis­parate parts of the globe. The top two mostac­cept­ing coun­tries could not be far­ther apart -- Iceland with a score of 8.26, and New Zealand with a score of 8.25.

How­ever, a com­mon thread ty­ing many of the most-ac­cept­ing coun­tries to­gether is their long his­tory as re­ceiv­ing coun­tries for mi­grants. While the high­est-re­ceiv­ing coun­try in the world, the U.S., does not make the top 10 coun­tries, it does make the top 20 with a score of 7.27.

World­wide, adults in cer­tain de­mo­graph­ics are solidly more ac­cept­ing of mi­grants than oth­ers are. For ex­am­ple, ac­cep­tance rises with ed­u­ca­tion. Those with at least four years of ed­u­ca­tion af­ter high school or with col­lege de­grees are the most likely of all ed­u­ca­tion groups to be ac­cept­ing, with an in­dex score of 5.67. Those in the high­est 20 per cent in­come group -- who are also more likely to have higher ed­u­ca­tion -- also stand out in their ac­cep­tance of mi­grants, com­pared with those in all lower in­come groups. Res­i­dents of ur­ban ar­eas also are more likely to be ac­cept­ing, as op­posed to those liv­ing in ru­ral ar­eas, it ap­pears from the out­come of the sur­vey.

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