New research from Dynata has found that almost two thirds (64%) of the world and 65% of Brits are accepting of refugees fleeing war or other life threatening violence, compared to if they were escaping political (UK – 42%), religious (UK – 44%), economic (UK – 41%) or environmental crisis (UK – 49%).
Of those who think that, almost two thirds (63%) are also supportive of Ukrainian refugees coming into their own country, this rises to 64% in the UK, compared to an average of 40% for other nations, including those fleeing Africa (UK – 47%), Central or south America (UK – 46%), the Middle East (UK – 49%) or Asia (UK – 47%).
Over the past weeks, the UK has demonstrated some early issues with granting asylum to Ukrainian feeling the war. Despite UK lagging behind other European nations in granting visas, the research shows that the majority (54%) of people support Ukrainian refugees coming to the UK.
Key findings include:
- Of the five nations polled by data platform Dynata, people in the UK are most supportive of taking in refugees with 54% in favor, compared to 28% in Poland.
- When asked about refugees from the Ukraine, the number of Britons at least slightly supportive of their countries welcoming refugees rose to 63%.
- People in the UK are more supportive of receiving refugees fleeing the conflict in Ukraine than from other parts of the world.
- Younger generations are more open to taking in war refugees from other parts of the world – overall, more than 1 in 2 Gen Z (52%) versus fewer than 1 in 3 Boomers (38%).
- Boomers’ support for Ukraine refugees reaches almost 70% (68%).
- More than half of Brits (53%) fear that the conflict between Russia and Ukraine will escalate to other countries with more than a quarter (26%) believing it will drag on for up to two years.
UK vs global results
In its survey of nationals of five countries – the UK, US, Germany, France, and Poland – data specialists Dynata found that the majority of people (82%) at least slightly support that refugee’s should be allowed to settle in their homeland – with the highest rate of support in Britain. Some 54% of people back refugees coming to live in the UK compared to 28% in Poland. Citizens were asked their opinions on refugees from Ukraine, the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and Central/South America. Overall, 8 in 10, or 82%, of those polled expressed some support for their countries taking in refugees, with 43% “completely” or “very much” welcoming the idea.
Reasons for accepting refugees
There was most support for refugees fleeing war or other life-threatening violence, 64% globally. In the UK, 65% of those polled would accept victims of conflict in Britain compared to if they were escaping political (42%), religious (44%), economic (41%), or environmental crises (49%).
Of those Brits who say they are at least slightly supportive of their countries welcoming refugees fleeing due to war or other life-threatening violence, 64% are at very/completely supportive of Ukrainians, which is well ahead of other nationalities. 47% for Africans, 46% for Central and South Americans, 49% for people from the Middle East and 47% for Asians.
Millennials vs boomers: acceptance to refugees
Younger generations are more open to the arrival of refugees with 51% of Gen Z and 47% of Millennials “completely” or “very much” in support compared to 39% of Gen X and 38% of Baby Boomers. In the UK, support among Gen Z and Millennials remains consistently around 59% in favor.
This was reflected in the other four nations too, with more than 52% Gen Z versus fewer than 38% of Boomers supporting refugees from areas other than Ukraine. But Boomers’ support for Ukrainian refugees reached almost 70% (68%).
Factors that would influence people’s likelihood to welcome refugees
Cultural differences between refugees and British citizens were cited as more important than politics, race, religion, socio economic class, education, and language when it came to influencing people’s likelihood to welcome refugees.